Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up - July 29

We spent lots of time in the car this week!
Whew! Having fun is EXHAUSTING!!!!

As you may remember, we were in the Boston area last weekend for my cousin's wedding. After we got Dennis and Emily safely married off, we plunged into a week of National Park fun before heading home yesterday.

Sunday we headed to Saugus Iron Works. The girls have decided that iron forges have the best Junior Ranger programs. This one had a whole "Junior Ranger Bag" for each kid. Binoculars, magnifying glass, field guides, etc, all for the kids to use while working on their Junior Ranger. Great fun!!!

As a part of the tour, the girls, along with the other kid on the tour, got to stop the waterwheel (right).

And see if they could lift the iron poles that were used to pull the molten iron out of the forge (below). The ranger also took time to take us back to one of the buildings, after the tour to show the girls something that their Junior Ranger worksheet asked about, that he hadn't mentioned on the tour. It's always awesome when the Rangers and volunteers are "into" the Junior Ranger Program too!

After we finished up at Saugus, we headed back to Minuteman National Park to finish up that Junior Ranger.  Much to our disappointment, The Wayside House (where Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, AND the author of "The Five Little Peppers" all lived) is closed for renovations. We walked by it, but that was as close as we could get, *pout*! Guess we'll have to make another trip up there in a couple years (yes, YEARS, sigh!) once it's open again.

 Little Bit LOVED LOVED LOVED this tree in front of the Minuteman Visitor Center. After I took the picture, Sassy discovered that getting up INTO the tree was much easier than getting down. Once she finally got down, Little Bit told Mama "I know how she could have gotten down, she could have pretended to be a sloth and hung from the branch and put her legs down". I love how her mind works!!!

The other amusing Little Bit quote from that day. We'd been sitting listening to a volunteer, dressed as as Minuteman, talking to various visitors. Finally he was free, and Little Bit went up and stood right in front of him. My mom told him that she was hoping he'd ask her where she was from (since she'd heard him asking other people where they were from). So he did, to which she replied "a hotel" LOL.

We finished up their Minuteman Junior Ranger about 10 minutes after the visitor center closed, sigh . . . so we stopped back by Monday morning and the girls got their Junior Ranger badges :)

The rest of Monday was spent at Lowell. We spent more time at the museum, MiniMe seriously would have spent ALL DAY there, weaving, carding cotton, etc. Then we headed to the "Mill Girls House", finished up the Junior Ranger, and then went on a pretty cool Trolley tour. The ranger was great about involving the kids in the tour, which was good, because there were quite a few kids on that tour. It was fascinating, seeing how the canals were used for water power, I think even MiniMe got her fill of "how does it work" on that tour! LOL

An amusing side note. Ever since we moved to Pennsylvania, when the twins were 5, we haven't had a house phone, just cell phones. And because of that, and the fact that neither of their parents are big phone-talkers, none of our kids have ever really used phones much. The big girls know how to dial the cell phone in case of an emergency, but to just chat on the phone, not something they've ever done. BUT at the hotel we stayed in most of the week, our room and my parents' rooms were on different floors and different sides of the building. So if the girls wanted to go to Mama and Papa's room, we'd tell them to call when they got there, or we'd call between rooms when we were going to breakfast and such. The girls discovered that THEY could call! And you would've thought it was the most fun thing EVER!! Each of the big girls would position themselves in one room, with Little Bit begging her turn in whichever room she was in, and they'd call each other back and forth pretending to be lawyers or "advice services" or whatever struck their fancy.  Before the week was over even Little Bit knew how to call between rooms, and did so every chance she got!

On Tuesday we had planned to go into downtown Boston, but it was rainy, so we decided to go to Quincy, and Adams National Park instead. We toured the house where John Adams was born, the house where John Quincy Adams was born, and the house that John and Abigail Adams bought and lived in later in life. The rain cooperated pretty well and only rained hard when we were inside a building or the tour bus, whew!

We're only on Tuesday and already this post is absurdly long, I think I better hit Publish and share about the rest of our week later. . .

Part 2 is here.

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