I made Lily a lullaby CD, and brought the Toby I CD (for 2 year olds) and Sydney I CD (for 3 year olds) that I'd made for my other nieces.
The trip was a good time, though it was as hot in Boston/Cambridge/Lexington as it was here in Mpls: 80s. But more humid. I was tired when I came home. The trip out to and back from the airport were my first use of Light Rail, and it worked splendidly. It's a long haul from the LRT station at the airport to the terminals, so I'm glad I had a luggage with wheels, but it was easy and much faster than the bus and much cheaper than a taxi.
The days were full, so my report will be (comparatively) brief. The party itself, on Monday evening, was a pleasant, low-key affair. Family and friends of my uncle, including Russian poet Katia Kapovich, who alerted me to an interesting writer in St. Paul I should interview.
My mother came to town as well, by train, and it was nice seeing her. Whenever I visit the coast(s), I always want seafood, and we went to Legal Seafood and other places as well. Yum!
The first night, I stayed at my uncle's house in Lexington. It was a combination of the old and the new: I've stayed there many times, and the haunts were familiar. But in the years since my last visit, they added several feet to the kitchen, including a wonderful breakfast/dining nook in the corner. A really wonderful, hexagonal area surrounded on all sides by windows or open to the kitchen/former nook. My aunt Lulu is a superb cook, and she loves it.
My cousin Dean is writing a sequel to American Heretic (about Rev. Theodore Parker, one of the most influential abolitionists of his time) and we visited him at the Massachusetts Historical Society and got an insiders tour. For lunch, we went to an Indian restaurant, which was playing music from the Andes, covering rock tunes. I may have a version of Stairway to Heaven that ericcoleman doesn't. I asked about the music, and they gave me the CD! Instrumentals by Inca Son, sans crystal case. Maybe they were just tired of it. Why an "Indian Cafe" is playing Andean music, I don't know. I'll send the restaurant, Bhindi Bazaar, some music.
We also toured a bit of Boston I hadn't explored, notably the Christian Science mother church complex. Down Mass. Ave from the restaurant is the Mapparium. Highly recommended. Built in 1935, it's the inside of the globe, reflecting the nations at the time. A tour guide tells you about the history, and the Mapparium itself has a recorded lecture, with different countries lighting up at various times. Your admission fee covers the exhibits upstairs, including a history of the Christian Science Monitor, and those too are recommended. The visit is also notable because it was my first senior discount! Because I'm a member of AARP, I got a couple of bucks off admission. Geezerhood will be interesting (especially if I can find the right crone...).
My cousins' home is a quick walk to Harvard Square. Mom and I walked around. My mother had this sudden urge to buy me a pair of sneakers, so we went into various stores. None of them had anything that fit, or that I'd be interested in, but they did direct us to the New Balance Factory Outlet, not too far away. The next day, we went. What a great place! I'm a 9 in length, but my foot is very wide and I usually wind up with 9 1/2 or even a 10 just to fit the width. This store actually had a size 9 4E! One of the most comfortable footware I've ever walked in. We bought two more pairs ( 9 1/2 4E, because the toe tapered). The total cost of the three was about what the stores in Harvard Square were getting for one pair. New Balance for the price of Payless. We met a guy from Florida who comes up every year and buys five pairs. I grok.
We wound down the trip with more playing with Lily. I do well with infants. Part of it, I think, is the fact that I wear glasses and have a full beard: babies identify face. Also, I know a few simple tricks that adults seem to forget when confronted with babies: Don't get too close right away, don't be terribly hurt if they start crying, etc.
Home again. Long nap. Catch up on e-mail, wear new sneakers, etc. Now I'm another photo gallery behind...