Fourth of July in America's Hometown

Our little family–all six of us–celebrated the Fourth in Boston (and thereabouts).  It was the first non-work-related vacation that my husband and I have taken in six years, and both of us worked assiduously to avoid checking email or concentrating on work-y stuff while we were there–it was exhilarating.  It was liberating.  It was revelatory.  It was so much fun.

Maybe my favorite part was that we actually closed the sale of our home at the exact moment we were touring downtown Boston on a Duck Boat.  We’re OUT!  Vacation: totally earned. Imagine the scene above, but on an airplane. Twice.  We have never flown with all the kids before, and it was a whole mess of work.  And while my husband seems mildly scarred by it, I didn’t think it was so awful.  I mean, if you fly with kids, you pretty much know that you don’t read magazines anymore–it’s just a different way of traveling.  And while I love the idea of flying alone and taking a nap, I thought showing our kids the wonders of travel was pretty awesome.

Blowing GIANT bubbles in Faneuil Hall Market.

Picnic stop in the Public Gardens (note to families with small children: this was the BEST meal we had with the kids while in the city–we stopped at a sandwich joint, picked up bagels and mac-n-cheese and salads and water and walked across the street to sit on a bench and PLAY; cheap and enjoyable for everyone!).

Carousel rides on the wharf.

After two days in Boston, we headed to join my sister and her family down on Cape Cod.  Her husband’s family has spent summers there since they were itty bitties, so we rented a house together and stocked up on groceries and lollygagged for four days.  It was amazing.  Living so far apart, my sister and I don’t get to see one another very frequently, and with my four kids and her two, we don’t travel the long distance as often as we’d like.  There were some cousins who actually hadn’t been introduced, I’m ashamed to say.  They’re best friends now, naturally.

New England beaches were a discovery for my kids.  I’m still finding sand.

My oldest instituted her own catch-and-release program for hermit crabs.  She seemed to be on a mission to find the biggest one, the smallest one, and this guy: Most Friendly.

We grilled on the Fourth, and Mr. O was perfectly attired.

The Fourth was also my oldest’s sixteenth birthday.  I can hardly believe it.  Due to a fluke of the driving laws in Georgia, she can’t get her license until next spring. Thank heaven.

Remember when discovering a rocky shore could give you this kind of excitement? Where you can’t wait to go share your new treasures with your new cousins?

Deliciously geeky-New-England-y parade through the little town where we were staying.

We even squeezed in a ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard, where we rented bikes for the whole family (the littlies are in the pull-behind) and checked out the island.  See that giant hat?  I wore it ALL OVER, since a nasty bout of sun poisoning recently taught me my lesson (at last).

Another carousel, this time the nation’s oldest.  Miss M on the left there caught the brass ring!

On the drive back to the airport, we even stopped to see the Rock.

This shot pretty much sums up how we were all feeling by the end: relaxed and happy and a little punchy and ready to go home but sad to leave.  I can’t even express in words how much this vacation meant to all of us, me especially.

Hope you and yours have taken the time to get away this summer–it’s really unparalleled in its ability to re-teach us what matters most.  Viva vacation!

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  • Diane Christy
    July 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

    What’s better (or as good as) going back to places you love? Seeing other folks love them, too. Your pics really captured the salty small town atmosphere of Woods Hole.

    It’s one of those magical places where you feel spiritually AT HOME, from the first moment you set foot there.

    I love hearing the horn of the Martha’s Vineyard ferry, and the sound of the lines on the sailboats clanging against the masts. I even love the fog! The lobstah rolls! The Pie in the Hole bakery!

    Let’s hope Kelly will invite us back……………….

  • Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts
    July 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I so enjoyed your family vacay pics. Looks like you had such a great time. 🙂

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