Boston and Back in a Day

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End Sep 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Shifrin Homestead
What I did
New England Aquarium
Quincy Market

Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today was a bit of a bittersweet day because we had to farewell Uncle Pete and send him back to Montana, but, we also got to spend the day with him and explore some of Boston. After a quick breakfast with Mark and Karen at Maple Springs Farm we were quickly on the road as it was a 2 and a half hour drive to Boston. Along the way, we dropped off Jess in Biddeford to spend the day with her old friend Melissa, from when she had lived in Connecticut. They had flatted together in 1995/1996 and remain in touch (albeit irregularly) since that time. By all accounts the visit went very well, and they picked up right where they had left off. If you're wondering about the label on the picture attached to this entry, they each had a nickname and Melissa Murphy is known as "Murph", that one makes sense, but Jess was known to Melissa as "Freaks!" Maybe it comes from the 'freaky kiwi?!?!?!" Anyway, Jess was dropped off at the side of the highway (yes Murph was there waiting) and the remaining four of us carried on down the Turnpike to Boston. While we drove, Pete searched for parking spots and activities and was able to direct us into the heart of Boston and an underground parking garage within a short walk of the New England Aquarium and Quincy Market.
The kids were very excited to be spending the time with Uncle Pete and we were all looking forward to this quick explore. Tim waited for a table to open up at an outdoor restaurant just outside Quincy Market and Pete took the kids for a walk and explore through this famous inside market. We enjoyed a tasty lunch and people-watched as many other tourists swirled through this famous area. Then we strolled back down the street to New England Aquarium where we enjoyed a quick wander through the tanks and displays, the feature of which was a 50-60 foot tall tank surrounded by a spiraling ramp which allowed you to stroll around the entire outside of this impressive display filled with a myriad of marine creatures including one gigantic sea turtle. Then we walked to the nearby imax 3D theater and enjoyed a production called "Under the Sea". It was a simply wonderful way to end our time with Uncle Pete. We have been so fortunate to spend the time with him lately. From his 10 days in New Zealand in January, to a week in Bozeman, to a week in New England, he has been a constant in the kids' lives. Their relationship has clearly blossomed and he is very much respected, loved and adored by Lily and Eli. He, too, is clearly smitten and his time with them is the perfect blend of fun-loving Uncle, patience and attention, as well as being able to draw a line in the sand when necessary. He is an amazing man and has all of our love and respect. When he speaks, Eli and Lily listen.
After dropping him off at Logan Airport, we made the return journey North to Biddeford, found Jess on the side of the highway and then made the final 2 hour push North up to Weld, Maine and the home of our dear friends Brett and Sara and their children, Mia and Eli (Little E). They were not going to be home but had promised to leave the house open for us. On the way we stopped in Auburn for dinner at, you guessed it, Gritty McDuff's. This is the third branch of this brewpub, and the third time we had eaten there in three days; Tim was in heaven as he had now completed the trifecta!!!!! The final hour drive to the house in Weld was punctuated by driving rain, lightning that dominated and illuminated the sky and just as we parked the car and ran inside, crashing thunder cracks that were loud enough to make you flinch. We were sure pleased to not be sleeping in a tent tonight!!!! We got to the house and there were freshly baked cookies, beer in the fridge and a note on the chalkboard welcoming us. There were beds to sleep in and zzzzzzzzzz.
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