Monday, March 21, 2016

Birthdays, Bricks and Bouncing in Boston

I'm typing this post as another whirl-wind trip to Boston comes to a close. We started the trip by picking up Gavriella early from her play-group and taking her to Jump On In, an indoor bouncy house extravaganza. She wasn't immediately in love with this. When asked what she wanted to try first, she explained she'd like to put her shoes back on and leave.

But after a bit of cajoling and demonstration by Shira and Myself, she finally warmed up to the place and ended up having a ball. After two hours of jumping, we were all completely exhausted. We hit Jump On In on Friday morning, before school had let out, so it was almost completely empty. We nearly had the place to our self, which made getting Gavriella warmed up to the surroundings even easier.

After lunch, we picked up Tzipora and ran some errands. And being Uncles and Aunts, we had no qualms about stopping at the froyo place to have a treat. Gavriella enjoyed her watermelon yogurt and Tzipora devoured her strawberry.

One of the main reasons for the trip: it was the Twins' 7th birthday on Friday night. We celebrated with cake, balloons and themed napkins (My Little Pony for Chana, Thomas for Dovid). It's hard to believe that the little tykes are 7 years old. That's like little people! I can still remember sitting next to them in the NICU, two little bundles barely bigger than a handful (exhibit A, exhibit B). Actually, come to think of it, they're still a handful.

We passed an enjoyable Shabbat playing with Legos (the kids are really getting the hang of following the instructions) and taking a 4 mile(!) hike to Brookline Reservoir. We decided to name the destination 'Thirsty Pond' as the kids were absolutely parched when they arrived. The reservoir has a nice running path around it and apparently allows fishing. Also, to our surprise, there were wild turkeys wandering around. Though, there wasn't a great place for the kids to play there (I mean, they're fine with playing inches from the edge of the water, us, not so much) so I doubt we'll be returning anytime soon. The kids passed Reservoir T-Station on the way which has some large rocks practically screaming out for kids to play lava games on. So they did. This definitely helped make the hike a success. They were also a perfect spot for a cookie break. Our little hikers continue to march pretty much wherever we ask them. As long as we can put up with their constant pleas for snacks, we're all good.

Shira and I started this morning with breakfast at Tresca's Eating Place. If you ever want to take a trip back in time to when breakfast was a simpler affair, this is the place to go. No pesky gluten free or heart-healthy menu options. I got egg and cheese on a bagel, and there was no discussion of what artesian bagel I wanted, or how aged the cheese should be. It was a good 'ol plain bagel, with good 'ol American cheese, with a good 'ol egg on top. What's to discuss? (And for the record, it tasted awesome). Oh, and it's cash only, too. This was a nice contrast to the dinner the night before at Zhu. We tried this Asian Vegan restaurant for the first time and were quite impressed. We'll absolutely have to go back to try more items on the menu, as the Mushroom Seitan and General Tzo's were both quite delectable.

This morning we awoke to a feels like of 19°F. So yeah, an outdoor activity was pretty much out of the question. While searching for an indoor activity we learned that there's a Legoland Discovery Center in town and the kids had never been. Having had a positive experience in Legoland in Florida we thought we'd give the Boston version a try. Yelp reported that folks generally had a good time, though some thought it was a bit small for the hefty sized entrance fee. Given our need for a fresh indoor activity, and having just played Legos the day before, we thought we'd give it a try.

Yelp was right, the place isn't huge. Somehow Legoland manages to fit an introductory movie, two small'ish amusement park rides, a 4D movie, a Lego Boston Miniland, various Lego building stations and a kids play area in one large upper story building of what amounts to an outdoor mall. All 4 kids enjoyed the space immensely. Chana and Dovid loved the rides and 4D movie, Tzipora and I enjoyed building and racing cars, and Gavriella enjoyed hugging the (to her) giant Lego characters. Shira and I enjoyed the closed in play area, where all 4 kids could climb and run with wild abandon. Gavriella, to her credit, managed to climb to the tippy top of one of the structures in the play area and just hung out there enjoying the view. When she was ready to come down, Chana helped her make the trek back to ground level.

Shira tells me that she was especially impressed with the staff at Legoland, something we couldn't really say about the Florida version. So, in the end, was it worth the small fortune to get in? Given the kids' ages and the weather outside, heck yeah. For what we spent, we could have probably gone on Craigslist and bought a lifetime supply of Legos, but what the heck, the kids loved the experience.

And then it was off to the airport for us, where our plane was delayed just long enough for us to get lunch.

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