It's been a great July--I can't believe there's only a month left in the summer!
We spent a long weekend in New York at my parents' place, just relaxing and visiting with family. Since Robert had been flying all over the country the previous week for work (New York, Los Angeles, Boston) and planned to leave straight for more talks after our weekend (Chicago, San Francisco, Boston), it was a welcome respite for all of us.
In Bayside, Samantha discovered the true joys of Mirror Baby, the smartest, funniest, prettiest baby she's ever seen before.
We celebrated my mother's birthday with an Italian wedding cake, some sweets, a ham, and assorted salads (plus Korean fried chicken legs from Mad for Chicken later on).
Most of all, Samantha and Marcus got to spend time with two aunts (Mary and Pauline) and assorted cousins--Rie and Steve, who are moving to California in less than two months, and Helene and Dom, who aren't moving away, but whom we don't see all that often because of busy lives.
Helene and Rie bought Marcus early birthday presents of Playmobil sets, which he gleefully played with all weekend there and brought back home with him. Since the parts are too small to be safe around Samantha, he takes them very seriously and plays studiously with them, alerting me when he's going to go to the bathroom that he'll be right back.
On Sunday in New York we met Cori for lunch at a Mexican place in Corona (chilaquiles, baby, chilaquiles!).
When Cori headed on to her poetry group, we went on to the Hall of Science, where Marcus loved the various space-themed exhibits.
Back in Boston, we spent a cloudy, drizzly Sunday afternoon at the new playground at the Franklin Park Zoo just two weeks after its grand opening. Verdict: a hit! Marcus was incredibly exhausted after a few hours there.
Another day, I took the kids to Constitution Beach in East Boston, a super easy trip by T (about 45 minutes door-to-door: orange line to blue line to a block from the beach--all flat or elevators, no stairs or hills required, so we could bring the stroller along to schlep stuff and provide an 18x18" patch of shade on the beach). Marcus loved the playground, the water, and the sand, and Samantha liked crawling around on the sand and ripping off her hat.
We saw "Cars 2" at the Esplanade one Friday night, after a day that drizzled and threatened rain all day, and brought out just a handful of people at first. We answered Morgan the DJ's trivia questions at first, helped ourselves to free samples, and then Robert took Marcus to the playground behind the lawn for a bit before the show started.
On a couple Wednesdays we went to the farmers' market at Government Center and met up with Sarah, for artisanal banana-chocolate popsicles; on Thursdays we went to the Storymobile at the Frog Pond; and on Fridays we went to the Storymobile on the Greenway near Haymarket, where Marcus found an older boy to have races with.
One busy Saturday we had lunch at home with Great-Grandma Helena, frozen custard with Alex in Brighton, and then dinner at the Super 88 food court in Allston, where Sam discovered the joys of Korean mandoo (fried pork dumplings stuffed with pork, veggies, and chopped-up noodles).
Marcus learned to play four-square from the Playworks coaches on the Common. He declared himself an expert at it now.
Samantha discovered the joys of farm-fresh corn on the cob--first helping Daddy grill it, and then eating it.
We also relaxed, enjoying at-home playtimes, naps, and long nights of good sleep after our adventure-filled days.
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