Monday, March 9, 2009

Maple Sugaring

On Saturday, the weather was a balmy 50 degrees, so we took Marissa and Brynn (Chaz and Jace were taking some classes at M.I.T.) and headed North to go learn how maple syrup is made. It was an awesome day!

We learned how to tell if a tree was a Sugar Maple. Marissa and Brynn got to help the leader with her demonstration.

We learned the different ways that are used to collect the maple sap. They can use tubing and gravity with a large collection bin or individual pails.

We also learned how you drill a hole in the sugar maple tree to be able to collect the sap. A tree needs to be at least 40 years old before you can drill your first hole!

We then hiked up to the "Sugar Shack" where they use a boiling process to make the sugar maple sap into maple syrup. Did you know that it takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup???

At the end of the tour, we got to go into the barn and they had lunch for sale. They had hot dogs that they boiled in the maple sap (97% water, 3% sugar), so it gave the hot dogs a slight maple taste - they were delicious!

Of course, we had to buy a bottle of real maple syrup before we left!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Brisk Walk to Mike's Pastries

After dinner last night, I had a craving for a delicious pastry from Mike's Pastries! This shop is famous all over the country - they are amazing!

The girls played in the snow while we walked to Little Italy.

We all picked out a pastry and then headed home!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shopping in the Underground Black Market Purse Shops of NYC

If you know me, you know I love purses - ok, maybe that's an understatement - I LOVE purses! So, ever since we have been living in Boston, I have had people tell me that I have to go buy purses in China Town in NY. They sell lots of great "knock offs". I am not at all a "purse snob". I don't go specifically for brands, I just love a really cute purse.

When we took the boys to NYC this weekend, I just had to go check out the underground purse markets! It was pretty crazy!!! The people that want to sell you purses just come up to everyone and ask if they would like to buy a purse. David told one of them yes, and she asked us to follow her. We followed her pretty deep into China Town and then she went to this very non-discript door and unlocked it. We walked down a very narrow hallway to another door that took us down a very steep flight of stairs, where she unlocked a little room filled with purses. I bargained with her for awhile and ended up with these 3 cute purses!

Knock Off Gucci

Knock Off Dooney &Bourke

Knock off Coach

Monday, March 2, 2009

NYC with the Boys

We flew Trent; one of the boy's friends, in from WA to come and spend 5 days and hang out with us. Yesterday, we took all of the boys to New York City to spend the day. We had a blast!

We started out by taking the Chinese bus, called the Fung Wah bus from China Town in Boston to China Town in New York.

We rode the subway all over town. The NY subway is WAY more complicated than the Boston subway, but we figured it out - for the most part!

One of the first things we did was to head out to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty.

When we got off of the ferry, we found this sculpture. This piece of art was located by the Twin Towers, but it was damaged when the towers fell. When the workers were cleaning up the wreckage, they found it again and placed it in the park as a memorial.

We then headed to Time's Square!

We then headed to Rockefeller Center to see the view from the "Top of the Rock"!

After eating dinner and wandering all over New York, we headed back to China Town to catch our bus. When we got on the subway it wasn't snowing, but buy the time we got off in China Town, the snow was coming down! This was definitely a sign of things to come... like our bus breaking down, catching on fire (very small brake fire), us standing on the highway in a snowstorm and getting home 2 hours later than scheduled because we had to wait for a replacement bus! Always an Adventure!!!