Archive for July, 2007

This last weekend, we went up to the White mountains with another family. Main purpose of the trip was for us to hike up Mt Washington. We stayed at the Seasons resort in a condo. We started driving around 7 pm on Friday (30 minutes after PK came home from a week long trip to Long Island. Does this smack of desperation or what?! :)) and reached there by ~10.30 pm. The other family had reached half hour earlier and checked in. We were 6 adults and 4 kids. Plan was for us to hike up on Saturday, while they watched all the kids and then for us to return the favor on Sunday. By the time we got the kids settled in bed it was past midnight. And we were up by 5 am next morning for us to start the hike on time. Needless to say, I was dead meat by the time we returned. The rest of the gang had been to Diana’s bath, Echo lake and Cathedral Ledge. I heard that A did a great job swimming in the lake. So camp has been good for him.

On Sunday, when our friends went hiking, we took the kids to Story Land. It was our umpteenth time there, so nothing really exciting. We did the more popular rides. The Antiques car is a favorite with the boys. We like the Polar Coaster and the Bamboo shutes (water ride). Ate pizza, ice cream and generally had a good time. We went back to the condo, gave the kids a bath, dinner and started to pack. It was 7.30 pm when our friends finally returned (we were getting worried). It took them 6.5 hrs for the climb and 6 hrs for the return (they came back via the same Tuckerman trail). Then we all had dinner together and we started the drive back at 9.45 pm. Kids slept, there was not traffix and we reached peacefully around 1 am. Our friends had taken Monday off, so they did some sight seeing the next day and came back.

Apparently our kids were peaceful staying with them all day (considering that we were gone before S woke up in the morning). This was the first time we have left them anywhere for so long, outside of when we work. It was a fun trip, since the kids also had a blast and we also got to do what we wanted to. Too bad, we met these friends only recently. Otherwise we could have done more such things over the years.

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Hiking up Mt Washington

On Satiurday, July 21, we got to achieve something we have wanted to for the last 2 years. Every time we went up to the White mountains in NH, we would be filled with the desire to hike up Mt Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast US.  We went up the Tuckerman Ravine trail, which is the most common route.


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Our peach tree

Peach tree
Our peach tree (looks more like a plant) has a lot of good fruits this season. It is the first time that in 5 years that they are not fully eaten by insects and birds. I don’t believe in using pesticides, so every year I used to just let the birds enjoy it. But this year somehow, they are mostly intact and very tasty too. Finally, I’m getting to eat fruit from my backyard after having given up hopes of it completely. The other apple-pear tree which used to be in the same boat, didn’t flower at all this time. Not sure what is up with that.

Gardening is hard work and only people who really enjoy it are able to do a good job. When we moved into the house newly, I had big dreams – of planting flowering shrubs, fruit trees, ornamental flowering trees, may be a wild flower meadow and what not. But it takes a lot of time, and with little ones, that is something you just don’t get. In fact, the last 2 years, we had completely neglected the yard – not even doing the basic trimming, mulching etc and it was looking like an overgrown forest. We finally hired someone to do all that and looks much more presentable now. No point posting pictures of it. I don’t have a “before” picture for you to appreciate how it looks now!

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I was at the bus stop to pick up A from his camp (it was his third day). The first thing he said when he saw me “Mommy, today I had to eat lunch like a dog. You forgot to pack a spoon”. Gosh, I felt so terrible! Since I grew up eating with my hands, it doesn’t sound so terrible to me but when I asked him why he didn’t eat with his hands, pat came the reply “I just don’t like it”. So he barely ate a quarter of his lunch. I was berating myself for the next hour but he emphatically assured me that I wasn’t a bad mom just because I forgot to pack a spoon. In my defense, the day care he attended up until now provided all that stuff, so I never packed spoons for him these 5 years. The first 2 days, I was doing everything for the camp with a lot of thought and hence had remembered, but by the third day, I let me guard down and that is what happens. I’m keeping some spare plastic spoons in his backpack right now, for days like today.

It hasn’t been easy, with PK being out in Long Island. Getting out in the mornings is always a fight even with two of us and when I’m doing it all alone and trying to stick to a schedule, it gets really tough. Earlier the goal used to be out ASAP in the mornings, but now there’s the bus schedule to keep.

