I Think I'll Go to Boston

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My 30th Birthday.

It started with an early morning wake-up call in the form of our alarm clock. We got up, showered, put the finishing touches on packing, got everything in the car, and woke Nora. She was in pretty good spirits--I think she knew we were going on an adventure. :)
Nora enjoyed breakfast--dry cereal and a banana--on the way to the airport.

We checked in, got ourselves through security smoothly (despite carrying on EVERYTHING, no checked bags!), and arrived at the gate comfortably, but with fairly minimal time to waste. This was the first time that Nora was old enough to be aware of where we were and what was happening. We talked about the planes out the window, and she mimicked the word, "Pane!"
Soon enough, it was time for us to board and find out that traveling with a toddler is A LOT harder than traveling with a still-pretty-squishy baby. HOLY COW. It wasn't long before I knew that we had made the right decision to take a SHORT trip for Nora's last "infant in lap" flight, because girlfriend would not sit still. And needed to touch EVERYTHING. She put the tray table up and down about 45 times before we even took off.

And through trying to distract her with movies on the iPad, we discovered that they didn't hold her attention nearly as well as they usually do since she couldn't hear it very well. Awesome. (I'm now on the hunt for some kind of toddler headphones.)

We pretty much let her be a monkey (without disrupting any passengers around us) and play with any and all of our electronics, until we had to prepare for landing. At that point, we did what any parent desperate to keep their child in one place would do. We brought out the SNACKS. The NEW snacks. Kix was not working anymore, so Nora had her first-ever granola bar.
As expected, she thoroughly enjoyed it. So, the lesson here is to bring not only snacks, but TREATS. Things that you never let them eat otherwise. Take note, my fellow toddler parents.

Soon, we were in Boston, collecting our bags from gate check, and making our way through the airport to find the T. Got ourselves multi-day passes, got on the train, transferred trains, and then very easily found our hotel (Doubletree Boston Downtown, right across the street from Tufts Medical Center on Washington Street). Go us. It was about 11-11:30 at this point, so it was a bit early--but we were lucky in that we were able to check in. Got a little settled, then wanted to go find lunch.

By this point, Nora was overdue for a nap, so I reclined her in the stroller--shout-out for the fully-reclining Chicco Liteway--and we walked. Ten minutes in, and she was out like a light.
We walked for a bit longer down Stuart Street to check out some restaurants, but ultimately decided to do something easy and VERY casual. Slices of pizza at a small place called Boston Kitchen Pizza, right by the hospital. Nora slept through the whole thing.
We tried to make a quick pit-stop back at the hotel to change my shoes (my flip-flops were already hurting me), and Nora woke up at that point. Not a long nap, but oh well, it's vacation. With sexy sneakers now on my feet, we made our way back out with no real destination or purpose in mind. Just good ol' fashioned exploring.

Nora had already spent a good part of the day restrained in some form or fashion, so we wanted to check out Boston Common and let her run a bit (if she so desired). We were making our way over there and were very close when all of a sudden I noticed this woman--who was walking toward us--start slowing her pace and pointing at me. I looked at her and she said to me, "Wait. I know you." If I'm being completely honest, I was thinking, "Nope, you don't. Mistaken identity!" And I almost told her as much. But then she said, "I read your blog!"

Stop the presses. This is the first time that anyone has actually stopped me on the street because of my blog, y'all. Some of you have confessed to spotting me (or us) out and about--close to home, and on our travels--but you've always told me after the fact. No one has ever actually said hi!

So, Kelly, thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you. Maybe others will be encouraged to say hi in the future, if you can attest to the fact that I'm nice and very approachable. We appreciate you saying hi and welcoming us to Boston. And, of course, thanks for reading.

After a short stop-and-chat, we were at Boston Common.
We did let Nora run a little.
We even took her to a playground, but it was SUPER crowded and our girl was mostly frozen in place, overwhelmed by everyone there was to look at.
We stopped by Cheers to take a few pics.
Then we went back toward the green space and checked out the Boston Public Garden. :)
It was a beautiful day, and a very pretty spot. What a great time of year to visit Boston.
More snacks. I swear, they are key for traveling with a toddler. KEY. (In this case, goldfish crackers. Another thing we don't give her at home.)

We walked around more and got our bearings a bit. Found a CVS to stock up on a few things. And then, honestly, by this point, we were just tired. It was mid-afternoon but it had been an early morning for us. We decided to go back to rest up a bit and relax in the hotel room. Michael ran out and bought us some beer.
We had a mini 30th birthday happy hour (complete with sippy cup in the background, woot woot!) while I got to read a million--OK, not a million--Facebook birthday messages and text messages.

Once we were sufficiently hungry again, we left in search of dinner, and ended up at this pub called M.J. O'Connor's.
I got to eat outside on my birthday--something that I love to do, weather permitting--and we enjoyed some time together as a family. We ordered Nora her own meal for the very first time (homemade mac and cheese, which she DEVOURED), had another beer, and some good sandwiches for ourselves.

Happy 30th Birthday to me.


Jo August 27, 2012 at 8:01 PM  

Happy birthday. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Eric's Mommy August 27, 2012 at 8:27 PM  

Happy Birthday! Great pics, looks like you had a fun time. I live about an hour and a half away from Boston but never go there unless it's for work.

Kari August 27, 2012 at 8:57 PM  

Boston is great, isn't it?! Though it's a little rough when people ask where you're from because "you have a southern accent". Answer that question with "Indiana" and see how much crap you get from Patriots fans. ;)

P.S. I love that someone recognized you from the blog!!

Jen August 27, 2012 at 9:18 PM  

Happy Birthday! 30 was one of my best years to date. I love that someone stopped you because they know you! Glad to hear you had good weather while you were here.

Reesa,  August 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM  

Happy Birthday!

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