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Summer in Michigan City

6 Jul

Growing up in suburban New York, I never thought that one day I’d get really excited about spending July 4 in Michigan City, Indiana.

But after going there last year and having a great time, that’s what’s happened. So that’s why I went to Chicago this weekend.

Thursday and Friday I wandered around town (about 6 miles of walking, in fact), took a day trip to Evanston to see Northwestern (just for fun), checked out two of Chicago’s leading cupcake places (Molly’s and Sweet Mandy B’s — both of which were tasty, but not as good as the hype), had some custom-made rapid-frozen ice cream at a place called iCream (really, that’s its name), and finally got to meet my friends’ daughter, who is totally cute.

But spending the weekend in Lake Michigan was the highlight of the trip. Continue reading

Sightseeing with Flat Stanley

6 Apr

Thought I’d share something fun with y’all.

At the start of the school year, my friend’s 8-year-old son, Sam, informed me that he had chosen me to represent the state of Massachusetts for a class project. Later in the year, I’d be asked to host his Flat Stanley and take him around to various places of my own choosing. At each place, I should take pictures. For months I waited while Sam’s classmates (who were responsible for two states each) covered the country, and finally, it was my turn. So, these past two weekends, I took Stanley around, showing him all the important sights you’d want to show a cardboard cutout. We went to Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall, the State House, the Freedom Trail, Harvard Square, Cheers, Copley Square, MIT, Sugar Heaven, and more.

I have to admit, it was good, albeit slightly awkward, fun for me. Every time I’d take Stanley out of the envelope, someone with a kid would walk by and yell, “Hey look! He has a Flat Stanley!” or something like that. When I stood next to a Duck Boat to take a picture, multiple people on the tour commented on what I was doing and laughed.

But that said, it was amazing to me how many people knew exactly what I was doing because they’d either done it themselves or had seen someone else doing it. And some were really nice about it. A guy at Fenway let me park in a no-parking zone so I could get a quick photo. One of those Revolutionary War soldier guys on Boston Common posed for a picture with Stanley. And a woman at the Coop in Harvard Square didn’t just refrain from laughing when I asked about putting Stanley in one of the tshirts — she went and got me some tape so he’d stay still.

Anyway … the photos from Stanley’s tour are amusing, so I thought I’d share. Anywhere else you’d have gone?

Sunny Days

8 Feb

Since my parents basically live in Florida, going down there is more like going home than going on vacation.

That said, going down to Florida with my niece, Abby, makes it a vacation. And that’s exactly what I was doing last week.

We all went down for our first full family vacation with Abby. The first half she was with my sister, brother-in-law, and his family, and the second half they were with me and my folks. Continue reading

A Christmas Gift

27 Dec

When I say that visits to Boston by my niece, Abby, are getting to be routine, that’s not meant to say that they’re getting boring. Far from it. What I mean is that Abby comes to Boston twice a year and I can look forward to them now because I know that come December, she’ll be here (same with Labor Day weekend). It’s predictable and routine, in the best possible way. And this past weekend’s visit didn’t disappoint. We had a fun brunch at my place on Friday (with Barrah, Farry, and Scott), a visit to the Children’s Museum on Saturday, lots of Wii, lots of “Old MacDonald” (aka “EIEIO”), and lots of fun. If anything, it was too quick. Thankfully, I took lots of pictures, and that will help preserve the memories. Want a look? Just click here.

It Was a Beautiful Day

25 Oct

People often ask me, “Martin, if you don’t like cold weather, why have you stayed in the Northeast your entire life?”

And invariably, my answer is, “Because of days like today.” Continue reading

More! More!

8 Sep

Abby has learned some new words since I last saw her (in June): “More” and “No.” She said both many times this weekend while she was here in Boston for her family’s now-annual Labor Day Weekend visit to Boston. Nothing was ever enough, and she knew what she wanted (and what she didn’t want). Suffice it to say, a great time was had.

Abby’s an exhausting little girl now, but an endlessly fascinating (and fascinated) one. I loved watching her walk all over — my apartment, an open field, a playground, Farry & Barrah’s apartment, the Pru and Copley malls, the Public Garden, Boston Common, the B.C. campus … you name it, she was there exploring every nook and cranny. Abby’s been to Boston before (most recently in January) but each time she comes, she’s more aware of and curious about her surroundings. I could sit and watch her wander around for days and days. And that’s pretty much what I did.

And, as if Mitzi and Jason didn’t have enough to tire them out with chasing Abby around, they also got a little bit hooked on my Wii (Mitzi especially). Who knew they’d like it so much? It’s safe to say that when the three of them left on Monday, we all wanted a little bit “more” time to spend together. Alas, real life beckons. Thankfully, we’ll always have the pictures to remind us of the great time we had (click here to see them). Till their next visit …

It’s a Sign

16 Aug

While driving through Watertown earlier today, I saw this sign. Anyone know which two ways you can drive on Pleasant Street? Is it really up and down?