Friday, January 30

Train part deux

After a sit down breakfast on the "sky" - our first one since on every other morning we just hit the egg buffet of one type or another with a side of Fruit Loops for the kid (ps - if you talk with him in real life please note that as far as he is concerned Fruit Loops ONLY exist on cruise ships - Thanks) - we proceeded to disembark, go through customs and claim our luggage that had been placed outside the door like a bad dog the night before - all of this took only half an hour (the disembarking not the breakfast) - then we were in a cab being swept away from the Port of Miami toward the Airport of Miami where we caught a train to Boynton which was "lucky for us" delayed. (wow that was a long sorta sentence wasn't it)

On the train ride the monkey stayed pretty busy by playing Doc Hudson & Mater go to the bathroom by themselves.... A game he made up all on his own. I sorta feel bad that he has been disney'd but take some solace in the fact that at least its not princess's that he's obsessed with. The truth is at this point there's not much I'm gonna do about it because his time with "C*ars" is my downtime - so even though he's not learning anything productive it makes me a calmer momma.
I was sad to leave the cruise behind, but felt like we did really well - not enough to get bored or too cooped up feeling - but a really good 3 solid days of beach going. I don't really feel like we got to know the bahamas at all - sadly you see ports, resorts and not much thats anything like real life but - I did get to read a book, and Em got to spend DAYS with the boy. We all got visibly relaxed as well as visibly sunburned-tanned.

And - WE still have two more days in FL with Gma Anne!!

(I hear that there was an ice storm this week - sorry)

Thursday, January 29

Final Night

One of the only places that our lil monkey-boy/rocket man could run uninteruptedly without too much supervision was around a large sculpture just outside of the main "Palace" dining room on the ship. I took him here as if it was a playground - with no worries of sliding overboard or climbing over the benches into the swimming pools. So in our last hours on the ship it was one of our final visits....

Ah - the luggage stacked outside our cabin door...
My exhausted cabin mates -

while they slept i did a last run through of the ship - stopping at some nice sky gazing points on decks 11 and 12 - I think I may have interupted a wanting to be amourous couple in the jacuzzi on the quiet deck - oh well. I had a cup of tea and walked a couple of laps then headed back down our long hallway - another favorite running spot for our little lightning McQ

Day Three - Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup is an island that is owned by the cruise line - so the activities for the day are all for the folks on our ship. You can catch a tender to the island from the ship anytime in the morning and then just hang out on one of the two beaches that are set up with 1,000 lawn chairs and 800 umbrella's. The ships carribean cover band is at the beach playing music and leading a Limbo - oh how low can you go - contest for those so inclined.

We choose to sit ourselves at the edge of the water and play for most of the day.

As you can see Em & R had a great time

Here is another shot where you can see our ship off in the background.

I spent much of the day reading under an umbrella and both em & i took turns going out for some scuba time by the far reef - lots and lots of fishes!!! The cruise provided a BBQ lunch and there were soda's and bar service on the beach. All in All not a bad deal.

When I made a disparaging comment about the overly white overly obese folks sitting on lawn chairs actually in the water having their frozen beach drinks delivered to them by the boats waitstaff Em pointed out to me that she couldn't think of a more perfect way to spend a day.
So maybe I'll get her on a cruise again in another 3 or 4 years!!! I know the lil Monkey is up for it.

Wednesday, January 28

Bahamas Day Two

Our second day in our Bahama adventure was Nassau - so here we did opt for the excursion & paid a fee to use the beaches (and to some extent the pools) & wander the grounds of the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. This place is pretty amazing - sorta like a Las Vegas Hotel it boasts 6 different hotels with something like 4,000 rooms - some are villas and suites and one goes for $25,000 a night. It has a full water park with MILES of rides (R. was too little to do these so we didn't pay for them - maybe next time), 3 different beaches and a ton of pools as well as a massive Aquarium -

The Dig The Dig is a series of aquariums located beneath the lobby of the Royal Towers and is the world's largest open air marine habitat. Hundreds of different aquatic species can be spotted in the Dig's various tanks such as angelfish, sharks, manta rays, and various types of jellyfish. The goal of The Dig is to provide guests with a taste of life in the legendary destroyed city of atlantis. If one observes the bottom of the floors in the different aquariums, wreckage and debris will be scattered about representing the "Lost City of Atlantis."

They also have a predator aquarium with sharks - even hammerheads and one of the underwater tubes that you walk through so you can be inside the pools.

We wandered Atlantis from 10am till about 2 then caught the watertaxi back to the Port. We were too exhausted to enjoy the "Broadway" show on the boat that night and instead napped from 5-8 then got dinner in one of the ship restaurants.

