Monday, July 7, 2008

A Boston Kinda Independence Day

I'm breathing smokey but not humid air this morning. Yes, I'm back in California!

Dave and I just returned from four days in the northeast, where we spent the 4th of July in Boston then headed to Newport, Rhode Island for his friend Peter's wedding.

Boston -- now that's a city that knows how to do the 4th of July!

We had a great meal Thursday night with my friend Kathy and her husband Mark at Via Matta, regional Italian food. Kathy drives a Prius and I was really jealous. I'm also jealous because on most days she and Mark ride their bikes to work. So she's in shape and green. It's a good thing we've been friends for 10 years.

We spent the day walking around town, trying not to say too many things along the lines of, "Thing 1 would really like this." When you have kids, your whole perspective changes. Frankly, I'd forgotten how much I love Boston. There are 70+ colleges in the area so one of the pinks will just have to head east so we can spend more time there. Not kidding.

Random observations:

  • A Smart Car parked at the Brookline T station with the license plate "SMAHT"
  • Kathy has a black lab named Beaver.
  • At the Boudin Bakery at SFO, you can buy a sandwich as early as 4am but you cannot buy breakfast until 6am, which is a problem for passengers on 6am flights.
  • Long plane flights are easier when you are watching the full season of Sex and the City that you downloaded to your iPhone.

    • As mentioned previously, Boston does a bang up 4th of July Celebration. Dave and I had dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, The Palm, then headed over to the esplanade on the Charles River to hear the annual Boston Pops Concert. Shoulder-to-shoulder with 500,000 new friends, we watched a 25-minute fireworks show that bested any others I have seen and left us with huge patriotic smiles and ringing ears.

      There were lots of well-coiffed children at Peter and Sarah's wedding, which was sweet to see. Peter's 6-year-old daughter, Anna, had a starting role and it was truly a family affair. The venue could not have been more spectacular -- overlooking the water at the OceanCliff Hotel in Newport, about 2 hours south of Boston.
      I didn't know anyone at the wedding except the happy couple and Anna, and Dave knew just a few of Peter's friends. I love going to events like this and not just for the "it's a happy occasion and we're thrilled for them" reason. I genuinely enjoy going to places where I'll meet people outside my world. You have the most unexpected conversations and come away knowing just a little more about things you'd never even thought about.

      I'd never been to Newport before and it's worth a second look, perhaps not in the high season though. The maritime resort town was founded in 1639 and played a key role in the American Revolution. Newport has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in US and the architecture is quite charming. There are clapboard bungalows in town and then the huge mansions, for which Newport is known for, are overlooking the water.

      For the record, it was very strange not to be with the pinks on 4 July. (I did, however, get a record amount of sleep this weekend.) They come home today -- two from my sister-in-law's in LA and one from camping with my folks. We missed them!

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