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Wednesday was a holiday for July 4th. PK had some errands to run in SE MA (he wanted to pick up a reciever and some speakers which were available in that Circuit City), so we decided to bike the Cape Cod Canal Trail in Buzzard’s bay. It had been more than 4 years since we last did it. And then A rode on a child seat on my bike. So, it was his first time.

It is 7 miles one way and runs from the parking lot in Buzzard’s bay all the way up to Scusset beach at the other end. We started around 11.45 am. The trail was VERY CROWDED. Many people were walking haphazardly without sticking to lanes, especially the first mile or so. And bicycles/roller-bladers traffic was heavy on both sides. But the views are beautiful, many different types of boats pass by, lots of people were fishing and the bridges look great. We also realized that there is a trail on the other side of the canal which was a lot less crowded.

 I know A can do 5 miles one way since we do the Assabet River Rail Trail often. The going was relatively easy and when we were about 5 miles, I asked PK and A if they wanted to turn around. Both said no. That is one thing I like about this trail – the distances are marked in every 0.5 mile increments, so you always know how far along (or away) you are. We breaked for lunch (aloo sandwiches and gatorade) and continued to the end at Scusset beach. I didn’t have a bicycle lock nor did we have any towels or swimming trunks, so we didn’t hang around for long.

The return was a whole another story. It was so darned WINDY! At less than a mile, A started crying in frustration – that despite trying so hard he was not able to go fast. He was probably getting tired too. All of us could feel the resistance and were barely making progress. The wind was unrelenting. There are other parking lots along the trail, so I thought I could try to reach up first and then get the car halfway through or something and pick them up. But I didn’t know the way from the parking lot at Buzzard’s bay to these intermediate lots. I thought may be I could ask someone and then go. Anyway, by the time I reached the car, PK called and said they were barely 1.5 miles away and A was doing good – much better than we had both expected. Also, the spot that they had now already reached was inaccesible by car. So, I went back and met them, we took another break and then came back the last 1.5 miles. For us, the best part of the whole experience was just how well A did the entire 14 miles!

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Deer in our backyard

This morning, as A was sitting at the table in our eat-in kitchen, he suddenly called out to me saying there was a deer. I went to the deck as quietly as possible, but it still ran away pretty quickly and I only got a fleeting glimpse.


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This past weekend, we went camping at Pearl Hill State Park. It was great fun. It was a group of 6 adults and 4 kids. We went on Saturday afternoon, reaching there around 1.30 pm. The campsites were in an awesome wooded setting – very tall pine trees. The showers and toilets were very clean (despite most of the campsites being occupied). After pitching our tents, we went straight to the pond. The kids played in the water and there was a small sandy beach too, where those of us who didn’t go into the water just put our chairs and hung out. Our friends have a new kayak and everyone took turns taking it out except me. Somehow was not in the mood for it. It was PK’s first time on a kayak. Initially he thought it was so-so but later he really started enjoying it. The kids went for a ride to with the more experienced kayakers. It was a good couple of hours. We also saw a watersnake.

Then everyone got hungry and we filled up majorly on snacks – nuts, chocolate, popcorn, trail mix bars etc. Afterwards, we headed back to the tents and started up the gas grill. Until now,we had always thought there was nothing in it for vegetarians, but our friends showed us. We had veggie masala burgers (from Trader Joe’s) and sweet potatoes. We also had a deck party at their place once and they had grilled corn on the cob and made Quesadilla, so it is good to have different food once in a while instead of our usual stuff. After dinner, we drove to a creamery and had ice-cream. After we came back, the guys started the campfire. Everyone changed into pajamas and sat around the fire and chatted. By 9.45 pm, the kids were all asleep. It had gotten chilly by now, so the fire was really enjoyable. Around 10.30 pm, we all had tea. After that, it first started to drizzle but quickly turned into a downpour. We all ran into our tents. It was raining for a long time after that. I really don’t know when it stopped because everytime I woke up, it was still raining. This seems to be standard experience. When we camped last time (4 years ago!) at Wells State Park, same thing happened. Luckily all of our tents held up pretty well, so it wasn’t too bad. When he woke up in the morning, the first thing A said was “Hey, its morning. we made it. No bears”! with a grin on his face. He seemed genuinely relieved. All the pretend camping in school probably had him scared.


