Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Freedom Trail Tour

Today went went on a fun excursion. It has stopped raining (well, until tomorrow when it is supposed to rain all day!). So, we decided to get outside and go on a walking tour of some of Boston's historic sites. It is called the Freedom Trail Tour. It was a really fun and interesting tour.

We will definitely take people who come to visit us on this tour!

This is a picture of Jace in the 3rd oldest burying grounds in Boston. They do not call it a cemetery, because most of the people were buried in mass graves with no markers. They estimate that 18,000 people are buried on this small plot of land.

I took a picture of Chaz in front of Paul Revere's grave marker.

This is a picture of Marissa and Brynn in front of a church that was built in the 1800's.

Our narrator for the tour, posed with the kids in front of Faneuil Hall at the end of the tour.

This is a picture of Chaz and Jace in front of The Old State House. On the balcony of this building the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time. Each 4th of July 1000's of people gather to hear it read again and have a party!

What the kids learned on the tour:

Chaz - John Hancock was buried wearing his fine clothes and jewels. His wife was mad at him, so she told everyone about it, knowing they would rob his grave. When the robbers couldn't get his rings off of his fingers, they stole his whole hand.
It was never returned. Then when the grave was under construction, the workers left it open and his head was stolen. It has also not been returned.

Jace - We found out that Samuel Adams was not a good looking man. His dad ran a brewery, so when they created Sam Adams beer, they actually based the picture off of Paul Revere.

Marissa - We learned that Benjamin Franklin's parents are buried in the same graveyard as Paul Revere.

Brynn - There is a gold grasshopper on top of Faneuil Hall. When the settlers wanted to know if someone was a British spy, they would ask them what was on top of Faneuil Hall. If they didn't know, or if they said it was a cricket, then they knew that they weren't from Boston and they were a spy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

City Living

I really love living in a big city.

I love Richland too, and it will always be my home. But, I love the feeling and the vibe of being right in the city. There is just a feeling here that I have only felt one other place - when David and I went to Miami Beach, Florida last Spring.

We can walk one block in any direction and go to Dominoes, Subway, McDonalds, RiteAid, CVS, Whole Foods Market, my nail shop, about 3 Dunkin Doughnuts and countless other shops. We really only use our car on weekends or to get groceries. I even love the subway! It is not at all like they show on tv!

I also love the history and all the fun things to do. I never understood what people meant, when they said that there was no cultural things to do in Richland... now I get it! We could go on a tour everyday and visit a new place everyday here, and we would not be able to see everything in one year! It is just an awesome place to be!

Marissa and Brynn ran an errand with me the other day and I took this picture of them on our way back to the apartment. You can see it behind them. These decorative balls line the whole street. They are in front of the government buildings to protect it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Out to Lunch With the Girls

On Friday, after playgroup was over, I took Marissa and Brynn out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. The girls wanted me to take their picture!

Marissa ordered the clam chowda (Boston spelling) and Brynn ordered a cheese pizza. I ordered the Salmon Firecrackers. Marissa and I thought our lunch was great, but Brynn did not like the taste of her cheese pizza. When the waitress came back to check on us, she saw Brynn didn't like it and took it back and gave her a big plate of fries instead - not the best lunch, but Brynn was happy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Last Lecture

I joined in with a book group with some of the ladies in my ward last night. The book is called, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

You may have seen a video clip of him giving his last lecture on Oprah. That is only about a 10 minute clip of the whole hour long lecture. The book, goes more into depth about how he feels about knowing that he will be leaving his wife and kids.

This book is a good reminder that none of us know how long we will be here and we all need to live more like tomorrow could be our last day. I read this book with a highlighter! I will definately read it again and I am going to have David and both of my boys read it.

Well, we are off to playgroup. It is pouring rain, so playgroup got moved to a playground in a mall! LOL - should be interesting!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Drowned Rat...Chaz

Chaz decided to stay after church today to go to a baptism and fireside with some of the kids that he knows from the Boston 1st Ward. He took the subway home. The subway stop is about 2 blocks from our apartment building. Aparantly, it was raining!...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Walking Tour of Jamaica Plains

Today we went on a walking tour of Boston. We took a tour of the area called Jamaica Plains. It was really fun to walk around and see the area and the homes that have been restored.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Swan Boats of Boston

Each Friday, some of the women in our ward get together for "play group". Marissa and Brynn are older than most of the kids that attend, but they enjoy going to the activities anyway.

Chaz and Jace even attended the play group this Friday, because it was such a cool event! We went to ride the Swan Boats in Boston Commons Park. Every book, brochure and website about Boston have pictures of the swan boats, they have been a fixture here since the 1800's.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Visiting the Holocaust Memorial

On the way home from the farmer's market, we decided to walk through the Holocaust Memorial. It was such a sobering experience to see, I had to fight from crying. The memorial is 5 glass, walk-through cubes, that have the numbers that were tattooed on the people that were interned in the concentration camps etched on the glass that rises about 20 feet off the ground. Steam rises from the grates beneath the memorial.

They had a quote from Martin Niemoeller, a Lutheran Pastor who initially supported Hitler and then later opposed him and was put in a concentration camp.
The quote reads:
They came first for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time, there was no one left to speak up.

It made me think about how many times in our own lives do we choose not to speak up when an injustice is perpetrated because it doesn't pertain to us.

It's Saturday - It must be time to go to the Farmer's Market...

