Everyone who reads this blog probably already knows all this, but I’m writing the post anyway! :) This past weekend we spent in a mansion (practically) just outside of Boston, with family who came from near and far to celebrate Mema’s 70th birthday!!
It was a secret of the very best kind. My sisters and uncles and aunt all coordinated a mini-vacation, without telling my mom about it. I invited her to Boston for the weekend to do a whale watch with us and SURPRISE big family party! :)
The house belonged to this guy. We had a lot of fun admiring his posters and his house, and Googling him to learn more. :)
I didn’t take any pictures of just the house, but you can get an idea based on the pictures I did take. It was huge and beautiful! The house had a big backyard with all the amenities, including a jacuzzi and fire pit.
Friday night we did a little grocery shopping at the biggest Wegman’s ever, enjoyed a hearty dinner of kale soup made by Greg and Kathy, and generally just relaxed with one another.
Joyce was in charge of the decorations. We all enjoyed them. Happy Birthday Mema!! :)
There was a pool table, a foosball table, and a chess table! We called this the Red Room. I felt like the queen’s servant opening and closing those drapes each day.
First things first, chess!
Our jacuzzi even came with a mermaid!
The kids had fun with the lights and bubbles settings, creating an “RGB gamer hot tub.” The mermaid enjoyed herself.
Greg and I stayed up late with the kids the first night and played a few rounds of pool. Or maybe they stayed up late with us. I’m not sure anymore. We all had fun.
We might have gotten a little silly. :P
On Saturday we headed in to Boston to visit the aquarium and go on a whale watch. This sounds very straight forward, but choppy seas, broken transit, and unclear parking made it an eventful morning. Eventually we made it though and it was soooo worth the effort!
The Boston Aquarium was beautiful, as usual. Some people in our party had never been before, so if was fun exploring it with them for the first time.
We only saw one sea turtle this time. We were wondering where the rest were. I’ll have research that at some point. The turtle did a nice lap around the tank for us. Showing off just a little. :)
I missed the best picture of this guy smiling at me, but I got him on the second time around.
The penguins are always my favorite part!
What are these sea lions doing?!? Look at their flippers all wrapped up. Both of them had a side flipper and their tail flippers wrapped around each other (not tied, it looks like something they did themselves) and their other side flipper doing small turns in the water below. Like they were just chilling with their flippers all up in the air. It was so funny looking.
These three were also resting with one flipper down and the other straight up. It seemed to be naptime for most of them. One (not pictured) was having a good time with a toy, but the rest were pretty chill.
Then we headed out for a whale watch. The captain assured us the water wasn’t *too* choppy – yet. She said she thought she could get us out and back in before the water got too rough. Reassuring? I’m not sure. She was right though! She got us out there, the water wasn’t too bad, and the whales were a plenty!!
We say five different whales, two of which were a mother/calf combo that spent a lot of time feeding and playing around our boat. The boat had a “naturalist” (scientist? biologist?) on board who’s job it was to tell us over the loud speaker what we were seeing. She was also taking notes and documenting and doing science kind of stuff along the way. She was thrilled to see so many whales and just giddy over the “silly baby calf” that was playing and flipping and practicing it’s dives. She kept exclaiming over and over about how cute it was and how surprising and that baby whales like to play, just like baby people. Her enthusiasm was contagious and we all really enjoyed the experience. She said they don’t bait the animals or use sonar, so it’s kind of hit or miss what you see on each trip. I guess we got lucky. Maybe the whales wanted in on the birthday surprise too!
Everyone say CHEESE! Or WHALES!
We sailed on the Asteria. It sounds more glamourous than it really was, given the number of barf bags used. LOL. Not by our crew though!
I got LOTS of pictures of water. We saw so many whales and so close, yet my camera didn’t capture any of them well. Oh well.
I love this lady. 🧡💚💙
I got lots of pretty water pictures though. :)
There’s a whale’s tail!
Despite my photography skills, I promise we had so many great views of the whales. We saw Freckles, and Dross, and Dross-2021-calf, and Owl, and a Minke. You can learn more about these whales on their website. The website is a little out of date, unfortunately, but you get the idea.
Back at home we were all exhausted so we ate pizza, tried to watch tv, and fell asleep. I say “tried” to watch TV because the homeowner and his family are Russian and therefore all of their books were in Russian, the clock was Russian, and even the TV was all in Russian. I can guess at some languages, but Russian left me pretty clueless.
We just wanted to watch Jeopardy! :)
Sunday came slowly and we all looked forward to a day at “home” enjoying each other’s company. I finished putting together the birthday cake, Greg and Kathy made another delicious meal, and we kept each other busy with games of Dominoes, Scrabble, Catan, and of course, pool.
Scrabble. Eve won, with a
little lot of help from her neighbor! :)
This Catan game lasted longer than TWO rounds of Scrabble!
Yummy delicious strawberry cream birthday cake. I was looking forward to this all week! :)
Mema got a Lego flower bouquet for her birthday and asked for assistance building it. We were all eager to help out. Grandpa Tom was waiting patiently for the pool table to become available again.
A sneak picture of Eve. :)
Happy Birthday Mema!!
Uncle Carl and Mema, holding the completed bouquet of Lego flowers.
Monday morning we packed up and headed home, promising each other we’ll do it again soon. I’m so happy the pandemic is (mostly) over so we can gather again. I love my family!! <3