My daughter and I spent a fun day with Kimmy Gibbler and her family at Hick’s Orchard where we picked apples and did a corn maze. So much fall fun!
Time with my bestie
The night before we went apple picking (#2), my daughter and I slept over Kimmy’s house. It was so much fun to spend time together.
Kimmy even made a boujee cheese platter. And she made one for the kids too.
My Red Sox Baby
As I write this, it is the bottom of the 8th inning and my beloved Red Sox are playing Houston.
October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant loss day and I shared my story on Facebook about my Red Sox baby. The night the Red Sox won the 2013 world series, I felt lucky (we just started trying) so I peed on a stick and it said I was pregnant. Bryon and I were so excited about our Red Sox baby.
That baby died shortly thereafter but it took a couple of weeks for my body to figure it out. Bryon was so strong for me but one night he cried and said he was sad he wasn’t going to hold his baby.
I became pregnant with my daughter very soon after that so I tried not to dwell on my Red Sox Baby. Because I couldn’t imagine my life without her. This was the hardest thing I went through before Bryon died but I can honestly say that now I am at peace because I know he has gotten to hold both of our children.
I am grateful for that.
And I am grateful for those who talk about it because even though 1 in 4 woman suffer a miscarriage, I never felt more alone.
Red Sox going to the World Series!!!!
Good job boys!
What are you grateful for this week?
Don’t forget to comment or share a pic on Instagram using the hashtag #goodvibrationsgratitude
I just want to note: It’s been a few weeks since I did a Gratitude post and I felt the need to start back up again. We all need some gratitude in our lives. Usually I focus on the previous week but honestly, this week hasn’t been the best. Nothing really bad has happened. No one died. No one has lost their limbs. (#perspective). There have been a few positives but there have been some negatives. Some drama that has taken up too much energy in my head space.
I hate even bringing up that it’s drama because I don’t want to even validate it. And while 90’s fashion has made a comeback (which I love) and I love reconnecting with old high school classmates, I have zero interest in actually reliving those years. I turn 40 this summer, FFS!
This post is going to cover some events that have happened over the past month.
I am sorry if the language in the memes offends you.
Actually I am not sorry. This is my blog and I made the decision that I will express myself how I wish on my platform. #unapollogeticallykerry
I am going to choose to be grateful for the lessons that I have been learning this week. This week has been a trying week and it has caused me to do a lot of reevaluating, especially on the topic of boundaries. Just how much bullsh*t am I going to tolerate? My tolerance level for BS is pretty low, especially considering that two years ago, I was on a journey to Hell and Back. #perspective
I don’t have the answers I need (yet!) but I am searching for clarity. I have been writing my feelings in my a journal and I have been sorting them out. Even though this has been a frustrating week, I am going to come out of this week with stronger character than when I started.
I am always grateful for a trip to Boston to see my Red Sox. I don’t care what people say-screw Disney because Fenway Park is the happiest place on Earth. And I am glad I got to share the trip with my daughter and my bestie.
Fenway Park, 2018
Fenway Park, 2018
Fenway Park, 2018
Fenway Park, 2018
Fenway Park, 2018
Fenway Park, 2018
Fenway Park, 2018
Def Leppard and Journey Concert with Kimmy Gibbler
A month ago, Kimmy Gibbler and I got to see Def Leppard and Journey at the Times Union Center in Albany. The concert was awesome! I didn’t go to many concerts when I was younger. Partly because I lived in Maine and there weren’t as many but partly because 20 year old Kerry did not know how to live.
I had so much fun. The music was so loud and my heart was pounding. Kimmy and I did observe some older people who don’t get out often and were having trouble handling their fun.
At one point, Kimmy and I were in a line at the concession stand. Some drunk older woman gets behind us and starts to rub my back. I have personal space issues to begin with and I was way too sober to let a strange woman touching me go unnoticed. I finally say “Yeah…you can stop rubbing my back now.” Luckily she did.
Best story of the stars aligning right. The only food line with a short line was the fried dough. I didn’t eat lunch or dinner and was so hungry I could eat my arm. So I got friend dough and some of the sugar spilled on me. Kimmy pointed it out and I smile and say “Pour some sugar on me.”
Trip to Cedar Point in Ohio.
Over Memorial Day weekend, my daughter and I drove 8 hour-ish to Ohio. We met up with my Michigan Bestie and my Chicago Bestie and rented an airbnb. Another old friend happened to be in Cleveland and came to stay on night. It was a great time and I will write more about this trip later.
