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Inside, Outside U.S.A.

25 Aug Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Inside, Outside U.S.A.
Inside, Outside U.S.A.
Oh. My. Goodness. I am in LOVE with the East Coast. Wow. Okay. Here goes.
It was a long, but surprisingly, wonderful week aboard the Sardine Express. But let me rewind. On Monday morning, we departed from Charlotte, North Carolina, and my dear Uncle Mark put the pedal to the metal and got us to the Baltimore airport by 5PM. We had plenty of time to spare and were even complimented at how smooth we were about getting through security with two kids, a double stroller, shoes on and off, three carry-ons, cell phones, a laptop, tickets, and tears (okay, so there weren’t any tears, but it sounded more dramatic.) We flew into Boston, MA around 9:30PM, took a bus to the car rental place, got the keys to a blue Hyundai Accent and headed to our hotel. Elli slept in a portable crib (thanks, G & G!) and Anjali was out within seconds on the second queen bed.

On Tuesday, we met Dovy’s sweet grandmother, Charlotte (also known as Mutie.) We met up with Dovy’s cousin, Jessica, and her two daughters, Charlotte and Hailee, and Dovy’s half-sister, Kristina (also know as Tina – the “i” is short.) We ate lunch at Legal Sea Foods (I had a chicken Caesar salad, in case you were wondering). Mutie was very wonderful with our girls and it was such a wonderful experience to meet with all of them. Tina took us around Boston that night (Fenway Park, TD Garden, all of the family’s old homes, including Dovy’s father’s first home when he immigrated to the U.S.) Thank you for having us!

The next morning, we met up at Hailee’s gymnastics meet, and then took a rail into the heart of Boston. How beautiful! I absolutely loved the old mixed with the new. And all of the new buildings were intriguing – not just your regular skyscrapers. I couldn’t get enough of Boston and wish we could have been there a lot longer. Everything was so artistic and reminded me a bit of the Europe that I miss dearly. We waited half an hour to get into the aquarium downtown. Just as popular as a Disney World ride. Who woulda thunk? After bidding farewell to Jessica and her beautiful daughters, Tina took us to the most extravagant, high-class food court I have ever seen in my life. There were probably about forty vendors, all lined up on one big hallway. You could have anything you wanted there, from sweet treats, to Greek, Italian, Indian, Asian, sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream… each vendor was specialty and we were hard-pressed to decide what we wanted to try. I will say that we did try a slice of Chocolate Truffle Cake and Elli thoroughly loved it.

Tina helped us get back on the rail and we made our way back to the airport. We made it in plenty of time, as well, and safely flew back to Baltimore. On the plane, Anjali made a friend with a little girl named Genesis. They watched a movie together on my laptop and held hands through the entire airport. What a cute little duo! When we arrived, my roommate and dear friend, Hanna, picked us up and took us to her adorable home in Leesburg, VA. We spent the night there, met her husband, Charles, and helped with some home fixer-uppers. In the morning, Uncle Mark picked us up after fixing a flat tire, and we headed out.

Off to Findlay, OH! We stayed the night in Marriott Suites, and Mark even watched our girls so that we could go on a little date to Applebee’s together. Talk about a beef sandwich! Don’t let the title of “Slow-Simmered Beef Sandwich” fool you. This thing was made with Jalapeno cole slaw and my mouth was on fire for an hour after I ate it. I couldn’t make myself finish the last bite, but I absolutely loved it!

In the morning, we ate at Stevi B’s, a fun, amazing pizza buffet. (That doesn’t sound at all like my Uncle Mark, does it?) What do Fajita, Taco, Mac n’ Cheese, Cherry Pie, and Cinnamon Bun all have in common? Yup. Names of pizzas at Stevi B’s! Crazy, eh? But good, believe it or not. Drove all day and up until 3AM. We were all so exhausted that all EIGHT of us crashed in one room at a Hampton Inn in Omaha (was that right?) Talk about a killer sleepover. :) It was actually great, because after I fed Elli in the morning, the boys took my kids and played with them while I slept some more.

