We are on a mission this year to travel. So far we have been up North, to D.C., Chicago, France and just recently to Boston and Martha's Vineyard.
We decided to invite Granny and Papa on our latest trip. When we go back to England our kids 'share' them with their 4 (soon to be 5) other cousins. We have wonderful family gatherings but we feel guilty that our kids are missing out on one-on-one time. You know that ex-pat guilt that creeps in every so often and makes you doubt what you are doing.
They had a great time with their other Grandparents when we took the trip to France for the weekend on our last home leave, but we have hardly seen Jeremy's parents this year. We booked it last minute so there was a hilarious phone call along the lines of "Are you busy in August? Do you fancy a trip to Boston? You need to tell us by tomorrow so we can book it!".
We flew with Delta from Detroit to Boston and managed to work it so that his parents arrived at the same airport just an hour or so later. It was fun for me to be the one waiting to greet someone off a plane as Jeremy normally does the airport pick ups.
Whilst they were waiting at the gate in London Heathrow to board, they got a lovely surprise - the flight was overbooked and they were being upgraded to business class!
We decided to stay near the hotel in an Embassy Suites. We had 2 rooms and used the sofa bed for the kids - one in the bed and one on the floor on the sofa cushions. We have stayed in those hotels before and they are great with kids! We were out of the city but a short ride on the 'T' subway took us right into downtown Boston.
We had a short time to explore the sights and squeeze in a spot of shopping as we had decided to only spend 2 nights in Boston.
On the first afternoon it was really hot and sunny so we took a walk down to Boston Common and let the kids have a splash in the 'Frog Pond'. Charlotte was confused as to why she was walking further and further in but it didn't get any deeper! I think she wanted to swim but soon found it fun to splash around and make some friends. Toby, the typical boy, had great fun running and jumping into the pond!
That evening we had a bite to eat at the famous Quincy Market. A wonderful building full of stalls selling an amazing array of American, Italian, Indian and Mexican food. We were spoilt for choice but the Indian stall swayed us with Chicken Tikka Masala and Onion Bhajis! The kids love anything with rice and the promise of chocolate coated strawberries for pudding helped.
The second day was spent on a boat tour and walking along the Freedom Trail - a red brick or painted line that takes you round the historical parts of town.
Boston skyline from the boat
The New England Holocaust Memorial
We stopped for lunch at Quincy Market - this time sushi and pasta for the kids and had just enough time to do a little bit of shopping.
Charlotte was entranced by a street entertainer -
she does know how to spot a good looking guy! :)
As the sun was shining and it was another glorious day, we headed back to a park near the hotel for a splash in the fountain.
This boy loves water!
That evening, Jeremy and I went out for dinner with a stop along the way for a drink in the 'Cheers' bar. We took the train into the city and a lovely walk through the common brought us out at the iconic sign for the bar. It was only the sign that was used in the credits - the actual bar was a set. But I loved watching Cheers on the tv and dreamed of going to Boston one day and having a drink in the bar, though I was a bit gutted that no-one knew my name...
We had a rather strong Gin and Tonic then made our way in a cab to the restaurant to find we had to wait a few minutes for our table. No worries - just enough time for a cocktail before dinner! I was determined to have Lobster on the trip and I think half the fun is in the cracking so I worked my way through a whole losbter, making quite a mess but loving every bite!
With such a short amount of time we barely scratched the surface of what the city had to offer but we loved it and would definitely go again if we got the chance.
On the third day, we picked up a hire car from the rental place nextdoor to the hotel and a two hour drive took us to the next part of our adventure... The ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard.
I'll leave that story for another day...