The Last Day

Today is the last day of our vacation.  July 19th Sunday.

I whined at Brian to spend the last day out with me and the boys.  I was pleasantly surpised that he said yes.  He has a different schedule to sleep on and is just not in the same frame of mind that promotes participating in activities when children are involved.  Understandly so.  He is a single young guy.  Enough said.

I really was aching for my favorite pastries and I was breaking GFCF today for this.  I was given another surprise when Christine said she would join me too!!  This was going to be a great send off.  I picked up Christine and we went to the “Good Ole Yum Yum Shoppe” in Dracut, MA.  It is one of the few pastry places I know of that still make real fresh pastries right there on the premises.  These aren’t commercially made anything!!  I loaded up!!!!  The place had changed, but thankfully not in any way that would impair the pastry. 🙂

Num num num num num num num.

Then we ventured up to Nashua NH to Max’s Mini-Golf, to meet up with Brian.  We had a great time.  It was getting too hot for us near the end of the course and I wasn’t feeling well and niether was T. at that point, but it was really fun.  I took some rare photos of Brian as I have only seen a few in my lifetime of him.  There were extremely challenging holes and so many were given to close calls or hole-in-ones.  It was amazing and fun.

We wrapped up our game and headed to a Steakhouse for dinner, but T. had a meltdown and needed some rest before we tried a reastaurant type atmosphere, so we traveled to Leominster, Ma to the same restaurant chain and ate there.  All was much better after we had the drive to relax and compose ourselves.  The sun really did a number on T.  The dinner was delicious and everyone enjoyed themselves. 

It was so nice for Brian to take us out today and I really enjoyed spending time with him and Christine.  It made me feel very grateful for my friendships.  It was a nice last day of vacation.  I will miss everyone.  There were so many poeple I didn’t get to see and so many that I hadn’t seen in what seems like forever on this trip.  It was like riding down memory lane.  Miss you all!!!  Thanks for making this vacation really wonderful!!

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Squee!!!!

The first full day of vacation began with me calling a certain someone to surprise her that I was in town.  Surprises don’t work so well when the person you are calling is three times zones away.  It happens that Adrianne was on vacation, herself, in CA for 2 two weeks and I had called her at 5am there.  It figures!!  LOL

Well, She was home now and we were going to play.  I love this woman to pieces.  It kills me not to be with her, like we used to.  But when our kids are older we are pretty determined to be together again.   I met her manyn years ago when I was still with my husband.  She was part of the same coven.  I grew to love her better than a sister.  When I started dating after I left my husband she was a big part of my life.  S. and I love Adrianne and her support has been a treasure to me.  In times of strife with T. being hospitalized she even opened her home to myself and B. so that we might live closer to his ward, until he was stable.  She is incredible and fun and such a grounding spot for me.  It just isn’t a trip to MA without her.

 Today, we were going to Glouster Beach.  We first stopped for lunch at the Boston Market and then headed for the beach.  We were in intense conversation the whole time, catching up with eathother and just having a blast.

The beach was HUGE!!!!  I had never been.  I was astounded.  The water was much much warmer than Maines’.  It seemed like a miles walk from the water to our blankets.  We had such a great time.  The kids had such a great time.

Afterward we hung out at her home to catch up some more.  It was hard to walk out that door.  All I wanted to do was curl up in her lap and stay forever.  I knew that it was going to be a long time till I saw her again.

Good Times

The next two days I can mush in one post.

We woke the next day feeling the sun burns but it wasn’t terrible.  I spent the morning cleaning house, while the boys played.  Then we headed over to Kara’s to spend some time hanging out with them.  We usually see them daily on our visits to Ma.  It feels strange not to be with them more.  The kids founf stuff to play and watch.  Mostly they were hooked all watching the cartoons on TV.  Wow, I could have thought of better ways to visit with my friends I see once a year, but that is kids for you.  Kara and myself took the opportunity to hang out and catch up.  We cleaned up a little too.  That is a big  job when you have to little ones and two teenish children in a small space. 

Pulling the kids away from the TV was the toughest part of my day.

The next day we had a plan.  We were going to the Solomon Pond Mall to meet up with Nicole.  A friend that I have know since I was seven.  It had been forever since we had seen eachother.  It was nice catching up and I hope we don’t stray from each others radar again.  It is so neat to see the poeple from your past with families of their own and find out what they have been up to.  We have both recently found a lot of folks from our past that we both new, so it was nice to find out what each has done to catch up with them as well.

I knew that as our lunch ended I was really close by Christina’s and gave her a call.  Yeah!!  We get to play again!!  Up the raod 5 minutes and we were at Christina’s.  We met Tristan off the bus and proceeded to play the rest of the day with them.  I miss seeing Christina every day like I used.  We had a great take out dinner and the boys had a great time playing with toys everywhere and watching some fun movies.  It was surprisingly late when we were finally wrapping it all up.  Tristan is just so damn sweet. I wanna eat him up!!  LOL

Saying goodbye this time, I knew was going to the last time for this vacation.  That made it hard, but it wasn’t going to ruin my mood.  :)))  Happy!

