Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our First Official Family Vacation

On June 29th we left our house early in the morning and headed out on the open road for Boston MA. Excited to finally be going on our first family vacation just the three of us we had lots planned to squeeze into the 5 nights and 4 full days we were going to be there. The drive down was really great. Forrest slept a lot and we stopped in Bangor for lunch at the Texas Road House. Lunch was yummy and Forrest loved it (the restaurant is pretty exciting for a toddler, he sat in a booster seat in the booth with us and ate some super yummy bread with a honey butter on it then he had his lunch and let's not forget that every hour on the hour the staff line dances in the aisles so he was totally entranced with the entire atmosphere). He was so pleasant and excited. We got to Boston in great time and again, Forrest was awesome on the drive there. We arrived at 4:30pm Boston time so we checked into our hotel and went searching for a Target to pick up some snacks and stuff for the room (the room had a microwave and a fridge so we wanted to have stuff there for snacks and milks and stuff for Forrest). It was quickly getting late and since Boston is an hour behind our time it was really getting late for our little man so we stopped at Friendly's for a quick bite and never ever again will we got here - absolutely awful and disgusting. It may have been quick but we would have been better off stopping at McDonald's or Burger King than go there. We went back to the hotel and put Forrest to bed and well - that first night was H-E-L-L! He didn't sleep at all and was up at around 1am pretty much for the day. So of course this meant mommy and daddy didn't get any sleep the first night either. So we started Saturday off a little rough. We were all tired and cranky but decided to make the best of it and go out and do something since we were there for only 4 full days and had a lot of things we wanted to do and see. We headed to Fenway Park for a tour of the stadium.
We stayed just outside of Boston at a hotel in Saugus and so each day we drove to the Subway station closest to our hotel, parked our car there (for $5 a day) and took the Subway to everywhere we wanted to go in downtown Boston. Living in Seoul for a year really got us aquainted and comfortable with public transit.
After Fenway we walked around the area and headed home for an early night where we just ordered a pizza to the hotel for supper and put Forrest to bed. Evenings we tried our best to keep Forrest on his regular schedule. He just does so much better on his schedule and routine. So keeping his bedtime when we weren't home for naps during the day was pretty important. He did nap during the day while we were out (except for the first day when we were at Fenway Park and he hadn't slept the whole night before and had a very tired/exhausted mom and dad). He would just crash in his stroller and slept pretty well like that during his naps.
Sunday we were up bright and early - and by bright and early I mean 5:30am early - keep in mind a toddler has no concept of a time change so 5:30am Boston time was 6:30am our time and this would be his usual wake up time. We got up and got the day started. We went to an iHop down the road for breakfast and then John wanted to attempt to drive into the city since it was Sunday and he figured it would be the best day to attempt the drive traffic wise. We were meeting up with friends later in the morning so we thought we'd take a ride in since it was only early. We drove into the the area of Boston where TD Garden's was and John asked a security gaurd there where would be a good spot to park. Lucky for us we found out that on Sunday's parking is free and since we were there so early there were plenty of spots so we found a spot nearby and went into TD Gardens. From TD Gardens we took the Subway to the area of the city where the Children's Museum was. Forrest and I were meeting Amy and Addy there to check out the museum and John was going to do a Brewery tour with Tony (Amy's husband) and his friend Andrew. **More on Amy, Tony & Addy in a bit**
  Forrest absolutely LOVED the Children's Museum. His face lit up and he had so much fun playing and there was a big wooden train set which he couldn't get enough of. Seriously, that was something he rarely left and only came over to me a few times to give me a huge grin and then run back to the train set. Amy and I got to chat while we watched the kids play and it was really great getting to chat face to face.
After the Children's museum Amy and I met up with John, Tony and Andrew and had a late lunch at a yummy place close by called "Boloco". They had all kinds of yummy Buritos and it was really really good. We fed Forrest and Addy at the Children's Museum so they had already eaten lunch. From Boloco we walked up to the Public Gardens and hung out there for a bit enjoying the beautiful family friendly park. A great afternoon with a great family.
