Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mowing the Lawn is Fun to Do, Fun to Do, To Do, To Do!


It's a party at our house when it's time for a good Saturday cleaning. This particular charade won't last forever, so one day, I plan to memorize the words to the "Happy Working Song" from the movie Enchanted. There must be something about the song that summons wild animals (and perhaps, children?) in a Pied Piper-like manner to accomplish household work cheerfully. Once I have the lyrics down pat, you better believe that I'm gonna squeak it out as outlandishly animated and high-pitched than Gisele sings it--complete with lively arm and finger movements that I'll have to rehearse doing in front of the mirror. (No, I won't be pulling out my wedding dress and tiara, thank you very much.)

For now, childhood innocence is on my side. Thank goodness for that.


*Title inspired by [this] children's song. I think my own mother used this tactic to get me to clean my room. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Being Little

"today was good. today was fun. tomorrow is another one." 
--dr. seuss


Monday, May 21, 2012

Just the Two of Us on Cape Cod

Staying at a Bed & Breakfast is a fine thing to do while on vacation--doubly fine while visiting Cape Cod. Our B&B was in Yarmouthport (Mid-Cape) on a cozy little street of historic captains' homes. We were told that this 1820s home was first occupied by a tavern owner and ship financier, who happened to be the wealthiest man in Massachusetts at the time. The hospitality and our two-night stay was simply the best.

Beyond Yarmouthport, exploring the rest of the Cape was incredible. It's no wonder that this arm of land is transformed into a summer vacation wonderland. I can't wait until we will be able to come again when each day is a perfect sunny, summer day.

Highlights of Day Four and Five:

*Beaches, beaches, beaches. At each of these beaches, we collected sand and shells (and a couple of coral-speckled lobster claws) like a couple of treasure seekers.

*We had another night of driving around trying to find restaurants that were open for the season. Fortunately for Boy, we approached the infamous Kreme N Kone after I had made fun of its ridiculously cheesy advertisement on the radio. (The same idea as a local burger joint, except substitute the burgers with a menu of fried seafood.) Take a guess which of us had a basket of calamari while the other had a soft serve ice cream cone for dinner.

*Spending our first full day in the Cape with some much-needed sunshine; no rain, no wind--just warm and luxurious sunshine.

*Driving to Outer-Cape and ooh-ahhing over the scenic views. Cape Cod National Sea Shore, yes please.

*Appreciating the warmth at Race Point Beach and hoping to see any sight of whales from the shore. (Apparently, it is common to see them in the spring.)

*Hunting for crab cakes the whole trip. Super bad luck for me.

*AND the one time we had sat down in a restaurant that happened to have crab cakes on the menu, we ended up walking out of it after being seated. We hummed and hawed as we reviewed a menu that was well beyond our league. That, and the fact that all the patrons in the restaurant were well dressed senior citizens made us feel like fish out of water. (Bad pun, but I couldn't resist.)

*SO INSTEAD, we ate at a Brazilian BBQ in Hyannis. I've never eaten so much meat in my life. My mouth wouldn't stop salivating each time a server would stop by our table with some type of savory meat. By the time we were ready to pay the check, my belly probably looked like I was carrying triplets.

*I couldn't resist taking a photo of a nickname of mine that I found on the Sandwich Boardwalk. Another beautiful beach.

*Watching the sunset on the Yarmouthport Boardwalk. Simply breathtaking.

*Sacrificing precious time for shopping: after a nice lunch in Chatham on Day 4, we were disappointed with so many shops still closed in the off-season. If it weren't for a certain little boy who was promised a present when his mom and dad got home from vacation, this wouldn't have been a big deal. So it was off to Falmouth (again) to go souvenir shopping, which was a bit out of our way at that point.


By Day Five, one of us was eager to return home to see our little darlings. For the record, when I say one of us, it wasn't me. We drove through Boston and our only stop was Trader Joe's. Big whoop. Once we were home, two little faces lit up and four little arms wrapped themselves  around our legs. Our frantic souvenir shopping became totally worth it as we watched our baby girl shriek with giddiness after she pulled out a new friend hiding within the gift bag from The Black Dog. "I was a good boy, Dad! Where's my present?" For the boy, the plastic fire department boat we gave him made bath time that evening longer than usual. My bookshelf has now been updated with evidence of our Cape Cod experience. A little bit of ocean in the home is good for the soul.

Without my parents, who are some of the best grandparents I know, this trip wouldn't have been possible. I can't say enough how grateful I am. You are the best.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Martha's Vineyard--Part Deux

"Edgartown is where all the 'I's are dotted and the 'T's are crossed," replied the cab driver, as rain drizzled over the windshield.

My kind of town, I thought to myself.