We found an awesome farmer's market about a 1 mile walk from our apartment! We had about $15 cash on us, so we thought we would head down there and pick up some lettuce and tomatoes to go with our hamburgers we were going to make on our new grille for lunch. We were amazed by the sheer size of the market and the awesome prices. We got everything we went for plus, mushrooms, tangerines, star fruit, kiwis, carrots, grapes, plums and bell peppers and still came home with $2 change!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

We knew before we moved here that we would have access to tennis courts, so we brought all of our tennis racquet's. Two of these racquets used to be my moms. She gave them to me when she quite playing tennis. Then a couple of years ago, when I was out yardsaling, I found some more matching ones so that we have a whole set! The tennis courts are about a 2 minute walk out of our apartment. The kids like to go play and I can watch them from the balcony!

Playing at the Park

Almost daily, we take about a 10 minute walk to the park. It is a fun walk! Where we live, it is really green and there are lots of trails through the area. We walk out of our building and past our basketball and tennis courts and then past The Boston Children's School Annex. Then a little farther down we pass a pretty synagogue and then past our favorite little deli called J. Pace and Sons. Then we get to take a really high bridge across the freeway and back down the other side to the park. It is great to get out of our apartment and take a nice walk.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Sunset Tonight...

There was a beautiful sunset tonight that David missed because he is in Virginia, so I took this picture for him...

Our First Visit to a Museum

Today we took our first official tour of a museum. We walked down to the Ottis house which is about 2 blocks from our house.


It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the area of Boston that we are living in as well as some of the people that helped settle the area.

I asked each of the kids to tell me one thing that they learned:

Deena - The area of Boston that we are now living in used to be part of the Ocean. They cut off the top of Beacon Hill and used the "dirt" to build up the area where we now live.

Brynn - I learned that when they built their home in the Federalist style, they liked everything to match. So if there was a window on one side of the wall, they also put one on the other. They also would put fake doors in, to match the real door on the other side.

Marissa - I learned that they would insert mirrors in their doors to reflect the candle light and help to light the rooms.

Jace - I learned that they had a decorative metal back in their fire places, so when a fire was burning, it would get hot and radiate heat into the room.

Chaz - I learned that they only bathed once a month. The parents got to go first and then the children got to bathe from oldest to youngest.

Playing Dress-Up

We are having 2 more desks delivered today as well as we are upgrading to and HD DVR receiver for our cable (it is only $14.95 here - it was $70 at home!) - so we are kinda stuck at home today. The girls decided to play dress-up and put make-up on! They definately need some lessons in make-up application before they are old enough to wear it!!!

Our Incredible Views!!!

It seems that everytime we have a storm, the next day's weather is perfect! I thought I would post some pictures of the views from our apartment. We are on the 35th floor of a 38 story highrise. There are no buildings taller than our building around, so we have some beautiful unobstructed views!!!

The view from our living room...

The view from the kid's bedroom...Both the kid's rooms face the same direction...

The view from our patio...

The view from the Master Bedroom...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apparantly We Have a Cleaning Lady...

The kids and I were having a lazy afternoon today. We had gone to a neighborhood park and out to lunch at a little deli on our property. We were on our way back to the apartment when it started dripping a little bit. We had just made it under the canopy when it started to rain. We got up to our apartment and Chaz and I started watching this huge storm roll in. It moved so fast, that in about 2 minutes, we could not even see across the river. Marissa yelled that one of our boxes had blown off of the balcony. I ran out to the balcony, but I never could see where that box landed! The storm was so bad, that David's flight left 2 hours late because they had to divert his plane to Maine. The storm only lasted about 15 minutes and then it was over...I think about an inch of rain fell in that 15 minutes though!

We had just finished lunch and we were getting ready to take a nap when we got a knock on the door. I answered the door and a cleaning lady was standing there and told me she was here to clean the apartment. I kind of laughed and told her she must be at the wrong apartment because I hadn't ordered the weekly cleaning service. She said that the company was paying for her to come. So, I let her in and she proceeded to clean the apartment.

Apparently she is going to come every week and change the bed linens, clean all 3 bathrooms and the kitchen and vacuum and dust the whole apartment... It was a little weird to sit here while she cleaned, so we may plan to be gone to the park or something next week.

I told Eileen and Vesta that I wasn't going to order the cleaning service because I thought it would be weird for someone else to come and clean...although it was a little weird, it was also kinda nice!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We Survived Hannah

They predicted lots of rain and wind in Boston due to Tropical Storm "Hannah" last night, but we escaped pretty unscathed.

This is the normal view out of our bedroom window at night - they had fireworks going off on the harbor.

This was the view last night from our deck - you can hardly see the city lights because it was raining so heavily. We are so high up, that we were actually in the clouds that were raining!

We had to bring in all of the items on our deck, but we only ended up with 2 inches of rain and not much wind. I think it is funny that in Boston, it is "only" 2 inches of rain. If we got 2 inches of rain in Richland in one day, the whole place would be flooded! New Hampshire got about 6 inches of rain and a lot of Manchester was flooded out - even the police department! But today is a beautiful day again!

We were invited to a dessert social tonight. It will be fun to meet more of the ward members - now I am off to make a Raspberry Crumble!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our stuff finally got here

Well, our stuff finally got here from Washington. It will make our apartment feel a lot more like home when we get some of our own decorations set up. We got all of our clothes and most of the kids stuff unpacked, but we still have quite a few boxes to go.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Swimming at our new pool!

The girls had a great time swimming at our pool. We went grocery shopping (see earlier post) in the morning and then swam for most of the day Monday. This was the last day that the pool was open until Memorial Day.

3 Carts Full of Groceries!!!

At church on Sunday, I was finally able to find out where the best place to buy groceries is at. It is a store called the Grocery Basket. Their prices were not too bad. Although we needed a lot of groceries! When we moved, we weren't allowed to bring anything that was open or needed refrigeration, so we had to stock up on everything again once we got here. It took 3 carts full of groceries...the checker and bagger were actually laughing at us...although not in English!

We had to borrow Goerge's (our door man) cart and take 2 loads up to our apartment! We must have looked pretty crazy!