Tuesday, January 27

Grand Bahama Island

For our first day in the Bahamas we elected to not do any excursions & to just try and find a nice beach ourselves - Em looked through my 20 year old guidebook & picked Taino Beach (I think because it had a playground nearby) - What an excellent choice!!

We got here via cab for an extra $5 over the fare for going into Lucaya
For most of the day there was NO ONE else at the beach....

Looking to the Left of us .....

Looking to the Right...

Happy Happy Em on the beach!!!

Occasionally one of the cruise ship excursion groups would come through and they would all walk along the beach for a few minutes and then be totally cleared out after about half an hour. This guy decided to stick around for more of the day though... especially when we enjoyed (?) our fried conch lunch at the fish fry shack.

Monday, January 26


We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the top deck of the ship as we pulled out of Miami and began our vacation to the Bahamas.
and shortly thereafter R. learned the joys of running laps around the decks of the ship - a task that he continued to enjoy for the next 3 days and 4 nights much to the exhaustion of his mommas!

Miami - Coming & Going

We caught the train from Boynton Beach to Miami (airport) then hopped a cab to the port. R. was great - all week he has been prepping for a plane ride to Florida then a train to a boat to the beach and I think he was really excited to be getting on the train & getting underway - (look at that smile!) The ride & transfer was easy and really before we knew it we were walking onto the "Sky" and wandering around waiting to find our luggage & cabin.

We got up onto the deck to watch the ship pull out of the Miami Port and to watch the sun go down - it was every thing you'd expect on a cruise - wonderful sunny weather, lots of fru fru drinks, loud people excitedly running about, a faux-carribean cover band playing Jimmy Cliff too loudly by the pool - and decks and decks to explore. In short a two 1/2 year olds idea of paradise meets momma's idea of exhausting. We ran around till after dark then enjoyed a bit of Bingo & some dinner. Tomorow = Grand Bahama Island!!!!

Florida Sun-Day

The lil monkey got his hands on our camera and caught a few morning shots - Grandma Anne enjoying her coffee and

Mommy Emmie getting ready for some time at the pool.

We headed out to DelRay beach for some nice tanning time.

The lil monkey loves the beach and has NO FEAR --- he likes kicking the waves and also loves swimming in the pool. This was really his kind of vacation!! He also loved the buffet dinner at the club - especially the desert table.

Sunday, January 25

Florida - Days One & Two

We flew down early (7am - the lil monkey was still in his footie pajamas!) and were met by Em's Grandma Anne at the airport in West Palm - after a short ride we got to her condo at Indi*an Springs and had a great G.Anne lunch - cold cuts, chicken salad, bagels and fixen's, 3 kinds of salad- really who needs a cruise when you can eat like this at home? After the buffet we all had a little lay down and then hit the pool in the afternoon. We had dinner in - it was Lovely!!!

Em had a nice jaunt to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands with the lil monkey & wore him out this time enough to get a nap out of him on the ride back

Saturday, January 24

We're on Vacation

No paparazzi please....

First stop of our First big Vaca of 2009 was South Florida - Boynton Beach home of Grandma Grandma Anne and also of the ever wonderful nature walk at Wakodahatchee water preserve - home to a couple of alligators & some cool turtles.

Thursday, January 22

Momma's Here... Momma

Em is talking to the lil guy about our upcoming vaca ... well until I come home - watch what happens...

Wednesday, January 21

Hill of Death

Fearless sledders - Uncle Dan, Kristen & Mommy (not momma however) take on the Fresh Pond Golf Course "hill of doom" -

You can't really tell from the photo's but this puppy is a straight down incline - more like a street in SF than a hillside in Cambridge. Em convinced the lil monkey to ride down the slope with her - he made a screeching sound that I have never heard before then cried for 10 or so minutes as she carried him back up the hill.
Kristen - with no fear of death - takes the fast sled down the hill - crazy, crazy lady.

Em Hearts Sledding

Couldn't get Em off the tobogan this weekend. She was nuts. Lila & Kris, Dan & Farah all had a pretty good time too. I may have gone down the bunny slope one or two times myself.
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Tuesday, January 20

"My President Obama" - Part Deux

So we are not in DC enjoying the festivities live like Doanie, Jennifer Brown, & Dev & Jesse - among millions of others... but still we have been captivated with Inaugaral Fever here in our casa. The Lil' Monkey still excitedly cheers when he sees "my President - Obama" on the TV (although he did confuse him with MLK once or twice over the weekend. We watched the pre-inauguration concerts over the weekend and watched the swearing in today. It does make one proud to be an American --- I was especially delighted to see the Gay Men's Chorus singing under the Lincoln Memorial.... nice.
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The Moment

Monday, January 12

Happy Birthday Unka Dan

Em's Baby Brother Turns 35 (ha ha)
We joined them for a fun snowstorm brunch at their house on Sunday.