Morning was still pretty chilly and wet. First few hours went in kids’ care – their brushing, diapers, milk etc. Afterwards tea for the adults. Then PBJ sandwiches for breakfast. Initially we were planning to do a small hike but some had showers, others were busy packing up tents etc, that it soon became lunch time. PK fell on the wet roads while roller blading and hurt himself pretty bad. Then A fell while walking and got a wound on his knee. That was enough adventure for the morning. After a lunch of pizza and ice-cream, we drove back. Everyone had a great time. Its so much easier when the kids have company. They are not always behind you. I’m hoping we can do this again this season.

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Summer fun

After A’s party, we came home and after a quick lunch, we headed down to Providence for the RI air show. We reached there just in time to see the Blue Angels perform, which was the highlight of the show. Both the kids enjoyed it. I was surprised to see S’s reaction because although I didn’t specifically think about what her reaction might be, I didn’t really expect her to be so thrilled. When I was explaining something to A about the moves or speeds, she would interrupt with her own words and hand gestures as if she was a full participant in the conversation! It had been a while since I had seen an air show, so it was good. As a side note, when we were in Portland, OR, we used to see these airshows every year and had seen Blue Angels, Thunderbird etc. Sure enough, getting out of here was a HUGE nightmare. In fact, that is one of the things I dread most about going to any such events.The show got over at 4.15 pm and we hung around till 5.45, hoping the traffic would ease. We spent the time eating snacks and the kids played on the grass. But even after leaving that late, it was ~7 pm by the time we hit the main highway. And all the while that we were crawling, we were on reserve, so I was really expecting to pull over and wait for AAA. That wouldn’t have been pretty with the clogged roads and the tired kids. In fact the roads were so full of cars, they may have refused to reach us until all the backed up traffic cleared. But thankfully, we made it and desperately exited at the Providence airport to fill gas since that seemed to be the only gas exit on that part of I-95.

After that we reached Providence downtown around 8 pm to see WaterFire. This is something I have been wanting to do for the last 3 yrs, but just didn’t get a chance. And what little of the downtown area we saw is really charming. We sat by the river and had pizzas for dinner, waiting for the show to start. The music and the gondolas started around 8.30 pm, the fire was lit by ~9. I thought it was really beautiful. The sounds and smell of the crackling wood, the music and the gondolas, it was all great. Only we were too tired after a long day and also most our attention has to be on the kids, so can’t let go all our responsibilties/worries (even if for a short while) and just enjoy the moment. So we left around 9.30 pm. But I definitely want to go back, both to see more of Providence and enjoy WaterFire for a longer while.

Getting out of there was another frustrating exercise. It was a full 40 min wait for us to crawl through to the parking lot payment booth and another 30 min to finally get on to 95N after going around lost among detours.

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Fun birthday party

Saturday, June 23, we had A’s birthday party at Pump it Up. I had to book almost 2 months in advance and even then couldn’t get convenient dates or times. We had signed up  for the 9 am slot, which was better than the after 5.30 pm slots which were offered. The morning was so frantic with us all trying to get ready and then pick up the cake, balloons and some donuts etc. Somehow no amount of preparation helps avoid the last minute frenzy. But it was all worth it. The kids had a WONDERFUL time! There were 16 kids all the way from 2o months to 7 yrs. Most of them were between 5.5 – 7 (A’s classmates), but there was S, one of her friends and a few kids from the neighborhood in other ages. Everyone played on the bouncers non-stop. To me, it seemed like S was one of those having the most fun. She was running and jumping right up there with those big kids. Everyone was energetic and since it is indoors and AC’ed, they weren’t getting uncomfortably hot. The play rooms and party room was pretty spacious – so lots of room for the adults to hang around and chat (unlike other places where we always seem running into each other’s elbows). Then we had snacks and cake. One of the kids was asking if they can go back and play again! They give a total of 80 minutes play time and 40 minutes for the party. It is kinda pricey compared to some other places and I didn’t like their many restrictions on the snacks, balloons etc, but in the end, it turned out pretty good – just to see the kids enjoying so much.

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