Off to Neverland! Or, should I say, we didn’t. A guy flagged us down and said that we had a flat tire. Ugh. Fixed. But then, we had this “need to drive another 980 miles on a spare” problem. We stopped over in Grand Island, Nebraska and waited another three hours to be able to take off again. Argh. Ah, well. At least it was only a flat, right? We were so blessed that this ended up being our only big problem. We took off yet again and realized we would not make Utah until 4 AM by this point. Thus, a re-route to my Uncle Frank’s in Denver. We stayed the night there, went to church with them, and made the last home stretch to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s on Sunday evening. 9:39PM. Boo-ya! We extracted our belongings from Mark’s Suburban (a.k.a. The Sardine Express) and loaded our little car up, along with canned goods and fresh corn from my grandparents’ garden. (LOVED it, by the way!!) We arrived home at 12:30AM. Kids crashed. We crashed. And none of us stirred until 9:30AM the next day. Amen.

Our hotel room in Woburn, MA
Orange, lime green, and blue

Eating amazing food from Uno’s at Midnight.
We were starving and just walked into this place.
Apparently it’s more popular than we knew.
I could not believe how good it was!

Anjali on the Queen bed.
Those blankets on the left or Elli in the portable
crib. We covered her up so she’d sleep better.
We were exhausted!
And so were they, apparently, because we didn’t wake them
up while we took showers and ate dinner.

My baby

Anjali with her great-grandmother, Mutie.
Apparently this will always be a classic,
seeing as it’s all vintage and they’re holding my iPhone.

Elli took to Jessica immediately.
So cute!

Elli with Mutie

Our family with Mutie.
Thanks for having us!

Fibah! (Only in Boston, I’m sure.)

Eating a Boston Creme Donut in Boston!
Home of Dunkin’ Donuts.
If you can’t find one of these on every street corner,
you’re blind.
(Horrible angle of me; I look pregnant all over again –
which I’m not.)

Anjali pressing a penny.
It now has the Boston skyline on it.

Charlotte and Hailee pushing
the stroller with Anjali and Elli in it

Bruins, baby!

Friend Street

Dovy and Hailee

A Holocaust monument.
Each of those numbers etched in the glass
represent a prisoner that died during the Holocaust.

This is one of those glass monuments.
I think there were six altogether.
It really showed how many victims’
lives were taken during this time.
I was in awe.

(I’m not sure who that’s a monument of – there
were several plaques and we didn’t have the time
to read them.)

Clocktower – gorgeous

Hailee, Charlotte, Anjali
Adorable. Period.


Elli adoring chocolate cake.
She actually has a preference between
chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
Gets mad when we give vanilla,
eats it if it’s chocolate.
Guess I know what kind of cake
I’m making for her birthday.

Tina and Dovy

Art everywhere

This is ironic, seeing as I have never personally
fed my children Mac ‘n Cheese.
Oh, the horrors.

The girls with the Aunt Tina

Genesis and Anjali
(Friends made on the plane)

Genesis wanted to hold Elli

Me and Anjali with my old roommate, Hanna Bell!

Hanna is expecting a baby girl in December!

Dovy and Uncle Mark mounting a screen on the
back of the drivers’ seat headrest so the boys could
play their GameCube.
Tough life.

The whole hee-ha gang!
(Sorry, honey, this is a bad angle for you.
He doesn’t really look like that.)

Flat tire.
Not a road trip without one!
(Actually had two, though.)

Thanks, Big O!
(Wish somebody had put the fire under you, though.)

Sunset on the way to Denver

Uncle Mark with a Lamar’s donut – his favorite

My Little Red
I didn’t photoshop any of the colors so you
could see what it really looks like.
Strawberry blonde?
I dunno. That’s why I just call her “Red.”

The odometer!

All of us together, safely back at G & G’s.

6000 miles, 80 driving hours, 6 hotels, 5 house stays,
4 airplane hours, and 2 flat tires later, we made it!