Monday Playgroup

This is what it looks like when our gang takes over. We come down here most every monday - its at the rec. center right behind our house - they have an hour or so of run around playtime with balls & toys and stuff, then snack (animal crackers) and then back to "sit" in a circle for a story and some songs. DeeDee who leads the group is responsible for our guy knowing - Wheels on the Bus, Choo Choo the Big Train and many other preschool favorites.
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Friday, January 9

Adventure Day - Porter Square

Our most recent adventure day came about because NStar turned our power off to fix a damaged electric pole on our street this Friday. So I decided without further ado we would off and discover another corner of Cambridge. The boy was more than happy to don his piglet/bunny knit cap and head up to the "train" for a trip with Momma.

We caught the red-line heading Harvard bound & stayed on to Porter Square - as I figured we could do a little stop at the StellaBella toy store there and maybe if I got lucky a hop into Porter Sq Books. So first we started off walking the wrong direction but we discovered a block or two of Mass. Ave the other way then doubled back toward our toy haven destination. It was really too cold outside to do much walking and it was not a day to scope a playground so we made do with the train table for half an hour or so then I succumbed to "special treat" ...
at the neighboring donut shop.
After a chocolate frosted with sprinkles & a big sweet coffee for me we took the bus back to Central Sq. enjoying the sights of Somerville along the way. Monito was literally falling asleep on the last couple blocks of the bus ride - I had to shake him to keep him awake. Then I threw him in the ergo or "Pack-pack" and we headed home for a much deserved nap.

Tuesday, January 6

Year In Pics - Jan 2008

(Click on the Photo Collage to Enlarge)

January 2008 - we started the year off nicely spending time having fun with friends - visiting the Aquarium, science museum and Natural History Museum at Harvard with our cohort of turning 2 year-old buddies (Lila, Gabe, Jack). Then we were off for a week in San Francisco where we got to see lots of family & friends. We saw the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo with Grandpa Eldon & Joey, Andrew, Robbie & Jack. We checked out many parks and playgrounds - Dolores Park, Duboce St Playground, 24th & Diamond Playground, Eureka Valley Rec Center. Then back to Cambridge just long enough to change clothes & get on the train to NY & Connecticut for Cousin Olivia's Birthday & a trip to the Nat'l History Museum with Grandma & Grandpa. Home just in time to eat cake at Lila's Birthday party.

Feb 2008

Feb 2008 - It was still snowy on the East Coast despite any wishes I may have had to the contrary. Lil Monkey got sick, but that didn't stop us moms from getting to our one movie of the year (Juno - loved it!!). Farah turned 3, Monito hit 21 months, It became the Year of the Rat and many Newfields descended on Boston for a fabulous Farah weekend. Playgroups were on, Lost started up again & we spent a lot of time playing in a dusting of snow.

March 2008

March 2008 - Still snowy on the East Coast - what is up with this people!! We had our biggest snowstorms of the year - time to turn the heat up, stay inside, bake some cookies and order the Cable TV. Em worked a lot of call, I made a lot of Mac N Cheese and we discovered the joy of renting DVD's from the library every week.

April 2008

April 2008 - The snow finally went away - and just in time for us to skip town for our Bermuda Vacation '08. It was the boys first venture out of the US and it rocked! We stopped in Nanuet to celebrate Passover first. Em made a quick run to Georgia to see Holly & Doanie get wed (and also to see Aunt Mel!!). We saw the first flowers blooming on the trees in our playground at the end of the month and we also got to see Grandpa Eldon when he came to his Harvard Law reunion.

May 2008 - Happy Birthday

May 2008 - Happy Birthday Month.

The Lil' Monkey & Jack shared their second birthday this month - the weather cooperated for a party in the park followed by a family weekend in the Shire. We also got up to Vermont to see Adam, Ila, Violet and Sammy. Finally, we said goodbye to Emily, Bill and Xan who are off to Davis CA.

June 2008

June 2008 - Lots of sunshine & swimming. We played in the Berkeshires with the cousins & played in Cambridge with our cohort of 2 year old buddies. We spent time with Lila, Gabe & Jack at the beach, the farm, the pond and the fells - as well as the waterparks in our neighborhoods or in our own back yards. We also got two flat tires on one trip and a new bicycle after mine disappeared from the yard.

July 2008 (not SF photos)

July 2008 -

Spent the 4th at the Shire and enjoyed the 80 degree weather of early July by spending as much time in the water as possible - got back from SF at the end of the month just in time for Em's vacation week that we spent back up at the shire. More sun, more pool and a great visit with Uncle Ritchie.