Apparently I took “doin’ stuff” very seriously, because this week I did SO much stuff that I am actually surprised that I am not dead in a ditch right now. In the past nine days I have: attended a 4th of July party, gone to NYC to visit
old people family and catch a Mets game, driven home at 2am from said Mets game, gone out to dinner, had too many drinks with work folk followed by dinner with a colleague followed by an impromptu late night celebrating of some friends’ engagement (yay!), gone on a date to a museum, had a farmers’ market lunch date with a friend, hit up the aquarium with visiting family followed by a fun seafood dinner and North End pastries, headed to NH for a (kinda hard) five mile hike, made a cake, went to a book club meeting, and had dinner with a friend. Oh, and also worked a full work week, canceled my cable, read two and a half books, and hid from a turkey. PHEW.
I’d write about the 4th of July party, but it was pretty much old hat: friend had a party, I thought I could go head-to-head with his older sister on tequila shots, the rest of the night is fuzzy. Everyone else seemed to have fun though!
Same with the NYC trip – we visited with Jason’s mother’s uncle and aunt (and their son), a trip that was so fascinating that I plan to write about it later, after I read the unpublished biography on the uncle because HE IS TERRIBLY INTERESTING. The Mets game was fun, although they lost. But, my friend Jenna did come with us and I got to try three different beers, so it was not a total wash.
So, here’s the interesting stuff:
On Thursday, Jason and I decided that we needed to add some culture to our ever growing list of doin’ stuff. We headed over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum after work and were pleased to discover that it was the inaugural day of a new Thursday night program called Neighborhood Nights. The museum was free of charge and they had activities and concerts for families. For those of you unfamiliar with the ISGM, it’s a gorgeous museum in Boston curated by Isabella Stewart Gardner, who collected all the art work personally around the turn of the 20th century. She had the building built to her exact specifications (it’s stunning, with huge rooms and a central courtyard that allows lots of natural light – it’s inspired by her love of Venetian homes), and decided exactly what works of art were to be shown and where they were to be placed. She had a ton of artists represented, a lot that were her friends, including Degas and John Singer Sargent, to name a couple. Anyway, in her will it was stipulated that the museum was to stay exactly as she had designed it – so even though some paintings are in strange places, or, in one horrible case, have been stolen – nothing can be changed. About two years ago, since the actual building couldn’t be changed, the museum added a modern wing to showcase newer art, opened a cafe and lounge and created a gift shop.
It was quite the place to visit. The rooms are crowded with furniture, paintings, and sculptors that have little to no relation. After a delightful dinner at the cafe, we wandered almost aimlessly through the rooms. I have visited the museum before, but was excited to share it with Jason. It’s such an eclectic collection. Most of the time, Jason and I didn’t even bother to figure out what we were looking at (there are no signs for the paintings, you have to find a guide) and just soaked in the art. It was a perfect date for a warm Thursday evening. (I highly recommend visiting, and also reading The Art Forger, which is a great little novel about one of the stolen paintings resurfacing.)
On Friday Jason and I sneaked out of work early (ok, not really, we asked) and met up with my Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dan, and cousins Isaac and Sam (who hail from upstate New York – they were passing through on the way to Cape Cod) for a trip to the New England Aquarium. I’ve been the the NEA a few times, and Jason has too, but never with children. Isaac is 11 and Sam is 9, and BOY was it fun to see everything through a child’s eye. (Ok, Dan was pretty excited about the really old sea turtle.) We had a blast watching the seals and sea lions (and I am still convinced that one of the seals were hungover – one was passed the eff out and the other kept acting like he was about to hurl) and spent a good half hour trying to find the 90-year-old sea turtle (Myrtle) in the huge coral reef (for those unfamiliar with the NEA, there is a 4-story coral reef through the middle of the building – it’s really awesome and pretty much the reason to go).
After the NEA, we dragged the family to a small seafood joint on the pier, where I had my first ever clams (fried. Not bad.) and discovered that my aunt doesn’t like french fries, which is still baffling me. We indulged on beers and fried seafood (no beer for the kids, of course), and afterwards meandered through the North End, eventually ending up at Modern Pastry. Modern is one of my favorite places in Boston and I am pretty sure it became a favorite place for my young cousins as well. As we approached the pastry display, I watched both their eyes grow about 5 sizes. They made excellent choices, a Boston cream pie cupcake and a “Hostess” cupcake – both the size of my fist, while the rest of us got cannoli and chocolate. After they boxed up our desserts, Isaac proudly carried that box down the street to a picnic area. I have never seen him so happy as when he was carrying that box. Fun fact: when Isaac bit into the giant Hostess cupcake to discover the cream filling he was surprised! Apparently he had never had one of the manufactured ones before. Sam had never had Boston cream pie either, and was pleased as punch when he had his first taste.
After pastries we headed home on the T – it was the boys’ first time taking a train, and they were tickled pink. The family came over to see the apartment and meet Princess Pick (and use the bathroom) then hopped back on the T, to their hotel. We pretty much collapsed into bed within minutes of their departure.
Up Next: Emily and Jason take a hike AND ALMOST DIE. Also: cake.