Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 20
We’re now travelling east into Boston to walk the famous Freedom Trail. Robby’s studying the American Revolutionary War so our timing’s perfect. Tonight we had a delicious dinner at the “Summer Shack” with Cousin Sally and Jeffrey in Cambridge. Robby was about 6 years old the last time we saw them, so it was great catching up. They’re off to St. Bart’s on Wednesday, and we feel lucky to have caught them just in time!
On the drive today, we stopped to visit my Uncle Don and Aunt Barbara in North Brookfield, MA. They prepared a wonderful lunch and the kids had a great time exploring their stunning 5-acre property. Ben even went for a swim in the pond, when last night was their first freeze! My cousin Cathy stopped by, and we also met with 8-year old Alexis. Thanks for a nice visit!
We definitely had to stop in Williamstown, MA to hang out with Cousin Steve, Cousin Georgia, and Aunt Liz. They introduced us to Joe and Tracy Finnegan, and their boys Patrick, Shawn, and Dan who treated us to an unexpected and delightful dinner. We’re overwhelmed with all this hospitality. Steve just finished a magnificent painting which is on its way to England, and we had the chance to see it just before its completion. Way to go Steve!
Prior to this, we spent almost 2 weeks at Uncle Clipper and Wendy’s farmhouse in West Sand Lake, NY. Louise and Clayt live ¼ mile down the road so we enjoyed a grand visit. This is the farmhouse where Thom grew up and spent most of his childhood years. Cousin Tucker (9) and Cousin Avery (7) shared everything from scooters, bikes, forts in the woods, computer games, stuffed animals, and cookies with our boys. We went to fencing practice (on guard!), a soccer game, choir practice, a medieval fair, and Friday assembly at Avery’s school. All of us attended the opening season hockey game of the Albany River Rats, who unfortunately lost to the Bridgeport, CT Tigers. Aunt Wendy arranged for a tour of the haunted Capitol Building in Albany to get ready for Halloween. The kids had one last chance to go back up to Frost Point, Canada with Clipper and Nana to close up the cottage for the winter. They helped move wood and do numerous chores while Thom and I enjoyed a quiet weekend at the farmhouse.
Being at the farmhouse for 2 weeks helped us move forward with the home schooling immensely. Nana was a huge help and assisted all the kids with reading, quizzing, etc. Wendy was a saint to put up with all of us invading her home for so long, more than doubling the number of occupants she’s accustomed to…thanks Wendy! We could easily settle down in this beautiful part of the country next year…who knows?!

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