Thursday, June 23, 2016

Massachusetts The Bay State (Boston)

The Mr. and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary in Boston, with the kids of course. In 7 years we have had 2 kids, moved homes 4 times, moved to a new state, been to 26 states together, 5 different countries, and as the Mr. put it in his Instagram post he is still sleeping in the bed. I hate to get all mushy on you all but I don't get the opportunity to share with the world how much I love him often. His sacrifice for his family, his unfailing love, his constant support are just a few things that admire about him (he is pretty awesome lets just put it that way). If there is one thing living in a state far away from all that you know has brought to our marriage it is that we have truly learned to depend on one another. I am beyond blessed to have him as my partner in the adventure of life. Here's to many more Mr. Logan! 

Check out those babies 11 years ago
June 20, 2009

I guess I never really realized how close Boston is to us, but just like everything else it could easily be a day trip. I have to start off by saying, we LOVED Boston. Honestly, I think we like it better than NYC. It feels cleaner, its full of history, and just has an overall good vibe to it. I can definitely see us heading back to Boston during our time here (only a few more states to go before we revisit any previous states). 

Did I mention how close it is? Boston is seriously just and hour and half drive from our home in Connecticut. If you are from Kentucky that is pretty much like driving from Greenville to Bowling Green, or to Cincinnati from Louisville. People that the Mr. works with ask him all the time "Did you travel that much when you were living in Kentucky? You know to like Indiana and all the surrounding states?" While his answer is no, this is all new to us, so we are taking full advantage of the proximity. In all actuality, yes we have been to all the surrounding states, but what I don't think they realize is that we could drive for five hours and never leave the state. The one thing I have noticed is while I have always known where the New England states are (as to probably everyone reading this post) I can't say that New Englanders know much about the great state of Kentucky. I have had the following two crazy statements: "Is Kentucky close to Colorado?" "Oh your from Kentucky, isn't that where that big horse race is? I think its called the Kentucky Derby?" Come on people, really? 

We decided since it was our anniversary weekend we would make a weekend trip out of it, well two days. The Mr. took some time off on Friday so we leisurely made our way north with our first stop being Cambridge, MA home of Harvard University. I know some of you think we are crazy dragging our small children to all these Universities (Elin has been on like 5 college tours in her two years of life), but we are firm believers on it never being to early to start talking about colleges. Plus, right now at this point in their lives we are just dragging them to things that the Mr. and I want to do, making memories! The main reason we wanted to go into Cambridge though wasn't because of Harvard. I have told you all before that New Orleans is by far our favorite place we have traveled to, it lives in our soul! One of our favorite restaurants in NOLA is a little Mexican place (yep, Mexican in the bayou is pretty amazing) called Felipe's. Now Felipe's has several location in NOLA but the only location outside of NOLA just happens to be in Cambridge, MA. Why? I have no idea, I guess I should have asked. Randomly I was on Felipe's website looking to see if it was a chain one year while we were visiting and I never forgot this little bit of information. I have been planning this trip to Felipe's since we moved here. It was just as good as it is in NOLA, only difference the Harvard location just doesn't have that NOLA charm (it lacks a little dirt and beautiful architecture). If you ever visit either city please stop by Felipe's. Our personal favorite is anything with chicken tinga, and we have tried just about everything on the menu (sometimes we eat there everyday for lunch, or late night snack while in NOLA, its that good). 

Sorry but not sorry NOLA Crew (Mallori, Tory, John, Kari, Will, and Macy), we are ready to plan a NOLA trip soon though!

After lunch we did explore Harvard Square (got the t-shirt) and headed over to Harvard's campus. We loved Harvard Yard, it is probably a great place to study or as the Mr. said take a good nap. They had tons of little movable metal chairs in all colors. Of course the dictator needed the Mr. to move all the chairs until she got just the right color combination (blue, purple, pink, yellow, and orange).

We spent a little time on the yard just letting Elin run around and soak up Harvard campus. Its amazing to think that some of those building were built in the 1800s or even earlier. Some interesting things that we learned about Harvard (they are actually lies written on the John Harvard statue) 1.) John Harvard is not the founder of the University (in fact he just donated a bunch of books, no body even knew his name until he was dead) 2.) the statue of John Harvard is just a man, not actually John Harvard (it was the 1600 people, photography was not invented, and John Harvard has no record of sitting for a portrait) 3.) if you read closely on the John Harvard statue it says that the University was founded in 1639, when in fact it was founded in 1636 and was originally called New College, only getting its name changed after John Harvard died and his will was read and he became such a huge benefactor to the University. Just because their Ivy League doesn't mean they tell the truth. However, being a former teacher it was pretty cool to stand on the campus of the oldest insitute for higher education. 

Oh mom!

Just rocking her UK outfit on Harvard's campus, she is considering both right now!

