Oh heck I don't know where I was at that point. Maisie and I just returned from a whirlwind trip though New England, meeting up with old friends and eating more lobster than I care to admit. We flew into Logan (Boston) and even though I used to know and get around the North Shore, South Shore, Boston and its neighborhoods like no ones business, all I can say is thank goodness I had my GPS with me otherwise I'd still be circling around the airport having no clue where I was.
I'm so thankful that Maisie is such a great traveler and this was the first trip that we've done without her stroller and no problem at all. She loves doing it and looked so cute pulling her suitcase through the airports, like a big girl and so many people commented on how grown-up and adorable she looked. While waiting for our flight out of Atlanta Maisie was happy to sit, eat a muffin and watch the planes coming and going.
After we landed in Boston I picked up the obscenely over-priced rental car and programmed my GPS with our first destination being Peabody to visit with Aruba friends Sandy & Allan. We haven't seen them since December but Maisie quickly warmed back up to them and after being timid at first, she had a blast playing their piano, especially duets with Allan. Sandy and Allan then took us out for dinner at one of their favorite places, The Weathervane Tavern, where I had an absolutely delicious lobster roll...the first of many! I've heard Sandy & Allan raving about The Weathervane for years and I have to say it definitely lived up to all the hype.
Once back at their place Allan made Maisie a special ice cream sundae and they both treated her with M&M's so Maisie was a very happy girl. Sandy had some fun little toys and a beading set which Maisie just loved so it was a fun night. The next morning Allan cooked breakfast and it was a hit with Maisie then after a little more play and piano time we were on our way to our next destination. A fun and enjoyable visit but oh too short. Maisie's already talking about seeing Sandy, Allan and their son Carl on the beach in Aruba and anticipating the treats that they always seem to bring for her.
Our next stop was Marblehead to visit with my girlfriend Joanna and her three children Benjamin, Sarah & Rachel. Maisie took to the kids as soon as we walked in the door and had so much fun playing games with them along with allowing them to use her as a little dress-up doll. Joanna pulled out a kids make-up kit so the girls did Maisie's hair, put eye shadow, blush, lip gloss and nail polish on her and she just thought it was the greatest thing ever!
What amazes me is that I haven't seen Joanna in 5 years and as it was with everyone I visited with, we just picked up talking like we'd never been apart. It's so fun visiting with old friends and catching up and I hope that it's not five years before we see each other again.
From Marblehead we headed up to Nashua, NH to stay with Donna, Eric & Hannah. After we arrived we headed over to pick Hannah up from school and as soon as Maisie & Hannah met they were holding hands and walking together...so very cute. The weather was quite cool so we played at the house for a bit then headed over to their club for dinner where I had my second lobster roll of the trip.
Eric returned home late from a business trip and though Hannah was asleep, Maisie was still up and he was so cute playing with her. He totally charmed Maisie and had her giggling up a storm. Maisie talked about Eric, his monkey puppet and all his great videos through the entire trip and I think she's already planning a return trip!
The next morning Hannah went to school so Donna, Maisie and I did a little bit of shopping and had a nice lunch out before going back to the house for a little nap. We then picked Hannah up from school and headed back to their club so that the girls could swim for a bit before Eric joined us and we headed out for dinner. We had a delicious dinner at The Weathervane Restaurant where I switched it up slightly and instead of a lobster roll, I had a steamed lobster and to top it off, steamers, YUM and oh my gosh how I miss those living here in the south!
Before leaving the restaurant each girl was given a balloon and that's when the drama began. When we arrived back at the house both girls managed to let go of their balloon and both shed tears as they floated high in the sky. After dinner, end of a busy day, lost balloons and of course I want a picture...not the greatest piccie but one of all of us girls together. Hannah was off for bath, book and bed and Eric was showing Maisie numerous clips from various movies. The one that really held her attention and she asked for over and over, including the next morning before we left was Make Them Laugh from Singing in the Rain, it gets her so silly and she loves it. It was great to see Donna & Eric again and to finally meet Hannah.
Our next stop was in Worcester, MA for lunch with my friend Diana. We caught up on all that has been happening in our lives and she came bearing pictures of her Son & daughter-in-law as well as her daughter Amy & her fiance. I can't believe that Amy is a sophomore in college and engaged! To me Amy will always be the five-year-old that I remember chasing the dog and bouncing down my steps on her bottom. Oh and what did I have for lunch? You guessed it, my third lobster roll of the trip!
