Summer Vacation 2008

Vacation n : leisure time away from work; devoted to rest or pleasure [syn: holiday] Yeah….riiiight.

Friday – Driving all ding dang day. Arrived in Owego, New York. Stinky hotel hallway but okay room. Used the pool.

Saturday – We were on the road early and had stopped in a small town to have breakfast in a little open diner. There was fog. The streets were empty. All I said was ‘Well, this is very Children of the Corn….’ and the prince refused to get out of the car. Absolutely refused. We found a McDonald’s drive through and we drove on to Cooperstown, NY. Spent the morning exploring the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wonderful exhibits. Babe Ruth. Ty Cobb. Al Kaline. Red Sox. Baseballs….and more baseballs. On to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. We had been there 16 years before with my stepdaughters. HRH opted to stay in the car. Kiddos followed along…begrudgingly. It was crowded. It was hot. The painter in me loved it all. But, I guess am still looking for someone willing to hit the art museums with me. Sigh. On to Boston. We arrived at our hotel in Brookline exhausted and a little tense having encountered some crazy city drivers. ‘T’ station stop right across the street.

Sunday – Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Got a little help on the way purchasing a ‘T’ pass for the rest of the week. Wondered if we would really use it. Prince wanted to get to the game early. 90 minutes early. In bleacher seats. In the sun. The hot sun. Quietly observing the Big Green Monster. Clouds were rolling in. Third inning light rain felt like the misters at WDW. The 6th inning rain drencher delayed the game by 38 minutes. We left. The Red Sox were winning by 3 anyway. Leaving our car in Brookline through the good graces of the hotel, we moved on to the Marriot Custom House down town. By cab. $26.90 worth of cab. Nice suite of rooms that we were not prepared for. No pool. One bed. One fold out couch. Fridge. Microwave. WAY cool observation deck on the 27th floor. Nice game room on the 26th. Right in the middle of everything. Went in search of dinner in Faneuil Hall and found one we have enjoyed before in Chicago. Crazy waitress made hats with funny offensive comments for all of us. THEN she took the Princess to the back and returned her with 13 helium balloons tied to 13 strands of hair in honor of her upcoming 13th birthday! The Princess was mortified…and yet delighted. We made her leave them in so we could play with the helium when we got back to the room. She was stopped no less than 6 times on the 2 block walk so people could take her picture. LOL Note to self…and anyone else who is interested : The Gettysburg Address sounds WAY too funny in a helium induced voice.

Monday – Marriott Vacation Club spiel. The guy was pinch hitting for the regular salesman and let us go after finding out we usually camp for our vacations. Hee. Took the Trolley Tour but had to walk across town to station 6 in order to get our Go Card issued tickets. Sheesh. The hotel was right across the street from station 1 for crying out loud. We were ready for a ride. Kids were most impressed with the decor of China Town….I think. Didn’t want to eat there though. Got off at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Shopped a little more. Discovered that Obama was in town. Limos EVERYwhere around our hotel. The observation deck was closed because the Secret Service was using it. In fact, the entire top 7 floors (including the game room) were off limits to guests for the night. The Princess was pissed.

Tuesday – The Princess and I had reservations for a whale watch excursion. HRH and the Prince were headed back to Fenway for a tour. They were also going to be taking our bag back to the hotel in Brookline for the duration of our stay. Whale Watch…hmmm. REALLY looked forward to it. We started out in the bow of the boat because that’s where the ‘good seats’ are. It’s also cold when you are going out to sea and the ‘good seats’ are sans padding. Heh. Bouncing and bumping as the boat slaps the unforgiving waves, I was barely keeping myself – and my camera – together. Princess headed into the covered lounge area because she was cold. I didn’t trust my sea legs enough to move. Took nearly 90 minutes to find whales but did we ever find a mess of them. Wow. The boat engines stopped and the rocking and rolling from the animals diving and breeching and slapping all around us took over. I snapped some pictures, bruised both elbows and bobbled my way to the 2nd deck lounge area to discover the princess stretched out on a padded seat cushion holding her head. Not really sea sick. Sick from seeing OTHERS being sea sick….and a little frightened by the whales flipping all around. Not really her cup of tea after all. We sat there watching for about another hour and then headed back to shore…this time WITH the waves. Inside. On a padded seat. Met the guys at the New England Aquarium. Having done the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlingburg a few weeks back, this was a bit of a downer. Blue Fairy penguins were cute though. Didn’t stay too long. Got back on the trolley and saw the stuff we missed the first time around. Had dinner at the City Place food court and then went in search of the ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ statue in the oh so very peaceful Public Park. This was a huge deal for me. I remember hearing the book read aloud when I was 4 years old and have used it in my classroom every single year that I have taught. The kiddos delighted in the fact that squirrels were taking peanuts right out of their hands. LONG walk back to the ‘T’ station because of the whale watch bouncing and my aching back. High praise for my very patient family. We were ready for bed back in our Brookline Holiday Inn.

