Pre-First Night Trip to Boston

One of the local events that is a huge draw in Boston is First Night, an elaborate New Year’s Eve celebration of the culture and community of the city. While many other cities and towns across the nation now hold First Night festivities, Boston is the original and standard bearer. It is really quite grand and kicks off well before midnight, starting around 9AM and carrying through to midnight fireworks.

One of the cooler features are the marvelous ice sculptures, no pun intended. They are enormous and beautifully ornate. Since heading downtown with 2 million other people really isn’t in the cards for us. So while I was busy completing some work, Keri and Ali packed up the kids and headed east to see if they could catch a glimpse of the sculptures the day before the official unveiling.

The trip on the train was apparently quite fascinating for our little man, as revelaed by the intense studying visible in this photograph.

Unfortunately, the trip proved to be less than fulfilling on the ice sculpture front. Since the weather has started to warm a bit, it would seem that preservation is of major importance. Also there was some work still to be done. Consequently, most of what they got to see was this.

Ali sardonically referred to this part of the trip as “Gumdrop.” This is a kind of kidsafe code for an excrement expletive, as well as being a reference to one of our infamous exploits to exotic local sights. Sadly in the transitioning this site to a new platform, the images from the original post have been lost. I’ll have to look into digging some of those photos out again.

Nevertheless, they all managed to still have some fun. Hadley got to walk around the city and covered a whole lot of ground. It proved to be quite a journey for both of the kiddos. They were pretty wiped out from it all.

A Visitor from Far Aflight

So my friend Ken made his first pilgrimage to Boston recently, only problem was that it was a day when snow was blanketing the Northeast. So the controllers, in their infinite wisdom, were inquiring if his direct-from-the-west-coast plane could keep circling some outer beacon high above Logan for an extra forty-five minutes while a runway was cleared. Being a direct flight, the response was a negative and they were re-routed to Syracuse for a flash fueling before finally arriving in Boston some six hours after their scheduled arrival. Nevertheless, it was a great, albeit brief, stay.

Me, Ken, and Hadley

His main objective was to meet the lovely Miss Hadley and this was quickly accomplished the morning after his arrival. He was instantly taken with her. While she is our daughter and all, it is nice when there is independent corroboration of what Ali and I perceive, “That she is the greatest baby, ever!” Ken confirmed this as fact.

Hadley and Ken

He couldn’t get over how good and pleasant she is. He dubbed her the wunderkind, ne’er a more perfect title for our littlest one. She seemed to quite fond of him as well, let the evidence show.

Unintended Birthday Consequences

I should have known that getting Ali an iPod Nano would complicate our relationship. Now that she has been turned onto the mp3 craze, I can hardly put my fingers to the keyboard of my computer. She is a quick study to be sure and she has taken to using iTunes without a hitch, importing CDs, downloading, you name it. More than that, I showed her a couple of other means for downloading music that have all but created a monster. First it was the digital camera (Has anyone ever seen collection of photo CDs? See the photograph below.) and now the Nano, combine these with my upgrade to DSL and a ultra slick scanner, her rapidly evolving digital lifestyle is soon to eclipse my own. In short over the last year and a half, I have created a monster, a lovable one, but a monster nonetheless. Look at her take that duck apart below, at a tender age no less.

Photo: Ali Tearing into a Chocolate Duck

Since all my music is “crap,” she has become ever more oppressive since learning how to create customized playlists, wherein she tortures me with increasingly cheesey songs. Think of such super hits as “To Be With You” – Mr. Big; “The Power of Love” – Huey Lewis; “Going Back to Cali” – LL Cool J; “Black Velvet” – Alanah Myles; I mean the list goes on and gets uglier. There are some good ones to be sure, but it could easily be understood as an adolescent 80s nightmare. In fact, she thinks that would be a good playlist name!

Photo: Ali's CD Photo Album

Of course there are perks. For one, with her immediate submersion into the realm of digital music, she now wants to go a buy a pair of Bose mulitmedia desktop speakers. Even more stunning, she even found a way to get them for free! In some ways she continues to surprise me. What wouldn’t be a surprise, however, is if in another six months or so we are the most wirelessly integrated one-bedroom apartment in the greater Boston area, just so I can have my own computer again.

So as the wedding plans continue, you all can be sure that you will experience some of the 80s musical nightmare. Better still, for all you Illinois people, Ali is delighted to report that she has reserved the deluxe port-a-potties, with hand washing stations as a bonus. Just hearing that news, I am sure none of you can wait for the middle of July get a whiff of that!

Finally, congratulation are in order for Ali’s older sister. Our little Keriann got a new job! That’s right, she is leaving the desk at the law firm that was her longest running gig to date and moving on to greener pastures, literally and figuratively. So way to go Keri and good luck!