The next morning, we drug the kids out of bed, loaded the van, and then started our trek back down the coast.
We stopped at Kittery for breakfast-which-was-actually-lunch and then headed on into Boston where we spent the rest of the day walking the Freedom Trail, poking our heads in little Italian groceries, and forcing the kids to keep walking.
The warship’s mixer looks awfully familiar. Also, is that a sheeter?!
Ice cream cones coated with Rice Krispy treats!
Jerusalem bagel from Tatte.
We’d made reservations for a hotel close to the airport, but then we drove there and realized that it was in the airport and we had to pay 55.00 dollars for valet service and then our car was whisked away and we were stranded in airport land: a situation that, if we weren’t so tired and hungry, would’ve been hilarious (and still was, a little bit). Actually, it gave me twinges of PTSD, leftover trauma from our Belize fiasco which was, undeniably, LEAGUES worse than being stranded in a comfy hotel for a night.
We made the best of it, though — my husband and younger daughter went foraging on foot for food and found a pizza place — and the next morning my son and husband played in the pool and then we feasted on the hotel’s hot, free (nothing’s free, ha!) breakfast.
And then we tore out of the hotel last minute to meet up with my (distant) cousin and his family to go whale watching — our trip splurge.
The whales were neat (we saw a humpback and her calf from a distance) but what I really liked was the boat ride. For much of the four-hour trip, I stood out at the front on the part that jutted out into the ocean. It was mesmerizing, watching as the boat lifted up over a swell and then nosedived back down. Like being on a roller coaster, almost. It was the first time I’d ever really been out on the open ocean like that; even with calm seas, it was thrilling.
Then back to Framingham for the evening and the hard part: saying goodbye to our daughter.
It was much harder to say goodbye this time than when she’d first left home back in January, maybe because the separation feels more permanent now — we know she’s going to be at this farm for another year, at least — or maybe because, driving up to MA, we got to feel the physical distance between us. Or maybe because being with her for a week reminded me of how much fun she is, or because it was all of us leaving her there, by herself. She loves her work, and she’s with good people (and has good friends), but she’s doing all this on her own. Even though everything is as it should be, as we all want it to be, it’s still hard.
another twelve hours of driving and then, after a grand total of one thousand, nine hundred and two miles, we were home again, and in our fridge there was a homemade supper from my mother, ahhh.