Woo Hoo!! York Beach, ME!!!!

York Beach, ME is one area that I can easily call my old stomping grounds.  My family used to come up here as often as possible, and thqt was a lot.  Our families’ dearest friend, Helen lived a block or so away from the beach and we would spend days and weeks at a time up here visiting.  My mother was also born not too far from here, in Kittery, so our family had lots of roots here.  This place screams “Home” to me.

Today, I was going to bring my children for the first time in years.  They themselves have fond memories of this place, as their childhood would not have been complete if I had not brought them here for summer beach days and winter walks on the Nubble. 

We drove along Long Beach at a snails pace to breathe in the ocean scents, but we were headed for Short Beach.  We found great parking across from the beach and headed for a nice long walk up and down the main drag for treats and fun checking out all the neat stores.  I picked up tourist stuff to bring home with me for my parents and S.  I knew I would be making my parents very jealous by being here.  They traveled an hour and a half every Sunday while living in MA to attend the church they were married in, before I had moved them to PA.  They miss it greatly.

The boys got half a pound of candy each, way more then they needed but it was going to be a total splurge day.  We walked into shoppes of all sorts and finally picked up some sand buckets and shovels and some goggles for T.  We changed at the car and headed for the water.  The tied was out but coming in.  It comes in very fast at this beach and in no time we had to move our blankets further back to sta outta the waters splash.  The water itself was FREEZING!!!  T. didn’t care and joined in with other children to play hard in the water. B. on the other hand was not going for it.  He gave it a go several times, only to come out almost immediately to play in the sand.  I stood in ankle deep water most of the time keeping an eye on T., freezing pain shooting up my legs.  The rest of the time, I turned on mymusic player and laid down to catch the rays and enjoy the heat of the day.  It was glorious.

About dinner time, I called them out and off we dried and changed back into our dry clothes.  Hop Skip and Jump and we were in my favorite place to go, The Golden Rod.  This beach restaurant is one of the oldest in the country and has the best salt water taffy in the world!!!!  Seriously!!!  I got two pounds of it to bring home to MA and we sat to have our dinner “snack”.  We were going crazy with our restrictive diet and ate dairy and gluten meals.  Mostly the boys went dairy as they had ice cream sundaes at the bar while I had a make you mouth water and my parents jealous, Lime Rickey soda and an Olive and Cream Cheese Sandwich.  It was all wonderful and fun.  We, of course, had great service and she was quite happy to indulge us with anything we asked for.  We watched the hundreds of poeple behind us choose their favorite chocolates and sweets and taffy’s for quite a while.  Then it was time to hit the road. 

BUT!!  not without stopping by one of the most beautiful scenic locations in York.  The Nubble Light.  At least, that is what us old timers and locals call it.  I guess it’s technical name is Cape Neddick.  Weird.  Didn’t know that until a couple years ago.  We pulled into the first parking spot and walked around the rocks crashing with sprays of the waves.  T. played with other children.  B. investigated the tidal pools.  I took tons of pictures and sat on a lovely memorial stone bench and breathed in the world.  I even got to take a couple pictures for a family whom wanted the nubble in the background of their family portrait.  It was very lovely. 

The world couldn’t have given me better weather.  We could see for miles and just enjoy it all.

It was one of those rare perfect days.  Even the traffic was nothing comparitivley. 

Once home we showered and invited Christine over again for another night of hanging out, while Brian was out. 
Great Day!!!

Longer visit with Grandparents

The 14th has rolled in and I am s pending another day with the boys’ father.  We pick him and his daughter up in the morning so he can get some errands done.  Just me and the kids sitting in the car while he runs in and outta places relatively  quickly.  I kept the kids entertained and chatting so they weren’t bothered by it too much.

Then we headed over for a nice day at my in-laws.  Our last visit was very short and was not sufficient enough time to really call it our official love fest.  We were all pretty hungry upon arrival so I left with my mother in-law Lillian to a local store to see if they had anything we could create some lunch with, but with no luck.  T. came with us.  We decided then we were going on out and I stopped off at the local chinese food restuarant.  Not yummy, but filling.  OMG!!  The MSG!!  I thought I was going to pass out shortly after consuming half a plate full.  I hadn’t had chinese with MSG in it such a very long time.  I had forgotten how much I react to it.  It was kinda silly.

