Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pawtuckaway Camping

Pawtuckaway State Park

In Mid-June we went camping at Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire with our friend and neighbors Dana and Rachel and the boys: Miles, Linus and Zack.

We usually go to Pawtuckaway in September a couple weeks after school starts. At that time it is less than half full and peaceful. It can also be a little cool for swimming (although that never stops Audrey). This was our first time in the middle of summer. We loved it.

We had camp sites across from each other and Dana and Rachel's was on the water. There's a great swimming spot there with some large boulders the kids can easily get out to. They love to perch on them and jump off.

The weather was ideal, with warm but comfortable temperatures. Not too many bugs. We got in lots of swimming, some canoeing and at one point the kids all disappeared for a while on an adventure of their own.

We'll definitely have to go back in high season next summer!

Oh, I almost forgot. At one point they gave the girls a few dollars so they could go to the camp store to buy candy. Audrey came back with crickets! And she ate them!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Audrey's 5th Grade Graduation

Audrey and best friend Mia

Audrey's class had a graduation ceremony and party on June 9. There were three fifth grade classes at her school, so a little more than 60 kids.

Several of Audrey's teachers from other grades were there as well. It was fun to see them again.

Our little wallflower hung out mostly with her Mom and Dad. She would make little excursions into the crowd but not for long. I think Audrey's shyness is endearing. I was quite shy as a kid and I turned out alright, so I don't worry about it in my kids.

Audrey did spend some time celebrating with her best friend, Mia. And they've spent a lot of great time together this summer.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

School Play - Cinderella

School Play - Cinderella

Way back in January, Amy, another mom at the school, started organizing the school play, which takes place just before school gets out in June. Amy has produced the play for several years and the result is far better than I would ever expect from an elementary school play. It always has great costumes, great sets and amazing singing. This year both Methot girls decided to participate.

Charlotte had no interest in a speaking part but was quite happy to be a mouse in the chorus. Audrey also didn't want to appear on stage but really liked the idea of being a stage hand. Fine with us - that meant quite a bit fewer rehearsals they had to attend!

Carol volunteered to help paint the set. She did a great job sketching the furniture (other volunteers painted it in), and painting many of the detail objects in the backdrop. I thought it looked wonderful.

The girls worked all three performances the first weekend in June. We all enjoyed the experience.

Why look! Here's a video!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

May-July 2015 Miscellaneous

The local pool

Once again I've gotten way behind in posting family photos. Well, now I've got a bunch in the queue and will get them to you forthwith!

I'm going to start protecting the photo albums with a password to prevent search engines from crawling them. I don't want people to be able to google the girls' adolescences in the future. I'll use the same password for all albums going forward, and it's easy to remember - my last name, all lowercase. If you forget, there is a way to get a hint on the screen that asks for the password. Let me know if you have problems; if there a lot of problems I'll reconsider.

We've had a pretty busy late spring and early summer!

The girls finished up the school year with the school play: Cinderella. Charlotte was a mouse in the chorus and Audrey was a stage hand. They both did very well. The school plays are put on by a mom from the school and are surprisingly good!

Since Audrey was in her second year of taking flute, she was eligible to participate in the Melrose Youth Band. She practiced a lot. The first band concert was June 2 in the middle school auditorium with a large crowd. It was Audrey's first time on stage in front of an audience and she was nervous. She said later she felt like she might faint. But we couldn't tell from the seats - she did great. Here is some video of the concert.

The free state pool is just a few blocks from home and it opens mid-June. The girls have already visited many times. Sometimes I join them after riding my bike home from work. It's a great way to cool down.

Continuing in the musical theme, we've been to a couple of concerts as a family.

The Rockport Music Society received a large donation just before we moved to Boston, and they used it to build themselves a fantastic, state-of-the-art performance theater that seats about 400 people. It was designed with exceptional acoustics. But the highlight of the space is the 30' tall wall of glass that forms the back of the stage and looks out over Rockport Harbor. I read about it when it opened but hadn't yet found a concert to see there.

We went to see Pokey LaFarge, who's 7-piece band of wonderfully talented musicians play old-timey, folky, bluesy music. The girls thought it was fantastic. I loved showing them quality live music.

Later the same week we drove to Portsmouth, NH to see one of my favorite bands play on an outdoor stage in a park: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. There's a common thread through my favorite musical acts through time: interesting instrument combinations and creative arrangements. Thao has them both.

The evening was absolutely perfect and the setting was gorgeous. We all enjoyed the concert very much and ended it by all dancing together to the last few songs, right in front of the stage. The girls learned how to clap and yell until the band comes back for an encore.

The girls have also been off at a plethora of camps this summer, and we've had a couple of camping trips. Those will be the subject of more posts in the near future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Italy 2015 - Ciao!

Italy 2015 - Ciao!

This is the final post about our Italian trip. The previous posts are:

  1. Milano
  2. Venezia
  3. Firenze
  4. Bagnoregio
  5. Assisi
  6. Orvieto
  7. Roma
  8. Pompei and Napoli
  9. Pisa
  10. Cinque Terre
  11. Cinque Terre

Well, life got in the way for a couple of months there, but I finally got back around to writing the last few posts.

We shot a lot of great video on the trip. Now that the photos and blog posts are all done I'll find time to work on that.

This trip was perfect in every way. We had perfect weather every single day. We saw all the sights we wanted to see. We enjoyed great food and gelato every day. We stayed in wonderful lodgings and found our way around when we wanted and got lost when we wanted that. We spent two very enjoyable days with my old friend Phil in Venice.

The girls got to be immersed in a different culture and language. Audrey, in particular, got adjusted to the Italian meal traditions.

Carol's favorite memory is all the great family conversations we had over meals.

We pushed the girls much harder than we originally envisioned when imagining this trip, but for the most part they remained energetic and enthusiastic. Of course we had moments where they were weary but we would take some down time and they recovered quickly.

It was a wonderful family experience. We've already spent time discussing our next international trip. The current consensus is England and Scotland.

We're already saving for it!