This old whaling colony was exactly what I imagined Martha's Vineyard to be. Beautiful, white, and statuesque--the sea captains' homes were neatly lined along the rust-colored brick streets. From what I read about the whaling industry, it boomed in New England in the 1800s. While it was very lucrative, it was also very dangerous. Atop these captain's homes were balconies called "widow's walks" where the women would gaze out to sea hoping to see their husbands return to the harbor.

Highlights of Day Two and Three:

*Riding a bike all day long and officially feeling the vibes of vacation.

*Teasing Boy for sporting his bike helmet the whole day long. (I guess you never know what kind of hazards you'll run into while sitting on the Chappy ferry--a trip that literally takes like 45 seconds.)
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*Japanese Botanical Gardens at Chappaquiddick--which was a bit of a letdown, but there's not much one can expect for the end of April.

*Wind: awful for us bike riders, awesome for stirring up some wicked waves.

*Katama Beach all to ourselves. (It was cold and windy that morning, so don't try to romanticize it.)

*Collecting sea shells and doing a bit of an ocean dance (a la Michael Flatley) in the waves.

*Inhaling salty sea air and tasting it on my lips. Watching the waves crash and talking to my Boy about the future.

*Window shopping: The Black Dog, Vineyard Vines, nautical knots, sailor stripes, and all kinds of whimsical things that made me want to purchase something to capture the essence of the Vineyard.

*A dang good bowl of chowda at the Martha's Vineyard Chowder Company.


*Waking up the next day and not being as sore as I though I'd be from biking all day.

*The Edgartown Inn: The great Nathaniel Hawthorne had roomed here. Wassup.

*Loving the ocean and seriously contemplating--like most visitors do--what life would be like if we were islanders year 'round.

*"Enough of the pictures!" Boy would say. "I wouldn't have to take as many if I had a nicer camera lens," I'd retort back.

*Crunching our feet on a sea creature graveyard leading out to the lighthouse.

There were many places and recommended things to do that we didn't have the time for. But hey, stressing about those kinds of things pretty much defies the meaning of vacation. If I don't have to be startled out of REM at 4:00 a.m. and I can lie in bed for as long as I please for four consecutive mornings, then I say that the trip was a success. That, and being with my best friend is pretty nice too.

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P.S. Trying to take photos of the two of us was harder than I thought. Maybe I should have been a dork and brought my tripod.

More later on Cape Cod...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Martha's Vineyard--Part One

With our bags packed for a full five days away from our little ones, I sat in the car sighing in relief that vacation time had officially begun.

I then felt tingling at the the tip of my nose and--almost immediately--it trickled up to my eyeballs. Before the car even left our neighborhood, a fresh coat of mascara had already dribbled its way down my cheeks.

"They're in good hands," Boy assured me. I nodded. My parents had flown across the country in order to watch our precious cargo named Huckleberry Finn and Little Miss Indy.

"I know!" I blubbered. "I don't know why I'm crying. I'm not worried at all."

"We need this time together."

"I know!" Oh, the irony.

I sat there dabbing my eyes and trying not to hyperventilate. The longest I had been apart from my kids were a few hours on date night. Correction: It was a little over 24 hours when I was apart from Finn when Boy and I took separate flights to visit family out in Utah. As for Indy, she and I have been inseparable. Since the day Boy was able to schedule time off, I was counting down the days to freedom. Three years can be a long time without having some quality time away.

"They will be fine, and I know they won't notice I'm gone, but just how will I do without them?"


Highlights of Day One:


*Stopping into Nashua to buy Boy new swim trunks. And a little bit of clearance rack shopping for me.

*Rain. Rain. Rain. (Not an ideal way to begin vacation.)

*Thinking about why we couldn't have had the beautiful sunshine that lasted throughout the previous week.

*Being in the town of Plymouth, the legendary Plymouth Rock, and Mayflower II.

*Approaching the Cape and passing by the most adorable 18th century homes.

*Reaching Falmouth and discovering the best bagel sandwich I'd ever tasted: Cape Cod Bagel Co.

*Having sea sick issues on the ferry from Woods Hole to MV, thanks to the choppy waves from the remains of a nor'easter.

*Admiring the Vineyard through the window of our cab, as our driver told tales of the Kennedy family on route to our hotel.

*Looking out the view from our hotel window: the roof. (We laughed over that one.) To which inspired Boy to make this remark, "Someday, I'll pay extra to get you the balcony."

*Being impressed by Edgartown and appreciating certain details such as herringbone brick pathways.

*Wandering through the streets for dinner that evening, and finding most places were still closed for the season--which leads to me to this: if you want to save some money and have a little solitude in Martha's Vineyard, go in the off-season. If you want to experience everything MV has to offer, you'll probably want to wait until July.

*The first of four nights that I felt a little out of place: no kids to feed, to put to bed...strange. (But, secretly enjoyed it--not gonna lie.)