a.k.a. First Trip Home Sweet Home Since October 2010
Eleanor splashes at the beach by my parents' house!
I really enjoyed going home to Boston. Well, the "going" was not so enjoyable -- baby's first plane trip was rough on us all -- but being home was great! I finally felt like I was meshed with society again, not on some frontier prairie edge-of-the-universe alcove. Boston is a place where things HAPPEN. It is busy and alive and just makes you feel part of some greater hum of existence. Here in WA, well, I'm happy and alive and all that, but I totally feel removed from . . . everything. It's like a different world. A really nice world, more Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood than even Pittsburgh (his real neighborhood!) was, but in no way do I feel like a part of a whole. There's no whole, just people-pieces that sometimes come together and socialize or meet on the street, and then float off again, leaving you, for the most part, alone and to your own devices.
Where I grew up! (backyard view)
I have never even met my parents' tenants, but I love their urban garden!
Morning glory climbs the elaborate watering system
I do not miss the cars/traffic of Boston, but I do miss the subway! And holy mackerel, Boston, I could do without your blazing LED-light lampposts blinding me every 10 feet -- talk about light pollution! I had to laugh because when we came home one night, the streets were as bright as day (or a ballpark, or something)! I have come to appreciate night-darkness where I live. I am pretty much convinced, after this visit, that LED streetlights are evil, though A. says more and more cities are putting them in. Sad!
Speaking of night, I was going to share this a long time ago: obviously Boston is noisy. Trains, sirens, weird noises, what-you-hope-aren't-gunshots, etc. I grew up with it. Here in Vancouver, it is mostly quiet at night except for on the 4th of July, when people go NUTS setting off their own fireworks (which are illegal in MA if I recall correctly) . . . anyway, this past Fourth, I had the most restful sleep EVER during all that racket. Is that sad, or what? Ha ha!
One more night thing: I miss crickets!!! On this trip, every night had the constant hum of a bazillion chirping crickets, something I associate with summer. I guess crickets out here only live in the country -- not even suburbia -- because I don't think I've heard a single cricket since we've been living here. OK, that's probably an exaggeration, but there is nothing like the loud cricket chorus here at all! Also there are no cicadas. Pittsburgh had more cicadas than Boston. Apparently cicadas just don't make it this far west?? Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that there are not many bugs here -- and by bugs I mean mosquitoes -- but I miss the sound effects.
The morning glories were out in all their . . . glory! Here, one type of them is invasive so I think people mostly stay away. They were everywhere at home!
I must say, 3 things surprised me this trip. First, it was fairly "green" back home. You think of the super urban landscape as being gray and dead and whatnot, but in early September, the greenery was going strong! A. and I were discussing, it's a different sort of greenery back East, a more middle- and lower-story green instead of towering trees in the distance. Also more rolling hills to display all the layers. Something like that.
Second, it wasn't as humid as I feared! I was completely ready to sweat like a pig and be really uncomfortable, since in my current wussy environs we don't have "real" humidity (except for 100% humidity: rain). But it wasn't that bad. Nice ocean breezes . . . shade . . . just . . . niceness.
Third, people in public were way nicer on this trip than I ever recall!! I don't know whether that's because I have now honed a "I'll be generally friendly and approachable to the public" vibe or what, but people were just . . . nice. Like not complete jerks as usual. We were amazed!!
Drumlin Farm! What better place to bring a little kid?? Eleanor loved it of course! I remember loving it way on up through elementary school as a little nature retreat for this city girl.
A. and I had a laugh over this sign. Welcome to the Public Garden -- except you, bicyclists! (We are not anti-bicyclists, just anti-RUDE-and-STUPID-bicyclists . . . which is most of them. If you are a polite and attentive cyclist, then we love you!!)
We also went to the Aquarium, which was not a super successful trip, but Eleanor liked seeing all the sea critters. She loves the fish at the Oregon Zoo (and the fish in the Vancouver BC aquarium -- another trip I need to share here soon), so it came as no surprise!
Rainy day! We're used to it.
I never thought about it before, but the New England Aquarium is best suited to older, taller kids -- all the tanks require holding up the little ones! The BC aquarium was better in that regard; almost all tanks reached down to the floor.
Hello, other fish!
The NE Aquarium used to play the first 5 notes of the Sailor's Hornpipe (on wacky synthesizer) over their PA system at the start of all announcements, and I was disappointed that they don't anymore!! Why can't some things stay the same? (Note: as I'm playing that ukulele clip, Eleanor is doing a super cute dance -- love it!!)
Well, that's all I've got time for now! See ya next time!