Funny anecdote. I went to the Def Leppard and Journey concert on a Wed and was driving out to Ohio on Fri. As I was driving through Cleveland and I heard a commercial on the radio for the Def Leppard and Journey concert coming up that Monday. I got excited. I hop everyone in Cleveland attended.
I am grateful I got to see my daughter dance even if it was very sad for me because her father wasn’t sitting beside me.
The reality is, I have pretty much gotten used Bryon being gone. At least day to day. Please don’t conclude that that means that I don’t feel a void. I feel a void every day. But I am used to feeling the void and the emptiness.
But it’s moment like this that I truly miss Bryon because this was an event that we anticipated that we’d be sharing together. When our daughter was a baby, we talked about how we would enroll her in a dance class and she would have a dance recital. It’s the memories that we’d anticipated together where I feel the void the most. Because they weren’t just my dreams and plans. They were our dreams and plans.
I has dawned on me that we didn’t anticipate too far into the future. Sure, we talked about doing dance classes. We talked about going to a Red Sox game and New York City at Christmastime. Then there are other milestones like graduations, college and Bryon looked forward to planning her wedding. (He liked to throw parties. I am probably the only bride who had her groom plan her wedding).
We could only anticipate a few years into the future because our daughter was a baby. We did not know what her interests were going to be. That is another realization that makes me miss Bryon. Our daughter hasn’t yet grown into the person she is meant to be and he won’t see it when it happens.
And that makes me sad. I guess I have to have hope that I won’t feel empty forever, right?
I am sorry that I ended this blog post on a heavy note.
Bryon and I had plans. We wanted our daughter and any other children we had to see the world. I told Bryon that I wanted to take a trip to Boston every summer and take our kids to a Red Sox game at Fenway. Bryon agreed and he countered that he wanted to take our children to New York City at Christmastime. I agreed.
In case anyone is wondering, that is a “P” on Bryon’s hat. He bought that when we saw the PawSox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He liked it because the hat confused people…except for true Red Sox fans.
Ironically he is not wearing that hat in the picture from the PawSox game. Go figure. But I like the picture and will still share it.
I always planned to take my daughter to a Boston Red Sox game but I was waiting until she got older. Then I won some Red Sox tickets and decided that there was no better time than the present.
One of my best friends enthusiastically agreed to attend the game with me. Even though she grew up in Western New York, she is a hardcore Red Sox fan. Since I asked her to go, she offered to pay for a hotel room near Fenway Park. Of all the time I spent in Boston, it dawned on me that I have never spent the night in Boston. Well, unless you count the first couple days of my life. But I don’t remember that. I usually stay out in the suburbs and take the subway, commuter rail, an uber or I drive. I was excited to stay in the city.
Our drive to Boston was uneventful. A straight shot on I-90. We didn’t even need to stop for gas.
My friend booked a room at the Hilton Back Bay which was a 0.4 mile walk to Fenway. I don’t know the cost of the room but I can tell you that our room was clean and parking was free. We arrived before check in (meaning we couldn’t check in until after the game) and left the city after check out the next day and the hotel let us keep our car there the whole time.
There also was a pool that was clean and well-kept.
Since we arrived and couldn’t check in before the game, we kept our luggage locked in the car. The walk went quickly. Our tickets told us to enter at Gate E on Landsdowne Street but we entered at Gate D, which was Jersey Street (formerly Yawkey Way).
There were employees giving out stickers to small children and they advised us to go to fan relations to pick my daughter up a “first time at Fenway” pin since it was her first time.
Tip #1: The “first time at Fenway” pins are for adults and children alike. So if you attend a game for the first time- get your pin!
We did some shopping on Jersey Street because I couldn’t resist. I live in New York where Red Sox merchandise can be scarce. My daughter wanted a pink Red Sox shirt and a pink Red Sox hat which I obliged. And a toy Tessie. I may have also bought her a pink Red Sox hoodie.
Tip #2: When travelling with a fast growing kid, I buy souvenir clothing a size or two bigger so it lasts longer. Souvenir clothing can be pricey and this method helps me justify spending the money because, hey, she can wear it for a year or two.
The morning of the game, I was tearing apart my house looking for MY Red Sox hat. I found Bryon’s Red Sox and Paw Sox hats. I found my daughters infant Red Sox hat. But no clue where mine is. I wanted to wear a hat so I was going to buy another and I was pissed about it. But at the store, I saw so many styles. I decided not to get another traditional cap and instead I got the seersucker Red Sox cap.
