Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Boston with family

Just had a wonderful weekend in Boston with my younger brother, his wife, their two boys, their daughter-in-law and granddaughter, and our 97 year old uncle!  My brother, Jimmy, met us when we got to Boston Friday and parked the RV out in Quincy, near the assisted living place where Uncle Mac lives.  We drove into Boston and met his wife, Colleen, at their son and daughter-in-law's house where Colleen was sitting for their granddaughter.  Had a good visit with sweet little Eisa, the one Trisha knitted the pink tutu for earlier on this trip.  She's just about 3 now, which is just one of the cutest ages for little children.  She's changed so much since we last saw her a year ago, and is now talking up a storm and bringing such delight to the whole family!  When her mom and dad got home from work we had a good visit with them as well.  Marshall is now a lawyer in Boston and his wife is an advertising designer.  They were telling us how from time to time when Eisa wants to do something beyond her age ability they'll tell her that she'll be able to do that "when she gets bigger."  Eisa then toddles off to her room and comes back in a few minutes and announces "Now I'm bigger!"  Too funny!

Jimmy and Colleen live on their 70 ft. motor yacht in Boston Harbor, moored right downtown.  They've lived on this and other boats off and on for years, and Jimmy does charters with the boat.  It's a beautiful boat, with lots of lovely wood accents and a gourmet kitchen.  Which is a good thing, as Colleen is definitely a gourmet chef!  She's been vegan for years, so it was a wonderful gustatory weekend for us--she was excited by our conversion, of course, and the new Moosewood cookbook we brought.  She has an extensive library of vegan cookbooks, so we had such fun looking through them, and, best of all, enjoyed the absolutely fabulous meals she cooked while we were there.  She introduced us to several new recipes and some things we'd not seen or tried before, like almond milk greek style yogurt and hemp seeds.

Saturday we all went out to Quincy to visit with Uncle Mac--his place was having their annual Octoberfest Fall Festival, and the weather cooperated splendidly!  Just a gorgeous fall afternoon, with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine.  They had big tents set up in the parking lot with lots of food and drink, a cover band that was really pretty good, pony rides for kids and a traveling petting zoo, with bunny rabbits, baby goats, ducks, pot bellied pigs, etc.  Lots of residents' families were there, so it was fun to watch the residents delight in having lots of children around.  We all went for a good long walk, and Mac was in fine form.  He spent his adult life in Manhattan, so walking was a way of life for him, never having owned a car or even a drivers license after he moved to New York in 1946!  He's definitely showing signs of slowing down since last year, but for someone 97 years old, he's pretty amazing.  He absolutely loved seeing the little animals, and enjoyed petting a bunny that Colleen picked up for him.  And as we stood around for a while listening to the band, he was just rocking out, dancing his little dance, holding on to his walker!  I tried to get a video of him dancing, but when I got the camera out, I think he thought I was taking still pictures, because he would stop moving.   But he loves to sing, and he would sing along from time to time.  The man is truly remarkable; he's now lived longer than anyone in the Senterfitt family, and is a star at his assisted living complex.  I looked around at so many of the residents in wheel chairs, decidedly less mobile than Mac, and marveled at how he's one of the oldest residents there, older than most of the folks already confined to wheelchairs.  After lots of fresh air and exercise, we all came in to the lounge area and started working on a jigsaw puzzle.  There was a piano player in the adjacent common living room area, and when he'd play a piece Mac recognized, he would just break out into song with his still strong and lovely tenor voice.  A great afternoon!  Back on the boat that evening it was a nice warm, clear evening, and I sat out on the upper deck watching a huge yacht come into the harbor, hosting a wedding party with an escort by a fire department boat, showering the bay with all their hoses--quite an impressive sight!

