1) Stop at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord. The boys can run wild, we can have a picnic and it's FREE. Well, unless you want a guided tour which I don't think Thing 1 and Thing 2 are up for at this point.
1) In fact: We did do this. It was lovely, if a bit breezy. We had left over pizza and sunbutter sandwiches. Tom & El were impressed with the 3-D map of the area and really enjoyed taking the short walk to the North Bridge. Lots of school groups there but totally great. Obviously the historical significance of the place was lost on the kids, but they liked it. A win.
2) Go to Medfield. See the house Scott grew up in. Tour the town. Tour the high school.
2A) In fact: Before we went to Medfield we stopped at a camp ground to see if we wanted to stay there for a couple of nights in June. We are torn about it. It's got EVERYTHING.... indoor and outdoor heated pools, workout equipment, sauna, jacuzzi, activity center, play grounds, ball fields, bathrooms with hot water and showers. But we don't know if we want to go there with the boys. First, it's kinda pricey given that we will be sleeping in a tent. Second, we may ruin them for camping for life! We're just not sure if this is the way to go.
2B) We saw the house. It looks amazing. Scott was awed by the growth of some trees they had planted. I noticed the swing set in the back yard and imagined that the people who live there are about our age. Which means they can afford to live in a house that looks like that in that neighborhood. I'm always amazed at people with a lot of money!
2C) T & E sucked down all the drinks we brought and were being SOOOO good waiting to get to "The City" so we went into town and got ice cream for the boys at Lords, a locally owned department store that has somehow managed to stay alive in the age of Walmart. They have an old fashioned soda fountain (though not old fashioned prices!) along with more Legos than any child ought to be exposed to!
2D) Scott's high school is in what used to be the middle school. It was renovated in 2005 and looks fantastic. Many of the teachers and secretaries knew him or at least his mom, who was a secretary there. He enjoyed looking around and catching up with people. I met his English teacher who wrote his recommendation letter for Ithaca College.... had to thank her for that!
3) Back up to Newton. Get our Charlie Cards for the T. Check into the hotel. Take the bus and then the train into Boston.
3A) In fact: We drove by Scott's grandmother's house (where his mom grew up) in Newton on the way to the hotel. Looks great. We also tried to find the house where I rented a room for a couple of months back in '96 but couldn't figure out which one it was. Oh well!
3B) In fact: We skipped getting the Charlie cards and went straight to the hotel. It was getting renovated. Oh, boy, was it getting renovated! The reason for the low-low rate became very obvious very quickly. Kinda shabby and dirty looking hallways. Searched 4 floors before I found a functioning ice machine. We had decided to skip the Children's Museum since the boys were so beat and just wanted to swim in the pool... but, alas, the pool was CLOSED during renovations. D'oh! So, we went to Unos across the street for a very nice dinner (holy God, try the Veggie Quesedia with guacamole! A glass of Pinot and/or beer are also helpful...) and then took our chances on the bus.....
4) Go to the Children's Museum of Boston. Fridays from 5 - 9PM are $1 admission so we are taking advantage. Sure to be chaos... but it's CHEAP chaos! Dinner from a sub shop or something at the museum.
4A) In fact: We took the bus into Boston for dollar night at the museum. The bus ride was easy and the driver was exceptionally helpful to us.
4B) The museum was.... FANTASTIC! Lots of people but not totally crazy. So completely better than I expected. We divided up so that the boys could each do whatever they wanted which was totally key. They had a great time and were totally wiped out when it was time to go.
5) Back to the hotel. Maybe swimming. Hopefully sleep....
5A) In fact: We went back to the bus stop to get to the hotel and waited around for a few minutes. Then I looked at the fine print on the sign. Yeah, the buses stopped running at 7:45. It was 8:30. There was no train that goes near our hotel. We weren't sure if we'd find a cab from the closest station to our hotel (2 miles away) that would get us there. Soooo.... we took a fairly pricey cab ride back to Newton. The boys LOVED it and we were just happy to get back to the room. Oh well. Live and learn.
5B) In fact: SLEEP did happen. Amazingly well, given the boys' track record in hotel rooms. Thank heavens we brought the humidifier and cranked the A/C, though.
6) Early morning run for me (supposed to be 18... we'll see!) while the boys swim and chill.
6A) In fact: Did my run starting at 5:45AM. It was PHENOMENAL! The first 3 miles were up hill but they were "city hills" so they didn't seem so bad. I ran to Commonwealth Ave and then followed the train tracks into town. Took a left over the BU bridge and then ran along the Charles River watching the crew teams on the water. Ran past Harvard and close to where Click & Clack do Car Talk.... Then at 9 miles turned around and went back. It was so great! I was low on energy (no fruit available at the hotel unless you wanted to pay $14 for breakfast!) and low on fluids (my hydration belt did not hold enough) but I felt better than I have in a long, long time.
6B) The boys, in fact, did not swim. Cuz, well, you know... So Scott chilled with them in the room and then went searching for breakfast. He forgot that T CAN have Dunkin Donuts bagels (there was one across the street) so he bought them oatmeal and apple juice at the hotel restaurant. They didn't eat it. It cost $17. He wasn't happy and told them if they didn't eat more oatmeal they wouldn't get anything until Mom & Dad were ready for lunch. So... when I got back from my run he was, to say the least, irked.
6C) Back from my run. Quick shower. Pack up. Back to Dunkin Donuts for our breakfast (the kids didn't even ask for anything... they knew better).
7) Bus and train back to Boston for the Aquarium. We received gift certificates so this is "free" to us. Again, it's a Saturday so chaos... but FREE chaos!
7A) This all went very smoothly. Kind of a long walk to the Aquarium from the bus stop with Elliott on my back.... after the run, I mean. But, we checked the times for the final bus back (yes, we do learn our lesson eventually!) The Aquarium was good but so obnoxiously expensive ($21 for adult admission!) Very glad we had $100 in gift certificates. The boys like to look but are frankly not that interested in the nitty gritty of the stuff. Thankfully we had enough $ on the gift certificates left over to buy lunch in the cafe. Then, pooped, we headed back to the bus stop and the hotel to get the car. None of this, of course, was captured on the camera. (Not to tell tales, but SCOTT had the camera during this time. Just sayin'.)
8) Home in time to get to a friend's dinner party.
8A) In fact: We got home. Elliott and I did go to the dinner party, which was great fun. Tommy & Dad stayed home because Tommy had had enough. It all worked out very well since the delicious dinner was laden with recipes that contained eggs. It would have been HEART BREAKING for Tom.
I will update this post on Sunday (probably) to see how accurate this agenda is. My guess is there will be a LOT of changes...!
In fact: MUCH closer than I would have thought!