We took off at 5:30am on a Sunday morning because I was played in a Saturday matinee concert the day before and we decided it would be crazy to try to do a 9-10 hour drive when we wouldn’t leave before 7pm. We popped into church in NJ with our beloved Snells (and were rewarded with delicious cookies in addition to the Sacrament…not a terrible 90 minutes), stopped in for lunch with some other dear friends in Connecticut, and finished he haul up to Northfield, VT to visit our dear Grays.
They live on this gorgeous property abutting a river and with a barn and ponies and chickens and it was just all sorts of lovely. They were super hosts and welcomed us right into Vermontish life with some farm tours and fresh eggs and cheese and caramel. They also regaled us with hilare stories of small-town life and their darling children were beyond nice to ours. Nat was a little obsessed (I mean, older friends? pony rides? what’s not to love?).
|My Indian boy said the water was too cold and thus only left his chair to pick up rocks|
|Maple creamies, they are tasty|
|Pure joy, right there|
Montreal is a little under 3 hours from their home so we took a little day trip up there and toured the old city, went up the big hill, ate at a French restaurant, visited a gorgeous little library with a greenhouse, and attempted to go to the temple, which was small enough that it’s actually closed when a scheduled event isn’t taking place. At least we ran into the missionaries and so we got into the chapel to use the bathroom.
|They had gorgeous flower planters allll over the city|
|She’s a beauty.|
|Poutine, a Montreal specialty of fries with gravy and cheese curds. Sounds weird but pretty tasty.|
We drove back south through Boston and spent half a day there. While I’d been there before, it was usually to visit friends in Cambridge, so I surprisingly hadn’t seen much of the city before. It was even lovelier than I imagined – and it was July 3rd, a perfect preamble to the next day (hello, I am 80 years old and enjoy terrible puns).
We toured the south end of the Freedom Trail (after ditching the car and taking the T in, the trolley and the fact that it’s named a letter all being very exciting to a certain small person), then picked up lunch and picnicked in the Commons (where much Frog Pond wading and playground climbing and balloon animal frolicking happened). We walked through to the other end and headed over to the goooorgeous public library. Good gracious, I almost want to move there just for that. Reminded me of my beloved college library (also, library theme, much?).
From there, we headed over to the justly-famous Giacomo’s. Oh, that butternut squash ravioli, it was gooooood. Plus, an even bigger treat was meeting up with Dan’s old freshman hallmate and his now-wife who was even more delightful than one would expect based on knowing her husband – which is quite a high standard. A perfect finish to an amazing day.
It seems so funny to say this, but New York was a total respite. Dan’s sister/her husband/adorable baby live in Brooklyn so we were able to park and ditch the car there for the duration of our visit. We splash parked it up and met up with old friends and walked the High Line/Chelsea Market and Brooklyn Bridge Park and caught the fireworks from my brother-in-law’s amazing office and actually went to the temple. And we ate. A lot. Of course.
And the best part was, by far, spending time with family. Dan’s parents and other sister also came in and it was just so fun. The girl babies were adorable together and garnered lots of subway attention. Nat was too thrilled about going on the train every single time to ever notice other people, but I think I caught a few smiles at his excitement. Oh, family. You’re fun. Can’t you just all move down the street from us already?
|I know this picture is blurry, but OH, I love it with all my heart|
|Hey Doughnut Plant, that coconut cream filled doughnut? Was not terrible.|
This was a last minute tack-on to the trip, but we really couldn’t do an east coast trip without a stop in our beloved city. It was super short so we basically just spent time with Dan’s amazing mission presidents and some of our other dear friends, with a quick stop at Smith Playground.
|We saw theeee most amazing sunset on the drive back from Philly. It’s like it was raining pink.|
Except for one unfortunate meltdown when it was time to leave a splashpad (on our last day, fueled by cumulative sleep deprivation, I’m sure), the kids were total angels and troopers about spending nearly 40 hours in the car in a week. And a week of having my husband around 24/7? Is not terrible. Oh, that trip, it was sweet.
Oh, and to the 1 person who got through this (probably a grandma)? Gold star. You’ve already been rewarded with copious numbers of baby pictures for the only person who probably cares.