The Family

The Family

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Note on Where We Stayed

We stayed at three places while vacationing in Massachusetts.

Our first night in Boston was spent at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. We awoke to a beautiful view of the river and row teams out for early morning practices.

The hotel itself was fantastic. The children loved the see-through elevator, and there was a nice breakfast buffet available.

I would have booked this hotel for our last two nights as well had the price not dramatically risen.

Now would be a good time to mention that Boston is expensive. Not just pricey in some areas, but altogether ridiculously expensive. I'd heard people mention this before and thought it had something to do with the time they went or that they just weren't looking hard enough to find reasonable rates.


It's expensive all the time.

Embassy Suites near Logan Airport offered the best rate for our last two nights of the vacation. While I wasn't too keen on staying near the airport, it turned out to be fine. There was a park nearby, and we were able to easily hop on the subway to journey around town.

If you've never stayed at an Embassy Suites there are two things that might allure you.

First, every night at 5:30 there is a cocktail hour and light snacks provided for free. In most states that means you can get a beer or a glass of wine, but in Massachusetts they can't give away alcohol. It wasn't a big deal for us because we weren't much in the mood for drinks, but the light hors d'oeuvres were a big hit with us all.

Second, breakfast is always included in your stay at Embassy Suites. I don't mean continental breakfast either; you get the works. That's always a big plus, especially with children in tow.

So enough about Boston. What about the rest of the trip?

We stayed in a great cottage in Hyannis. The property is known as Harbor Village, and it was a real find!

I came across it online and decided to book it before realizing the form of payment.

No credit cards.

I sent the check for the deposit and then started to freak out a bit. What if it wasn't real? What if it was a scam?

We've all heard of this kind of thing happening. It didn't help that our babysitter started laughing when I mentioned it to her and told me we'd be looking for a place to stay once we got there.

But it definitely exists, and is a wonderful place to stay. The couple that maintains the property lives onsite from May until October.

There's so much I could say about the property itself, but the website does such a great job I'll let you check it out for yourself.

I can envision the Cape becoming a regular vacation spot for us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Here's what we got today:





I'm going to try making ratatouille with the squash and leeks. It's a dish Jack has been requesting. Can you guess which movie he's been watching?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fun for the Kids

Boston and surrounding areas have so much to offer, there's no way to do it all. Here are three places our children loved.

Boston Museum of Science: This is a must for anyone with children, young or older. It was amazing! There were exhibits on animals, plant life, the human body, maps, dinosaurs, planets, etc. While there is a children's museum, we opted for this instead, and it would go on my list to visit again if in Boston.

The New England Aquarium: A friend that once lived in Boston had warned me away from the aquarium before we went, but because Jack begged to go, I figured why not. It is on the smaller end of aquariums we have visited, which some might argue that the price doesn't justify. However, it had a lot of cool tanks and most of the sea life was feeding when we were there. Mattie still remembers the giant sea turtle eating lettuce. She reminded me of it last night when I was eating my salad!

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History: Matt took Jack to this one when we were in Hyannis. Mattie was so sick that she and I couldn't go. Both boys came back stoked about how much they saw in the museum.

In addition to these three places, we took about an hour to walk around the Harvard campus. It's too bad our parking meter expired because there was a cool looking museum of natural history there as well.

Had Mattie not come down with the flu we would have likely taken the time to do the duck tours while in Boston as well as gone to the JFK Museum in Hyannis and driven to Provincetown. We also missed out on Fenway Park. At least the kids and I did. While Mattie was better by then, she was still unusually tired. And it just so happened that Jack woke up at 5 am the morning of the game, which was to take place later at night.  Matt had to make that adventure on his own:-(

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Old North Church

"Listen, my children, and you shall here
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"
from Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There are so many historical sites in Boston.

Too many for us to have hit.

The one I wasn't willing to pass up was Old North Church.

This iconic symbol of the Revolutionary War is hidden within streets that feel like a maze when trying to navigate by GPS, but knowing the story behind that infamous bell tower made it worth the confusing effort.

We happened down a one-way street and were lucky that no cars were behind us because it allowed us time to observe and ponder the story for a few quiet moments.

"Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North church tower as a signal light,-
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A History Lesson

When visiting Boston it's worth the hour-long drive to Plymouth.

The seaside town itself is beautiful. There's a walking trail with benches lining the waterfront that hold so much of the story of our nation's beginnings.

Add to that Plymouth Rock,

The Mayflower II

and a number of statues and monuments,

and you've got a history lesson for the ages.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. We lucked out last week and didn't miss out on anything while on our trip because there was no pick up! Here's what we got today:

Farm-fresh eggs



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All Things Kennedy

Massachusetts loves its Kennedy sons and daughters. None more so than the late president.

When I was in junior high my obsession with all things Kennedy began. Though it has waned through the years, I still desired visiting Hyannis Port to see the Kennedy summer home.

When planning our recent trip I couldn't pass up the chance to stay in the town where the Kennedys, at least those of older generations, spent so much time growing up.

When we arrived at our cottage and walked to the nearby beach, I thought the house I could see at the end resembled what I'd seen in pictures. It wasn't until we set out to find the house itself a few days later that I realized it was indeed the house I'd been looking at all week.

There's also a JFK memorial park and a JFK museum in Hyannis. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the museum because Mattie was so sick.

We did, however, make it to the JFK Library in Boston our first day. From the moment I walked into the building until the moment we left I was constantly tearing up. It was by far my favorite part of the trip.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Heading Home

This is the first time in eleven days I've had wi-fi that actually worked. We're currently sitting in Boston's Logan Airport waiting on our flight to take us back down south.

We spent three days in Boston, and eight in Cape Cod, which is one of my new favorite places.

Unfortunately, the trip wasn't all fun. About five days in Mattie came down with the flu. We spent one long day at the emergency room in Hyannis, and a few more afternoons in urgent care facilities trying to get Tamiflu as a preventitive for the rest of us.

While Mattie and I spent most of our time in Cape Cod tucked away inside our cute cottage, the boys took to the town.

I can't wait to blog about the fun parts later this week. Stayed tuned for Kennedy-related visits, Boston fun and information on where we stayed!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesdays we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. It was more of the same this week, but I'm not complaining because these are the sweetest strawberries I've ever tasted!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Boston Bound

Or are we?

I've been planning this trip for months.

Thursday night we have a flight booked to Boston, then we drive down the coast on Friday to Cape Cod to spend the week before coming back to Boston to finish the final few days of the trip.

Problem is, Matt came down with a stomach virus over the weekend. Even though I quarantined him upstairs and have bleached every surface and object imaginable, I am so afraid someone else is going to get it.

Just writing this post feels something like a jinx.

Here's to hoping all goes well, and Thursday does indeed find us Boston bound!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Way Down Yonder in the Strawberry Patch

The local farm we frequent is abounding in strawberries.

So much so that Farmer Zach has sent several e-mails about coming to pick our own in addition to our weekly reserved share as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Saturday was the first time we were able to make it to the strawberry field.

It was a cool and sunny morning which made for perfect picking conditions.