"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

11 July 2014

Vacation Faves

I really missed the FFF community last week!

My family of 4 were on vacation in Boston last week.  We left on Sunday and arrived back home late on Saturday.  What.a.week.  Lots of good...some not so good...but always full of blessings and some when we least expected them.

I'm linking up with Susanne and other bloggers to share 5 of our fave blessings from the past week.

Here are some highlights from our Boston vacation.

pet pig in Plymouth
  • ANNIVERSARY DAY TRIP:  while the girls stayed with my in-laws a little north of Plymouth, in the home where my husband grew up, Dave and I and his brother Pete and his wife Kathy took a day trip to the village of Plymouth. Kathy and I are close and we hardly ever get to see each other due to distance.  We have been to Plymouth numerous times with the children, due to the Mayflower, Dave's ancestry, the Plantation, etc. etc. However, this was the first time any of us had ever seen a PIG on a leash.  The girl holding the leash said he is her pet.  Yes, it is allowed in Plymouth, MA. We just cracked up.  He was super friendly and let us take a pic. It was a blast walking around the little shops, and then eating dinner at this awesome restaurant facing the ocean. We got a table outside on the upper deck and although it was a very hot and humid evening, there was a wonderful ocean breeze.  Dave and I loved celebrating our 24 years with his brother and wife. It was a blessing to be able to have the day with them.
One more item off the bucket list!

Claire and Courtney in the garden area of the North End
Minute Man National Park

Hiking the North End Trail in Minute Man National Park
  • MINUTE MAN NATIONAL PARK!  This is one national park that Dave and I have had on our "bucket list" and all the times we have passed through the north part of Boston/Concord, we have never had the time to stop and visit.  So, July 1, the day after our anniversary, we said "good bye" to our inlaws and headed up to Concord.....our hotel was in Arlington so we decided to do the Park before checking in. My heel pain was really bad but I hobbled along as best I could.....slowly....and it was very hot and humid. We were so thankful for the breeze that gave us much relief.  The hiking trail was only shaded in a small area.....we hiked the part of the park where the first shot of the Revolutionary War rang out.  It was such a blessing to be in Concord, MA during the most patriotic week of the year. Another blessing were the two little girls selling ice cold lemonade on the sidewalk near the end of the trail. We bought 2 cups....it was so refreshing!!  

more photos of the North End:

Minute Man Monument near the North Bridge

The Old Manse

  • WALDEN POND!  Yet another place on my bucket list that I've always wanted to see. Although it's in another section of the National Park, it wasn't far so we ventured over. We thought about going back the next morning to swim, but that never happened.  I was just thrilled to see where Thoreau used to write.  And the really neat thing is that Courtney surprised me with a copy of Walden when they went to Harvard Square a couple of days later, leaving me to rest in the hotel suite and ice my foot.  It's a blessing to me to know she was thinking of me!  Although Thoreau is not a fave author of mine, I do like many of his thoughts and ideas regarding nature, etc.

Walden Pond
Concord, MA

  • BOSTON!  We really do love the city.  It's my fave on the East Coast.  We were fortunate that a T station was close enough to the hotel that we could walk to it; it was about a mile away via a walkway along a creek.    So we took it in every day.  One day we visited here for most of the day (it felt great to be in AC...the entire week was hot and humid in the low 90s until the evening of July 4). Before we went to the museum, though, we did something else off of all our bucket lists:  the swan boat rides in the Public Gardens. Oh my goodness. It was awesome and not expensive at all. If you are ever in Boston in late spring and summer, please stop in at the Public Gardens and Commons and take the $3.00 boat ride. It is delightful. We finally attended a game all together,  to cheer for our beloved Red Sox ...we did that in the evening after being in the museum all day. Of course, they lost.  They are NOT having a good season.  But it was so much fun to see Papi and this new young kid, Mookie. It made for a very long day though. Once we got back to the T where we got on, we had to walk the mile back to the hotel.....in the pitch dark!! The walk way was NOT lit.  And it was close to 1 a.m.  Needless to say, my foot was in bad shape.  We were all tired and grumpy and wicked hot.  The blessing was that the suite was ice cold when we arrived as the maid had set the AC for super low!

