Sorry for the delay on the Boston trip wrap-up. But Mondays are S.’s day off and we did what any married couple who has a morning alone without the kids would do. That’s right, we went through each room in our house and…picked up every damn toy, which we then put in a huge pile in our basement and methodically went through, throwing away the ones with jacked up or missing parts, putting dozens of others into a donation pile, and only keeping the stuff that was still age-appropriate or that we knew we couldn’t get away with throwing away. We still have too many toys, but they are much more manageable than they were a day ago. And we got most of it done before the girls were home, so there was minimal whining and complaining about what was pitched.

Anyway, on to the Boston breakdown…

All-in-all, a terrific long weekend in Boston.

We flew in Thursday night and stayed near the hotel. I went to bed at the same time we put the girls down 1 and thus missed Peyton’s outburst in Denver. Needless to say, my brother-in-law from Denver stayed up at his hotel to watch the entire game and was thrilled to talk about it the next day.

Friday we drove out to Waltham, site of the wedding. We were staying in a nice Westin, and the girls were loving the amenities that weren’t present at our Thursday night Hampton Inn. They also loved that there were Dunkin Donuts on just about every major corner, so we ate there twice over the weekend.2

The wedding was Friday night, which I like to think was because we set a precedent back in 2003 that you can have a kick-ass wedding on a Friday. Turns out that was just the night the bride and groom could get the band they wanted and they based everything around that. Which I can also respect.

But it was a terrific evening. The ceremony was outside, where it was beautiful and perfect. The reception and dinner were in a museum of invention, which was pretty cool to walk around. The displays spanned from the Industrial Revolution to the computer age. I had to walk C. to the restroom before the ceremony and was thrilled to find an Atari 2600 with Defender plugged in available for play. I got through two levels in the time it took her to do her business, although I couldn’t remember how to trigger hyperspace or smart bombs with the old Atari joystick. Remember when Defender was a ground-breaking game at the arcades?

Saturday the newlyweds rented a bus for the family and we cruised out to the coast where we first ate lunch at Woodman’s. I had the obligatory (for me) lobster roll and clam chowder. A couple relatives got fried scallops, which were pretty fantastic. Well, it was all fantastic. And again the weather was absolutely perfect.

After lunch we went to the beach near Gloucester. The water wasn’t terribly warm but the beach was packed. The girls and their cousins frolicked, with C. digging a hole nearly as deep as she is tall. There was a sandbar about 200 feet from the shore, with the water between no deeper than a nine-year-old’s knees. M. charged right out and was over 300 feet away from us at one point. This is the same kid I basically had to throw off a diving board a year ago. I was pretty proud of her.

After bussing back to the hotel, we kept in the swimming spirit of things and took a dip in the hotel pool and hot tub. I love how the simple act of putting a pool indoors makes kids go nuts. It’s still chlorinated water3 in a large container. Oh well, it entertained them.

No issues flying home Sunday, although the girls did all miss their first soccer games of the season while we were traveling. Pretty good behavior all weekend, a fun wedding, and good times with (most of) S.’s family.

And with that, our traveling for 2013 is complete. I think it’s going to be awhile before we try again to be as ambitious as we were this year.

A few extra notes:

  • Very cool being in Boston the weekend they were playing the Yankees. Would have been cooler if the games were in Boston rather than the Bronx, though. When we hopped our hotel shuttle Thursday night, the driver had the game on the radio. At the wedding Friday I caught a couple guys checking the score. And Saturday after lunch, as soon as we stepped onto the bus, our driver let us know the Sox were up 6-2.
  • Saturday morning, as we were walking the girls over to Dunkin Donuts, we were surprised by a large Indian wedding gathering in the parking lot of the hotel. The wedding party, and many guests, were dressed in traditional attire. There was a horse and carriage for the bride and groom. After some ceremonies we couldn’t see, the entire party marched around the parking circle a couple times, dancing along to a drummer. It looked like a lot of fun. We noticed of the non-Indian guests, the white girls were much more into the dancing than the white boys. Just like an American wedding! Also, the schedule for the wedding kept appearing on the hotel’s screen highlighting the day’s events. The ceremony lasted from 9:00 AM to noon, followed by a two-hour lunch. Then there was a reception from 4-6, and a dinner from 6:00 to midnight. They know how to do it!
  • I saw a license plate in the parking lot I assume belonged to a wedding guest. SWAMI4U.
  • We saw a traffic sign we’ve never seen in the Midwest. In an area with lots of homes and schools, a sign read “Thickly Settled.” That sounds very New England to me.
  • In the hotel pool there was a special pool-side menu. The Westin knows how to stick it to you. $19 for a burger, with a 15% gratuity, a 3% convenience change, 7% tax, and a $3.50 room charge. I’m not sure how you can charge both a convenience and room fee, but I don’t think they really need any justification. A sister-in-law tried the breakfast buffet one morning. That set her back a cool $24. Yikes.
  • We flew through Detroit on the way home. I was amused to see a huge bank of kiosks that featured a small work desk and pay phones. There was one pay phone tucked away in the basement of the Westin in Boston and I explained to the girls that before everyone had a cell phone, folks used pay phones to make calls. Then we see dozens of them in Detroit. It was like stepping back in time.

  1. We had a single hotel room, not a suite or double-room, so there was one TV. 
  2. When in Boston, errr, Rome. 
  3. And, man, was this water chlorinated. I guess that’s a good thing with all the randoms that can hop into a hotel pool. But every kid had bright red eyes within minutes of their first dip.