Tip #3: Diversify your Red Sox Wardrobe.
Tip #4: Seersucker is a classic summer style and it is lightweight. A seersucker baseball cap is an excellent choice for sun protection without the sweat.
My friend did not own a Red Sox cap. She was hesistant to buy one but ultimately did because…
Tip #5: Everyone looks good in a Red Sox cap. It is impossible to look bad while wearing a Red Sox hat.
Our seats were in left field. We began to walk our way over. I decided it was a good time to feed my child. So we stopped for Fenway Franks.
I know it’s not fashionable to like hot dogs but I will always love hot dogs. To quote doug Heffernan from King of Queens, “If eating hot dogs is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.”
My daughter likes Ketchup on everything (yuck!). I like mine the way God intended, with mustard and relish. Now, a perfect hot dog would also have onion but the offerings were ketchup, mustard and relish and I was perfectly happy with mustard and relish.
My daughter’s first Fenway Frank. I think she liked it.
I have no clue what number Fenway Frank this was for me.
My daughter was apparently going low-carb on this meal because she didn’t eat the bun.
Tip #6: Feel free to enjoy food before the game. The concession lines get long and you don’t want to miss any of the actual game, right?
Now you may have noticed my daughter was in a stroller.
I went back and forth on this. My daughter is at that awkward age where we hardly ever use the stroller. I can count on one hand the amount of times we used it this past year (Chicago x 2, Cedar Point and Fenway). She is a strong walker but I knew after walking a half a mile each way to and from the game and walking around Fenway that my daughter would get tired. And then she would be begging me to carry her. And she isn’t exactly a tiny little baby anymore.
My friend also brought up an important safety issue. The streets around Fenway get crowded and it gave us peace of mind to have her buckled into her stroller.
Tip #7: DO NOT FEAR BRINGING THE STROLLER TO FENWAY.
First, I recommend bringing an umbrella stroller, not a large stroller.
There is no official stroller check in but I will tell you my experience.
I took the stroller as far as I could into the stands. I broke the stroller down and went to put it under our seats which is park policy. BUT…it didn’t fit under our seats. The usher kindly told me to drop it off at fan relations and told me where the closest one was located. I brought it to the fan relations stand. The man working was very nice and just told me to put it in the pile of folded up umbrella strollers and that I could pick it up after the game. Which was exactly what I did. Easy peasy.
Our seats were in left field. While I personally feel that there is no bad seat at Fenway (except maybe behind the foul poles) the seats along the third base line and left field are not in the sun.
Tip #8: Avoid the sun by sitting along the third base line and left field. Just be careful of the foul balls.
Mother-daughter selfie at Fenway!
Bestie Selfie at Fenway!
If you are a beer drinker, the only beer worth drinking is Sam Adams, because…Boston…d’uh. Usually I only drink stouts, porters and pumpkin beer, when in season. But I do love a good old Sam Lager. I did try the seasonal ’76 beer. I was hesitant because it smelled hoppy and I don’t like hoppy beer. But I couldn’t taste the hops despite the smell.
Tip #9: When in Fenway, drink Sam Adams. It’s the Boston thing to do. Try the ’76 seasonal beer. And as always, drink responsibly. No one wants to sit next to a rowdy asshole. Even if that rowdy asshole is you.
Speaking of being in Boston, I have another tip. I am sad I even have to bring this up but my friend is guilty of teaching my daughter to say this. I will forgive her. This once.
Tip #10: Don’t ask/tell people in Boston to say “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.” We have heard this before. No one says it. You might as well call Boston “Bean Town” while you are at it.
If it were up to me, I would have sat and watched the whole game. But my daughter is three (and a half- that half is important) and I knew nine innings is too long for her to sit still. But there is a kids clubhouse with games, crafts and face painting. So we left during the bottom of the third inning.
The concourse was packed! Glad we ate before the game because I wasn’t waiting in any of those lines. (Fun fact about me- I hate, hate, hate, hate waiting in lines).
The clubhouse is all the way over by right field. We had a long walk but we bumped into the real Tessie.
We had a little trouble locating the club house but we asked Tessie’s attendants and they gave us directions. I had been finishing an adult beverage (okay, Sam ’76) and I assumed they wouldn’t be allowed in the kids clubhouse. So I, um, finished it rather quickly. But the joke was on me because there is a bar in the kids clubhouse. Don’t worry, you had to be 21 to order from it. The best part was, the lines were much, much shorter.
