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Days 31, 32 & 33: MA & Northward…

July 6, 2013

Wednesday we drove north from Connecticut to Massachusetts.  Our first stop was to visit some friends that we’d never met in person, but are NOT connected by adoption or Congo!  Whoa!  Actually, one of my (Lisa’s) oldest friends introduced us [online] while we were experiencing our very first pregnancies, due only a month apart.  In the end, our Levis were born two weeks apart and, now that they’ve met, are quite similar.  Yes, they are both named Levi.

Two Levis!

Two Levis!

We had a great evening with them, including a joint birthday celebration (their Levi just turned 4 last Sunday and ours turns 4 next Sunday, the 14th) with cake and a trip to the park.  Our younger children, born just three weeks and a day apart, are named Miles and Millie.  They are not quite as similar, but still had fun together.

The Dads help with some teeter-totter competitions.

The Dads help with some teeter-totter competitions.

We left early Thursday morning to make our way into Boston for the 4th of July festivities.  We realized about a month ago that we’d be in the area for the 4th, and where is a better place to spend the holiday than in Boston?  Driving into the city, we were passed by state police officers…lots of them…all headed into downtown.  You’ll remember that the 4th was the originally scheduled date of the Boston Marathon bombing, so officials were on high alert.  We didn’t experience any traffic and made it right on time to our hotel.  We had booked an affordable hotel right at the airport, across the water from downtown.  The advantage was that there was secure parking AND the water taxi left right from the hotel dock.  We had a great view…even the kids enjoyed it!

Staring at Boston's harbor...

Staring at Boston’s harbor…

We were even allowed early check-in so we unpacked our stuff from the truck, settled in, and headed out to the water taxi.  The crossing was fun for three of us, one of us didn’t like it so much…

Guess who wasn't enjoying herself...

Guess who wasn’t enjoying herself…

The hot sun was not super fun, but certainly less toasty than Congo’s sun!  We got off the boat and decided to follow the Red Line painted through downtown – Boston’s Freedom Trail.  Our goal was to hang out at Boston Commons, a large park that we knew would be fun for the kids…and it’s free!  We passed so many awesome historical places on the route – if you’re in Boston, be sure to walk along the line.

MA07

Levi stands outside the Old State House while we ate a hot dog in the shade

Eventually, we found the park, playground, and huge wading pool.  Amelia enjoyed her ride very much.

Amelia's version of doing the 4th in Boston

Amelia’s version of doing the 4th in Boston

We didn’t bring water-wear for Levi, thinking he would just walk around and get his feet wet.  Uhhh, no.  He got in and sat down!  Two seconds later, he was laying in it.  Oh well, it kept him cool!

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Running through the Frog Pond (not allowed, actually)

Amelia woke up eventually and wanted in the water as well…so Mommy decided to cool her feet, too.  The water was actually quite warm and completely ineffective.  However, the kids had fun.  Oh, and bonus baby bump picture…yay for you!

Amelia and I are seriously discussing the water, apparently...

Amelia and I are seriously discussing the water, apparently…

Like I said earlier, security was on high alert.  A few helicopters flew overhead all day long, and we saw a parade (literally) of bicycle cops going around Boston Commons.  No one seemed afraid, though.  Boston strong!

This helicopter and his buddies were our constant companions throughout the day

This helicopter and his buddies were our constant companions throughout the day

Once we’d had our fill of the heat of the park, we headed back toward the water and decided to make sure to get some food.  We picked on a fun place that serves seafood and got some battered fish, crab balls, and fries.  All was delicious and the rowdy outdoor restaurant kept the kids entertained.  We finally stopped for some much-needed ice cream and took the water taxi back to the hotel.  I was completely tired.  It was pool time – weightless time for this preggo-pop!

The USS Constitution was out on the water - this is a zoomed in pic, hence the fuzziness

The USS Constitution was out on the water – this is a zoomed in pic, hence the fuzziness

The hotel, which had advertised a pool in our AAA guidebook, had actually taken it out last year.  However, the hotel people were awesome and called in a favor at the nearby Hilton to let us use their pool.  You guys, we could never afford a night at the Hilton – this was awesome.  We took the hotel airport shuttle over to Hilton and had a great swim, even if it was a bit chilly.  They also had a hot tub, so Matthew got warm and the kids and I stuck our feet in.

Finally time for bed (or so I thought) we headed back to our hotel at sunset.  We turned on the TV to figure out what was going on across the harbor and waited.  Finally, it was firework time.  We went outside on the water to see the first few they let off during William Tell’s Overture, then herded the PJ-clad kids back upstairs to the room.

Once the real show began, it was so fun to have the music on the TV (as well as a different view) and yet still see them out the window!  Levi thought they were awesome, but Amelia was completely mesmerized.  She just sat there, over and over, saying “firework! Oooooo!”

Ooooooo

Ooooooo

Aahhhhhhh

Aahhhhhhh

Once they were done, we all crawled into bed and promptly fell asleep.  It was a great Fourth!

Friday morning came and we took off on our trip northward to New Hampshire…here we are staying with an adopting family who have not brought their kids home yet.  This part of the country is very old and historic and we were excited to learn that our host’s house was built in 1752.  Yes…before the original 4th!  You can still see the beams and layout of the house, and we are completely fascinated with something so old!  We are also enjoying the privilege and privacy of staying in a mother-in-law apartment of the house, which is above what would have been the wood room.

Today we went to church with them – they go to a Messianic church that begins with lunch and ends with dinner.  It was eight hours of fun, fellowship and teaching…and, of course, sharing with the group about what we’re doing.  We loved all of the dialogue and talking to families who have been missionaries in the recent past.  It was fun and the kids did great, mostly because they had so many their own age to entertain them!

Tomorrow morning we are presenting at a Baptist church in the same building where we worshipped today, then having lunch and going to evening service with friends of ours from Fairbanks, AK ,who now live here.  We are so blessed to have so many connections!

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