View of beautiful wetland I ran past in the mornings. Some days it was foggy, like this, some days it was sunny, hot, humid, some days it was super windy. Weather was not predictable with no TV or internet! We HAD to play mini-golf, you cannot throw a rock without hitting one in these parts. We played at 'Pirate's Cove' which might have been the one farthest away from our house. We drove past 3 or 4 on the way....worth every extra mile! Jeff, lining up his ace putting: Afterward, we were craving some fine fried seafood. I got the Haddock, naturally.
It was kind of a rainyish day, so a hilarious game of 'Would you Rather?' was in order. Who knew that Miles would rather have 8 foot long untrimmable eyebrow hair than braidable armpit hair?
OH, and Uncle Matt KILLED at mini-golf, out-putting everyone with FOUR holes-in-one!!
What a surprise, we got up and hit the beach again! Nick went golfing with Uncle Loring, and so Matt and I and the kids went down. We had such a great time. There weren’t really waves for boogie boarding, but the kids spent a lot of time in the water , and then made an art installation on the beach. We have found a bunch of sea life here, Matt pulled out the goggles and found lots of interesting stuff. It all started when Amelia made a display of all the different seaweeds. We spent a lot of time shoveling sand against the tide, which was futile, as always.
Uncle Matt bought everyone ice cream,
and I went back to get the car. Then we went back to the house, set up badminton, and Matt and I did some shopping, and we had another delicious dinner. The kids watched Coraline, and then off to bed! What a fun day!!
Today we got up and hit the beach again. I have been running, though it is still quite muggy. It is fun to see all the cute houses, today I saw one that was not weather-beaten grey, but red! And there is a yellow house down the road! I think they must have been allowed to pick their paint color off the Martha Stewart Cape Cod Color Palette. Everything here looks the same, and although it is quaint and distinctive, I am hesitant to call it boring. Cape Codders (Codites?) would kill me. They have a good sense of humor, Miles gets a kick out of this sign. Sunburn report is: Nick: back, fairly major, used no sunscreen Caroline: back, major, used sunscreen, in water a lot, no re-application Miles: none Elise: minor on nose, and where Nick missed on her back
After beach, we loafed around the house, and Nick and I went to the store for provisions. Caught up some laundry, did a lot of reading and played outside.
We got up and head to the beach first thing. We jump right in the Atlantic, the water is about 68 degrees and perfect. We have to wade out to our knees through some icky seaweed, but once you are past that, it is really nice. There are not really big enough waves for boogie boarding, so we just float along on them, having a good time. I said “pschw!” every time Caroline and I went over a wave. Uncle Matt found some huge whelks, which were very cool looking to everyone but Caroline. It was basically a giant snail to her….We come back and shower and change, we are due to the graveyard at 3:00.
We caravan over there with our various GPS devices, and figure out where the Baker Family plot is. Here is the obelisk!
Here are Stanley Baker SR, and Stanley Baker Junior. Grandmother Evelyn did not want to be buried in an urn, so this is the same urn that Stanley Baker Jr was buried in 25 years ago, which Evelyn, Meredith and Zoe dug up the next day, and dumped the ashes into the ground to save the urn. Evelyn thought it was a shame to bury such a beautiful thing, and it was expensive! The Baker women are nothing if not pragmatic. So we each put some of the ashes into the ground, and then the kids moved all the dirt back. Meredith and Loring said a few words, and we took a few group photos. This is everyone who is related to Evelyn, both by blood and marriage.
Then we went off to another graveyard to see Mad Jack Percival’s grave, he is the great great great uncle of my kids, I think, if I have been taking notes properly…. The other relatives buried here are the ‘Fish’ family. Here they are:
We went back to the house for a fantastic dinner. Grilled veggies and swordfish and Cape Cod Cod.
Today we got up and got packed and ready to hit the road. Nick went to Wal-Mart (it was near! Don’t judge!) to get some provisions for the road. Apparently they do not sell produce there. Weird. We get rolling, and hit traffic, as expected, across the George Washington Bridge. It never let up until we were out of NYC, and even then, only briefly. People complain about traffic in Seattle, but it really has nothing on this area, holy moldy! We go about 5 mph all the way across Connecticut, and it finally lets up until just before we get Cape Cod. We creep along for a while, and then finally see this sign!!