Tip #11: Beer lines in the kids clubhouse are much, much shorter than the beer stands in the concourse. Again, drink responsibly. Especially if you have a child to take care of.
Our walk took at least an inning. My daughter was playing with some plastic fruits and vegetables. At least the game was on TV’s so we got to see any important plays.
We made our way back during the sixth inning. We took a few photos and my friend procured nachos.
Tip #12: While the nachos were adequate, stick to the Fenway Franks.
We caught the last three innings in the seats. I didn’t get any pictures. I did send my friends on SnapChat a video of the crowd singing “Sweet Caroline”. I have it saved but I am not going to subject you to my singing. I had had a few Sam Adams.
Who am I kidding? I can’t sing even without the Sam Adams. I think my Dad once compared my singing to the sounds of a tortured cat.
So I won’t subject you. Only my SnapChat friends get that pleasure.
The game ended with the Sox winning 4-2.
We held back and waited for the crowds to thin out before rushing out. I am not a fan of crowds and thought it would be easier to manage after waiting for the other impatient fans to leave. I didn’t see the point to hurry out of there to wait impatiently to leave. So we stayed in our seats for a bit and people watched. Then I got our stroller and we left.
Walking back to our hotel…let’s just say that Google Maps took us on a scenic walk. Way out of the way. And I had to pee. Not fun. Spoiler alert: I made it to the hotel.
We checked into our room and then we went swimming in the pool. I suggested getting Boston Chinese. It was 10:30 pm and most places were closing but there was one open until 2 am and it was only 0.1 miles. My friend went to pick it up so we wouldn’t have to bother with delivery. The food was delicious but it was not the Boston Chinese that I grew up with. I was disappointed. The rice wasn’t even brown. Maybe Boston Chinese is a suburban thing. I promised my friend next time we would have proper Boston Chinese food.
If anyone is interested- Dumpling Palace. Good, just not traditional Boston Chinese.
We had booked Duck Tour tickets online for the 11:30 am tour for the next morning.
Tip #13 Book your Duck Tour tickets online and early for optimal choice in seating. They book up fast.
The next morning we checked out (the hotel let us keep our car parked in the garage for no extra charge) and we grabbed breakfast at the Au Bon Pain in the Prudential Tower. The Duck Tours were on the other side.
We got there a half an hour early so we walked around a nearby Star Market. My grandmother shopped at Star Market and it was nowhere near as fancy as this Star Market. This one was fancy. I am going to say something that might be sacrilege to my friends in Western New York but this surpassed, or at the very least, rivaled, Wegmans.
The Duck Tour was awesome. I had never been on a Duck Tour. I am native to the Boston area and I was a history major and I learned so much on the tour. Our guide was Skip the Skydiver and he was hysterical too. I highly recommend the Duck Tour as a good way to see Boston.
Where everyone knows your name…
My friend and I decided that this is something we should do every summer.
You know what means- time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!
Here are the 5 things I am grateful for this week:
I don’t really remember life without my cousin H-bomb. My earliest memory of her was in my Nana’s kitchen. I had to have been around my daughter’s age (3 and a half. Can’t forget that half.) My Nana was feeding H-bomb, who was sitting in a high chair. I want to say that the Price is Right was playing on a black and white TV but I could be wrong. If it wasn’t on, it should have been.
H-bomb has pretty much seen me through all stages of life- hyper kid, awkward middle schooler, high schooler, college kid, singleton, politico, wife, mother, widow and…whatever weird stage I am in now. And she has been my best friend through it all.
Going to the House of Seven Gables
As I said in my last post about my trip to Boston, I finally got to go to the House of Seven Gables. I had wanted to go about 20 years ago but no one wanted to go with me. I was excited that H-bomb and the gang were going.We kept joking that all my dreams from 20 year ago were finally coming true. I don’t know if the spirit of my younger self comes alive more when I am around H-bomb or if I am more in touch with it due to all my self-reflection over the past year and a half.
I am also thankful I am getting this period of time to examine and reflect on my life and choose to live my life more deliberately.
My future son-in-law’s birthday
Okay, I don’t know if this boy will be my son-in-law someday. It started as a joke. This little boy is the son of Bryon’s best friend. He is 5 months older than my daughter and it has always been the joke that they will get married someday.The other day we (my daughter, my future son-in-law, his mom-and one of my besties, her younger son and I) were walking out of daycare. My daughter and my future son-in-law are ahead of us and there is a random lady there.
