The last true day of our vacation (the day before we headed home) was in my opinion the most relaxing day of the week.

We slept in, ate breakfast, (the kids did the dishes), and then we headed out for a morning hike along the beach.


The tide was out and we discovered many living creatures in tide pools on the rocky beach




We made our way to the other side of the island and even caught a glimpse of the Boston skyline.   The kids enjoyed splashing in the water and skipping rocks.


Then we headed back to the beach we spent the afternoon at the day before, stopping for a picnic  lunch (and some sword fighting) along the way. 


We spent the rest of the day camped out along the shore. 


The kids had the most incredible time digging, throwing rocks and balancing a board on a giant rock.  They pretended they were surfing.  When they started the tide was low and they could easily get to the rock.  As the tide slowly came in, Scott would go out and haul the rock closer to shore for them.  He did this at least 6 times.  If he hadn’t by the time the tide came in, they would have been in over their heads if they wanted to stand on the rock.  I couldn’t believe how long this entertained them. 


Surfing, watching each other surf…. I read an entire book during those 2 days.  And Scott enjoyed a book as well.  We snacked on grapes and pistachios, feet in the sand, listening to the kids giggle while we read.


Folks…. it was a TRUE VACATION DAY!

Then when we were hungry, I ran up to the campsite and gathered food while Scott and our oldest built us a fire.  We cooked dinner over the fire, then roasted marshmallows and then when we were ready for bed, we cleaned up and headed back to our tent. IMG_4997IMG_5000


I couldn’t have asked for a better day! 

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It shouldn’t shock me, but yet it does.  How completely DIFFERENT each of my children are.  Their personalities are so unique, it truly amazes me.

Take my youngest.

Oh my goodness… he is such a goof ball, and a FLIRT, but I’ll save that for another post…

Here the kids are in Boston.

“Kids, get together so mom can get a picture of the four of you by the fountains.”

And he does this….



After our rain delay/rain out, we finally made it to Peddocks Island… one day late.  After hiking the LONG hike uphill to our site, I am so glad we didn’t attempt it during the torrential rainstorm.

It was a big enough hassle getting our stuff from the van to the ferry, off the ferry, on to the other ferry, off that ferry, and then up the long hike up hill to our site… but the weather was gorgeous.  And once we were there and set up, it was pretty much perfect.

If you ask the kids, they will all unanimously agree that camping on the island was there favorite part of their vacation.  I honestly liked the whole week for different reasons, but it was a truly relaxing and fabulous way to finish out the week.

After setting up camp, we explored the old army fort.  We got an awesome, private tour from the island historian.  Then we walked down to the beach and camped out for the rest of the day.  The kids happily played in the sand, rocks, and water, while Scott and I read books.  Then when we felt like it, we went up to our site and grabbed the fixings for dinner and made a campfire dinner back down on the beach.  After making smores, we went back up the hill lit with fireflies and snuggled up in the tent, each with a lantern and a book.



This truly was her happy place.  This is my child, who LOVES LOVES the feel of dirt and sand on her skin.  She always has.  She spent hours laying in the dirt and digging without a care in the world.  I loved watching her.



Ahhh……. it was perfect. So many wonderful memories, so many wonderful moments just enjoying each other.


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The plan for today was to wake up and prepare to catch a ferry to Boston Harbor Island to begin the camping portion of our vacation.

However, we woke to this.


And after checking the weather saw that the day was going to be off and on rain showers for the remainder.  This seemed like less than an ideal setting to haul all our camping gear onto a ferry, off a ferry, onto another ferry, to our campsite AND THEN set up a tent… a tent with a screen roof none the less.  So, we opted to stay another night in our hotel and spend another day visiting Boston.

We drove into the city intending to find some Boston Baked Beans for lunch.  However, we couldn’t find parking anywhere close to the restaurant so instead we visited the ducks.  This was a cool bonus perk for me as I wanted to see this if we had time, but then had taken it off  the agenda.


Since we learned yesterday that parking garages were out of the question, and street parking seemed hard to locate in downtown Boston, we decided to drive back out of the city and ride the T in.  We also figured the kids would enjoy that experience.

We were right.  They LOVED riding the train.  The joy and enthusiasm on my little guys face was priceless.  And almost all of them said it was their favorite part of the day.


We rode into the city and then walked around the downtown district.  We saw a few street performers, splashed in some puddles, and Scott and the kids bought me flowers for my birthday from a flower stand and then we set off to find some Boston Baked Beans.


Then we splashed in some more puddles and enjoyed an evening stroll in the city.


We decided to put to test out which bakery we preferred… Mike’s Pastry’s from last night or Modern Pastry… we ordered our dessert to go and found a table with a magnificent view for the kids to sing me Happy Birthday and enjoy our dessert.  Then we rode the T back to our hotel.