Family Selfie Failure #1

Family Selfie Failure #2, our kids are wondering why they have to be seen with people

After our journey around Cambridge, and no naps we decided to head to the hotel. Elin was hoping for a pool but the Double Tree in the Theater District let her down. We weren't really sure where to stay so we just opted for any Hilton with an available room and landed in the Theater District. We didn't do much exploration in this area so I can't tell you a whole lot other than the hotel was extremely nice and super close to public transit making it very easy to get around the city. 

Friday night we went down to Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Baylor got to experience his first official ride on public transit. Other than having to carry the stroller up a flight of stairs because we took a wrong turn and missed the elevator the T was definitely easy to navigate. 

Is that the city that smells? Or me?

The kids who still had not had a nap were troopers. If you take a look at the picture below you can tell how much they enjoyed the marketplace. They used this excursion as their nap time. It actually worked out perfect that they were sleeping because at Faneuil Hall they have areas with outdoor games that you can play for free. They have a ton of board games but then they also have ping pong tables, chess, air hockey, and pool tables. The Mr. accepted my challenge in a game of ping pong, and of course I lost. I loved this idea, wish more places had things like this. While we were there we saw people of all ages going up and playing the various games. A lot of laughing and memory making. Props to Faneuil Hall for giving people a reason to put down their cell phones. 

Inside Quincy Marketplace are a million restaurants. The Mr. and dictator went with their staple, pizza, and I opted to try a buttered lobster roll (I hate mayo so I'm always searching for a good buttered lobster roll, apparently this is called Connecticut style). Of course we ended our dining experience with Ghiradelli's, which you can't go wrong with. If you are looking for Boston apparel, household items, etc. this is the place to buy it at. If you are looking just to shop, you probably want to head in another direction.

Random fact, McDonald's in New England serves Lobster Rolls and so does Panera

Good night Boston

Saturday morning we headed back down to Boston Harbor. You know me I am always one to find a good craft fair, and Boston certainly didn't let me down. Apparently this fair goes on every weekend so if you do go to Boston check it out, you can't miss it! They also have some really great food trucks in the area. We needed a mid morning snack and stopped at the cookie food truck. We tried three different flavors: salted caramel, peanut butter and chocolate chip, and a sugar cookie with M&M's (I am sure if you know the Logan family you know which cookie goes with which person). 

There were some really cute things here!

We had already planned on doing the Boston Duck Tour on Saturday. If you have never been on a Duck Tour you should try it sometime. The Mr. and I have been on one in Seattle (prior to kids), so sort of knew what it was all about. The duck tour is the best way to cover a lot of ground, see most of the top attractions a city has to offer, learn some cool facts, and have a lot of fun. The Seattle Duck Tour is nonstop quacking, blaring music, and yelling at people on the streets (it is Seattle though, enough said right?), whereas the Boston one was a little more reserved! If you are wondering what a Duck Tour is click the link above.

For only $4.00 you can get this cute little duck quacked that no 2 year old can make quack, she looks cute trying!

The Boston Duck Tour took us all around the city. If you take a look at the pictures you can see some of the sites we saw. I am not even going to begin to try to name the buildings as my memory is foggy (I leave the keys in the door pretty much daily).  Typically the tour goes by Boston Commons but our trip had to be rerouted due to some construction. We pretty much hit all the major landmarks of the city (minus Boston Commons). Boston is definitely a city of many first, and full of history. I am sure you could spend days there just soaking in all the history, but right now our kids don't have the patience for that so we opted for the quick way, Boston Duck Tour. 

Yep, she was bored! Oh, and we take that polar bear everywhere1

 After the Duck Tour, our kids were exhausted and we were ready for a break. Baylor has been cutting teeth so sleep is a word we currently don't know in the Logan household. We still have some things that we want to do in Boston (Boston Commons, Fenway Park), but those will have to be for another day! If you have any other suggestions of things we should go back and do feel free to leave them in the comments below. Overall, it was definitely a great weekend and the perfect way to ring in year 7!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Massachusetts The Bay State (Plymouth)

We have been jam packed with visitors. It seems like they all came at once, and we LOVED every minute of having a house full of people. We played dominos, ate good food, and just enjoyed being with our family. My parents came in town to visit the weekend of Memorial Day. It was such a great weekend too! The pool opened, mom and I were able to do some shopping, and they explored New England with us one day. 

L made it

B made it! Group hug!