Monday we were up early again, had breakfast and hit the Subway to head to the Quincy Market. We enjoyed the sites and sounds there for the morning and did a little souvenir shopping in the shops there and then had lunch at "Cheers" (Where everybody knows your name ;)
After lunch we went to the New England Aquarium. Holy Moly the amount of people/kids was nuts! The aquarium was good but John and I had been to the Busan Aquarium in Korea (where we went scuba diving with sharks) and it was 10 times better so we were a teensy bit disappointed and Forrest didn't really and truly grasp the concept of the fish behind the glass - to a toddler that is just a year and a half he really didn't distnguish the difference betweent he moving fish behind the glass and television. He did love the penguins though that were running about out in the open exhibits. He loved those and was entertained by those for a long time over nad over again. Super cute! After the aquarium we sat outside and had a Ben & Jerry's ice cream called 'phish food' and took in the sights around the waterfront. That evening for supper we went to....wait for it...Hooters! haha! It was right across the street from our hotel and I thought it would be kinda funny to get Forrest's picture taken with the Hooters girls before he was old enough to understand the Hooters concept. The girls were super sweet to him and gave him a balloon and of course just thought he was the cutest so when it came time for the picture I thought he'd be fine but he wasn't having it. He would not go with them at all and clung to his daddy so John jumped in the picture with him and this is what I got which I think is absolutely hilarious!!
Tuesday morning after breakfast we went to Harvard University. We toured around the campus and went in and out of a few buildings. We didn't go on a guided walking tour and to be honest I'm glad we didn't because we just went on our own and went in and out of buildings and John even scoped out an available lecture Hall which we took Forrest in to snap a few photos. The guided tours weren't allowed in the buildings. Harvard was pretty impressive I must say. We also browsed around Harvard Square and took Forrest to The Curious George Store which he had a blast in. Again he spotted an old fashioned wooden train set and went straight for it. He just loved that and all the kids around. We stayed there for a while because he was having so much fun. We had planned to have lunch in harvard Square at a place called "Mr Bartley's Burgers" which was on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives but unfortunately the owner takes the week of July 4th off every year and closes up shop so we were unable to try out these world famous burgers :(
That afternoon we met up with Amy, Tony and Addy and hung out at a park on the water. It was a beautiful park and the kids had lots of fun playing and sharing snacks. We all decided to go to a Sea Food restaurant for supper that evening and went to Salty Dog in the Quincy Market where we dined on yummy seafood and chatted. We headed home not long after supper and ended our last full day in Boston. The next morning we woke up, had breakfast at iHop and headed out on the road for home making very few stops along the way. We made it to Bangor in good time and stopped there for lunch at the Olive Garden. We arrived back home by 6pm-ish that evening. It was such a great family vacation filled with awesome memories, fun times and lots of smiles, laughs and even a few tears (mostly by Forrest ;)
Now as for Amy, Tony & Addy - who are they? Well Amy is like a pen pal. I "met" her just after we both got married (we both got married in the fall of 2008). We met on a 'baby website/mommy blog' and we were both trying to get pregnant. We bonded right away and kept in touch via email - like a modern day pen pals. We continued to email all the time during the whole trying to conceive period, the pregnancies and after our babies were born. We talk about all sorts of things from work, the world, family, things in general and of course babies. We also bonded over our extreme love of MAC make up ;) We often wondered if we'd ever get the chance to meet in real life and then came Boston. John and I were planning a trip to Boston as a family vacation for June and Amy and Tony were doing the same but tossing dates around in early July. So then once we both realized we were planning on going to the same place we coordinated our dates so that we could get the chance to meet up once or twice while there. It was awesome! And she was just how she seemed in her emails and there was never a dull moment in conversation.
Well enough on to the pictures. Here are a few pictures from our trip (***unedited***)

1 comment:

Amy Jackson said...

It was so awesome meeting you and your family in person! I look forward to next time. The pictures turned out great!