It really was a wonderful day.  I feel like we got to enjoy a little more of the city.  I really like city life and every time I’m in a city, I dream about what it would be like to live in one.  I wonder if I would find it as charming as I imagine.  I do think it would be fun for a season at least.  Boston is delightful… at least in the summer, I don’t think I’d be nearly as romanced by it in the winter.

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We chose Boston for a family vacation destination this summer because of our study this past year on the American Revolution. 

However, I had no illusions of dragging four kids through the entire 2 and 1/2 mile freedom trail on a hot and humid summer day.  We are actually going to spend the bulk of our week camping on an island in Boston Harbor, but I did want to show the kids a few highlights of history, especially my oldest as he is the history buff of the crew.

So I allocated one day for the portions of the Freedom Trail that they cared the most about.

We started on the north end at the Charlestown shipping base.  It was actually a humorous start because we went to a parking lot to see if that was the parking lot we should use and the attendant graciously told us if we went to garage down the block we could get our ticket validated at the visitors center.  So we thanked him and went to the parking garage. 

As we pulled down the ramp we heard this loud banging noise and didn’t think anything of it until the parking attendant starting waving his hands and telling us to stop.

Then we remembered the roof top carrier on top of the van.

oops…. that was the sound we heard….

Thankfully it was just the warning bar we had bumped and we didn’t knock off or even damage our carrier.  The attendant kindly ran up and held the bar for us so we could back out of the garage.  We made a u turn and returned to the original parking lot,IMG_4485 feeling like we had a huge sign on our van that said, “Clueless tourists”  because basically we did… called our rooftop carrier.

Having finally parked, we were ready to lather on the sunscreen and follow that trail.  First stop the  USS Constitution.






After touring the USS Constitution we saw a sign for a guided tour with a park ranger to the Bunker Hill monument.  This was already our planned next destination, but the tour was meeting in 5 minutes and we hadn’t yet eaten our lunch.  We deliberated about what to do and decided I would run back to the van and grab some food.  This was a good call as we were able to snack on our food during the rangers talk. 




From Bunk Hill, we decided it was time for an early dinner on the North Shore.  This would involve a half mile walk, but everyone was on board when they heard pizza was on the other end of the walk.  More than one person highly recommended we try Regina’s Pizzaria.  It was DELICIOUS! And the perfect dinner spot for our crew. 


Having refueled, we left ready to walk by our last two destinations… Old North Church and Paul Revere’s house.  AND dessert at Mike’s Pastries. IMG_4615



We actually walked right past Paul Revere’s house without noticing it.  In fact we had stopped to take this pictureIMAG0869 not even realizing that right behind us was Paul Revere’s house.  We quickly backtracked, took a few pics and then went to Mike’s Pastries for dessert.

A few years ago Scott went on a business trip to Boston.  A coworker insisted that he must try the cannoli’s from Mike’s Pastries, so mikesthey went and even bought one to bring home for me.  However, he didn’t realize that one should either eat them right away or refrigerate them, so even though he brought me a cannoli, I couldn’t eat it.  But, it was the thought that counted.  And he promised to take me to Boston for cannoli’s another time.  Soooo we had to try Mike’s Pastries for dessert.

(ironically enough, I am not really a fan of cannoli’s… but I was glad to finally try one).

Having seen all we set out to see, and eat all we set  to eat, we headed back to the hotel at an actual reasonable time (kind of unheard of for us on vacation) so we rented An American Tail which was the perfect movie to watch after seeing Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty the day before.

All in all, a good vacation day.


It was super fun to take the kids to see the “Statue of the Liberty” on the first day of our vacation.


It was a cloudy and overcast day so the picture of the Manhattan skyline don’t pop with color, but it was still really neat to see the skyline from this vantage point.


At first we couldn’t figure out why our youngest would lay down on the ground when we were at the base of the pedestal.  He was peeking through the crack to see the view.  Smile


It was really neat to look over at Lady Liberty from Ellis Island.


And then to see her get closer and closer as our ferry approached Liberty Island.



As we rode away on the ferry, our youngest waved and called out, “By statue of the liberty!”


We spent the entire afternoon there and got in the car to head on to Boston IMG_4477at around 5:45pm.  I thought for sure traffic would be horrendous, but it truthfully wasn’t that bad.  We made it through Manhattan without a problem and then hit a torrential downpour as we drove through CT.  It was a rough drive to our hotel in Boston, but thankfully we made it safely just prior to midnight.  Scott and I were both grateful for traveling mercies, and the fact that we had booked a hotel for that night and not a camp site.   We are hoping the thunderstorms get out of the way before we set up camp for the second part of the week.

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