April 04, 2018

Family Vacation Photos, Part 1: Boston

Well, I am home from Boston/Portland!

I brought my laptop with me to write while I was gone, but I never even opened it. It's much harder to get any time to myself when I'm traveling with my family. It was nice to focus on just the family instead of worrying about everything else.

We had quite a whirlwind trip! I have a trillion pictures, so rather than bombard you all with them in one post, I'll just post over the next few days with them. Since I haven't felt like writing much lately anyways, this will be a good way to ease back into (trying to) write regularly.

I'm still not feeling great mentally (I was actually very close to having a full blown panic attack yesterday, which was scary), but I'm hoping it will pass soon. The depression I'm feeling is not nearly as bad as it was before my bipolar diagnosis and new meds, but it's there. And it's hard to think positively about it.

But, other than that stuff, here are some photos and a few written tidbits about the trip.

In a nutshell: Jerry, the kids, and I flew into Boston on Wednesday, and spent three nights there; we drove to Salem and spent one night there; then made a road trip south and back north and then south again, winding up in Portland, Maine. We flew out of Boston yesterday and are home now.

I have a ton of pictures from the trip, so I'll try to narrow it down to my favorites. I have to say, I'm very self-conscious about posting these pictures. It could be the depression making me feel bad about myself, but I feel fat and "exposed" in them, if that makes sense. I almost didn't post most of these for that reason, but one thing that I regret about being 250+ pounds was that I avoided pictures like the plague.

So, even though I'm not thrilled with how my body looks right now (I was up to 143--10 pounds over my goal weight--when we left for the trip. Today, I was up another 5 pounds from vacation weight. I'm hoping to take that off over the next week, since vacation weight is usually temporary water fluctuations, but it still makes me feel bad.)

Becky, my sister-in-law, picked us up at 5:00 on Wednesday morning to drive us to the airport, which was SO nice of her! If we drove ourselves, parking would have been $150, so it saved us a lot of money. In return, I told her I'd babysit Luke this Sunday overnight--so I totally got the better end of the deal ;)

I wasn't at all nervous about flying, which was awesome. I've gotten so exposed to it over the last several years that I don't even worry about it anymore. I chose window seats for the boys, and Jerry and I each took the middle seat next to them. I sat next to Eli, and Jerry sat next to Noah.

I certainly made the right choice, because Jerry was in the perfect spot to massage my shoulders! hahaha

Surprisingly (to me), Eli was nervous about flying. And because I know what a horrible feeling that is, I knew just the right things to say to him. I didn't quote all the stupid statistics that people love to say to a nervous flyer--I just told him the things that I wanted to hear when I was nervous: the plane gets a little (or sometimes a lot) bumpy when going through the cirrus clouds (thin and whispy ones), so you know to expect that, particularly after take-off; that the noises the plane makes during the flight are usually from altitude changes in order to find a smoother ride; if you lift your feet off the floor when it's bumpy, you barely notice the bumps; and some other things.

Also, the napkin I was given with my coffee was made just for me:

Caitlin, very good friend from Boston, generously picked us up from the airport and hung out with us for the day! She even brought us this amazing gift basket that I forgot to take a picture of before my kids started inhaling it--lots of snacks, including homemade cookies and Rice Krispie treats.

The first thing we did (mainly to get it out of the way, because it was really just Jerry's thing) was go to Sam Adams for the brewery tour. Jerry loved it, and it was only an hour, so we were cool with that. Then we went to Doyle's for lunch--Eli and I are both obsessed with fried pickles, and Doyle's has some amazing ones, so I wanted him to try them.

After that, we walked the Freedom Trail. Our hotel (the Revere Boston Common) was just about two blocks from Boston Common, so we had a fantastic location to walk the city. It was fairly cold outside, but definitely not as bad as I was imagining it would be. Thank goodness!

Funnily enough, our favorite site along the Freedom Trail was the cemetery. I've always loved walking through cemeteries, and could literally spend all day reading the gravestones. The kids loved it, too, so I was glad that I didn't feel rushed.

A couple of years ago, my older brother, Brian, gave Noah a nice Nikon camera that he didn't use anymore, and Noah has LOVED using it. He took it with us everywhere, and got some very nice pictures. I thought it was cute to watch him find the perfect photo ops ;)

This was actually his photo, not mine, but I found it interesting to see that this was a very common figure to be found on headstones. It looks creepy to me, but it was on a LOT of them--there was also a variation of it, with a skull instead of a face.

Another of Noah's pictures. I was very impressed by this one! It looks awesome in black and white.

I totally forgot to get a picture of our desserts from Mike's, but of course we stopped at Mike's Pastry along the way so I could show the family what all the hype is about. We sat down at these benches to eat, and Noah took some pictures of the birds.

The Freedom Trail took up the better part of the afternoon, and we were exhausted by 6:00. We went to the hotel so that the kids could swim in the hotel's pool. It was a nice first day!

On our second day in Boston, we had reservations for a Boston Harbor Cruises whale watching tour at 10:00. We were so excited for this! I have always wanted to see a whale in the ocean, and I couldn't wait for this tour. We got a quick breakfast of bagels at Panera, and then walked to the waterfront.

On the way to the dock, Noah kept exclaiming how much he loves the city--not just Boston, but "city life" in general. He thought it was so cool that we could walk wherever we wanted to go. I can totally see him moving to a city when he's older!

It was COLD on the boat. The boat traveled at 35+ miles per hour, and when it's already cold outside, the open ocean makes it feel twice as cold. I'm wearing three layers here: a long-sleeved warm turtleneck, a windbreaker jacket, and then a heavy sweatshirt on top. A hat, gloves, and even a Buff around my neck. It was super windy, so we had to hold on tight. And here, Jerry was blocking the wind for me, hahaha.

Noah is now at the age where he is "too cool" to smile and act goofy like his parents (he says he hates his teeth, so he won't smile showing his teeth at all).

The whale watching tour was a big disappointment, because we didn't see a single whale! From all the amazing reviews I read on Trip Advisor and Yelp, I was SO sure this was the perfect thing for us to do, and that we would see whales. But no such luck. Since whale sightings are "guaranteed" for the company, they gave us passes to use in the future--they never expire, so if we should go back in 20 years or so, we can try again ;)

... to be continued. There are way too many photos to post in one go!


  1. It looks like it was a fun vacation! Lovely photos-- thank you for sharing!

  2. Great photos! The face with wings on the headstones is called the death's head and it was a Puritan thing. Here is a good article about them if you're interested: https://www.boston.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/iconography-gravestones-burying-grounds

    Also, if you guys ever go back up, Gloucester is the better place to spot whales in my opinion. We've never seen one going out of Boston (though I know others have) but we have seen at least one every time we've gone out of Gloucester. We had one breach right next to our boat and it was so cool (and a touch scary)!

    Hope you're feeling better soon!

  3. This looks like such a fun vacation! Can't wait to see more pics!

  4. Love Noah's pictures! He's got some talent! Looks like a fun vacation! Can't wait to see more!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing!! Can't wait to see the rest!

  6. These are great photos, and a great trip! re: the weight- I've always found when I was training for a race, I gain a few pounds during training as my body adjusts to the increased mileage. Try not to focus on the scale, and focus on making it through those tough runs! That vacation looks awesome!

  7. You look awesome! Thanks for sharing.


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