So last week, we packed up the car and headed 6 hours north to New England for a little fall family vacay. My ladyfriend Kate, along with her awesome husband & adorable son, so generously offered up their home for us to crash so we bunked down in Massachusetts, right outside of Boston. I'd pretty much waited 32 years to visit Boston and hear that accent in person and dude, it's one of my favorites. You can lose your R's anytime with me, Boston, I love it. But anyway, once we settled into Kate's house, I realized that she lives in the picture-perfect New England town. The charming homes, the wide tree-lined streets, the town squares complete with crisp fall mornings. Every morning was like an ad for fall. Once again, I loved it.
We decided that the best way to see everything Boston had to offer with a toddler in tow, was to hop on one of those tacky trolley tours. Normally I shy away from organized tours for obvious reasons and prefer to wander aimlessly around without asking directions. But with limited happy toddler time and a big city to explore, the trolley was the way to go. And the best part is that Kate forwarded me a Groupon for one that week so we got it done on the cheap. We went with Beantown Trolley if you care.
It took us to all of the best Boston spots...like Boston Harbor
We hopped off here to make use of Kate's aquarium membership. Gabe was happy to see the feeshies and we were happy to hear him say the word jellyfish over and over jejjyfish.
Of course, we rolled by Fenway. We didn't even have to get off and wander around here because John was lucky enough to be invited by Kate's husband to an actual Red Sox game that weekend. John was positively GIDDY.
The trolley rolled into Cambridge for a few minutes, bypassing Harvard completely but making note of Gabe's future alma mater. Hell, I'm not picky. He could go to Harvard if he wanted to. I wouldn't mind.
p.s. I wanted to visit Harvard with Gabe and take pictures of him in front of Harvard-y things and buy him tiny Harvard shirts. Well Harvard was a big disappointment on that front. It just wasn't the campus I had dreamt up in my head. Don't you hate when that happens?
We also saw a bunch more things (like, um, Cheers) but it was a long day so we just hung on the trolley and waited for it to drop us back off. Touristing sure is different than it used to be, when our priority was finding the best restaurants and bars. Now it's finding the best family friendly restaurants that serve nuggets.
Give this boy some nugs and he's a happy camper. Also, did you notice his big boy haircut? We dragged him once more to the hairdresser before we left and held him down while he threw a fit and his hair was lopped off. It was sad but man, look at him! Handsome little devil.
Since I had never been north of New York, our hosts offered to take us to one of their favorite spots, Maine! We headed to Kennebunkport, which seriously, um are you a postcard?
The town oozed charm, Canadians and old rich people. The boys found a park so that Kate could take me to all of the cutest little shops they had. Did you know I love cute little shops?
Even though it was pushing dinnertime for our little tots, we decided to make the drive to Ogunquit, another coastal town ripe with twinkly lights in town and miles of gorgeous beach. Sure, it was 50 degrees but it was perfect. And the boys were in heaven.
The lighting was incredible. I kinda fell in love with this place.
Get these boys a Crew Cuts ad. Stat.
Gabe usually does not smile when I hold him, only when I hold the camera. This secretly is okay with me.
John pointed out Gabe's little footprints. I died.
This face makes my heart hurt.
After basically moving into Kate's house, we decided to head home. John suggested we do a little detour and drive through Rhode Island so we could cross that off our list. So we did. And when I think Rhode Island, I think Family Guy. And if you do too, that's why we're friends. So we headed to Pawtucket. Did you know that Hasbro is HQ'd there? The internet told me that they had a giant Mr Potato Head statue outside. So we got excited and we went.
Say hi to Mr Potato Head.
How cute is their parking lot? Very. Anyway, one of those roadtrip websites told us to go to the Historic Modern Diner for lunch. Apparently it's old as shit and they once sued Disney for using their likeness without permission. And they actually won, which is probably unheard of. Unfortunately they didn't serve nuggets or anything other than breakfast so we had to lure Gabe in by promising to sit in the choo choo train.
The service was okay, the iced tea was disgusting but the food was bangin. I had a tomato, mozzarella and pesto omelet. Good hashbrowns, good waffles, good job.
Don't make fun of my traveling get-up. Blow drying hair is low priority on vacation for everyone, right? And bonus for tiny Gabe smile!
So after our jaunt through Pawtucket (no Pawtucket Patriot brewery), we headed home. It was awesome to finally see part of the country that I'd wanted to for so long. And Maine? Yeah, I'm coming back for you. And Paper Source? I'm also coming for you too. It was my first time seeing one and I blew my load/paycheck on cute, weird things.
Thanks again and again to Kate & Co. for the hospitality. If I didn't know better, I swear I saw a pineapple above your front door. Swears.