The boys were very psyched.  Their father and Grandfather, Eugene, went to the Dump with T. and came back with Bikes and scooters.  It is a veryt strange thing but the dump in these parts is like having a Freesale.  All sorted for you into reusable and trash trqash stuff.  The kids think this is great and so do their father who goes almost daily to find things.  Oddly, enough they find some really neat things.  After unloading, they played outside for pretty much the rest of the day.  That left me with plenty of time to catch up with Lillian and Eugene.  It was nice to chat with them and hear the news of the area and family.  I love them dearly and know they love me, as it is something that is told to me often.  Even though, myself and their son are seperated, they will never think of me as anything less than their daughter-in-law.  It feels good to know folks like that.  I also know, that Lillian hopes that one day we will someday get back together.  She knows its far fetched but that is her desire.  I understand. 

The boys got to have a lot of time to play with their father and give lots of love to their grandparents.  They miss being able to visit them weekly like we used to.  So do I.

That night I had Christine over for a few hours to hang out more, while Brian was out.  Another relativley chilled out day.

The Horror!!!

What an indescribably painful time.

I picked up Christine, to join me in a jaunt up to Rindge, NH for a walk through , The Cathedral of Pines.  I love this spot.  It is beautiful and sacred.  One of my all time favorite places in the world.  If you don’t know what it is, go look it up.

I got out of the car and we walked to the enterance where the bell tower looms above as you walk by.  An right away,, I noticed something wasn’t quite right.  I figured it was my memory hadn’t held onto enough of this place to have noticed the enterance to the catherdral being this low lying and landscaped, then I met upon a clearing.  If you know anything about The Cathedral of Pines, the only clearings are ones for memorial gardens wrapped around the back perimeter of The Pines.  I stood in horror.  I couldn’t grasp what I was seeing.  It was all too shocking.  It was all gone.  Other than the Alter of Nations, everything was gone.  All the huge, tall, spyring Pine trees were all gone.  The lovely benches tucked under the the tall pines that you could sit in and just breath in the peace of this place and look out between the trees the Alter of Nations with Mount Monadnock as the backdrop.  It was alll wrong!!

What had happened?!  All was landscaped mounds as you traveled a path to the a small seating area aroung the Alter.  None of the memorials were kept up in their beauty and serenity.  The paths were overgrown, gardens were missing and dug up in some locations.  The pagan circle that took so much to actually have placed there was now leveled dirt as so many of the surrounding sacred places with in these grounds.  It was horrifying. 

I walked around taking in all that I could manage and we entered the museum and teetered on about all the neat items folks have donated over the years as memorials to loved one.  We entered the main hall and there is was.  An Explanation.  Ice Storm of 2008.  It had brought down every single Pine of the Cathedral.  I just didn’t know what to say or do.  I don’t dare take pictures of what it looks like now.  It is definitely not the same place as my memories held.  Instead I took these:

Ah!! Massachuesetts!!!

Oh yeah, I had finally settled in alright.

I woke and needed to go to our favorite spot to relax and chill in the mornings when we lived in MA.  I headed out first thing for Otter River.  One of the oldest National parks in the US.  My little secret hideaway.   There is an enormous tourist attraction forest not two minutes up the road from this spot and poeple have to pass by this one to get there but no one stops in to notice it’s tranquil beauty and its superb rangers and camping grounds.  This place had Yurts!!  I little river flows through this Park and has two spots along it’s widest spot to swim in. Ice cold spring water.  The color of rust from the rivers bed.   It is usually quiet and deserted.  Just the way I like swimming holes.  I got there before the park rangers, but I was used to that.  We used to come here everyday during the warmer months to swim first thing in the morning, until lunch time.  That is when a couple of families might have shown up.  This was my ultimate turning point for this vacation.  I was really getting a chance to have fun and enjoy myself.  I sat in the sun while the kids tortured themselves in the freezing water and digging huge!! holes in the beach.  It was lovely.  We petted dogs being walked by and took a little walk to the dam and looked at all the plants in the garden bed.  It was lovely.

We left the beach around 1pm and went straight to our favorite store to see any deals that we wouldn’t mind particpating in.  Joblots!!  is a subsidiary of Ocean State srtore, such as BigLots.  This store carries all the mostinteresteing items for such littlemoeny.  We found all our Bobs Red Mill Flours and Mixes for our Glutenfree eating at least half off the regular price and some blets to help hold up our pants and some reading and activity books.  It was fun!

Afterwards was hit  a new smoothie shoppe!!  You heard me a Smoothie Cafe!! in Gardner, MA.  I was floored.  It was lovely withfree Wi-fi, comfy couches, fresh fruit and yummy foods for lunch and breakfast.   We each got delicious smoothies for lunch then headed back to the house.

Shortly after we arrived, we headed back out to have a visit with my sister, Sharon.  We hadn’t been able to meet up yet and the boys really miss her.  So we hung out for a while in Newbury Comics before we went over to the Theater to watch “Ice Age Three” .  That waws a funny movie.  Really cute.  It was good to see my sister, but she didn’t have much time to visit.  She was very busy with school and work.  It was a good time.