Wednesday, July 5, 2017

America Trip, Part I - Boston, MA

Because I'm not working, and it's summer break, the kids and I were able to take a really, really long trip to the U.S. this summer!  It started with 12 days in Boston, in which Todd joined us.  Then we went to Florida for two and a half weeks!  Todd, however... had to work.  So he left after only 3 days in Florida.

Admittedly, I find it hard to leave Germany for so long in the summer.  There's so much to see and do and the weather is (eh, mostly) nice and we ONLY HAVE THREE YEARS LEFT... But we all got to enjoy beautiful Massachusetts in the summertime!  You can tell I'm not thrilled about having to go back to the land of Bud Light.

Our first family fun outing was to Uncle Billy and cousin Scott's place in Winthrop for the every-few-years Sears family reunion.  Scott got a great band and cooked up an excellent spread!  Even Grant did some dancing with KK. (Or maybe he's popping bubbles, who knows!)

Steve getting his groove on with Favorite Auntie Helen.

Kyle and Abby were so cute!  We missed Becky and Josh, though!

Maybe the funniest part of the day was Todd and Steve flying kites together.

A little slow dancing for these two lovebirds.  Carole and I both fit perfectly in the armpits of our husbands!

Flying kites with distant cousins.

The only way this picture could have been cooler was if there was a 787 coming in to land at Logan.

Horsing around (bulling around?) with Uncle Steve, who made it up for the reunion and to see us for the weekend!

Hanging with the fam.  It was warm and we were thankful for the tent!

Uncle Billy's beach is so beautiful.

We had quite a crowd at the Sears family reunion!  Lots of cousins, second cousins and more.

Walking back to our car down the street from Uncle Billy's house... a beautiful view of a plane landing at Logan. I even spy the Zakim bridge!

You know you're in Massachusetts when you have a Dunk's Styrofoam cup plastered to the front of your car.

The next morning after church, we stopped at Stop and Shop.  Only the basics, folks.  Only the basics.

I am not even sure what's going on here, as usual.  How does the saying go?  The family that brushes together, stays together?

Over the weekend, the family stuck around to hang with Steve (and, I like to think... us!).  We enjoyed some snacks and random Independence Day accoutrements!

To quote Grant... "Oh myyyyy..."

Sunday was a day for the annual Bean (Grampy)-Natalie birthday party.  His birthday is on the 15th and hers is on the 20th so we always celebrate them together!  I love the numbers on the cake.  He turned 81.  She turned 10.  Together, they were 810!  Grant even felt the need to help Bean out with his candle blowing!

Not sure why this picture made me laugh of Madison offering Bean some cake!

Opening presents with cousins is much more fun!

On Monday, we went to White Horse Beach.  Yes. They are freezing.  No. I did not get in.

My silly little guy having a cheesy poof snack on White Horse Beach.

The super coolest thing happened too... One of my besties in the entire world (who I've been to many other countries with besides America) messaged me and told me that she and her gal Michele were going to be in Plymouth and that we should meet up for dinner and drinks.  What?  YES! My only regret?  No picture with Michele!  WTF!?  That's what she gets for being across the table!  

And you wanna know something cool?  Todd dropped me off and picked me up JUST like my dad would do ha ha!  

On Tuesday, we got to have dinner with and hang out with part of the Wilmington crew - Rob and Nadia.  We had an excellent dinner at Tavern on the Wharf in Plymouth! 

After dinner with the Gillis (ugh I can't even.  Gillises?  Gillis's?  Gillis'?  Forget it, you get the picture...), we went in search of ice cream (man... how can I not call it eis?)  Instead, I found myself a Frankfurter! German humor follows me to Plymouth!

Ha ha.  This is me about every day of my life.  But it's good to know the family I married into feels the same way about their devices!!!!

Later in the week, I was super fortunate to go hang out with my besties, Sara (see above) and Heather.  Long story... it started out nearly disastrous with the rental car pretty much almost dying, requiring the dearest Aunt Betty to drive Natalie and me to the Braintree T station, taking the red line and the commuter rail out to Ashland and poor Todd having to make several trips to Hyannis to get a new car! (I won't mention... ahem... how he had to walk all the way back from the Market to Great Island!)  

Anyway... I think Sara summed it up best after our fun dinner and drinks:  "If I told these ladies I had just burned down my house on purpose, they'd give me a drink and offer me a place to sleep.  Find your tribe and love them well, people."  When we moved to Germany, these two were the hardest to leave.

My bestie (ahem personal driver) Heather dropped Nat and I off at the American Girl store in Natick on Friday because well... she rocks.  We spent some time (and money) there before Todd and Grant picked us up and we did a quick little drive tour of Natick, going past our old home on Speen Street.  We'll be back again, Natick!  We miss you!

The weekend (our first of two) arrived and it was time to head up to New Hampshire to hang out with the Wilmington Crew!  The O'Brien's have the BEST pool, and the BEST snark juice and they are the BEST friends!  The weather was awesomely hot and OB grilled for us all day.  It was so, so awesome to see (most of) the Wilmington crew... the Cucci's, the O'Brien's, the Collins's, Joe McF, and even a surprise guest appearance by none other than Greg Catanzano of California! Talk about a surprise!

By the evening when the adults were still playing, the kids got to watch a movie and Nat made a few bucks for wrangling some Collins and O'Brien kids and making sure they didn't escape the house!

I kind of love this girl.  Me and my Mandy.  I think it's really cool that Todd's friends married such amazing women.  Mandy and Karen and all of the beautiful Wilmington crew ladies are just so much fun.  Wish we could be there this summer for the annual Wellfleet visit!  (Don't worry, we come home in 3 years!)

On the morning of the Fourth of July, we went down to the downtown Plymouth area to check out the parade!  

Kabooms!  Nice reenactment of some Revolutionary War gunfire.

Captain America stopped by.  Would have been cool if it had actually been Chris Evans, but whatever!  He let Nat hold his shield!

Yay for the Army!

You've got your patriotic Revolutionary War (around the corner) gunfire.  You've got your random Trump supporters.  You've got Captain America.  You've got the Girl Scouts and bands and winning baseball teams and... you've got a blow up dinosaur in the back of an old tyme fire truck!

It ain't summer in Mass until theirs lobbies and ummmm... kartoffelsalat?

Don't mess with a woman and her cracker.

Kathleen, me, Grant, Seth, Madison, Natalie, Bean and Todd enjoying some s'mores on the fun little fireplace out on the back deck!  Now that's a good Fourth of July!

After dinner and s'mores, Grant was having a blast riding on his cousin Seth's back.  Yes.  For the record, Seth is taller than me.  That's it... I'm destined to always be the smallest Bailey!

Grant just had a blast doing this!  Aren't my son and godson so stinking cute together!?

Next up, flying to Tampa for two and a half weeks!


  1. What a nice and exciting, even if brief, homecoming! 3 years left in Germany. You're right, those years will go so quickly! Look forward to your Tampa adventures! By the way, have you ever swam with manatees?

    1. I haven't ever swam with them, but I have seen plenty of them! I saw some on this past trip, in fact (in the wild, not in an aquarium). Three years, yes... but I kind of never want to leave!


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