Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Boston Yom Orchim Weekend - Slumber Party, Castle Island and Group Hugs

This past Saturday we passed a restful shabbat playing games and catching up with our nieces and nephew. We also took an epic 4 mile march around Brighton, visiting both the nearby reservoir and Ice Pond (formerly known as Secret Pond, but renamed this trip when we learned its original purpose was for the harvesting of ice). We reminded all four children that the reservoir was the first adventure we'd had with each of them, pushing them in their strollers when they were just a couple of weeks old.

For the first time in all our visits to Boston, we opted to stay at an Airbnb rather than a hotel. Perhaps it was the holiday weekend, but hotel rates were even more crazy than usual. Our Airbnb was delightful and had a big 'ol sectional. As part of the epic 4 mile march we stopped by the house and the kids noted they could each fit on the couch while lying down. And so it was decided, we'd have a slumber party!

We ended up hosting 3 out of the 4 children in our Airbnb and it worked well. Sunday morning we found ourselves with 3 extra guests and no real plan for breakfast. Looking around, we scrounged some ingredients I'd brought with, mixing plain-instant oatmeal, powdered milk and chocolate pudding, for the ultimate Uncle invented breakfast. The kids were quite psyched about having pudding for breakfast, and who wouldn't be?

Because we were driving back to DC, we didn't have a whole lot of time to spend playing on Sunday. In the morning, we bundled up the kids and Shira's Mom and headed down to Castle Island, a Boston site I'd been meaning to get to for years. As my Mother-in-Law put it, this would be our scouting mission.

The parking lot was nearly full when we arrived at 10am. We checked out the fort and surrounding grounds and then made our way to the beach to dip our toes into the icy Atlantic. Whoo wee, that was some chilly water! The beach was on the rocky and small side, but that didn't slow the kids down one bit. They had a great time playing and were bummed when we had to leave relatively early. My Mother-in-Law and the kids also did some shell collecting for future jewelry projects.

I could definitely imagine coming back to Castle Island when we have the day to spend there. Some of our party would enjoy the fort tour and surrounding trail, while others would be happy playing in the water and building sand castles. The steady stream of planes flying overhead would be a nice bonus.

When we left the parking lot, Dovid started playing the License Plate Game, seeing how many states he could notice. Almost every car in the parking lot had a Massachusetts plate. This is further evidence that this is a local hangout, a place where Boston families can get some beach time without fighting traffic.

After Castle Island it was time to drop the kids off and start our trek home. It was there that Gavriella got to once again try out a new phrase that we taught her this weekend: Group Hug! We all came in for one big last hug and then it was time to head home.

We broke the trip up with a stop at Liebman's Deli in the Bronx. The food was good (and plentiful!) but it was the cannoli I picked up at the Riverdale Corner Cafe and Bakery that was ultimately the epic treat. My gosh, it was pastry heaven!

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