Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Day at Sea

We had a wonderful time today on Megan's houseboat. We drove down to Westport and spent the afternoon swimming, fishing, eating and enjoying a day in the sun. We keep saying good-bye to our closest friends...

Click here for pictures.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ari Monkey

It was the weirdest thing... we were sitting around watching TV and Ari walks up to the wall... and he starts to climb it. Why should we even be surprised.

Watch here:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Man vs. Wild

We went for a hike on a small portion of the Appalachian Trail with our neighbors John and Jonah. We drove to Western Mass. and parked my car near Lee. Then we drove about 20 miles north to Dalton and left John's car near the Crane Paper Museum, which was supposed to be near the trail according to John's map. Unfortunately, the map was old, and it took us about an hour to find the trail. Once on it, though, we quickly made it the 4 miles to our first night's destination - the Kay Wood Lean-To. We got our tents set up just in time for the rain. The showers slowed long enough for us to build a fire, but then it rained on and off most of the night.

The next day, we set out around 8AM for a long day's hike. Our goal was to make it to the October Mountain Lean-To by lunch time. We covered the 9 miles in about 4 hours, and we took a long break, enjoying the fire that John started (I took the opportunity to dry out my socks). Then we set out around 2PM to cover the next 10 miles to our final destination, Upper Goose Pond Cabin.

To say the hike was tough would be a severe understatement. Max and I did not do any training for the hike, so it took a lot for us to cover all 20 miles that day. My pack was about 35 pounds, and I paid for my gluttony. But we made it, and the cabin was a real treat. Staffed by volunteers, the cabin has 20 bunks (yes - real bunks with real mattress pads) and sits on the edge of a beautiful, serene lake. Taking a cool dip never felt so good.

We met the most wonderful couple there who were on a 6 month hike of the entire Trail. They "dropped out" in March and have been hiking since. Kelly is a school teacher and Ron is a graphic designer. They both had such a kind and gentle way about them, and it was a pleasure to keep company with them for a few hours that night and the next morning. After hiking only a tiny part of the Trail, I envy their courage and determination. They keep a running blog of their experiences here.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I doubt I would run out to do it again, but it is certainly something we will always cherish.

Click here for pictures.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sophie Turns 3!

Sophie had her third birthday party on July 8. We had about 15 people over for a barbecue. Since I was attending on the oncology service, I was not around to help one bit. In fact, I came home at 6PM, over an hour late. Despite this (or in spite of this), Julie threw an amazing party, and everyone had a blast.

On Monday (Sophie's birthday), we all went out to Ron's Gourmet Ice Cream. Ron's is a small ice cream parlor in downtown Dedham. Of all the ice cream places in Boston, I think this place makes the best ice cream, though other favorites include JP Licks in Jamaica Plain and Herrell's in Cambridge.

Here is a pic of all four kids on their third birthdays. Who has the best hair?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Wet Fourth

Despite bad weather reports, we plowed ahead, and went with our original July 4 plans. We went to Max's friend's house (Itamar) for a party in the afternoon. It was a beautiful spread - tons of great food, a trampoline, and a heated pool. The kids all had a nice time. There was a little rain, but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits.

After the party, we went to Nahant, where we usually go for fireworks. We got to the beach around 7pm, which gave us plenty of time to build a nice fire and play before the fireworks started. I brought with some bottle rockets and sparklers, and the boys all had a good time being pyromaniacs. Sophie and Ari had a great time... until the fireworks started. Poor Sophie was petrified and spent the whole time hiding in her stroller. This year, Ari decided to enjoy them, and he went to great lengths to tell us how much fun he had.

Around 9pm, it started raining pretty hard, so we all got soaked. But we still had a blast - except Zach, who informed us that this was the worst July 4th ever... When we got home, everyone got a bath/shower and we fell into bed, exhausted. Next year, I suppose we'll be at the Taste of Chicago, which will be a little more crowded...