Shopping=Disney Store= New Princesses

Some of you maybe reading the last sentence and questioning my sanity on the pool opening, is it warm enough to swim? Luckily for us the weather has started to change. The end of May in Connecticut equals the beginning of the spring, I guess this is just something that I will have to get use to. Things are finally starting to bloom, the grass is turning green, and I am assuming May showers will bring June flowers. So the answer to the question is yes, we are crazy, and no its not warm enough to swim every day. They still open the pool Memorial Day weekend but it is heated. Supposedly the apartment complex has to keep the temperature between 80 and 85 degrees. I would say that is true for the past few time we have jumped in but not Memorial Day. Luckily we had some 90 degree days that week and were able to take advantage of it while my parents were in town. I definitely have two water babies. On another note, the Mr. and I have seen more homes here in Connecticut with pools in the backyard than we did while living in Kentucky for 30 years. Could someone please explain this? I can't imagine owning a pool in a state where it never get THAT warm.

Pool Day #1

Pool Day #2

My parents were eager to do some exploration of New England with us this trip. The past two times they have either a.) moved us here or b.) weren't here long enough to really explore (and it was cold). This time we had some extra days so we planned a trip to Plymouth, MA. Our main goal was to go whale watching, but we had also hoped to see the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. As luck would have it the Mayflower was in Mystic, CT (naturally) being repaired and well the rock is just that a rock, a small tiny rock! People have taken bits and pieces of it for so many years that there isn't much left. They really aren't even sure if it is the actual rock the pilgrims landed on so many years ago, but hey it will do. Plymouth looks like a pretty cool little town. Lots of restaurants over looking the bay, everything in walking distance. You can go to Plymouth Village and get a sense of what it was like to live as a pilgrim. The Mr. and I may head back up there for a day trip to Plymouth Village or Old Sturbridge Village (essentially the same concept), we just have to get to all the other states first. 

Pit stop for breakfast at Cracker Barrel

We booked our trip with Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours. I am not sure what we were expecting this trip to be like, but it certainly was probably the WORST excursion I have planned for my family since we have been here (sorry mom and dad). I am on a roll (eagle train, world's tallest filing cabinets)! If you are even remotely prone to getting sea sick, do not, I repeat DO NOT go whale watching on the Atlantic ocean. Even if you do have sea bands (which we did). 

I know there are several ports that offer whale watching tours, and for all I know we picked the one that was the furtherest away from the whales feeding ground, either way it was miserable. I am not recommending this trip to anyone. The boat was super crowded, the ocean was nasty that day, and it was extremely cold. It was so cold that we decided it would be a good idea to go below into the cabin (worst mistake we could have made, but results would have been the same no matter what). With the ocean being the way it was it is no surprise that L was puking within 30 minutes of setting sail (about 10 minutes in she said she was going to be sick). People let me just tell you this was a 4 hour excursion, if you are sick within the first 30 minutes it is going to be the most miserable, longest 4 hours of your life. I feel absolutely terrible for my mom, she even tried taking two dramamines to knock herself out (pretty sure she threw them up before they made it into her system). 

God must have been with me, for whatever reason the sea band helped me that day, and I get motion sick!

Elin fell asleep as soon as we got on board, along with Baylor. Once we reached the feeding ground we did see two fin whales. Elin received an Imagination Library book (sign your kid up if you can) a couple of months ago called "Papa's Song" so she was super pumped to see papa. We waited around a little longer to see some more whales, but we didn't have any luck. As we headed back you guessed it my mom was still puking, and as fate would have it Elin began to get "spit up" as she called it (sorry B, thanks for being a trooper, he was covered). The crew aboard the ship were amazing and I seriously feel terrible for them. They have a miserable job cleaning throw up left and right. They moved us to the stern of the boat (the most stable part). The ride was a lot smoother, even though it didn't stop L for puking. Now we were forced outside into the bitter cold (check out the picture of the little shelter I created for Baylor, definitely did not winning parent of the year on this trip). Honestly, I would have paid to get off that boat. When a love one is sick and you one 4 hour trip there isn't a thing you can do for them and it breaks your heart. As we headed back towards land the Mr. said "What the hell were the pilgrims thinking getting in a wooden ship all those years ago?" I have to wonder the same thing, our little trip was only four hours of misery, I can't even begin to imagine what their trip was like. We owe them a debt of gratitude. 

View from the stern, much better!

B taking care of the sick

Mom did you bring a blanket? No son I covered you with a nursing cover, put you in my jacket and then wrapped you in my sweatshirt because I am the best mom in the world, ha!

So do I recommend whale watching in Massachusetts? Absolutely not, go to the Mystic Aquarium or anywhere other than getting on a boat and going out to sea. Even if you don't get sea sick your trip literally consist of watching others get sick. There had to have been at least 30 people on the stern of the boat (and those were just for the people who were severely sick, there were others inside). Do I recommend going to Plymouth? Yes, but just go see the sights that Plymouth has to offer. Did we make memories? Absolutely! If you do in fact decide to take this trip, consider yourself warned!

Best picture from the trip!

Not all of our adventures are great and grand, but hey we are still making some memories. You live and you learn. Thank you Christopher Columbus and all the pilgrims kudos to you for taking one for the team!!!