5 Miles in Massachusetts

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John’s steak

My friend had sweet potato fries which were awesome (the ones in the way back of the picture)

Those are some pictures from our lunch today – Hardly any time to write because we have been so busy playing with our friends and didn’t have any long drives – it was our first time to stay two nights in the same place since leaving England on Tuesday – we stayed last night and are staying tonight as well.  Time to completely unpack the van and regroup with our suitcases for the next few legs of the trip!  We journeyed to Massachusetts last night after our last stop in Rhode Island at the Del’s.  The first visit was to my cousin and his wife and kids who live just north of Boston.  We were stuck in traffic for a long time as a truck had hit some power lines and I-95 was closed in both directions for a while.  Thankfully we were not in that too long and still managed to make it there by around 7:20pm when 7 was our goal.  They had some snacks for us – yummy Trader Joe’s sourdough with goat cheese on it 🙂 – and the children all just played for a bit while we caught up on each other’s lives.  This is my one cousin to get to visit, since the others who live in the area were busy with other out of town visitors and the ones who had been visiting New England from the south had left earlier in the week.  So I sort of struck out on cousin-visiting but hit the jackpot with aunts and uncles 🙂

Here are all our kids bunched up together:

Cousin Nate and his wife Margot holding Daniel


Next we continued north half an hour to stay with our old friends the Mathisons. As we neared their house I told them to get the fireworks ready (jokingly), and when we pulled up is was to Roman Candles and other fireworks going off in the driveway.  It was quite a grand welcome ceremony!!! They are so fun 🙂  Oddly enough, when we moved away from Maine about 7 years go, we completely unloaded our Ford Excursion into their living room (and their mini-van that they had filled for us) and spent a whole evening reorganizing our things (John also had to buy a rooftop carrier to fit it all) before stuffing it back into the truck to drive off the next day.  This seems to be a pattern for us – as we did it again in Newport, RI, at our friends the Hakes before moving to Hawaii last time.  Why can’t we seem to really get it together in our own house?  Each time we’ve reorganized it’s been after the final move-out of our home and before the dreaded cross country trip or cross the world plane flight.  We are so silly.

This morning I ran a five mile loop around a nearby lake – definitely harder than my other runs since it was very hilly, but I felt very accomplished afterwards.  I am not going to be running for the next three days due to long, long driving hours on those days, so I wanted to get in one last good run.  Afterwards I returned to a breakfast of homemade waffles from freshly ground wheat and a breakfast burrito with eggs, homemade salsa, taco meat, and black beans.  Have I mentioned how much I love my friend??!!  It took a few hours, but eventually we were all ready to go, and both families (total of 10 kids) headed out for a mega-shopping trip to Target – our first Target visit since being back 🙂  We needed some nursing supplies (Daniel was few his first bottle of pumped milk by John while in Target and took to it like a champ!), kids’ summer shoes, and a few more running items for me since I can’t do laundry as often as I would like and need to be running a lot on this trip.  We also got Starbucks before the shopping 🙂

Then we all drove over to Newburyport, a super cute hamlet on the water about 25 minutes away.  The children played at the park a bit while I walked over to the running store to check it out.

Liesl, with Claire in the background, at the playground








We all ate at a place called “The Grog” where we’d been once before when we all lived up in the Portsmouth, NH, area together.  Sorry to anyone British reading this, but you guys leave a lot to be desired when it comes to preparing good steaks.  I think any of you who’ve been to a good American steakhouse would agree.  Anyway, John got the most delicious steak we’ve had since our trip to Hy’s Steakhouse in Honolulu right before leaving for England.  I had lobster bisque (oh my goodness), a delicious salad, and a lobster I split with John. Oh, and the best corn on the cob I’ve had in about 4 years.  (Looking forward to Michigan and the corn we’ll be having there soon!!)  Oh, and a great mudslide to drink  that I split with my friend 🙂  Here we all are enjoying our late lunch:

The kids’ table


Back at the house now repacking our bags.  John and the husband went out to the auto parts store and picked up a few things for our trip after dinner and is packing the suitcases into the car first thing for an 8am departure.  Tomorrow – upstate New York!


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