Thursday, July 03, 2008

Easy-living on the East Coast...

Bret here again. On Monday we took the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan then took the subway to the see the progress on the World Trade Center. Several buildings going up around the main site. They’ve even built up to the ground floor where towers one and two were located. I’m sure Danielle would like to share her thoughts on this particular visit, so I won’t go into more details at this time.

Following seeing the WTC, we journeyed into Greenwich Village to visit Anita, John-dad’s Aunt. She’s 90 years old and has lived in the same apartment for the past 50 years. We walked (albeit very slowly) the two long blocks to one of her favorite local restaurants, CafĂ© Loup. A great little French place where everybody knew her and she got the chance to introduce the last of her family to them. Apparently this is the place she always takes family when they come to town. It was quite obvious our host, Jim, is deeply taken with her. He seemed like a fantastic guy, and I’m glad she has so many people looking after her in this city.

We had a terrific visit, but all things must end. We returned to her apartment for a short visit before taking the subway, ferry and bus back to Greg-dad’s place to pick up the car. Nearly two hours later, we were on the road back to Massachusetts --- it’s now near the end of people’s work day and we got stuck in the crowds. Hard to believe people actually do this on a daily basis! It’s nice though, because we got a chance to see dad and Melodee once more on the way out of town. Amazingly, we made the drive through Brooklyn, Queens and the rest of the city with little to no traffic, so we made great time. Until… Who would have thought the last mile between Connecticut and Mass would be what takes the longest?

Returned to Mass late and tired so we decided going to Maine for L.L. Bean and lobster would not be the best thing on Tues. Pushed that to Wed and spent Tues putzing around the house. No major events there, so I’ll skip to Wed.

One of Brett’s favorite things to do is take visitors to get fresh lobster from a lobster shack in Freeport, ME. Danielle is a lobster fiend, so was completely on board. I had not yet experienced it, so admit I wanted to go as well. Maine is a 2-3 hour drive from their place, so we had to get up early in order to make a full day of things. I felt like I must be part of a Twilight Zone episode or something, as I of all people was the first one up and moving at ~6:20am. We got our clan ready for the planned 7:30 departure, but didn’t leave until 8:15 while waiting on Katie’s boys. Have D or I ever mentioned how glad we are that we’re past the toddler/young child stages of this parenting thing? I forgot how much packing/chasing/corralling is involved with any outing. Anyways… we had a pretty nice drive up to Freeport with no major issues. For those who’ve never been, Freeport is a nice little town that L.L. Bean appears to have thrown up all over. As you enter town one sign points left for the town entrance with another pointing you towards the L.L. Bean Employment office and distribution center. Downtown is filled with Bean store after Bean store interspersed with other outlet stores, restaurants and a few one-of-a-kind stores. Our group of nine would head off to our own points of interest, meet back to enjoy a packed lunch then disperse once again to get their shopping needs completed. I’m not what one would call a big shopper, so the ice cream booth and British Shop were what interested me the most.

The weather was nice, so we took a trip to the beach. The girls knew this was not a swimming beach, but they were excited to collect shells and rocks. The tide was on it’s way out, so we had fun tromping through the muck that is loosely referred to as the beach.

A little fun, but now it was time for Lobster!!

Alli really wanted one of her own and liked the taste but wouldn’t touch the thing to get any of the meat. “It’s staring at me,” she said.

D on the other hand…

That woman is sure in her element so far this trip. I’ve got to go help Tari-mom as she prepares to move into her newly renovated condo, so will end this here. Hope all is going well with everyone!


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