Sunday we drove around to different parts of Boston, looking at different neighborhoods, having a great time visiting with Jimmy and Colleen, and their other son, Ethan, who teaches sailing here, and in the Virgin Islands later in the year, and then goes to Vail to teach snowboarding.  Quite the nautical family, but no surprise there, as they lived full time on a sail boat in and around the Bahamas when Ethan was just born--he learned to walk on the deck of the sailboat, and when they moved off the boat back to land, he basically had to learn to walk all over again to get used to walking on solid ground!  Then back out to spend the afternoon with Mac before coming back to another wonderful dinner of vegan chili, with vegan cornbread Trisha made--yum, yum!

Colleen had taken Monday off, so we walked around downtown and had lunch at one of the many super food trucks that are set up all around the downtown area.  Found one that specializes in vegan/vegetarian foods and it was super!   Very windy downtown, though and we had to hold on to our plates tightly as we sat down at outdoor tables, but lots of fun.  Monday afternoon we went back to Quincy for our last visit with Mac and he was in fine form--we walked for nearly an hour!  We kept thinking he might be tired, but each time we would get near the building entrance he'd say, let's keep going around again!  Just amazing!

Said our goodbyes this morning and headed off to Vermont.  It was easier to say goodbye this time, since we'll see them again in November when our brother is getting married in LA, and then they are all coming to Cherry Log for Thanksgiving, including Uncle Mac!  It was a great visit, but when we got back in the RV, we both felt so good to be back in our cozy little carhouse!  Had a wonderful drive through western Mass. with lots of colors and crisp temps!  Stopped in Northampton for a delightful lunch at an Indian restaurant and then on to Vermont.  We'll do some hiking or biking tomorrow, just depending on how we feel, but looking forward to getting out in this wonderful fall air!  It was really unseasonably warm for this time in Boston, according to all the locals--one day it was 80!  It's a little cooler here tonight so looking forward to the next few days here!

Some shots en route from New Hampshire to Boston on Friday

 Beautiful bridge as we came into Boston
 Lovely veggie timbales for dinner on Friday night, around their table on the aft deck on the boat

 Out and about on Saturday, some beautiful leaves . . .

Some pumpkins and mums . . .

 Some orchids . . .
 Some hydrangeas and roses . . .

 Some more pumpkins in a display around this huge anchor at a marina
 A cormorant
 And some more leaves!

 Trisha giving Mac some blueberry jam from the farm where we picked blueberries in the Apostle Island National Lakeshore in Wisconsin

 Heading out on our walk, ponies in the background--Mac said he thought it best if he passed on the pony rides!

 Mac, me, Jimmy
 The band

 Wish you could have seen the smile on Mac's face when he was petting this little bunny!
 Pretty handsome dude!!

This is the coolest thing--all along the greenway in downtown Boston, they have a number of these pianos, just there for anyone to stop and play, with a sign asking folks to put the cover on the piano if it starts to rain.  We saw several folks playing pianos as we drove around town--they also have these zip cars, that you can rent by the hour from lots all over downtown, as well as hub bikes, the same way.  Impressive things for the city.
 Delicious dinner of pasta and veggies and kale salad!!

 Hey, we got the puzzle completed!!

 Looking out on Boston Harbor through the window on the aft deck of Flying Colors
 A big Coast Guard cutter at the next dock; this shot was from early Monday morning

 Looking down alongside the walkway of the boat

This struck us as odd--the downtown city skyline, with a windmill nearly in the same view!

 Monday afternoon we stopped to watch some kite surfers and they were pretty impressive--lots of heavy winds right along this little bay, which helped these guys get up some real speed and a couple were able to soar pretty high and long up in the air!

Some shots along the way as we left Boston this morning

 Northampton, Mass, where we stopped for lunch
 All these bright yellow leaves . . .
 Coming down from this tree
 Lovely church steeple in Hadley

 Look at all those pumpkins!
Coming into Vermont

 Vermont Visitor Center as we entered the state--very impressive buildings and flowers!


  1. Jack I really enjoyed this post................you folk's look great.