East Coast Day 3: Boston Public Library

After another excellent breakfast at the hotel we packed up and left our bags with the bellman.

We walked across the street to the Boston Public Library.  It is an amazingly beautiful building.   Hard to imagine a time where money like this was spent on public buildings.

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On the top floor of the main staircase is a room filled with vivid wall murals by John Singer Sargent.

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The murals show many scenes from the Bible at both ends, and on the sides shows scenes from Christianity on one side and Judaism on the other.  It is epic in both subject and scale, much more so than anything else I’ve seen in America.  The scale, along with the style reminds me of the Slav Epic by Mucha. I’m not sure it is the most ‘beautiful’ of art, it may be a big gaudy and melodramatic, but it is vivid and detailed, and fun to follow along with the stories they represent.

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Simon taking it all in.

Then, just a floor down, another room contained an epic rendition of the story of the Holy Grail.  The planners of the building sure liked their epic tales.

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I would love to spend a day or two just sitting at a table in beautiful surroundings, working on projects uninterrupted.  Magical!

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East Coast Day 2: Boston

On our first day in Boston we planned to hit our highest sightseeing priority, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Mrs Gardner was an eccentric heiress who knew what she liked in art.  She amassed a vast collection and built a fabulous Venetian style mansion in which to display it.  The museum is virtually unchanged from how she arranged it, due to a unique stipulation in her will that if any artifacts were moved that the museum was to be closed, the whole collection auctioned and the proceeds to go to Harvard University.  Thusly, it is a museum curated by a singular individual who was highly eccentric and is very dead.  Rooms are crammed with art and often the best pieces are hard to see.  But, it is not a museum to visit to appreciate the most important pieces of art in their best settings.  It a place to just enjoy.  I found that I liked a lot of what she liked – particularly the more contemporary and simple pieces in the Blue room.  I highly recommend it.  We were able to take the stroller into the museum and use the small elevator to visit the galleries.  Simon did quite well to be content and let us visit most of the 2nd and 3rd floors.  After that he wanted to run around, and we found a back hallway where he could run up and down the ramps while one parent at a time visited the last galleries.  Lily was a perfect angel in her pack.

By now it was lunchtime, and with naps needed shortly after we took a cab up to Copley Square and grabbed lunch at a bagel place.  The West coast is sorely lacking in good bagels and we appreciated some good bagel sandwiches.  Steve’s was black bean and avocado – I must try that combo on a sandwich sometime.

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Simon wasn’t quite ready for a nap yet so we just let him run around at Copley Square.  We enjoyed the outside of Trinity Church and Simon enjoyed everything.

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Several people came up to us and told us it was great to see our kids out enjoying the city.  And also to enjoy every minute as they grow up all too fast.

Steve and Simon took a nap and I took the opportunity to pop over to Newbury street for some shopping.  I had fun just looking in the shops and people watching on the vibrant street.

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(it is hard to get any photos to prove  you did take your youngest child on the trip when they are constantly strapped to you)

That evening we had snacks at the hotel lounge and then just called it a night and let Simon play in the hotel room and made a quick run to the grocery store for supplies.

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(Simon’s favorite play place in the hotel room. He’d line up the sample size toiletries and play with his trucks and ducks.)

East Coast Day 1

My brother is getting married on Long Island, New York.  We decided to make the long trip worth it and extend our stay into a vacation on the east coast.  We flew into Boston on Saturday 24-Sep and will return home on Monday 3-Oct, the day after the wedding.  We plan to spend three days in Boston, then a couple of days making our way along the Mass/RI/Conn coasts into NY and to Long Island on Thursday for some time with my family before the wedding on Sunday.

We left Seattle at 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, a great time to fly as it gave us the morning to finish up packing and let the boy run off some energy.  He was great on the plane but, as usual, refused to sleep despite even trying some Benadryl this time.  It is a 5 1/2 hour flight so that is hard work for Steve.  Lily hardly made a peep hanging out on my lap and nursing more often than not.  All-in-all, a good flight with our two babies.

We got into BOS at 10pm and it was MUGGY!  Got a cart for our mountain of luggage and took a cab into our hotel (Lily’s first taxi).  Got checked in and plopped Simon straight into the tub to cool down and get the airplane grime off, plus some splashing time while I got us unpacked into our home for the next three nights.  We’re staying at the Fairmont, a beautiful old hotel.  I think they took pity on us traveling with the babies and upgraded us to a large room with a nook perfect for the crib.

Steve, Lily and I hung out in the bathroom so Simon he could just cry it out and fall asleep.  Ah the glamour of family travel:-)

Tips for flying with kids.

Since I seem to have pretty much stopped blogging – here is a link to a really useful post from someone else’s blog.

http://flyingwithchildren.blogspot.com/

This is a hugely detailed article with info and tips on all aspects of flying with kids.  It is written by a mom and former flight attendant.  I found it while looking for info on gate checking my urban assault stroller.  Hope you find it useful!

Welcome Lillian Beatrice

Lillian Beatrice was born Saturday morning, 12-March at 1:11 am.

We were blessed with an amazing birth.  I had been having contractions every evening for a week, and Friday night was starting out as usual.  But then my water broke at 11:20 and my contractions went from every 10 minutes to every 3 mintues almost immedietely.  We called the midwife and our friends who were arranged to watch Simon and we went straight to the midwife center.  We arrived around midnight and one very intense hour later Lily was born.  She was born in the tub, not something I had really ‘planned’ but the warm water did help me cope with the very fast labor.

My friend, the extremely talented Emily Weaver Brown, was there during the birth.  These were taken by her and there are a few more here.  (nothing too graphic of course, all safe for work and family and such:-)

We went home about 5:30am and were in bed for a nap by 6.  Scott and Yvonne brought Simon home after lunch and he got to meet his new sister. 

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He loves children and Lily is no exception.   

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Here is a little video of the first time Simon really checked Lily out.

The first night was rough, she was very hungry and isn’t attaching very well, so it looks like we’ll have to work hard at nursing, but hopefully we can find a way to make it work this time.  Sunday has been a very good day, Simon has been his usual happy self, playing and happy to have Daddy home and Lily has been eating well and taking some naps – although we’ll have to work hard to keep her up so she’s tired tonight:-)

We are overwhelmed with thankfulness for our two healthy children and a safe and amazing birth.  The Lord is so good to us.

Symptoms of living in Seattle

Simon now well and truly lives in the Pacific Northwest and is starting to exhibit several symptoms.

1.  Shopping at REI

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2.  Having an urban assault stroller.  (Although to be fair this is more a symptom of being a big brother at 13 months.)

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3.  Wearing copious amounts of fleece.  Simon wears his yellow fleece that our friends Alan and Megan bought for him almost every day.  The shop assistants at REI even complemented him on it.  It is from an awesome Swedish shop in London.  They have one in NYC – but mercifully for the bank account not in Seattle.  I got Simon an amazing coat for next winter before we left London and I can’t wait for him to get to wear it!

Happy Birthday Grandma Schrock

Steve told me today that it was his Grandma’s birthday.  We used some advanced math skills to figure out that today would have been her 117th birthday!

Grandma Schrock lived to be 101, and Grandpa lived until 103.  Grandpa’s sister, Steve’s Great Aunt Mae is still kicking it at the Eureka home at 105.  There is plenty of longevity on the Schrock side.