Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Been A Quiet Week in Lake Wobegone...

Well, not really. My kids have just finished their Spring Break. We decided that rather than just sit around the house and play video games for a week, we would actually DO something this year. So we drove up to Boston last Sunday night, and stayed until Wednesday afternoon. John and I both went to school in Boston, and we hadn't been back for 10 years, so it seemed like a good short trip. That also meant we had 4 days at home to veg out and catch up on stuff, so it was a "best of both worlds" Spring Break.

Boston was lovely, although rather wet on Monday (buckets of rain in the afternoon) and cold and windy the next two days. But as that's typical of New England in the spring, we rolled with it. Monday morning we tried to do the whole Freedom Trail - we finished 75% of it before the rain started, looked at the outside of Paul Revere's house from under the umbrellas, and went back to Quincy Market for lunch. We ended up getting Duck Tour tickets that left from the Constitution Dock, so drove over there (in the pouring rain), spent 30 minutes in the Constitution museum, then got on the Tour (in the pouring rain). That was fun, although our bus had been left under some heaters and the roof had warped, which meant there were massive leaks along one side of the boat. But there were only about 10 of us on board, so it was very casual and our guides were ex-fisherman with the thickest Boston accents I've ever heard, so it was still fun. Yes, we did get to go out in the Harbor, but it was raining so hard and the windows fogged up so we didn't actually SEE much.

We never got to the Old North Church or the graveyard, so there's still a little Freedom Trail to finish.

Tuesday we spent the entire day at the Museum of Science - we got there at 10am and stayed until closing at 5pm. And there was still more we didn't get to! Then we dragged the kids over to the MIT campus and actually found on-street parking! We walked around campus and showed the kids all our old stomping grounds (well, some of our old stomping grounds). There were many things the same, many changes (JC described the Stata Center as "concepty"), and while it was fun, I was feeling kind of old. Since it was cold and windy, we decided against trying to find parking in Harvard Square, or taking the T somewhere (and then walking). We went out to the Hilltop Steak House, in Saugus, which is not someplace we went often, but is sort of iconic on the MIT campus. At least when we were there.

Wednesday morning we packed up. We'd made arrangements to go out to a friend's house, but not until 2:30 because her kids had their regular schedule. So we drove over to Harvard Square, and the parking gods smiled upon us once again. I don't know what I've done to make my kids so paranoid, but our only plan was to wander around Harvard Square, maybe with some shopping. "What are we doing? When do we have to put more money in the meter? When do we have to leave?" They have no faith in their parents. But we took them to the Harvard Coop, and while we struck out on MIT shirts for Rachel, we did find a (large) stack of books, something for everyone, I think. Maybe except for John. William picked up a book called Tough Chicks, which he read to himself. I haven't looked hard at it yet, but it looked hysterical.

Except for William walking into a parking meter (object lesson in looking where you're going), and it being rather cold and windy (see: Boston in spring), we had fun, and we lunched at our FAVORITE restaurant from college. The Border Cafe - Tex-Mex, cheap, good. What more do you want? Then a quick stop at the MIT Coop (bookstore, for you more conventional types) to find a t-shirt for Rachel. I'll have to take a picture of it, I don't think I can do it justice just by typing. And we picked up a Maxwell's Equations shirt for JC. I'll take a picture of that, too, for non-MIT readers.

Then we were off. An uneventful trip to Jill's, although punctuated by "wow, I didn't know that's where (fill in the blank) was!" This is what happens when you drive through an area that you have only known by public transportation, especially subway. You don't know how anything is geographically related! We had a lovely short visit with Jill's family, including her fabulous chocolate cupcakes. REALLY, they are fabulous. And her kids are adorable.

And then 5 hours in the car. Ugh. With McDonald's for dinner. Ugh. And a stop at the world's slowest gas pump. Seriously, it took 20 minutes to put $20 in the tank, at which point I gave up. But then we got to sleep in our own beds. Yay!


hokgardner said...

Sounds like a good trip, even if it was rainy and cold. My cousin is on the verge of graduating from MIT.

Jill in MA said...

It was great to see you, if briefly! Did I tell you how really lovely your kids are?