A visit with friends

We went down to MA to visit with the Js and kids. So much fun. It was just like old times, except we had four kids tagging along! :) We left after work on Friday and met them at the mall for dinner. We all used to live in that area, so it was fun to revisit our old stomping ground. A lot has changed, of course, and there are so many more buildings now!

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Dinner at the mall with ice cream cupcakes for dessert. Yum!

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Can you see Boston? The hotel advertised this as a “skyline view of the big city” which made us laugh because this picture is way zoomed in and you can still barely see it. :)

Saturday morning we got breakfast at Panera Bread (kid table and grown up table and everyone was happy), then headed to Gloucester to check out the Atlantic. Julie used to work in that area and took her kids there when they were younger, but it was our first time.

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Can you tell which two kids are jaded of me taking pictures of them! :)

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Lovin’ the Atlantic in Gloucester, MA.

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Throwing rocks into tide pools.

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Eve found a little cave and ASKED me to take her picture!! Whoo hoo! Look at that beautiful smile! : )

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We went pretty far down the rocky shore.

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I tried so many times for a nice picture of the four kids together…

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This is the best I got. I think they are all looking at Julie’s camera though. Oh well!

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Eve found these shells on the rocks. The crab shell still has eyes in it! Eek! In the car the eyes fell out and now they are just resting in the shell in a bowl on our table.

When they were tired of the rocks we drove to a nearby state park that had a big playground, a sandy beach, and even more rocks.

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See-saw logistics. Not many playgrounds have these any more.

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These two work well together…

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These two didn’t work so well, even though they had a long discussion about how best to make it work. :)

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A different beach in Gloucester. Julie knows all the good places to go.

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Some quiet time for my boys… but paparazzi mom couldn’t resist!

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Kate LOVED Lex and wanted to hold his hand everywhere we went. Lex was very sweet and played so nicely with her. (She loved him when we visited last summer too.)

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These two, griping about some injustice done to them. I think maybe they didn’t get to play on the rocks long enough or something. I want to say “a peek at what’s to come,” but really I think we’re already there!

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This picture cracks me up! I love Molly’s face. They were commiserating about something, but when I started to take pictures you can see Molly peeking at Eve to see what to do. I can just imagine her thinking, “Should we smile for the camera? Are we still angry?” After a few snaps Eve ducked out of the way so I couldn’t catch her laughing! LOL!

Around lunch time we debated having lunch in Gloucester or heading to Kimball’s for ice cream. Ice cream for lunch?! Guess what won.

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Ice cream!!

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Everybody loves Kimball’s!

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Silly girls.

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Bumper boats! Eve and Lex were the only two out there and they loved it!

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Lex was enjoying cruising around, but Eve was out for destruction!

Lex and Molly and Alan played a round of mini-golf while the rest of us just hung out.

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Kate and Jim, and the old fashioned Kimball Farm ice cream truck.

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Eve’s first pony ride (I think). She’ll get a lot more actual riding this summer at camp.

After Kimball’s we headed to a playground to let the kids run free while the adults discussed dinner plans. That’s vacation, right, one meal plan to the next! :)

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We stopped at a very cool wooden playground that Julie used to take her kids to when they still lived in MA. The kids are all bigger now, but everyone still loved it.

We ended up at the Olive Garden. Sooo yummy! They gave us a big table tucked into a nook, away from the rest of the people enjoying their meals in peace. I think it was the special kid area. It was perfect!

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After dinner I tried one more time to get a good picture of the four kids. I promised Eve that if she gave me a good smile then I’d let her take a picture of the four grown-ups. Kate is excellent at posing for the camera, and Molly tried to help Eve come up with a good smile. :)

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Hahaha… I took many pictures, but this is the best I got. They only got sillier from here! We are clearly past the easy, photogenic baby stage!

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Apparently the grown-ups can’t do any better than the kids! Oh well! Maybe we’re just a bunch of funny looking people. Or maybe we were all just too happy and silly to make calm, posed faces.  :)

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These two had a hard time parting. They kept running back to each other for just one more good-bye.

It was just a short visit, but we packed a lot in and it’s so wonderful how easily you fall into step with old friends. I wish we could manage more than once a year, but maybe at this season of life we should be grateful for whatever visits we can manage. I hope the kids continue to be friends as they grow up. <3

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