Monday, November 10, 2014

New England: picture scrapbook of most recent cross country road trip (warning: this is a break from ministry stuff. pure family fun.)

My kids are troopers! Such pros at making sandwiches at random rest stops across the country ;-) 

Many families have hobbies, things that are part of their family culture. Oftentimes these things aren't always enjoyable when there are small children involved. But then they pay off in the long run, so its an investment into the health of the family. (When I was young, my parents put a huge investment into us skiing. I gotta tell you, it was not always enjoyable for them to lug around a 3, 5, and 7 yr old with all their winter outerwear and ski equipment. and yes, we started that early. every weekend, every winter. there was ALOT of crying and complaining. i remember. but hey, after we grew up a little, we had so much fun doing that special thing together.) We don't have the time or resources to invest in any of the usual things (dance, sports, or music), so, sort of out of necessity but also because I love it, I decided traveling should be our thing! I was trying to remind myself of this as I sat for what seemed like an hour in traffic, just trying to get across the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan, by myself with the kids, in quite cold and rainy weather. I just wanted to take them to New York! It was right on the way. I wanted them to see it. Alas, as it worked out, they didn't get to see any of the commonly accepted important things. Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Plaza where Patrick and I got engaged, Central Park. But hey: they got to see Little Senegal, people!!!! ;-) 

 Where they drank bisaap, buiy (no idea how to spell that, actually), ate some really wonderful fish and rice (the best I've had in the US), and heard an awful lot of Wolof, French (the lingua franca of West African immigrants) and a few other African languages, and experience an actually quite authentic African market. After which, Caroline informed me that she wasn't too sure about (my paraphrase) people who wouldn't speak to her in English. Instead of being worried, I prefer to think she's doing well by being aware, at 3, that people even speak different languages, and that her heart (and first, hopefully) language is even called English.
Cross cultural mission accomplished. And then we left Harlem and went, over the course of many hours in traffic, through every increasing areas of, well, whiteness, until we reached. . . 

Cape Cod! (Yes, I am that parent, who regularly says to my parents, you guys don't know how lucky you are, most people never get to have these experiences! I'm afraid I've already worn that one down. Already. ;-) 

Oh how we love Auntie Lara. She graciously hosted us for a full 5 days, alongside her unbelievably busy regular life. She toured us around, showed us many wonderful places, and hooked us up with so much even more wonderful food. And we do love food. And fall. And water. All things that the Cape has plenty of. 


A foghorn went off, apparently. 

I borrowed Lar's nifty bike, and she found rentals for the kids, so we were off to explore. Event a picnic in that cute little basket. 

Right after this picture, my adventurous boy went one rock too far, and took a somewhat polar plunge. all the way up to his armpits. live and learn! 

Grandma Jan, thank you for the recent surprise in your card. The kids used it to get ice cream! 

We found so many horseshoe crabs. 

A pizza place up there has such a great name. I used the bag all week. :-) 

Since early US history was just last year for us, we had a great time doing some of the historical stuff in Boston. Learned alot of new things. Like Paul Revere didn't actually shout "The British are coming." That would have been silly, as he was British at the time, as well as everyone else around him. Who knew? Other than everyone in Boston. 

ok, there's a slight chance the kids enjoyed feeding the squirrels in the Boston Commons more than the Freedom Trail Walking Tour. They actually came up and ate out of their hands. Normally I think wild animals should scavenge, not eat french fries. But you know Caroline. I just didn't have the heart to stop her. I sure hope they enjoyed our french fries. They were fresh rosemary and sea salt french fries, from a super yummy food truck right there. How come we've never lived in a place with food trucks? Somehow I'm not sure if street food in Nairobi will be quite the same. . . :-) 

The ducks, in the Boston Commons. They're famous. Not sure why. 

If you ever go to Boston, in a city where alot of the tourist attractions are not cheap for a family, the all day on/off trolley tour is a great deal. We had a really good time, and the kids didn't have to walk everywhere. 

We stopped at the Harbor, 

and it included a boat trip around the harbor, which was also something you could on and off of, and ride as much as you wanted. 

So we got off on the other side, at the shipyards in Charlestown. Where we found the USS Constitution, and its great museum there, with an even great children museum upstairs. (Donation encouraged. But still way cheaper than most things.) 

They had so much fun pretending to be sailors. 

A Boston icon, apparently. If you are a cannoli person. When I go running, I rarely waste breath to sing along with the iPod. Except, recently, to one song that I just can't help. I'd like to write another version. "All about that food, bout that food, bout that food." Which is often characteristic of my traveling. And incidentally, contributes to the topic of the actual song. (All about that bass, bout that bass, bout that bass. . . ;-) which then, in turn, brings us right back to running! 

Thank you Lara, for a wonderful, special, memorable trip. I will carry it with me through many years in Africa, till next time. 

I promise you, we are now back at work. just about 60 days and counting.