Thursday, August 20, 2009

disclaimer: this is going to be LONG
We started our summer vacation on Wednesday the 12th when we headed to Nashville for the night before our early flight the next morning. Before we got to our hotel, we happened to pass a Chuck E. Cheese, and decided to take Anna Kate for her first time there. She LOVED it. Her favorite part was watching "the monkey" (really Chuck E. Cheese) dance and sing.

When we got to our hotel, we decided to go for a quick swim before bed.
After waking up at 4 a.m. to catch our flight I was in a bit of a daze, but excited about seeing friends and going to a concert later that night. While putting Anna Kate's car seat in the plane, I happened to glance at the guy sitting behind her seat. I did a double take and was a bit star-struck. I was 95% sure that the guy occupying the seat behind my daughter's was one of the lead singers for Lady Antebellum, one of the groups we were going to see in concert later that night. Chris tried to persuade me to ask, but I was too nervous that I would look like a freak if it was not him. We settled into the flight and I settled into a magazine. About halfway through the magazine there was an article about the Charles Kelly, the guy I thought to be behind me. After getting off the plane for a layover in Baltimore, we found our next gate and my suspicion was confirmed. Two rows away from me sat Charles, Hillary, and Dave from Lady Antebellum with their entire band. I was SO excited. Since I was in a rush to change AK's diaper, go to the bathroom, and get some breakfast, I did not talk to them before we all boarded our next flight to Hartford. I hoped the whole way, that I would have a chance to speak to them once this flight was over. Charles again sat close to us, and once we landed Chris tapped him on the shoulder and told him that I was looking forward to his concert that night. He smiled and replied, "Oh cool! Thanks." Once we got to baggage claim the whole crew ended up right next to us. Hillary came over and started talking about how cute Anna Kate, Isabelle, and Emma were. That broke the ice and we started talking to them a bit, and asked if we could get our picture made with them. This is the result! They are an awesome band, very down to earth people, and were great in concert that night!
Court and I about to leave for the concert. Yes... jackets for an outdoor concert in August. Only in CT. The HIGH was 70 that day, so it got pretty chilly at night!
We left CT Friday morning and headed to MA to Bobby's family cottage by the ocean. So beautiful and relaxing! We were most thrilled with the 72 degree weather!
Anna Kate feeling that salty sea air in her hair!
Our home for a few days.
We brought the girls a little pool to play in. They LOVED it!
Sweet Emma.
Chris getting ready to go fishing.

Don't think I would ever get used to the "norm" of not having air conditioning like in the North. Anna Kate was so very hot during her naps!
Later that evening after dinner, the boys wanted to go clamming (or quahogging as it is called there), so we gals watched them from the beautiful rocky shore. The girls had fun collecting rocks in plastic cups and trying to spot their daddies when they emerged from snorkeling.

Chris waving while taking a break from diving for quahogs.The guys a small little specks in the right side of the picture. You might be able to see them if you click on the picture to enlarge itTheir catch that night. They ended up going every night but one and caught so many!
Carrying their "treasure" back to the cottage.
We loaded up the Suburban and took about an hour trip to Boston. This was my first time to visit this very old city. If it had not been so stinking hot there, we would have LOVED to stay longer! We started the day off at a playground on Boston Commons (one of the oldest parks in the US, dating back to 1634!). Anna Kate of course loved the slide the best!

A new froggie buddy at the "frog pond" by the playground. The Frog Pond is an enormous wading pool that doubles as a skating rink in the winter.
"Paul Revere is probably the most famous name heard around the Boston area. We were able to see his home and his grave. Really neat! Other famous men buried in this cemetery were John Hancock and Samuel Adams.
"Sometimes you want to go... Where everybody knows your name... duh. duh. duh. duh. And they're always glad you came! duh. duh. duh. duh." Anyone recognize this bar? Lunch at Cheers was fun! And yummy, too!

Tea anyone? The boys and kiddos at Boston Harbor (or "Haaabaa" as a true Bostonian would say it). Dang. Their accents are so super annoying.
The highlight of the girl's trip was definitely this fountain by the harbor! I am sorry about the abundance of pictures from this! This is actually narrowed down! I just got so many cute ones! Anna Kate was cracking everyone up by sticking her head straight down into the water! She LOVED it!

Sharing a cannoli with mommy from the famous Mike's Pastry. They were amazing!
Sunday was a restful day. It was a day to just kick back, hang out on the beach, and take it easy. Courtney and I even got to sneak away at nap time and leave the daddies with the kids!
Breakfast on the sun porch at the cottage.
She actually WANTED to wear her hat. This was a first! Maybe there is some hope for keeping hats on her this winter!
Emma found a rock! Oh wait... that is not a shocker for beaches up North. They are brutal on bare feet!

Isabelle's sand castle!
AK was not the biggest fan of the rocky sand, so she elected to stay in the chair most of the time. Still had fun though!
Tired girls in the "Blues Clues zone" before nap time.
Three cuties who were keeping a look out for their daddies who were out on the boat.
Water hose time! They took turns chasing each other.

Granna called to say hello before bedtime.
We put the kids down to bed a little early Sunday night, so that we adults could enjoy a scrumtious dinner by ourselves! How can you beat a dinner consisting of homemade clam chowder (from clams caught by your husbands), baked cod, crab legs, and lobster that was moving around in your fridge 30 mins. before? YUM.
My first time eating lobster. It was good, although I still prefer snow crab legs!
After a 45 minute drive, a 10 min. bus ride, and a 45 min. ferry ride, we set foot on Martha's Vineyard! It was fun because it was a first for all in our group except Bobby.
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L place. I can see why so many rich and famous people choose to have residence there. We saw the properties of Dianna Ross, Jackie Kennedy (now owned by Caroline), Charles Lindbergh, Ted Danson (this is where Chelsea Clinton's "secret wedding" is rumored to take place this weekend!), James Taylor, and so many more! We missed the Obama's big arrival by 3 days (they were scheduled to arrive today), but the island was buzzing with talk of their coming. Even t-shirt in every shop stating "I vacationed with the Obamas." Funny. We were told that Caroline Kennedy was there with special house guest Oprah. Seems like a fun place for celeb watching!
The "big boat" as Anna Kate called it. A rather large steamship!
Getting windblown while "watching the water".
What a view.
Of course Lily wanted to "watch the water" too!
Fun to ride the oldest carousel in America!

Another georgeous view.
My favorite part of the island, the Gay Head Cliffs. Pictures do not even come close to doing them justice. A must see if you are ever there.

Playing in a field waiting for our bus.
All the girls.

Leaving Cape Cod. :(
Goodbyes are never easy. I was so sad to part ways with my friend! Tuesday morning was brutal. To catch a 6:30 a.m. flight in Providence, our alarm went off at 3:00. Ouch. Anna Kate somehow did AMAZING. This was right before we borded the plane. She fell sound asleep shortly after take off and slept the majority of the way home.