8/2912 - 9/9/12
Last year's Philly visit and roadtrip worked out so well that when we had a date for Cassel's wedding, we figured we would do the same format except heading north towards Boston this time. Plenty of TastyKakes, cheesesteaks, and pizza (of course) as well as seeing lots of old friends, family, and quality time of Miles entertaining Uncle Matt.....
8/29/12, Wednesday: We had an afternoon flight out of Colo Spgs then a layover in Denver where we met Stinger and Ben. Onto Philly arriving at 8:45pm. Miles twisted his knee getting out and started walking funny, at first we thought he was faking since he was laughing. We picked up our 2013 Ford Taurus and headed towards Horsham. Turnpike traffic funneled down to one lane and a crawl. Finally at Stinger's we visited with Mr and Mrs Stinger while eating some Lee's Hoagie House, then onto Matt's not getting there until 11:30pm. We had a Yuengling then off to bed.
8/30/12, Thursday: Miles actually slept in a bit (even for eastern time) so we just hung out with Matt for the morning catching up on life while Miles raced cars around the house. Of course Miles insisted on a tractor ride and seeing Uncle Matt's race car. We met our Uncle Chic and Mary for lunch down at Chickie and Pete's, it was great to visit with them considering its been over 15yrs since I've seen them, and they've never met Jean or Miles. After a nice long lunch we went through Hatboro and stopped to surprise Mrs Smith in our old neighborhood. It's always fun to visit with her as she tells stories of us mowing her lawn for $5, Mr Smith teasing us, and the trouble that we would sometimes get into. Soft pretzels on the drive home, then relaxing, and cheesesteaks and pizza from Soprano's for dinner.
8/31/12, Friday: Today we went to the Mercer Museum in Doylestown. It's a castle packed with over 40,000 items from the 18th and 19th century that Henry Mercer collected and put on display. Lots of old tools and pre-industrial revolution things that reminded us how easy we have it these days! We then drove to Peace Valley park, where we used to go fishing and canoeing. Miles wanted to get his feet wet, but of course ended up head-to-toe wet. It was pretty humid and sticky. When we got back, Matt was helping Miles pet Kermit the bird which ended up with lots of laughing. Next was Cassel's pre-wedding bbq up at their new house in Riegelsville. They scored an awesome place on several acres with floor to ceiling windows, a gigantic fireplace, solar panels, honey bee's, and a "Philly Sports Room" in the basement. Miles limped around playing with the other kids while we laughed and told stories with old friends. It was great to see everyone, like Patrick, Billy, Finley, Pete, Brown, Rocky, Cooper, and Cassel's parents.
9/1/12, Saturday: Saturday was another morning of tractor rides and walking through the woods looking for monsters, then cheesesteaks at Tonelli's for lunch. We all fell asleep when we got back to Matt's due to the oppressive heat and humidity. We woke up and quickly got ready for the wedding at MOM's. We ran into Mulligan as soon as we entered, who I haven't seen in atleast 15yrs. Everyone from the bbq the night before was there, and also Edwards and Doorley. Lots of laughs and telling stories from the old days. Like Jean says... it's amazing we all survived. Several great beers on tap and amazing food with braised short ribs, lemon chicken, salmon, mashed potatoes, and zucchini. YUM! Couldn't possibly be a better way to see Cassel and Kim get hitched.
9/2/12, Sunday: We did some wash and slowly packed up at Matt's then hit the road heading north. The first stop was the state high point of New Jersey. They wanted a $20 entry fee, so we just hiked in from the Appalachian Trailhead across the street. It was disgustingly humid and I was pouring sweat from carrying Miles most of the way. We went around the lake, past some interesting people bbq'ing, and up to the monument. Miles and I went all the way up, while Jean wisely stayed outside hoping for a breeze. About 2hrs roundtrip before sandwiches and going further north through part of New York to the state highpoint of Connecticut. This was cool country up here with rolling hills, old manors surrounded by low stone walls, and lots of fancy cars. After a few miles on dirt roads outside of Salisbury we arrived at the trailhead. Miles was still sleeping so Jean stayed with him while I jogged up the steep and rocky trail over Round Mtn, to the top of Mt Frissell (both in Mass), then slightly down the south slope to a giant cairn marking the high point. I was pouring sweat once again back at the car and we continued north through small historic towns in Massachusetts eventually spending the night in Lennox. A fun and productive day.
9/3/12, Monday: A relaxing morning then we drove to the summit of Mount Greylock, the state high point of Massachusetts. Here we went up to the top of the monument then hiked a mile or so along the Appalachian Trail. Miles rode on my shoulders most of the way enjoying the view and pulling at trees. We continued north through North Adams then met Dave Scrivens for lunch. Onward to Boston on this gorgeous blue sky and low humidity day. Jean found us a room at the Ramada just south of town and after getting settled we drove to Boston Common to start exploring. Lots of old stuff in this city! After getting our bearings and finding the Freedom Trail we first went past the Park Street Church (claims to have the most beautiful steeple in New England), then to the Granary Burying Ground. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Ben Franklin's parents all reside here. Lots of cool old headstones with carved winged skulls. Next was the Kings Chapel which was founded by King James II in 1686. The Ben Franklin statue resides on the porch of a steakhouse these days, and the Old Corner Bookstore (where Emerson, Longfellow, and Hawthorne were published) is now Ye Olde Chipotle. Old South Meeting Hall was next, where the Boston Tea Party started, then onto the site of the Boston Massacre and the Old State House. Winding down our days tour was a walk through Faneuil Hall (where Sam Adams rallied against Taxation without Representation) then a beer and appetizer at Cheers. We traced our way back to the car for the over-priced parking and crazy traffic back to the hotel. Miles and I were going to go for a swim, but the water was freezing.
