Monday, 9/1/08                                                                                Day 212

Today seemed just as busy as yesterday.  We sailed, walked all over, and went shopping, as well as went out to dinner in the evening with Dad's client and colleague.  We also met up with a good number of people and had some interesting experiences.

We hung out on board for the morning with Heather.  Around 11:00, we picked up Heather's car and she dropped us off at the First Church of Christ, Scientist complex and continued back to Albany.  We met the Daileys there and were going to go inside the magnificent building (which I thought looked like a palace), but we found that it is closed on Mondays.  Just our luck.

So, we walked around and decided just to walk back towards Liberty.  We stopped into a grocery store to grab some drinks and ended up doing a full shopping.  Then we had to call a cab.  We shoved 5 people - the 4 of us and Mr. Dailey - into the back seat, and let Ms. Leah take the front seat.  There was a bit too much weight in the back - the bottom of the car was scrapping the road.

We got back to the boat around 2:00.  By 3:00 we had pulled up to the dock, taken on water, and were sailing away with the Daileys.  We sailed all over the harbor for the rest of the afternoon.  The wind was strong and we zipped along.  Mrs. Dailey knew that she gets seasick sometimes and took Dramamine which makes you drowsy.  But she was perfectly fine.  Everybody had a great time.

We got back to the mooring ball and dropped the Daileys off.  Then we took showers and met the Daileys and the McNeils (Dad's client and his wife) at the Chart House for dinner at 7:00.  It was a delicious dinner.  I split the Chilean Sea Bass prepared with apples and cherries with Mrs. Barbara.  For dessert, a few of us shared their specialty dessert - Hot Chocolate Lave Cake.  That was almost to die for. (I say almost because, if you die, there's no point because then you can't eat it.)

We got home around 10:30 and are going straight to bed.  Dad is going to leave tomorrow for Hartford, CY with Mr. Andy McNeil and Mr. Michael Dailey.  We will be alone for the week.  We have a couple of things planned.  It will be!! for sure!

Tuesday, 9/2/08
                                                                                Day 213

Today was quiet and studious.  (That's another way of saying boring!)  In the morning, Dad left to join Andy McNeil and Michael Dailey at the Boston Skadden office to drive to Hartford, CT.  We did school for most of the day.  On and off, Mom would run in to switch a load of laundry. 

That went on 'til a bit after lunch.  Then we went into town.  We ran some errands - to CVS, a jeweler, etc.  Mom got her nails done.  She rarely gets that done anymore.  At home, she had them done once a week.  Now, it's more like once every 6 weeks.  On the way home, we stopped at the New England Aquarium to see the Harbor Seals.  The exhibit is outdoors where everybody can see it.  They are fun to watch.

At the boat, we got right to dinner.  It was already a bit late.  I almost single-handedly made chicken with Angel Hair pasta, mushrooms, garlic, and garlic & herb white sauce.  The sauce came from a package, but who cares.  After supper, we did dishes and started to play Scrabble.  By then it was 8:45 and we were tired.  The game didn't last long and we stopped half way through with Mom in the lead.  That is today.  Not much.

Wednesday, 9/3/08
                                                                        Day 214

Compared to yesterday, today was ginourmous.  We went to Old Sturbridge Village, a place similar to Plimouth Plantation (see 8/22/08).  My mom came here as a girl and loved it so much that she had to take us - no questions asked.

We had to rent a car and drive over 1 hour to get to the village.  The scenery of Massachusetts is pretty, but let's cut to the chase.  Old Sturbridge Village is a reproduction of an 1830's New England Colonial village.  Some of the buildings were made there, but some actually came from colonial settlements in other parts of New England and are original.  All the people at the village are dressed in period costume, but were not role playing.  They were doing colonial jobs, such as dying yarn that they had spun themselves from wool they had sheared from their sheep, farming/gardening, repairing fences, making pottery, and forging tools, all in the 19th century style.  Though they were modern people, they would say things like "I would be doing this and have my kids and relatives helping," etc. putting us back into the time period.  I really loved it.

When we got into the village area, we went immediately into the first house.  To our surprise, an interpreter, as the costumed historians are called, was inside grinding coffee in a mortar and pestle.  She let us help!  When we left, I was grinning one of the widest grins I've ever made.  I knew that if the rest of the village was like that, it would be ten times better than Plimouth Plantation where there was no such thing as participation.  I was right!

My top five favorite things were the farm on the outskirts of town, the pottery shop, the blacksmith shop, the gristmill where grain was ground, and the 19th century games set around the town for us to try.  I loved the games.  We played Banging the Hoop, a game where you smacked a hoop around with a stick; walked on stilts; played Battledove & Shuttlecock, 19th century badminton; and our favorite:  The Game of Graces.  The Game of Graces is a game where you and another person each take two smooth sticks and a hoop and throw it back and forth by crossing your sticks like scissors inside the hoop and pulling them away such that you throw the hoop.  You put the sticks parallel to catch the hoop.  When you get good at it, each person had throw a hoop to the other at the same time.  When you do it quickly and consistently, it is very graceful, hence the name.  We liked it so much that we bought it at the gift shop.