Future son-in-law (to random lady): I am going to marry her. His mom/my bestie, me, and everyone within earshot: Awwwwww! Random lady: Can I come? My daughter: No.
We need to work on being more gracious and tactful.
This past weekend was my future son-in-law’s 4th birthday and we went to his school party at the trampoline place.
On Tuesday night (the night before his actual birthday) we all saw Disney Jr Dance Party at the historic Palace Theater. Ironically I only got pics with my daughter and the birthday boys little brother. Ooops.
Whether the kids end up marrying each other or not, it is an amazing experience to watch them grow up together and see their friendship grow.
Spending time with my friend Gentel/Corks and Forks Event
Last weekend I got to see my friend Gentel (she blogs here). Gentel and her boyfriend were in Albany for the weekend and invited me to attend the Corks and Forks fundraiser to raise awareness for Huntington’s Disease. I didn’t know much about Huntington’s Disease. You can read more about the disease here.It was a great event. And it was great to spend time with Gentel and her boyfriend.
I hope to see them sometime soon.
Everyone in my life
I know this is a broad one but I am thankful for everyone in my life.For everyone who is there for me and my daughter.
For everyone who messages me and checks up on me if they think I am sad.
For everyone who has offered to help me.
For everyone who listens to me. And for everyone that shares their stories with me.
For everyone who encourages me.
For everyone who sends me funny texts and SnapChats.
For everyone who helps me create happy memories.
I think about close friends, new friends, old friends, school friends, work friends, political friends, widow friends, internet friends, Maine friends, New York friends and former friends.
I truly believe that everyone has been in my life for a reason. I am thankful for all the love, light and laughter in my life. I am also choosing to be thankful for all those who have caused pain. Because that pain has helped shape my character and taught me the importance of treating people better.
I am thankful for all those who have played a role in my life.
My cousin: H-Bomb and her husband Tito
H-Bomb’s friend from Florida
H-Bombs friend in Massachusetts and her boyfriend, The Boat Captain
and Yours Truly.
***I just want to note that I try to avoid using real names for people so I use nicknames. Sometimes I will write and not have a nickname yet. It does not mean that these people are not important. Everyone is valued and loved. It just means I haven’t thought is a wicked cool nickname yet***
My brother, Danimal the Party Animal also made an appearance. He’s not really a party animal. We just used to work at the grocery store back in Maine when I was in high school and he was in college and the produce guys named him that.
H-Bomb is a planner but I suggested we re-create this commercial. My daughter can do everything that little boy does in the video. Heck, she can probably do it better. Because she is awesome.
I had a simple plan.
First, find a Bed and Breakfast that would let us shoot some picturesque shots.
My daughter will run away from the water because the North Atlantic is effing freezing this time of year.
Find an old man with a lobster boat. I will bring my daughter’s life jacket. It’s pink not orange but I think we can work with it.
Find a town having a 4th of July concert in the town common. On a Thursday. In April. My daughter can dance.
Picnic baskets and marshmallows and a bonfire on the beach. Who cares about town permits?
Ultimately we decided against recreating the Spirit of Massachusetts video. But we did decide that should we make one, it would include history, the Red Sox, a whole lot of Dunkin Donuts and Tito said that we needed to film one of us standing at an intersection in Boston looking completely dumbfounded.
Because Boston is not known for easy intersections.
I had arrived in Peabody in the afternoon. We just hung out and caught up.
I spent the first 15 years of my life in the Boston area and had never been to Kowloon. I had always seen it whenever I drove on Route 1. I know my Uncle (H-Bomb’s Dad) always checks in there on Facebook when he visits from Florida. But I had never been. Kowloon is north of the city and I grew up all the way out in Billerica. Google maps tells me that they are about a half an hour away from each other and back then, that was the equivalent of being out of state.
I was not disappointed. It reminded me of the old school Boston Chinese restaurants I went to as a kid. But better.
We toasted to friends, cousins and honorary cousins. We all loved how my daughter joined with her fruit punch.
We ordered several dishes to share including the quintessential Boston pu-pu platter
We seem to have a knack for ordering almost just the right amount of food. We all ate till we were stuffed and we didn’t have much left over.
We all drank our Mai Tai’s and read out fortunes. Complete with saying “in bed” after the fortune. Because I am dork like that and I won’t apologize for it.
The server kept bringing cookies so we kept reading them.