9/4/12, Tuesday: The forecast was calling for rain, but the morning was just overcast... good old east coast gray skies. We drove over towards the USS Constitution and walked through cool old streets of the "north end" lined with gas lamps and up to the Bunker Hill monument. This was near the site of one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. The American's technically lost, but put a serious hurting on the British troops. We walked all the steps to the top and Miles received a Boston Junior Ranger Badge when we got down.... he was thrilled. Over to the USS Constitution and a tour of Old Ironsides, the oldest commissioned ship in the US fleet. Pretty cool being on a ship first launched in 1797. During the war of 1812, cannonballs seemed to bounce off of her hull, therefore earning the name "Old Ironsides". By the time the 30 minute tour was over, it was pouring outside. We got some $2 poncho's from the gift shop and headed back to the car for lunch and the Children's Museum. This place was cool! Miles was running around 100mph in sensory overload. We just had dinner at the brewery/bowling alley next to the hotel and got a couple pieces of chocolate from Boston's oldest chocolate store.
9/5/12, Wednesday: More rain in the forecast so we skipped the idea of a boat ride to the islands and headed to Copps Hill Burying Ground to see more old gravestones. Next was the Old North Church, Boston's oldest (built in 1723) and where Paul Revere's famous ride lead to the two lanterns being hung to signal that the British were departing by sea. The Revere family still own a pew here. The rain started again and we walked through the Paul Revere Mall and did a tour of Paul Revere's house. In front of St Stephens church there are still the old cobblestone streets. We got gelatto in the Italian District then attempted to drive to Harvard. Apparently we're not smart enough to attend there and couldn't even find it! Who needs to see those snooty ivy-leaguers anyway?! We relaxed back at the hotel then went to the Museum of Fine Arts in the evening since Wednesday nights are free. Of course Miles fell asleep as soon as we parked, despite us trying to get him to take a nap in the afternoon. I carried him until my arms were about to give out and then a nice lady told us they have free strollers. Some Picasso's, Manets, old stuff, historical stuff, more stuff, etc. The Ori Gersht stuff was pretty interesting.
9/6/12, Thursday: We packed up and left Boston in the rear-view mirror. We stopped along the way at the high point of Rhode Island, a short jog off of a hill along the road. The GPS had us exit I95 and go through the Bronx, certainly interesting to see and certainly not the most time-efficient route! Near Matt's we stopped at None Such Farm's and picked up fresh corn and peaches then grilled steaks and corn for dinner. Miles was running all around burning off energy from a long drive.
9/7/12, Friday: You guessed it.... more tractor rides and walks through the woods while Jean and I took turns going for jogs in the sweltering humidity. We headed down to Philly and met Hendler and Molly at Steve's Prince of Steaks then took the kids to the Please Touch Museum. This was the coolest kids museum we've been to, and Miles and Molly had a blast. There was a water world, Alice in Wonderland, pirate puppet show, a little town, and rockets to launch from an air cannon. Awesome stuff! We didn't leave until close to 4:30pm and got stuck in some real shitty Friday rush hour traffic. the "611 crawl" as Matt calls it, was terrible. Another reminder why I moved! We dropped Matt off then hopped back in the car to head to Justin's for a bbq with the PSU crew and families. Justin, Space, Hendler, Fanelli, Cover, Fanelli, and Rothstein. We laughed out butts off, played horseshoes, ate fantastic ribs that Justin smoked, and had a grand old time while all the kids ran around like crazy. Miles had a great time with the Thomas the Train set while feeding cookies to Justin's dog. Time went too fast and it was soon 1am, Miles was amazingly still awake!
9/8/12, Saturday: Despite a late night, Miles was up at 7:15am. UGH! I was soooo tired and didn't sleep well from the humidity. It was another lazy morning with more tractor rides and walks through the woods. We had one last pizza from Soprano's. We packed up and headed out around 2pm, of course right after Miles fell asleep. We met Cassel and Kim at Stingers and heard all about Stinger and Ben's crazy week. We drove down to the Sofitel hotel (certainly way classier then I'm used to) and planned to go to the Phillies game despite the terrible wind/rain forecast. After dinner, Jean wisely decided that her and Miles would have a relaxing evening at the hotel and try to get some sleep since Sunday would start early. The rest of us took the train to Citizens Bank Park and over to the Xfinity Live Center.... a Philly sports fan dream come true! This place was amazing with Philly sports stuff everywhere, gigantic TV's all over, and tons of beer/food. We had a couple beers at the Victory Brewing Company until the game was delayed, then canceled, due to the rain. We took the train back towards the hotel and hit a couple other bars. I called it a night around 11pm after Bard's Irish Pub, hoping to get some sleep.
9/9/12, Sunday: 4:45am came way too soon and Jean was up, packed, and ready. I hopped in the shower while she rustled up Miles and we went down to the lobby to get our car and meet Stinger and Ben. After 20 minutes and 1000 phone calls, no Stinger and Ben. We couldn't wait any longer and headed to the airport to return the car and get some breakfast. We kept expecting to see them running through the airport, but the plane doors closed without them. Once back in Colorado we found out they tried to stay up all night, fell asleep, and didn't hear any of their three alarms or all of our calls. As always, it was nice to be home (without the oppressive humidity) and get settled in once again. Jean's Mom got into town the day before and Denali was sooooo excited to see us. Another great trip back east!