Full from lunch and back in the car, we were off to South Windsor, CT to visit with Rich, Karen, Hayley & Brandon. Karen came to visit in January 2007 right after we returned from China but we haven't seen the rest of the family since they came to Georgia in July of 2005 and oh my how Hayley and Brandon have grown. Also in the mix was Hayley's boy friend Zack who was just so, so sweet with Maisie and she loved all the attention from all three of the big kids. We had a nice relaxing dinner together and I was especially excited for the next day as Karen had invited former neighbors of ours, John, Angela, Justin, Matthew & Kyle over for a BBQ and I couldn't wait to see everyone.
Rich & Karen, John & Angela and I all had homes built on the same street in Foxborough, MA waaaaaay back when and we just loved being neighbors having so much fun together. When we moved in John & Angela's son Justin was still a baby and now he's going to be a senior in high school. And I still remember the day that Rich & Karen's daughter Hayley was born...where has the time gone? I moved away first going to West Hartford, CT followed soon after by Angela & John who moved to Bristol, CT and the next thing we knew Rich & Karen moved to So. Windsor, CT. I then moved down to Georgia and messed it all up but it was so great all being together again.
Thankfully we had a beautiful sunny day for the BBQ and all the kids loved playing in the pool. Maisie loved being with Zack and Hayley and they were so cute together. Rich was the main cook and he always rocks in all that he makes. In addition to the pool, the kids played baseball and Hayley & Maisie did gymnastics out in the yard and once the sun went down we had a fire and made s'mores. Maisie was begging to go to bed but I waited until she was totally exhausted before taking her up and thankfully she was asleep within minutes and was able to visit more with my friends.
It was dusk by the time we all settled to take a group photo but here it is. Back row: Maisie, Me, Justin, Angela, John, Rich & Karen. Front row: Kyle, Matthew, Brandon & Hayley. Zack was kind enough to be the photographer. I miss everyone already and hopefully next summer will include a return trip.
No dust settling on us as the next morning we were off heading to Wrentham, MA to meet up with George (Diana's husband) for lunch. We just couldn't work out a day between their work schedules and our various travels to see both George & Diana together so we got individual time with each of them.
I've always loved sitting and spending time talking with George and this time was no different. It was very touching watching George watching Maisie, just the look in his eyes was so sweet. I really do miss spending face-to-face time with my friends.
After lunch we headed to my friend Mike's home and Maisie was totally exhausted and though still in a great mood she was desperate for a nap. She wanted me to lay on the sofa and she laid on top of me and within minutes was asleep. I was able to roll her off of me and she took a nice little nap before dinner. We had rain for all but two days of our trip but thankfully the rain had stopped for a bit so while Mike grilled dinner Maisie and I enjoyed his wife Lisa's swing and the cool evening, a very relaxing way to spend time.
Unfortunately Lisa was down in Tennessee visiting family so we didn't get to spend time with her too but it was nice catching up with Mike and it was an easy evening allowing me time to get everything packed up as the next day we were flying home.
Maisie and I had a good nights rest and the next morning we were on the road again. Since I was in Wrentham I decided to swing by my old street in Foxborough as everyone at the BBQ had talked about how much everything had changed. I did a quick drive by and it was nice to see the old place and how much all the landscaping and trees had filled in but it still looked good, I'm glad that I did the drive-by.
I had a few minutes before we had to head to the airport so I decided to drop in and see Nana Narciso (Rich's Mom, who lives in the same subdivision as my old house) and I knew that Hayley and Zack would be there and Maisie would love one last hug goodbye from them.
When I lived in Foxborough I spent many days and holidays with Rich, Karen and their family as well as neighborhood events and Nana Narciso was always there so seeing her again was just so wonderful and she looked great. I love the picture of her and Maisie and then Maisie wanted to take a picture of me and Nana Narciso and I have to say, she did a great job! It's funny, even though most of the friends that I visited with I've known for 20+ years, I still see them as they looked then. They all looked great and amazingly it was only the children who have aged.
Maisie and I then headed to the airport where before our flight we grabbed lunch at Legal Sea Foods, my fourth and final lobster roll of our trip. I'm glad that I have a month before my next doctors visit as I can't even begin to imagine what my cholesterol level must be at this point. We had an easy flight home and Maisie was beyond excited to see Eammon waiting for us at the airport.
We had a great trip but I'm sorry that our time was so booked as we didn't get to see everyone I would have liked to see and we didn't do any tourist things but that's okay as Maisie is still young and we'll be back, hopefully soon and for a longer visit. We're home for eight days and then Maisie and I are off again, Salt Lake City, here we come!