Next on my list of favorites was the Gristmill.  We went at 11:00 for a demonstration.  The mill is run by water.  The miller was grinding province - a mix of dried corn and oats.  He let my help him by shoveling ground grain into a bucket.  When I was done, he paid me in grain.  I chose my pay in ungrounded grain because he said it kept longer.  Later on, I fed my pay to the sheep.

We also spent some time at the Blacksmith and Potter Shops.  Josh and I pumped the bellows for the smith who was making nails.  He gave us the two nails that we helped him make because nobody else was around.  Because school either starts today, tomorrow, or sometime around now, there weren't many kids.  So Josh and I got to do a lot.  The potters, who were setting up for the firing of the kiln, which only happens once a year, let us try our hand at the potter's wheel.  I made something that looked like a squashed kiln, and Josh made a fluted bowl.  That was awesome.

Last on my list of favorites was the Freeman Farm.  We went there in the late afternoon to see a milking demonstration.  Even though my grandpa grew up on a farm and probably had to milk cows everyday, I'd never seen it done before.  We also saw the sheep, pigs, oxen, and 8 week old cows.  There were some apples trees that were dropping bad apples that we fed to the pigs and sheep.  Unfortunately, there were two apples and over a dozen sheep head butting each other for the apples.  We caused an apple riot.  Did you know that oxen are bull cows neutered at a young age to make them grow a bit differently and be tamer?  They are therefore better work animals.  The Freeman farmhouse was interesting too.

One other interesting thing that we saw at the village was a lady dying yarn.  She was set up outside with three different pots hanging over a big fire.  She used all natural dyes that won't ever bleed.  That's cool, huh? We went back several times during the day to see her progress.  At the end of the day, she had two different colored skeins of yarn.

Other things that we saw were the musket demonstration, the tin shop, the print shop, the meeting houses, and Salem Towne's house.  We watched a guy shoot a musket a couple of times. Obviously, that was cool.   At the tin shop, we learned that tin was bent and soldered, but not melted/heated and forged like iron.  At the print shop, we got a special treat.  The printer gave us a ballot that he was printing.  We learned that he must print 2400 pieces of paper a day to make a profit.  We saw both the Quaker and Congregational Meeting Houses. The Quaker Meeting House was plain, and it said that a meeting could just be silent meditation.  On the other hand, the Congregational Meeting House looked like a Greek temple and meetings would be full of democratic voting and the like.  Salem Towne was a rich man who owned 300 acres of land and a huge house that we saw.  It is original.  He had lots of fancy carpet, wallpaper, and even hired help.  He still got rich by working in the fields himself.  That place was interesting.

Other less notable things we saw were the law office, parsonage, country store, carding mill, Fenno textile exhibit, Fitch House, bank, firearms and textiles exhibit, district school, and glass exhibit.  We stayed until we were kicked out at 5:00.  We had a wonderful time.  Old Sturbridge Village goes on my list of top 10 things we've done on this trip!  Anybody who has read this should look into Old Sturbridge Village, a real blast from the past!  That's all of today - Old Sturbridge Village.

Thursday, 9/4/08
                                                                                Day 215

Today was okay.  The morning ruined my rating.  So let's skip straight to the afternoon.  Now I am talking about 1:30pm or so.  We had a pretty bad morning of school and such gone wrong.  But then we finally left the boat in this gorgeous weather and guess where we went?  Macy's.  Fun?  Definitely not.  But we didn't spend too long and ended with some good, once expensive clothes on clearance for cheap.  We also stopped into Marshall's with no luck.

Then we did something fun.  We went to a little park near Long Wharf with a fountain made to run through.  So we took off our shirts and, knowing that we had dry clothes in the dinghy for showers, ran through the water and had fun.  We had packed The Game of Graces and Mom and I played for a while.  Then Josh and I ran through the fountains for the rest of the time.

Soon it was time to leave and we took showers and met Daddy, Mr. & Mrs. McNeil, and Mr. Andy for dinner.  We went to Mamma Maria's, an Italian restaurant on the North End of town near the Paul Revere House.  Supper was delicious.  Dessert was great too.  WE all went to Mike's Pastries.  For us, it was our third time.  I had an éclair.  !!! Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum !!!

That was our day.  Tropical Storm Hanna is going to hit here on Saturday bringing 50+ kt. winds.  We are going to move into a slip.  We are not going to Hull anymore because of the storm.  I hope there is no damage.  I'm sure we will be fine.

Friday, 9/5/08
                                                                                Day 216

This afternoon was more interesting than this morning, so I'll start with that.  We returned from our morning outing after lunch and met Dad at the boat.  Because of Tropical Storm Hanna, the marina is letting people on the mooring balls come in for free and get a slip.  So we moved the boat in.  Then we went to Haymarket, the outdoor market that we went to on 8/30/08.  We got all the same good deals and more.  We bought 8 packages of good quality strawberries for $2.00!!  We got a ton of berries to freeze.  When we got home, we spent over an hour cleaning, slicing, and freezing berries.  Sometime in the evening, we put bathing suits on and ran through the fountains down the street.  That was fun.   Then we came back and had a snack dinner.