We got our group selfie (groupie?) and then we went back to the house that belonged to H-Bombs Massachusetts friend and the Boat Captain.
I read my daughter stories and put her down to bed. And then us adults played games. It was a blast.
Friday morning brought donuts from Kanes. H-Bombs Massachusetts friend bought so many flavors that we cut them up so we could try more than one. The Maple Bacon one was amazing.
We spent most of the day in Salem.
The kids played. Well, Tito, the Boat Captian and my daughter played.
H-Bombs Massachusetts friend asked me if I knew what a bunghole was and I was like “Yeah…Beavis and Butthead…duh…”
But apparently it actually has a more dignified meaning…
I’ll be damned.
We also got a chance to see the House of Seven Gables which has been a dream of mine for about 20 years. Last trip to Boston my 20 year dream of eating at the Top of the Pru came true. All of 20-year-old Kerry’s dreams are coming true.
We showed up right as a tour was starting.
You can think what you want about the time and date. None of that was going on. I just love patterns and thought that was cool.
We enjoyed the tour and the history lesson. My daughter is only 3 but she was a trooper and very well behaved. Between my trip to Philly the weekend before and being in Salem, I feel blessed for living so close to so much history.
I can’t wait to return to Boston. I also can’t wait to see my cousin again which will be on my birthday trip. I am planning something special for the big 4-0.
Here are the 5 things I am thankful for this week.
1. Being busy
I am writing on my phone while travelling. The WordPress app always messes up my formatting so I apologize for that. I also apologize for the lack of posts and the brevity of them. I had a three day turnaround between Philly and Boston. Well, Boston-ish.
I am thankful for the excitement in my life.
2. Weekend in Philly.
Last weekend I went to Philly with the girls for friend bachelorette party. I am thankful for be a part of it and that my parents watched my daughter so I could be a part of it.
Philly post coming.
3. Boston with my cousins.
My cousin is up from Florida and I took a few days off to spend time with them.
Boston(ish) post coming.
4. Living near history
I love that I live so close to cities with so much history.
5. My bestie!!!
My best friend had her birthday yesterday and I am so thankful to have her in my life.
Facebook reminded me (through “On This Day”) that my cousins and I also did this back in 2007 when our grandfather passed. We all crammed into my brothers car and he drove us around the city. Always a fun time.
And we learned that even in our 20’s, we were still mesmerized by the magic of a slinky descending down the stairs.
Our grandmother died eleven years after our grandfather passed, almost to the day.
The night after the wake, my cousins, my cousin’s best friend who lives outside of Boston, her boyfriend (also local) and I went out for some Boston Chinese at the Peppercorn House in Woburn. (Woburn is ten miles outside of Boston and it is where my family is from). It was amazing and I highly recommend it. The food did not disappoint. My parents went a few nights later and they enjoyed it as well.
And now I have two honorary cousins!
(And my parents graciously watched my daughter at night on this trip so I was able to have a break and spend time with my cousins. Thanks Mom and Dad!)
We ate. I got over my fear of edamame.
We read our fortunes and I made everyone say “…in bed” after their fortune.
Because I am that person. And I am not sorry.
After Chinese food, we went to an Irish bar called Waxy O’Connors. It was loud and there lots of people wearing Patriots shirts. I was right at home.
I am going to leave this next photo without an explanation.
The following day, after the funeral and the luncheon were over, my cousins and I were trying to decide where to go that evening.
I suggested that we just go to into the city. We did have the challenge of doing something predominately indoors since it was February and my cousins live in Florida. And we were joking that my cousins husband was delicate because he is a Florida native.
We ultimately decided to go to the Pru and see Eataly and have a few drinks at the Top of the Hub. That way we could walk around and still be inside.
My cousins, my brother and I took two ubers from Woburn to Alewife Station which is the beginning of the Red Line. ($35 on the way in, $25 return if you were curious.)
We got our Dunkins. I bet you can guess which drink this Northern Girl got and which drinks her Florida cousins got.
We had to change trains at Park Street and my cousin got this picture without us noticing. She is sneaky like that. #ruleofthirds
We walked around the shops at the Pru. The strap on my purse broke and I looked for one but decided I didn’t want to spend the money. My cousins were able to fix the strap.
We walked around Eataly. It was busy and crowded so we didn’t eat there. I would like to go back at a less busy time.
But I did take this picture of cheese.
All the restaurants had waits. We decided that we didn’t want to spent an hour of one night in Boston waiting to eat at the Cheesecake Factory but luckily we found a little pizza stand and had pizza for dinner.
