Monday, April 27, 2015

A Real Vacation

 Marathon Monday is also Patriot's Day in Massachusetts and is also the start of April Vacation here. The schools don't have a March spring break, but instead have a week off in February and one off in April (we also get out much later!). Scott took the week off of work and we spent half of it doing marathon and tourist-related stuff, so we took the other half to get some real family time. We headed to North Conway, New Hampshire, in the White Mountains. We found an awesome cheap hotel that had a small indoor waterpark, free breakfast, and even nightly activities for kids. We went for a hike each day, then followed it with swimming and playing.
Our first hike was to Glen Ellis Falls along the Appalachian Trail. We picked short hikes that weren't too tough because Phoebe doesn't do well with long distances and Oliver doesn't like to be in the hiking backpack for much more than a half-hour. Glen Ellis Falls met our requirements and even had a 65-foot waterfall to check out. Success.
 This is near the trailhead where it goes beneath the highway. There was still snow piled in there. We were next to Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain in the state, which still had plenty of snow on it and a bunch of tough skiers trekking up it.
After our hike, we stopped by the depot in town. There was a playground next to it, so between the playground, the trains, and a nearby construction site, Oliver was over the moon. This is way better than Disneyland (and cheaper).
We ended up going for a train ride on our last day there, but this is Phoebe posing for yet another photo. She loves the camera.
On Friday we hiked to a place called Diana's Baths. There were waterfalls big and small all around and I was wishing it was a bit warmer so we could get in. 
 The kids loved this hike.
After our hike, we went to a McDonald's that was next to our hotel. The kids saw it when we first pulled in, saw that it had a PlayPlace, and went nuts. This particular McDonald's also had a skiing theme, so we sat in a gondola lift to eat lunch...
 ...and then played on the indoor playground of course!
 Saturday morning we hiked to Echo Lake. "Hiked" is a strong word here. We walked a few hundred feet, had a sword fight with sticks, and walked back to the car. We also went on our train ride, which I thought Oliver would love. Instead, he had a fit and fell asleep.
We stopped at this lovely place on our drive back to Boston.

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Marathon Monday

 Marathon weekend was awesome as usual. It started with the BAA 5K on Saturday. I was really excited for this race and hoped to bust out an awesome time, but that did not happen! I forgot that the race is ridiculously large, that 10,000 people have to squeeze over a tiny start line and skinny course, that people seed themselves, and nobody seeds themselves honestly except me. When it came time to line up, I stood next to the 6:00 minute per mile sign and was amazed at the hundreds of people in front of me. There must be a lot of sub-6 runners.... I stood next to a 10-year-old and an overweight woman, but the optimist in me thought perhaps there was some chance they could actually run a 6-minute mile. Why would anyone want to line up ahead of where they should be??? The gun went off and I passed a gazillion people, dodging in and out for 5,000 meters. Still, my time was not great - 19:21 - not even close to what I wanted. Not even close to 6-minute pace! Next time do I line up at 6:15 pace or just toe the very front no matter what? Anyway, the race was run and I was ready to be a spectator for the rest of the weekend.

I hosted the Annual Pasta Dinner at my place with former BYU runners Carolyn Quebe, Emily and Kristy Barrus, and their families. My high school bestie, Kathy Shell, also came. We chowed on pasta, forgot to take pictures, and caught up on life/kids/running.

On Marathon Monday, we headed to Mile 19. It was cold (in the mid to high 40s) and rainy, so the kids didn't last long. After an hour or so, Scott took them to the car and drove a friend of his to the train station while keeping the kids dry and happier. I stayed in the rain and cheered on my BYU teammates (Carolyn, Emily, Kristy, and Tara), my BAA teammates, and Kathy. Despite the crappy weather, everyone ran well and was happy.
 On Tuesday, we picked up Kathy from her hotel and held her hostage for two days. She has never been to Boston, so we had to do the typical tourist routine: Freedom Trail, Old North Church, Mike's Pastry, etc. At the top, that would be Kathy and Phoebe with Bill Russell at government center (a little detour from the Freedom Trail). Directly above, they posed with a neighborhood firetruck. Kathy was a forest service firefighter a few years ago, so she and Phoebe got along swimmingly. They even independently wore firefighter T-shirts and camo shorts, so Phoebe proclaimed that they were twins and insisted that they hold hands 24 hours a day. They do kindof look alike and one lady even asked Phoebe if she was proud of her mother for finishing the marathon (Kathy also wore her Boston Marathon jacket around town so everyone knew how awesome/ sore she was). Phoebe responded, "no." I had some explaining to do.
 We stopped at the Rose Kennedy Greenway and rode the carousel. Kathy brought the kids Blackhawks hockey jerseys from Chicago, where she lives now. Scott said Oliver would get beat up if he wore this in the North End, but no one messed with him.
On Wednesday, we checked out Harvard to rub John Harvard's toe (it brings good luck), walked around Henry Longfellow's house, went to a local chocolate factory, and went out to dinner. On Thursday, we parted ways - she headed to New York to visit another friend and we headed to New Hampshire to get some relaxing vacation time. More on that soon.

Watching the marathon got me all excited about running marathons again. I think last year's Boston left me a bit burned out. I was constantly tired from breastfeeding every three hours, not getting regular sleep because Oliver was still waking up at night, and running 60-70 miles a week. I was glad I ran it last year, but I'd had my fill of pedestrian paced marathons. I am ready to train hard and get to the starting line rested and ready. I knew that wasn't going to be the case for this Boston, so I ran shorter distances for awhile and survived the winter, Scott's crazy call schedule, and such. I think things will get easier though, so I am signing up for a fall marathon and should be running Boston next year.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015


 Cambridge has an awesome science festival every year. We saw neighbors, friends, and lots of people we knew there; it was the place to be.
 Phoebe drove some underwater robots. Bruce burned holes in paper with a magnifying glass.
 Phoebe mixed up a quick polymer material in a paper cup. Bruce built a specialized racing car out of Legos that could go down a bumpy track.
 After the science festival, we stopped at the library next door. We love the libraries here.
But sometimes the books put us to sleep....

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Mt. Auburn Cemetery

 A few Sundays ago we headed to Mt. Auburn Cemetery for a stroll since it was such a beautiful day.
 Bruce and Phoebe are so happy to be wearing shorts again. Any day it is above 50 degrees they beg and beg to wear shorts. This is a cool monument (a memorial to George Washington) in the cemetery. It has dark, creepy stairs inside that allow visitors to get a nice view from the top...
 It is nice to be so close to the city but feel so far away. That is one reason why I love Boston. It is easy to escape city life.

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Terrible Twos

Oliver turns two in a few weeks, but he is already hitting The Terrible Twos. He is doing better at communicating, but it is still tricky to find out what he wants fast enough - before he freaks out. A few days ago he was saying, "boo-bee" and we couldn't figure out what he wanted. After much trial and error we found out that he was saying "blueberry" because he wanted a strawberry (and that's what he calls all berries). Tricky, right?

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