Yay! We get a call from Grandma Meredith that we are invited to a BBQ at Jody’s cousin’s house. So we go there first, and have some dinner and beer, and then head to the house. Good thing we have GPS, all the roads and landmarks look the same!
From the beginning we have made a pact as a family NOT to sing THIS SONG at all today. Originally, we were going to go out to see the Statue of Liberty, but realize that that is a big hunk of a day, and decide to just explore the city..... So, we head into NYC from Secaucus on a cool train, Miles is SO excited, and a little sad it wasn't a longer ride... We get off in Penn Station, and start walking, taking in all the sights. We make a stop here at Bryant Park as an homage to Tim Gunn....
Then head up towards Rockefeller Center, and stop off at American Girl Place!! Caroline has always wanted to go there, and achieve her lifelong goal of getting her photo put on the front of the AG magazine. Done!! Miles and Nick were able to tolerate about ten minutes of the store until they started breaking out in hives, due to the amount of estrogen floating in the air there, and went outside in search of pretzels. Then, much to Miles' delight, and lifelong dream achievement, we took the subway up to Central Park West to the museum of Natural History, where we wander around, play with magnets and use the restrooms. Then we take a little walk through Central Park (I always wanted to do that). And go to Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon Memorial. We are a little tuckered, and spend some time on a shady bench, watching people from ALL OVER the world come to take their photo here. Then we walk back to Times Square, see the Ed Sullivan Theater, ...find Caroline's comedy club we did not know she was running... Managed to not buy the world's largest chocolate bar. Watched these dudes breakdancing... ....walked around Times Square at night... ....and took a taxi back to Penn Station. Good thing we have a car day tomorrow, our little feet are tired! A full NYC day!
We got up a bit late this AM, I couldn't run, it was POURING rain, and I did not bring rain gear. I have a limit, and it is vacation and all....We packed up our gear, and headed north out of Annapolis. Thank goodness for the GPS! (That turned out to be the theme of the day) We drove to Philadelphia, to get a good dose of American History. The kids really want to see the Liberty Bell. Along the way, we get some good information off this van.
....good to know. We get to Philadelphia, and find parking (!) and get out and walk around Independence Square, where all the historic buildings are. You need tickets to go inside, and we do not have them, and they are out of them. We enjoy them anyway from the outside....This is Independence Hall where the Constitution was written and signed.
We went to the Liberty Bell Exhibit, which you do not need tickets for, and learned a LOT about the ol' Bell. There has been TONS and TONS of paraphernalia made with the LB image over the years. Nick will not let me get this clock for the living room, and I really want it. He has no taste.
There is part of the old bell here, so you can 'touch liberty'. Of course we don't pass up that chance. We found out that this is actually the third bell made from this material, as the first two cracked!! A helpful ranger told us a bunch of stories about the bell, which I kind of forget. But it cracked when they were ringing it for George Washington's birthday in the 1840's. It was just a hairline crack, but they drilled the bigger crack into it for it to get the 'ringing' sound back into it. Then it cracked more, but they just took it down and replaced it. They tried to get their money back from the company in England that it came from for being defective, and arriving in damaged condition, in the 1970's, but they said they had to send it back in the original packaging. Ha ha. Then
We went outside and walked around and saw these jokers. We think they might be Farbs, though. Then we headed over to the Reading Terminal Market, and walked around a bit. Very much like Pike Place Market, but with more places to sit to eat. We decide that while in Philadelphia, the obvious thing to eat is a CheeseSteak Sandwich.... And we are right....yum! Then we hop back in the car, and head for NYC. We use every piece of technology that we have, the GPS, the Google phone, and my phone to figure out where to go. AAA is great and all, but their state maps are just not detailed enough sometimes! We are trying to go to Hoboken, NJ, and I called Marriott, and with all our accumulated points, we get 2 nights at the Marriott in Secaucus! (there is no Marriott in Hoboken....) We get there and check in, nice room, here is the view! Then we decide to go into the city, and drive around at night and see some sights. We go to Times Square right away, and WOW, what a madhouse. People really do drive like maniacs, and the pedestrians have no fear. The lights are blinding, and Miles said, it's practically day here! Then we drive over to Battery Park, to see Lady Liberty all lit up at night. It was awesome until Caroline saw two rats. Another full day!!! Whew, we are ready for bed.