Wednesday – Dreary and cool day. We took the ‘T’ to the JFK Presidential Museum and Library. What a wonderful, wonderful museum. It began with a short film about the beginning of his political career and then you followed an exhibit path that took you to the middle of the convention hall, a shop window where you could watch the televised debates, a set of benches to watch a video of the inaugration and a series of rooms that focused on the development of the Peace Corp (first proposed in a speech at U of M!), the space race, the elegant White House atmosphere created by Jacqueline, the Cuban Missle crisis (with another short film describing the issue), the Kennedy brothers…and finally a small dark hall with multiple small tv screens running the Walter Cronkite report of the assasination and funeral. Very short and tasteful…definitely designed not to over shadow the accomplishments of the Kennedy Administration. As you walked out there was a television screen with Bill Clinton describing his meeting JFK as a high school student and the impact it had on him. Nice end to a good visit. On the bus taking us back to the ‘T’ and planning what to do next when the Princess grabbed my arm and asked that we PLEASE not have to look at any more OLD stuff. LOL. So we hit Newbury Street. There were definitely some shops of interest. In Newbury Comics I talked the Princess out of a teal studded black belt and flying bat belt buckle and into a more appropriate and funky Mario Bros. imprinted belt. (Sheesh. She is just THIRTEEN!! What kind of adolescence are we in for???) HRH found a rare BTO recording -meaning he doesn’t already own it – and the Prince and I became button collectors. Found one for him that reads ‘No one knows that I am a Ninja’ and another one that reads ‘Guns don’t kill…Ninjas do!’ He was delighted. Hee. We found a small market and got some fruit and sandwiches to take back to the hotel for dinner. It was a hike to a ‘T’ station and we moved over a block from Newbury St. to find it. Definitely NOT a normal tourist route. Got lots of disdainful looks as we studied our map. Heh.

Thursday – Up early and on the road OUT of Boston before morning traffic could hit. Nice weather and a pretty drive. .Arrived in Gettysburg around 3:30. Hotel is small and very old. Cheap too….considering. Hit a touristy gift shop. Bought a CD for the car which would take us on a tour of the battlegrounds. Rainy and cool so we decided to try it out. Lots of monuments. Got lost. Stopped for dinner and tried again. The middle school band had played a piece about the battle called ‘High Water Mark’ (Prince had a trumpet solo) and that’s the spot we were post interested in seeing.. Well, the Prince and I anyway. HRH was just driving. Princess was napping. Too many OLD things. Hee. We found High Water Mark – the location of Pickett’s Charge – and Prince got out to roam a little bit. The rain storm was giving me some very dramatic sky for picture backdrops. Cool.

Friday – Happy 13th birthday, kiddo!! On the road again…headed for home. Nice, cool drive the whole way. Very little traffic actually. Everyone is tired. Lots of talk about all we had done and seen. Relaxing. Got home around 5 pm. The cat was glad to see us. Emptied the car and picked up a very dusty and happy dog up from Puppy Camp. Everyone is in it’s place. All’s well with the world. Mountains of vacation laundry to do. Ugh.

If the slide show below doesn’t play for you automatically….just click on ‘view all images’ and it will run. Enjoy!

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2 Comments on “Summer Vacation 2008”

  1. Jan Says:

    What a great vacation! Thanks for all of the great photos and stories. But you really need to post more photos of yourself!!

  2. Ryter Says:

    Yeah…I probably should but it’s hard to get pictures of me when no one else will touch the camera. : )

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