Monday, August 18, 2008

Trip to Boston

The kids and I flew home to Boston for 10 days for a visit. We stayed at Kathy and Joe Sweeney's in Bridgewater... giant house, big yard, basement game room and a pool for the kids... built in babysitters (JB & Bridget) for me!

One of the things I miss the most living in California is having a basement. I don't think I've ever been in a house with a basement in San Diego... it's an earthquake thing I think... or maybe it's a flood thing with the rock hard clay soil and the no drainage issues. whatever it is, I miss having a basement for the kids to play in. Madigan and Thomas made full use of Kathy and Joe's basement during our visit.
Joe has a fire pit on his property line... literally on the property line. It's half his and half the neighbor's. We had a great time sitting around the fire the first two nights - the only two that we didn't have rain.

Kathy and I have known each other since the third grade when we met in the church choir at St. Nicholas Parish in Abington (yes we both lived in Brockton but on the Abington line). And we were best friends through high school. She and Joe are Madigan's Godparents or as Joe likes to put it Fairy Oddparents. Madigan calls their kids, Bridget and JB, her Godbrother and Godsister. I set a goal for myself, lobster everyday I was in Boston. I almost made it, having a lobster roll every chance I could order one. One of the best things about a lobster roll is the New England style rolls. They are split at the top and they don't have crust all over them... and they are grilled in butter. YUM. You can' t get these rolls in California, I've made Clare bring them to me when she visits and Kathleen has shipped them to me. I have a whole list of things that I need to have at home that I can't get in California.The first day of vacation, the kids and I stayed at Kathy's enjoying the pool and visiting with Clare and her three sons. Good thing because it was the only sunny day of the entire trip. August in Boston and no sun, go figure. Madigan made friends immediately with the girls next door.Thomas still wasn't feeling well... he had been sick the week before we went to Boston with what the doctor diagnosed as a virus. This is foreshadowing...

The next day we took Grandma Dill to lunch with my brother and sister. Grandma Dill lives at the Shaw Home in Middleboro. On Wareham Street... she has lived in Middleboro most of her life (the exception being when my mom died and she lived at our house in Brockton for 2 years), and 90% of the time in Middleboro she lived on Wareham Street. She lived with her parents on Wareham Street, and then my great grandfather built my grandparent's home on Wareham Street. Of course my brother lives on Wareham Street in that very house today. We're not much for change I guess. Any who, the Shaw Home was the home of Hannah B. Shaw and I think it looks like a mansion. I think it is beautiful, especially the top screened in porch on the left hand side of this picture. Grandma Dill thinks it looks like a penitentiary. I can't wait to retire to a home. I can just see Clare and I living down the hall from each other, going to Bingo eating dinner in a dining hall again. It would be like college without the exams.We went to the Log Cabin which apparently has always been names "The Cabin" and I've just always said it wrong... OR they've shorten the name.I had lobster roll number one here - it was delicious. Because it was raining, my brother Tim came home early from work and was able to eat lunch. And my sister came with my neice Kathleen... it was a great time especially when Tim taught Thomas a lesson. The kid's meal comes with a "Hoodsie". When the waitress told Thomas what the dessert was he declined. Tim told the waitress to bring it anyway... Thomas balked and Tim said "Don't worry, it's for me." When it came and Thomas realized it was ice cream, he exclaimed that he didn't know it was ice cream. Tim told him too bad and ate it all. That's one of the best things about my brother. Most other people would have given it to a kid, but not Tim. Thomas learned something and will always remember missing out on ice cream because he was so quick to turn down something of which he was unsure. The next night we went to an indoor glow in the dark putt putt golf place. FUN.That was the last fun we had for a few days. Thomas never got better and until he passed out a go-cart track and I finally took him to Kathy's peditrician. He had pneumonia. Viral pnesumonia... so a virus but the kind you need to take antibiotic to recover. This is Thomas after his first dose of antibiotics. The next few days we were grounded. Sadly, that was the weekend. SO I never saw any of my friends nor could I make plans... rain and pneumonia - happy vacation! So if you didn't see us while we were in Boston - that's why.
Fortunately we were staying at Kathy's with the built in babysitters, so Joe drove Kathy and I into Boston to met Patrick at meetings in NH and KO and Michael in Boston. KO and Michael took the trian in from NYC for the weekend. So although the days were boring, the nights were great.
Lots of Guinness on our short pub crawl.This sign was in the Red Hat, I took this picture for Gordy and Linda.Sunday morning we went to church at St. Iggie's (Saint Ignatius of Loyola) where Patrick and I were married 16 years previously. The kids were unimpressed.KO and Michael met us at St. Iggie's and I gave them the nickel tour of the BC campus while Pat took the kids to my Dad's house. Alumni Stadium was open so we took pictures onthe 50 yard line. I spent a lot of time marching on that field back in the day.Then we went to my Dad's for salmon, clams and lobsters with the whole Doyle family. I LOVE steamed clams and lobster - both of which are not available in CA. KO blogged about the meal... I'll just post some pictures. Everyone was well behaved and it rained right at the end of dinner, so it all worked out beautifully.

These are T&M's cousins... Kathleen, Andrea, second cousin Makenzie (her mom Amanda wasn't there) Elizabeth and Bo.

Our last night in Boston, the weather kind of cooperated and Tim took us out on his boat. He puts in on Buzzard's Bay right before the bridge. That's the Cape Cod train bridge behind the kids.
Lots of people have pictures of the bridge because it is so unique. This is the bridge up:And the bridge down... Michael will love this...
The real truth is the train is the daily garbage train hauling garbage off of Cape Cod to a landfill somewhere on the "mainland".
Tim's boat is GREAT.
We had a great time although we didn't catch any fish. Tim brought soda and snacks and Thomas was more interested in the soda than anything else I think.
Tim let Madigan drive (under heavy supervision). She was in hog heaven especially when he let her open up the throttle herself. She is a speed freak even at 7 years old.
It was a great conclusion to a so-so vacation. Next year will be better!

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