Family time all around!
While Erika was in Hawaii, I was freezing my butt off on the East Coast. Being from Michigan, I probably should have prepared my mental self for the weather, but I was all caught up in the excitement of my big sister’s wedding and being with family!
My boyfriend, David and I landed in Boston and immediately hopped in the car to head to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the wedding rehearsal. The roads around there are CRAZY! When we pulled into the church, I about barrel-rolled out of the moving car to run into my mom’s arms, who was jumping up and down in the parking lot eager to see me too. Being 3,000 miles away from her gets really tough sometimes, so a lot of emotion and excitement and tears go into these epic mom-hugs. 🙂 The rehearsal was short and simple, and gave me just enough time to write out the ceremony on a chalkboard for the brides to display at the front of the church. Lucky for me, I’ve had lots of practice at the studio writing baby names on our highly requested chalk board box! After rehearsal, we headed to dinner at a little place called Gaslight Grill where I had the most delicious New England Clam Chowder that I have ever tasted. Mmmm… I’m still thinking about it even two weeks later!
The next day was wedding day, and nothing could have gone any smoother than it did. The weather was “warm” … About 50 degrees, which means t-shirts and flip flops for the locals. Ha! We spent the morning getting ready- hair, nails, makeup, and snacking on shrimp and lobster rolls. My brother’s girlfriend volunteered to do everybody’s hair, and finished just in the nic of time for us to all head to the church for a perfect ceremony. Both my sister and her bride wrote their own vows and there wasn’t a single dry eye in the room. Of course, the reception following was filled with delicious food, tons of dancing, and a lot of embarrassing myself with my so-called dance moves.
In the morning, before everybody started heading back home to Michigan, Florida, California, and other states, we had a little family vs. family bowling challenge. My side of the family decided to represent by all wearing Detroit Tigers shirts to intimidate the Red Sox fans. But in New England, they bowl differently, and we weren’t prepared. It’s called Candle Pin Bowling, and it was the craziest thing! The pins are just skinny- one size all the way down, and the balls you use don’t have holes and are about the size of a softball. It actually reminded me quite a bit of my shot put days back in high school. 🙂 After bowling, I had to say goodbye to my sisters and my big brother, which might have been the most difficult part of the trip. I come from a very close family, and seeing my siblings only once or twice a year makes for emotional goodbyes. The last thing I left them with was an invitation to come visit me here where the weather is warm!
After parting ways, my parents, David, and I headed for Boston. As a kid, my mom used to visit her grandparents there, and it had been about 40 years since she’d returned. I brought with us a little photo album of some old photographs that I’ve collected of my grandmother’s over the years. I’ve always had this fascination with her life and seeing who she was when she was my age just amazes me. I was only 9 years old when she passed, so looking through her photos helps me remember who she was. I still feel such a strong connection to her. We pulled up to the old house at 40 Stone Rd. in Belmont, Massachusetts. It had always looked so magical in photos, so it was crazy to see what time had done to the place. We felt inspired to recreate some of the old photos that I had brought with us. Before continuing our journey into Boston, we made one more little pit stop. My mother had found the church that she was baptized in, and we got to go inside. The church was absolutely gorgeous and she even found a photo of the man that baptized her. It was pretty cool.
Finally, our trip down Memory Lane ended, and we started driving toward downtown. We were right in the heart of it at Quincy Market with all kinds of neat little shops and restaurants and even horse-drawn carriages! My parents, being super cool and hip, suggested we do a Boston Pub Crawl before checking into our hotel for the night. Okay… so it might have been my idea, but they were totally down! Each little place we went had it’s own unique charm and tons of history. Their cobblestone roads, old brick buildings… It felt like Paul Revere was going to turn the corner any minute.
We made it to our hotel at about 12am, only for us to get a few hours of sleep before having to get up at 3am to head to the airport. Several hugs and tears and thank you’s later, we boarded our plane at sunrise. We said goodbye to my parents, the Atlantic, the freezing wet cold, and were only seven hours away from our beautiful, sunny 88 degree California. It was so great to see everybody, and I miss them all like crazy, but digging my toes in the sand the very next day made me realize why I love living here.
Love & Light,