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16 June 2010

Summer Vacation - Trip #1

Here I am, stealing internet from the Peabody Public Library. Why? Because the in-laws neighbors have locked down their internet so I can no longer steal from them. Now I actually need to go to the library to use the internet. Boo!! (Actually, this is just a testament to my insane laziness.) Boston has been fun this week. We arrived on Friday evening after 14 hours. The trip should have taken only 12 but it seems that every person in Connecticut decided to leave for their weekend at the exact same time. We were stuck on the highway in bumper-to-bumper traffic for over an hour. That, my friends, equals no fun! But we got here safe and sound and that's all that matters. Saturday was an extended visit to Salem. We've been there a bazillion times, but this is the first time we've been here without the dog so we actually have time to explore and check things out. We visited the House of Seven Gables (you know, Hawthorne and all) as well as the Peabody Essex Museum. Both were a lot of fun. I've been meaning to make my "Literary Tour of New England" for some time now, but it just never really happens. So now I can at least check off the Hawthorne portion of my trip. The PEM was pretty cool as well. There was an old Chinese house that they had transported, brick by brick, to the museum that was over 200 years old. It was pretty insightful to see the way a Chinese family lived and cooked and went about their day-to-day activities. There were even authentic Mao posters on the walls. I REALLY wanted to take pics for my kids (they have a rather extensive unit on China and the Cultural Revolution), but, alas, no photography was allowed. On Sunday, we went to mass with The Boy's Pop and then ventured off to the North Shore. We drove through Rockport (quaint little town but a total tourist trap) and then headed to New Hampshire to Portsmouth. In Portsmouth we ate a really late lunch and had a few beers at the Portsmouth Brewing Company. Very tasty brews! We even brought a growler home to enjoy later. As it turns out, yes, we drove to New Hampshire to drink beer. That sounds really bad until you realize that Portsmouth is only 45 minutes away. So we aren't total booze hounds. ;) Monday was a nice low-key day. We helped Pop trim some trees (I'm the only member of the family over 5'10" so they like to take advantage of my height) and then The Boy watched the Italy match in the World Cup. My nephew was driving in from NY with a friend to attend a Sox game with us, so we were also waiting patiently for his safe arrival. After the Italy match, we drank our Portsmouth growler and played bocci in the back yard. The sun had finally come out. It had been drizzly and cool ever since we arrived and Monday was the first nice day we had. After my nephew arrived safely we had a little cook out and then took the kids into the city to see the lights. Tuesday was Game Day. After a huge Italian breakfast, we took the train into the city around 10am. We caught a tour of Fenway around noon and then set the boys off free to explore the city on their own. They had a Charlie Card and a map, so good luck to them! The Boy and I headed up to Newbury Street to grab lunch at Thai Basil and then headed further up to finally visit the U.S.S. Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. The Boy has lived here his entire life and has never visited either. LAME! So we fixed that. The Constitution was pretty cool. It is over 200 years old and still afloat in Boston Harbor. It has the best battle record of any other ship to this day. Bunker Hill, on the other hand, was less thrilling (read sarcasm here). After a loooooooong day of walking, we wound our way up to the Bunker Hill neighborhood and my legs were tired. We got to the monument and discovered that it is 294 steps up a tight spiral staircase to the top. Gulp. Not so much fun. But we did it. As I type this, my legs still ache from the climb. But it was pretty cool and now I can say that I did it. With Jell-O legs, we made our way back to the North End for dinner and then to Fenway (thankfully by train!). The nephew and his pal were already in our seats, watching batting practice. We sat down and three hours later, the Sox pulled off a win. Yeah!!! Of course, the Celtics lost. Boo!!! I got some great pics of the game with my camera. That zoom is AMAZING!! It gets up so close that could see the pitch hit the catcher's glove! I'll post pics later! Tonight is another Sox game and then Thursday we are heading to Ipswich for some more touristy fun. Summer is off to a good start!
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