We then made our way to the Top of the Hub.
We had actually been here once before in 2012. We were all in town for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.
But I had never been there at nighttime. And I remember when I was 18 years old deciding that it was going to be a life goal of mine to go to the Top of the Hub at night.
Life goal accomplished. It just took my 21 years to do it.
We decided to head to another bar from our trip in 2012. Another cousin, who couldn’t come out with us, introduced us to The 21st Amendment which is near the Common.
The temperature was in the single digits and my cousins live in Florida and my cousin’s husband is the Florida Native so we knew we didn’t want to be walking outside much. Luckily my brother is a human GPS and he was able to ascertain which subway stop was the closest.
The trains stop running in Boston at 1 am so we left around midnight.
My brother acting goofy in the Common.
I am fairly well traveled and Boston is my favorite city.
I can’t wait to be there again.
Maybe as soon as April…
And I hope my cousin doesn’t mind that took some of her pictures off of her Facebook. I love you Cuz!!
Edit: My cousin granted permission to use photos. Love you Cuz! Thank you. #crowleysondunkin
And we forgot to take a Subway Selfie so I am going to put this one from 2012. Also taken from your Facebook…
It was a Saturday morning. The baby woke up and usually I would be the one to get our daughter. But this morning, Bryon told me he would get her. I laid in bed thinking it was nice. A lazy morning in bed is a rarity.
It didn’t last long.
5 minutes later Bryon came into our bedroom and asked that question-
“Hey, do we have anything planned today?”
I knew exactly where he was going with this. He had spent the last 24 hours looking for a used rowing machine on craigslist because he wanted a fancy one without paying the price for one new.
I respond with an un-phased “where did you find a rowing machine?”
“I found one in Arlington.”
This peaks my interest. Being a native of the Boston area, I knew he meant Arlington, Massachusetts. And I am always up for an adventure and I love Boston.
“So if we go to Arlington, is there any chance we can go to Boston? I want to take our daughter on the Swan Boats.”
The Swan Boats are a Boston institution after all.
Bryon assured me that since he couldn’t pick up the rowing machine from the seller until 5 pm that there would be plenty of time to go on the Swan Boats.
So off to Boston we went. We stopped for breakfast at Chick-Fil-A in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
We arrived in Boston and we parked at Alewife and took the Red Line to Downtown Crossing.
I love my daughters impression of her first subway ride.
A perfect summer day in Boston. Bryon and I decided that we wanted our daughter to know both Boston and New York City when she got a little older. I wanted to do a trip to Boston in the summer and I wanted to take her to a Red Sox game in Fenway Park. Bryon said he wanted to bring our daughter to New York City at Christmastime.
This ended up being our only trip to Boston together.
Bryon always loved wearing a Pawtucket hat instead of a Boston hat. He loved that only true baseball fans and true Red Sox fans knew that the “P” stood for Pawtucket.
(For all you non-baseball fans, Pawtucket is the minor league baseball team affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. They are located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.)
We went to get the rowing machine at around 5. The machine was a bigger model than advertised and we struggled to fit it into our Suburu Forrester. Luckily we were able to take it apart and get all the pieces in. Bryon was thrilled because he would have been willing to pay more for this model.
Just in case anyone is wondering, it isn’t the model that Frank Underwood uses on House of Cards. Bryon told me once that it is model lower than that.
Bryon and I joked that the guy we bought the rowing machine from was the Boston version of his brother because the houses look the same as the ones in his brothers neighborhood. Also, the guy we were purchasing the rowing machine from had two sons the same ages as Bryon’s nephews and one even had the same name.
The only difference was that Bryon’s brother does not have much hair and the guy we bought the rowing machine from had a ponytail. Bryon was really good at reading people and he said that the guy still had the ponytail to show the world that he was still a non-conformist even if he sold out to corporate America. Bryon always made me laugh.
The rest of these photos (courtesy of Facebooks “On This Day” feature) were taken back at home. Most days I am content with my daughter being my only child. Even if I were to fall in love again, I will be 39 this summer. I am not sure I want to go through the sleepless nights again. And the pumping.
But then I look at these photos of my daughter and then I feel a twinge of sadness that she will be my only child.
I remember one summer day in the mid 1980s when I was in my grandmother’s backyard. I was about 7 (and therefore my grandmother was about 73) and I was excited because my birthday was coming up. I asked my grandmother what was her most favorite thing about birthdays and she responds “when it’s over.” I couldn’t understand why someone would want their birthday to be over.