Boston Public Gardens/Swan Boats

Museum of Fine Art, Boston
2 July 
Cool exhibit in the Modern Art area


  • INDEPENDENCE DAY!   On Thursday, July 3, there were predictions of a hurricane coming up the east coast and it was supposedly going to hit the Cape Cod/Boston areas on the 4th.  So..the MA state police changed the date of the Boston Pops concert (which we were planning on going to) and the fireworks to the evening of July 3rd.  My foot was in a lot of pain on Thursday, so I hung out and iced it on and off all day in the suite while Dave took the girls on the T to Harvard Square for an afternoon of shopping.  We all needed a "down day".  By evening, we headed over to Cambridge to get a place on the lawn next to the Charles River so we could hear the Pops. It was awesome to hear them (from the speakers set up around the Charles River...we had decided to NOT go to the Esplanade...way too many people). The fireworks were spectacular but they had to end the program early due to very high winds moving in.  SO...we didn't get to hear the orchestra play the 1812 Overture with the cannons (although the cannons practiced a bit earlier in the evening so we got to hear them at least). We were VERY disappointed, especially my oldest, as that WAS the one thing we wanted to do/hear in Boston.  We really think they should have cancelled the Beach Boys (they were awful...TOO OLD!..although I loved them as teen) and just went ahead with the Overture and cannons.  But...overall it was a great experience and Boston is just a classy city.

photo courtesy of the Boston Discovery Guide website

Those are the highlights of our vacation. The 4th turned out to be an all-day downpour with winds, so we shopped/browsed/had lunch  here and then went back early to the hotel to do some reading and cook dinner.  We checked out the next day and stopped at Dave's youngest sister's for a yummy lunch on her deck.  It's a blessing to be able to have had this time together as a family......and now we still have a lot of summer left!! Another blessing is that my doctor did an xray as soon as I got home, and discovered I have a heel spur which is why I have plantar faciitis!  So, the next day I saw my chiropractor and he is doing ultrasound on my heel and tweaking my back and neck again.  My heel is finally getting to be pain free and he gave me the all clear to hike next week!  I am MOST thankful about that!!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend...........

today is my oldest daughter's (Courtney) 21st birthday so we will be celebrating!!!


Dianna said...

Your vacation sounds wonderful, Faith. Thank you for sharing the pictures. Those are all areas that I would love to visit some day for the historic aspect.

Barbara H. said...

Wow, what a wonderful vacation! I've often watched the Boston Pops 4th of July special on TV (I don't know where it was this year - didn't see it listed) and thought it would be so neat to be there in person. But I imagine the crowds would be awful. That's why we don't usually go to the big fireworks events in town, though where we used to live we did and it wasn't too bad.

Glad you're getting some relief for your foot!

Susanne said...

I would love to visit Boston! Sounds like you had a great vacation in spite of that awful heel pain.

Joyful said...

So nice that you got to see and do so much on your trip! Sorry your heel was painful though. Happy Anniversary (belated)! I just read Walden this past month and didn't enjoy it like I had hoped I would but like you said, I too enjoyed the nature parts. What a beautiful way to spend the 4th! Our town didn't even put off any fireworks this year. Said they are moving it to a 911 "celebration"...really? {{sigh}} that is not a "celebration" day!
Hope you are rested up and your heel is feeling better!

Gattina said...

Sounds like wonderful vacations, I liked Boston also very much !

Jerralea said...

I've never been to New England but I would so love to go, and if I did, I can't imagine anything better than being there during "freedom week!".

Sorry your foot gave you so much trouble, hope that the chiro is giving you much relief.

Happy belated anniversary to you and happy birthday to Courtney. The more celebrating the better!

Deb said...

Such great memories! I would love to vacation in Boston some day! Happy weekend to you all! Hope your foot is better soon. I have had plantar faciitis and it sure is painful. No fun!

Karen said...

I enjoyed this post so much! Someday, I hope to visit the Boston area and see all there is to see. It's on my bucket list.

nikkipolani said...

Boy, I thought you'd have cool temps judging from the misty photos. Didn't realize it was humidity! Lots of fun family outings :-)

Willow said...

Your holiday in Boston and environs sounds wonderful. We were in Boston in 1976. That was fun. :)

I hope your foot is recovering from all that walking and healing up well.

Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to your daughter (belated, both).

I will email you re: hat. I'm SO behind on everything...