In July of 2003, we moved (temporarily) to Newport, RI. We were determined to make the most of our year in New England by visiting every museum, restored farming village, seaport, etc., that we could. We did ourselves proud, I'll tell you. We made at least 3 pilgrimages to the Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation alone. Twice we visited Sturbridge Village; I lost track of how often we graced Mystic Seaport with our presence. And once, that memorable summer, we drove to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail and to visit the USS Constitution. Here it is, in my words (but 5 years younger):
Today we ventured out to
, Larry driving and me reading the maps. But it's okay - I'm sure we will be on speaking terms sometime again soon. Larry blames MapQuest. I blame him, for bringing along a book of Boston with the 5 kids maps which it turns out he bought at a used book store. Used, as in out-of-date. (He claims anything would be out-of-date, because of the ongoing road construction project in Boston ). Also, for some reason, instead of having the map of Boston New Englandstates in our glove compartment, we had a map and a map for Maryland These were not useful. Norfolk, VA.
Anyway, we found our way to the Freedom Trail and followed our very knowledgeable Nat'l Park Service ranger around
, listening to an over-detailed account of each site. Afterwards, we picnicked near the Boston , in a light but refreshing rain. We gambled that the rain would let up while we hoofed it over the Old North Church Charles Riverto the USS Constitution. We lost. It didn't help that Larry had to drag an hysterical David over the bridge (it had those steel gratings and David thought he would fall through) while backpacking Rachel. Not exactly the pleasant stroll we had envisioned. But that's okay - we made it to the USS Constitution, where they wouldn't let Larry take his small Swiss Army knife on the ship with him. Larry decided to leave it in the diaper bag and leave the diaper bag in the stroller outside the entrance. He claims 2 people said that was okay. I don't know about that.
We were down on the gundeck of the ship when an official-looking gentleman came looking for the owner of an abandoned backpack. Our abandoned backpack, as a matter of fact... So Larry went off with him, while I sat there and waited and waited and waited, and Rachel kept trying to throw herself down open hatches and screaming when I pulled her away. Finally I maneuvered all of us up the stairs and down the gangplank; we found Larry standing outside the entrance (sans handcuffs, thank goodness), looking extremely annoyed because they wouldn't let him back in. Turns out that, after Larry managed to convince the guards that the suspicious-looking backpack was nothing but a diaper bag, he attempted to re-enter (with the bag this time). The already suspicious guards found the verboten (and forgotten, by Larry) Swiss army knife during their bag search. This strikes me as very funny, but security guards aren't known for their sense of humor.
The ride home was pretty much as disagreeable as the ride there, particularly because Brian and Rachel developed a game wherein they would shriek at each other in really high-pitched voices. I'm surprised the windshield didn't shatter. We broke down and stuffed them with hamburgers and fries for part of the ride (full mouths make less noise); but we soon ran out of ammunition, and I spent the rest of the ride promising myself that next time I would stay home. Or, better yet, they could all stay home and I could go by myself. I think we have had quite enough of family togetherness for the time being.
You know, it's a little disheartening to read all that the night before a big trip. But at least I can be assured of some decent stories to tell next week. (But don't I sound younger up there? I think so.)
What? It takes time to tear off all these little strips of paper, you know...
Okay, they're in the bag and now I'm shaking it up. Whoops! A bunch fell out - should I disqualify those? No? Okay, back in the bag they go! And...the winner of Traveling Mercies is...
(I love this part.)
Live, Learn, Knit
That is just so cool, because tonight I was talking about Rhode Island and Amy lives in Rhode Island. And, no, I didn't peek in the bag at all. Sheesh.
So, Amy, e-mail me your address. I'm hoping to mail these books tomorrow. Really.
If you want to hear me say something good about my teens, go on over to my post today at MidCenturyModernMoms. This could be the start of something beautiful. Or, more likely, it's just a fluke.