We drove up to Boston last Friday, which was a really long day. We left at 9:15 and got into the hotel at 9:45, after traffic, construction, and many, many potty breaks after lunch due to Micah, Drew, and Faith. It was stressful! I had stayed up until 1:00 the previous night finishing the packing, and my glucose numbers were high both the travel day, as well as the next day. I think it was due to stress, since I had all sorts of healthy snacks, like a ziploc bag of rotisserie chicken I had shredded, cheese sticks, almonds, etc. I've never eaten so healthily on a trip!
We ate dinner at the mall, since we knew we would be stuck in traffic otherwise, and when we got back closer to our hotel, we had to make a grocery stop. Since Bob would be working the next several days, the reservation for those days was at the government rate--which did not include breakfast. (This hotel definitely was all about nickel-and-diming you!) So we had to stock up on breakfast things like instant oatmeal that you could make using the coffee pot. At least we had little fridges in the 2 rooms!
We did not plan any sightseeing that day. Instead, we arranged to meet Allison and her 4 boys at a playground on base. It was another beautiful day, not too hot, and the kids had such a great time running around. Then we went over to their house for lunch, and the kids really enjoyed having actual toys to play with again! It was fun to catch up with her, and it was a really relaxing morning, which we all really needed.
As we were leaving, we were all feeling pretty good, so we decided we would again attempt to tour the USS Constitution (it's going into dry dock for repairs after the summer). We couldn't find parking right by it, but we did find a space by the Bunker Hill Monument (which looks just like a smaller Washington Monument). Even though Anna does not look happy in the picture above, it actually was interesting to tour the ship, and I was glad we made the effort. Drew is also not happy in the picture, but he was just done with sightseeing all around, by that point, LOL.
One thing that was hard for me was realizing that we were making family memories--without Nathan. And after this year, that will be the new normal! It was sobering to think about. I was again so glad we could take the space-a trip to Hawaii in February, where we could all be together for 2 weeks! That was a really special time, and I'm really grateful for it. Of course, even with just the 8 kids, we got plenty of long looks and whispers, especially from the foreign tourists!
Jenney Museum. It was fantastic! Leo was really informative and a wonderful story-teller. Also, he really focuses on how the Pilgrims built their society on the structure of the family, and how the way they practiced their faith was the foundation for our government and our freedoms. It was so interesting, especially from a Christian perspective, which I really wasn't expecting!
Adams National Historic Park. There are 3 houses on the tour, and a trolley takes you around to them. There is the one John Adams grew up in, the one right next door where he and Abigail lived (and John Quincy Adams was born in), both of which are fairly small, and then there is Peacefield, which is a large house, more along the lines of Mount Vernon or something, where John Adams and Abigail moved into after they came back from several years in England. They had become accustomed to a higher standard of living and wanted to move up a notch back here in the States! That was really a lovely house, and several more generations of Adams had lived in it, so it had electricity and even some plumbing. The nicest thing about the house was the library, which was built as a separate room from the rest of the house, as you can see in the picture above. Christine and I were both coveting such a nice building for our libraries/homeschooling!
Friday we left to drive back home. It was another long day, although only 11 1/2 hours this time. We went a different way, so we didn't really get stuck in any traffic, which was nice. My poor hips and back will never be the same after all the driving in the big van though. We had a lovely time, and all the older kids said they felt like we really "did" Boston, and they learned a lot, but it was so exhausting. I don't think I could have done one more day, and I was so glad this trip for Bob wasn't scheduled one week later in my pregnancy, or I don't think I could have done it at all! It about did me in! Now we're trying to get ourselves unpacked and organized again, and the younger kids caught up on sleep. They have been very, very crabby! I think it will take me a good week to recover as well, LOL. And I still have a ton of planning stuff to finish before Rivendell starts back up again, and I have this baby. Just one step at a time . . .