Sunday, November 27, 2016

Photo Flood

This year I did a much worse job than usual editing and curating photos as we took them. Over Thanksgiving weekend I spent a couple of days catching up. The result is the following 13 new albums. Enjoy!

Click on each photo to go to that album.

I can't believe I've been slacking all the way back to last Christmas! Well, here you go.

Apparently the day after Christmas was very pleasant last year because it looks like we went to the beach.

I made a couple trips to the UK for meetings in the other Cambridge related to my old job at Biogen. On both trips I also spent some time in London. During this January trip I found a concert by an African musician and had a great time.

So I never posted photos four our annual February trip and no one complained! Next time, let me know!

From January through early April we had our basement remodeled by the world's best contractor. He was a dream to work with. Now it's our favorite part of the house!

Audrey stopped skating, but Charlotte continues to enjoy it. Here is video of her group's routine in the annual ice show in March.

Here's a collection of favorite photos from the first half of the year that aren't related to a specific event.

Three neighbor families joined us for a weekend camping at our favorite campground: Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire.

My second trip to the UK. More time in Cambridge and in London. This time I got to spend a couple of hours at the New Tate Modern gallery.

This year both girls went to circus camp for a week, at the same time. Carol and I had a week to ourselves and a date night, during which we saw a favorite performer: Sarah Jarosz.

Favorite photos from the second half of the year.

For her birthday in September, Carol traveled to Colorado to attend Girls Gone Grape with her best friend Kim. It was modeled after the famous "I Love Lucy" episode. They stayed in a swanky hotel in Vail, stomped grapes, went on a jeep tour, had a couple of nice dinners and best of all got to spend time together.

The girls started swim team at the YMCA in September. They are really enjoying their practices even though they come home exhausted. We've been to three meets so far, and there is video of all the events in this photo album.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mt. Monadnock

Back on my birthday in May the family decided I got to choose the activity. I chose to hike up Mt. Monadnock in southern New Hampshire.

It's one of the most popular hikes near Boston. I didn't understand just how popular until we got there. I think the parking lot at the most popular trailhead could hold 300 cars (and there are multiple trailheads). The trail was as wide as a road most of the way, and filled with a constant stream of people. It was definitely the most people I've ever seen on a hike.

Those of us who grew up hiking on the west coast are spoiled by having hiked trails that were mostly built (or rebuilt) by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression. They built trails to common standards, including maximum grade. To meet that grade limit, they used lots of switchbacks.

Well, on the East Coast the trails predate any trail construction standards. They go straight up, over huge boulders or whatever else might be in the way. The trails are steep.

Nevertheless, the family made it very close to the top. We stopped out of the wind below the summit to eat lunch. Carol and Charlotte were tired and stayed where they were while Audrey and I continued to the actual summit.

The view was very pretty.

Afterward we stopped for ice cream.

It was a lovely birthday.

The geeks among you might like to read about the MIT's Haystack Observatory, which we passed on the drive to Mt. Monadnock. And this weird program that involved the observatory: Project Needles.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ipswich River

We don't visit Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary as much as we'd like any more because we can't take Rhodie there. But today was a gorgeous fall day, so we decided to leave Rhodie at home and visit our old haunt.

We used to keep bird seed in the car for our visits but we were out. Fortunately there's a pet store right on the way near the sanctuary. I bet they sell a lot of bird seed.

The birds didn't disappoint. We got the usual torrent of chickadees. But today the nuthatches and the tufted titmice weren't as shy as they have been before and we got plenty of them to visit our hands, too.

People have been feeding the birds here out of their hands for a very long time. The bird population is very accustomed to it.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hub on Wheels

There's an annual bike ride every September in Boston called Hub on Wheels. The highlight is that Storrow Drive, a major roadway along the Charles River, is closed for the event and cyclists get to ride on a road that is usually closed to us.

Last year Audrey and I rode the 10-mile route - the Storrow Drive portion - together. At the point where the riders on the longer routes split off, Audrey toyed with the idea of riding farther.

Fortunately we didn't. She hadn't had any training, and she was tired after 10 miles, and sore the next day.

This summer I asked Audrey if she wanted to ride the longer route. I told her we would need to do some training rides to work up to the 40-mile length of this year's route. She was game.

So, several weekends in a row leading up to the event we rode. First a little under 10 miles. Then 20 miles a couple of times. And finally 30 miles on the Cape Cod Rail Trail while were visiting the Cape with friends. When Hub on Wheels rolled around, we were ready.

Oh, before the Cape ride I also bought a computer for Audrey's bike so she could see her own speed and distance.

We had to get up at 6am to go on the ride. Audrey wasn't too excited about that.

I had stocked up on energy foods and had them stashed in my jersey pocket. Good thing. Audrey needed boosts now and then throughout the ride. But she powered through and we finished! Just over 40 miles on our bike computers. I was very proud of her.

She was a little sore the next day but not too bad. We'll see if she's game again next year.

The age minimum is 12, so Charlotte has another year before she has to decide whether to give it a go.

Here's the route:

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cape Cod - September

For the fourth year in a row we joined our friends the Latta-Giulianas at their family cottage in Dennisport, Cape Cod, for the weekend after Labor Day.

We've established a bunch of traditions as part of this weekend:

This year Audrey and I added a 30-mile bike ride. Last year she and I rode the 10-mile route at Hub on Wheels. Audrey said she'd like to ride the longer route. So we've been going on training rides to work up to the 40-mile ride around Boston next weekend. We rode on the beautiful Cape Cod Rail Trail.

It was warm and a little humid this year. But we slept with the van side door and hatch wide open (we have screens), and the girls enjoyed the screened windows on three sides in the tent upstairs. It was delightful sleeping in warm temps and a breeze.

And now it's time for fall. After the 85 degree day we're going to have on Wednesday, that is.