Catherine Ann Donahue Sullivan was born May 3, 1914 in Woburn, MA. She was the 6th child and 2nd daughter of two Irish Immigrants, Peter Donahue and Mary Duran. She attended Woburn Public Schools (she told me that Catholic School cost 50 cents per child, per week and my great-grandparents were too poor to send 9 children to parochial school). She went to nursing school during the Depression (total cost of nursing education in 1930’s including cap=$75. Total cost of Kerry’s Psychology book, spring semester 2001=$130. The look on my grandmother’s face when I told her that=priceless). She married my grandfather in 1946 and went on to have 5 sons.
Even though I grew up two towns away from my grandmother, I didn’t start to become close to her until my grandfather died when I was in 6th grade. After that, every Saturday was spent at her house while my father and uncles took care of tasks around the house and I would play with my younger cousins. Though I was shy in general, I was very outspoken around my family and my grandmother used to like to egg me on. It was funny. I, um, developed a lot sooner than most girls and I hated it. I was kind of a tomboy and, let’s just say, “they” got in the way. I would complain about them to my grandmother and she would just tell me that, “Someday you’re doing to be thankful…” The jury is still out on that, Grandma. Though Bryon definitely seemed to appreciate them.
My grandmother had 5 sons and one grandson before I was born. I ended up being the first of four granddaughters. My grandmother always told me she wished she had had a daughter but I made her thankful she didn’t.
My grandmother would always give me $20 whenever I visited. It was for ice cream. Of course ice cream at the local ice cream place, Breakers, only cost about $3. She would always make sure to tell me that “When I was a kid, we were too poor to buy ice cream. And there was no one around to give us ice cream money.” When I was in college, Grandma was always giving me $20 for gas money (that was back when you could fill your gas tank for $20.)
My grandmother taught me that you can still be a lady and use profanity. My other grandmother taught me that a lady never uses profanity. Luckily, it all seems to balance out.
My grandmother taught me that it is okay to tell guys who give you unwanted attention to “piss off.” One time, when she was in her 80’s, she slipped on the ice and fell. Another old guy stopped and tried to help her and she told him to “piss off.” I asked her why. She told me it was because he had two girlfriends.
My grandmother also taught me that I can not go wrong dating Irish-Catholic guys. She did warn me to stay away from French men. In the 1930’s, when she was in her mid-20’s, she dated a French guy. He had the nerve to ask her to move to New Jersey but didn’t want to get married. She told him to piss off. Then, at the age of 29, she met my full-blooded Irish-American grandfather and married him when she was 31.
My grandmother spent her years as a nurse and her later years in politics. My cousin takes after her as a nurse and is a hospice nurse which I think is one of the most noble jobs there is. I seemed to inherit the political gene although I am on an indefinite sabbatical from politics. Like my grandmother, my mouth sometimes gets me into trouble. She passed before she could see me run for Maine State House or see me run the Maine Federation of Young Republicans. Though it drove her Boston Irish Democrat sensibilities nuts that I was a Republican.
It always made me sad that she didn’t live long enough to meet Bryon. They would have understood each other and appreciate each other’s sense of humor. I think Grandma would have approved even though Bryon was only one-eighth Irish.
I remember one time during Mass back home our priest was commenting that the generations of a family are like a chain and each one of us is a link in that chain linking the generations. I remember when my grandmother died and my father mentioned that he was the only one that remembered his grandmother (my great-grandmother) as my living uncles were either too young to remember her or weren’t born yet. My father is the only living member of our family that is linked to my great-grandmother and he provides that link to us and especially my daughter. One person who links five generations. As long as my father is here, that link exists but someday that link won’t exist. Luckily, my father has stated that he plans on sticking around until he is 120 so that link should be around for awhile.
Bryon went into the ICU when my daughter was 18 months old and passed away a month before her second birthday. My daughter won’t remember him and it is as if there are no links in that chain. It’s like that direct chain has been cut clean but in a way, Bryon’s friends and I will serve the link between my daughter and Bryon.
So Bryon, Grandma, and also Grandpa, Papa, Uncle Peter and Uncle Brian, as long as I am alive, you will live on. I will make sure my daughter knows you. And if I am privileged enough to live long enough to meet my grandchildren and maybe even my great-grandchildren, they will know you too. You will live on for generations.
And Grandma, I am still going to wish you a Happy Birthday in Heaven. Even if you wish your birthday were over.