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Archive for October, 2008

Halloween is here

The kids, dressed as Grim Reaper and a bear.

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Scenes from Charlestown

Bunker Hill Monument

Bunker Hill Monument

Last Sunday, the weather was perfect – sunny and 70 (which is rare in late Oct). So we headed to Charlestown. Even though we have lived in the area for eight years, we never had a chance to go there. This seems to be the year when I’m knocking off quite a few things on my list of things to see/do. We climbed up the Bunker Hill monument (294 steps), got great views of Boston, read up on some history of the American struggle for Independence, went to City Square Park where there were beautiful fall colors on the trees and ate an awesome “Coffee lovers” ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Days like these always lift up my spirit!

City Square Park

City Square Park

Boston from the top of Bunker Hill Monument

Boston from the top of Bunker Hill Monument

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It took me some effort to familiarize myself with the name of the trail, but it is one of the most beautiful ones we have been on. This past weekend was absolutely wonderful. 70 and sunny for pretty much all four days – Friday through Monday. Even though we had a ton of errands related to the work that is happening this week at our home, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

So, on Saturday we loaded the bikes and headed out to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. Even though we have lived in MA for eight years and I have been thinking of fitting in a trip for years, it had somehow never happened. We have made a lot of such trips happen this year. We had initially considered camping but chickened out since its a bit cold in the evenings. So, this was going to be a day trip (we didn’t make plans early enough and late reservations are hard to get in peak fall foliage season). Ashuwillticook trail is 11 miles long and runs from Cheshire to Adams. Our origin was Cheshire. Parking was very hard to find and after hanging around for a bit, one of the cars left and we grabbed that spot.  We started around 1 pm and it took us about an hour and 45 minutes to reach Adams (including about 30 minutes in various breaks). It is a very scenic trail – with ponds, rivers, mountains and the colors were pretty good. There are plenty of picnic benches along the way. They were all very clean and new. Even the trail is very well maintained. The Visitor Center in Adams was spanking new with clean restrooms and very helpful and friendly staff. We stopped there for about half hour and started our return at 3.15 pm. Some sections were a gradual hill and we were pretty tired towards the end. The last couple of miles all of us struggled. Its nice to have company in misery! We were back at the car exactly at 5 pm. Even though temperatures were in the low 50s by now and we all had our sweatshirts on, we stopped at Krispy Kones for some ice cream. Then it was a long drive back.

The colors were absolutely stunning around Mount Greylock, but it was getting dark pretty quick, so we barely enjoyed that for a few minutes. Most of the towns in the Northern Berkshires (Williamstown, North Adams) were very charming. It had been a while since we had driven in mountainous region and Rt 2 was quite a drive in those parts. I only wished we had a few more daylight hours to enjoy all that.

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We are currently doing some work in the house – new counter tops and floor in the kitchen, new floor in the laundry/mud room andnew carpet in the bed rooms. The house is a mess. But not having access to the kitchen is downright inconvenient. I had sorta expected this but didn’t realize how hard it would be. Especially today, with the kids being home due to Columbus day. I’m dreading a week of PBJ sandwiches, mac and cheese and eating out. And all the clean-up and rearranging that will come afterwards. But for now, no cooking, doing dishes etc :). Hey, I have to look for the bright spot in the middle of this chaos!

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For a month now, we have a piano teacher who comes home to teach AK. I absolutely love the convenience of the at-home lessons. I get some chores done around the house, SK is entertained (although she occasionally needs reminders not to disturb them) and we don’t need weekends reserved for these lessons. Otherwise between soccer games, piano lessons etc, our weekends were shot for any day-long fun activities. The other reason I’m also relieved is that when winter arrives, I don’t have to drag both of them out in the cold. One little thing helping me stay sane. The icing on the cake is that it is even slightly lesser than what I was paying at the music school!

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It was a beautiful weekend here in the Northeast. Sunny and low 60s. Here in Central Massachusetts, the colors have turned in pockets, and I think the coming weekend will be more colorful than last. We hiked up Mt Wachusett after many months, on the usual Pine Hill trail. This is the shortest but it is pretty rocky and steep. It is about 2 miles round trip. The trail was pretty busy but still quite enjoyable. The highlight though was that SK climbed the entire mile up all by herself. She just turned three last week, so I’m pretty thrilled that she did it easily without any whining. AK did it at that age too, but he needed a lot more goading, encouragement and treats along the way. On the way back, she came on the hiking chair.

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