This morning, we ran into the jewelry store and Macy's - where we saved a ton of $ in the Early-Bird Sale - and then we met Mrs. McNeil and walked around Beacon Hill.  Dad was at the office this whole time.  We also saw a little African American Museum which was boring.
It was just a bunch of reading and a short film.  I did learn about how important education and basic rights were to the blacks.  I learned that in the north, even enslaved blacks had some rights and could sue for their freedom and win, something that led to Massachusetts being the first state to abolish slavery.  While blacks were still not really considered equal, they were allowed the same rights as whites, such as the right to assemble, picket, have public education, etc.  After President Lincoln passed the Fugitive Slave Act, even free blacks were not safe in the north because slave catchers could randomly say that a Negro was a slave and take him to the south, even though his family may have been free for generations.  So many blacks fled to Canada during this time.

So that was our day.  It should start raining in the middle of the night.  We are just going to stay on board all day tomorrow.  Today was only okay.

Saturday, 9/6/08
                                                                                Day 217

Rain, rain, go away.  Come again some other day.  If you don't I don't care - ha!  It rained on and off all day.  We also did school on and off most of the day.  We also had some fun.

During a break in the rain, I took a sabiki bait rig out to catch some sardines.  I didn't catch any, but a man on a fishing boat who was doing the same thing was getting 2 & 3 at a time.  (A sabiki rig is a line, about 3ft. long, with little glittery flies w/ tiny hooks and a weight at the bottom.)  I asked him what I was doing wrong, and he told me that my sabiki was too big.  He gave me a new one with even smaller flies.  I started getting 2 & 3 at a time and ended up with two dozen!  Then Josh came and he caught a dozen!!  Then the rain started again and we had to go home.

In the evening, David & Leslie from s/v Blue Yonder came over for cocktails/horse devours (meaning the horse devours were our dinner).  Josh and I got to watch the movie Sky High on my portable DVD player.  I like that movie.

So that was our day.  The man catching bait on his sabiki this afternoon (from m/v Daddy Rabbit) offered me some bait to catch stripers this evening, but it was rainy.  Maybe tomorrow night.  The weather tomorrow looks fickle.  I hope it is nicer than today was.  Today was okay and I hope tomorrow will be great!

Sunday, 9/7/08
                                                                                Day 218

Tropical Storm Hanna came and went last night.  Mom, Josh and I slept through it.  Dad said the wind picked up about 3am, but wasn't even enough for him to go up and check the wind speed.  It's pretty much gone this morning.

We hung out on the boat all morning.  Josh and I fished a bit and caught a dozen or so sardines.  Around mid-day we caught the subway to the First Church of Christ, Scientist.  We took a tour of the two churches that make up the world headquarters for Christian Science.  They have one of the 10 largest working pipe organs in the world with over 13,000 pipes.  Quotes from Mary Baker Eddy were all over the church, revealing that people of that religion see her as more than just the discoverer of the religion.

From the churches, we to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and saw what we really came to see - the Mapparium.  The Mapparium is a globe made of stained glass and bronze that you can walk into on a bridge to get a better view of the Earth.  It is 30ft. in diameter and when you stand in the center of the bridge, you are 15ft. from any point on the globe.  It was made in 1935 and shows the world as it was then.  Much has changed since then and the political part of the map is almost completely inaccurate now.  Every country with ties (such as being a colony) to Britain is red.  Almost half of the world is red!  There was a 20 minute tour that went through the Mapparium.  It was the only way to go in.  You could only look around the globe freely for 5 minutes, so we took the tour 3 times in a row in order to get a good look.  That's about 15 min. of looking at the globe and 45 min. of repetitive touring.  We still all loved the perspective and the acoustics.  Since glass doesn't absorb sound, and we were totally surrounded by glass, sound bounces off the walls back at you which creates all the sound effects.  If you stand in the center and speak, you hear yourself in surround sound.  If you and another person stand on either end and whisper to each other, you hear each other as if you were right next to each other, but the people in the middle cannot hear you.  That is called a whispering gallery.  I thoroughly enjoyed it (another way of saying plainly, I had fun).

We got home around 2:45 and at around 3:00 had a late lunch/early dinner of pasta with vegetables.  Then we did school for the rest of the day.  At night, Mom, Josh, and I ran to 7-11 and got ice cream.  Then we came home and Dad made bananas foster with some bananas that were going bad.  It was to die for!! It always is.  Dad sautés bananas in butter and brown sugar and then uses some sort of booze to light it on fire.  That caramelizes the bananas, but burns off the alcohol.  Served with ice cream, this is one of my favorite deserts.  It was great way to end today!
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