Saturday, September 23, 2017

Teen Book Fest - ok, this time is the actual teen book fest in Boston

Saturday was the ACTUAL teen book festival. I had not been to a teen book festival.

Pep drove, MeMe sat in shotgun, I sat in the middle, and C13 & M13 sat in the way back. So, no worries on this photo, guys, I wasn't driving.

Blah blah blah teen book fest. I don't know. Ask C13 about it. Maybe she should guest blog here? C13??/


Waiting to be let in

Photo of all the authors on stage:

In one of the sessions:

Waiting in line to get books signed.

Meme & Pep

More picture fun. Just because C13 is smiling. You won't see this again for a week or two.

One more!

Anyway, it was a good day. We went to Cherry Hill Ice Cream this time. The portion sizes are smaller. And I got mint chocolate chip which agreed with me. The sun was setting, so the light was quite warm, but the girls got all squinty. I think they both had pumpkin spice ice cream, which was good. But not as good as mint chocolate chip.

The next morning we delayed our drive home until 8 am so we could stop at Katz's Deli in Connecticut. Turns out their mac n cheese is nothing special (did it used to be homemade? No longer. Not worth buying) but their pickles are amazing, and their sandwiches were good. Both girls had a grilled cheese on rye bread.

We got home around 4. Good weekend.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Boston Teen Book Festival, or more accurately, a long car ride then a trip into Boston

MeMe's plan has been that when her granddaughters turn 10 she takes them on a trip. Finally, at age 13 we've gotten C13 her trip, an overnight at MeMe's house and a trip to the Boston Teen Book Festival.

We planned to leave early Friday morning, missing a day of school. M13 had slept over and we decided to leave at 4:30 am,  so the girls requested I wake them at 4am, which I did. I made their tea while they got dressed, and we were in the car by 4:20. Zoom! The early morning drives are the best. the GPS indicated we'd be in Massachusetts by 11 or some insanely early hour like that. And the goal was to make it to Massachusetts on one tank of gas, so we had to drive conservatively.

Of course, we had stops along the way -- drinks, bathroom, drinks, bathroom, drinks, bathroom (you'd think we'd learn?)  -- but we were on target for a pre-noon arrival, so somewhere in Connecticut I called MeMe and asked if we could head to Boston that afternoon, and go to Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Market with the girls.  I remembered really enjoying just walking through the places as a teenager, and I thought M13 & C13 would enjoy it. MeMe said could and we would.

First thing we did when we got to the Tri-Town area was get gasoline, though. As we were driving out, C13 saw a car zoom by headed toward downtown Leomonster. "That's Pep! I think that was Pep!" I was like, "huh, maybe" but she said it was his car, his license plate holder, and it turned out he was headed for his standing lunch date with a friend; we'd just missed him.

Anyway, we arrived in Lunenburg, settled in, had a snack, and then headed back out again without Pep, since he was not home.

In the back of MeMe's car:

We drove to Alewife, parked, and took the Green Line on the T in ... it was rainy and yuck out, and we weren't QUITE right about the stop we should get off at, so we got off at Park St, which dumped us off in Boston Common, which was fine. Mum & I were both pretty confident about the direction to take, and off we went, even if we weren't EXACTLY sure of the route to take to get there.

But the first thing we passed was Old North Cemetery. We decided not to go in, but we peeped through the bars and C13 and M13 enjoyed the morbid aspect of being there.

And are just darn cute.

We kept walking, stopped for directions once, which confirmed we were headed in the correct direction (yay, us!).  M13 wanted to find the site of the Boston Massacre. We did.

We spent a few hours in Quincy Market ... Good thing Pep missed us. He would have been bored. But it was fun for me, and Mum, and the girls, too. Eventually, though, it was time to go home, and we headed back to a closer T stop. Before we got on the T at Government Place , we saw the giant steaming teapot at Starbucks. The girls loved it (ah, me, too, but I've seen it before!). This is a ROTTEN picture of M13, but sort of shows what fun they were having, which I liked.

Back on the train home, to Alewife, to Lunenburg. And ice cream at Kimballs after dinner. Mmmm. Mmmm. I say that, but I got a flavor I regretted (Coffee Heath Bar Cruch). Mistake. I couldn't eat most it. What I did laugh at, though, was Pep getting a little bit angry/annoyed at the portion sizes being so big at Kimballs. So he saved half of his ice cream for later, and proceeded to eat 2/3 of mine. Sooooo upset about the big portions. :)

My sad ice cream:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

First day of school photos

This year school started AFTER Labor Day. Q11 started on the 5th, C13 on the 6th.

Yes, they have uniforms. Khaki bottoms, gold tops. Yes, I got her yellow tops. C13 claimed Q11 would be the only one in yellow, not gold. I LOOKED for gold. All OVER the place. Ok, at Old Navy. And Gap. And Land's End. But they didn't have any when I was shopping. So, I went with Land's End because I knew the shirts were soft. And yellow is close enough to gold. And not as ugly, honestly.  I hate that gold color for the uniform shirt. But the yellow is kind of nice.

C13 I didn't think I'd get a photo. But she willingly let me take a picture with Lucy Dog. She gets to wear black this year, which is nice. And she also has the nice, soft black tops from Land's End, which is how I discovered the soft tops and actually wanted to buy them for Q11. Too much dull information, I know. But I really hate those mesh-y weave type shirts, they grate on your skin. OK, they grate on my skin. Even though I'm not the one wearing them. I'm getting defensive about that yellow shirt! Here's the photo of C13!

Monday, September 4, 2017


So, C turned 13! Teenager time! Happy Birthday!

I made her a blueberry pie. She didn't like the decoration on it.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

50th Anniversary

September 2nd was my parent's 50th anniversary. So MLM organized us and we went to Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton with GRL and his family, MLM and K13, me, TCR, C12 and Q11. And ME & R.

The food was lovely, we had fun. We had planned some gifts. C12 made a ... LOT .... of drawings of girls from each year in each years fashions from 1967 to 2017. 51 drawings. Q had a card and pledged 50 cookies. We had some T-shirts made. But everybody was happy (and good). So fun!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Vermont, Dog Mountain.

We spent more time just reading, sitting in front of the fireplace, TCR hit a brewery or two, and of course, swimming.

But we left on Friday to head down to Massachusetts. On the way south we decided to stop at Dog Mountain. There was some grumbling from the children but we figured we had to let Lucy have SOMETHING.

Dog Mountain is the home of the Steven Huneck Gallery. He was a artist who did wood block art of dogs. You know his work. Things like this:
Image result for stephen huneck art

Anyway, Dog Mountain is a farm/mountain that he and his wife bought, and added a dog chapel, and a gallery, and a place for dogs to walk, swim, and play. So, we took a little hike.

There is a doggy door leading into the chapel. Q11 went through, even if Lucy didn't. The chapel itself is filled with notes to dogs, about dogs, and even some cats or other pets. It quite moved TCR, who wrote and left notes for his dogs gone by.

It was a good stop, we went to the gallery. I wanted a print, so I let TCR choose out of two I picked, and I bought the signed woodblock print, then we jumped in the car again, and started our drive drove to Massachusetts. 5 or so miles down the road I was having buyers remorse that I hadn't bought the other one. This rarely happens to me. I usually walk away and know it was the right decision. But this time, it wasn't. So I asked TCR to turn the car around so we could go back and buy the other one. He did at the next exit, which was a few miles on down the road. And I bought the other one.