A Brief New England Adventure

Winter Island, Salem, MA Copyright 2015 Kat Micari

             Winter Island, Salem, MA
            Copyright 2015 Kat Micari

I took some time off finally, and we decided to take a little trip to the Massachusetts coast. My heart was aching to see the ocean, and so off we went. I planned our route, opting to add an hour on our journey to MA by going through Vermont and New Hampshire, and that turned out to be faster than our supposedly shorter route home along the Mass Turnpike thanks to traffic that reminded us of being stuck on the freeways of California. But that is how a road trip goes.

My son travels exceptionally well, loving to watch the scenery go by and read road signs, loving exploring as much as we do, so we count ourselves really lucky on that front. It is vastly different to travel with a young child than with a baby. More difficult in some ways, because at least a baby and young toddler can be pushed around in a stroller and you can still set a normal pace. A baby is more likely to just fall asleep when exhausted too. Things we’ll definitely keep in mind for our next trip.

But I got to see the ocean for a couple of days, which was glorious, and we spent a day in Boston and saw some old friends. I was able to take my mind off of all of my projects for half the time (I cheated and responded briefly to work email and did some initial research for my next project a couple of the days and my husband scolded me soundly). And I was able to get quality family time in, which we needed.

NYC Interlude

Wow, I’ve been really bad about posting here of late, haven’t I? I guess that’s what happens when I’m swamped in work. And last week, I got to travel for my contract job to NYC.  I worked intensely for a day and 1/2, and what did I do the rest of the time?

Well, not NOTHING, as it is NYC. You’d have to try really hard to have nothing to do. But it felt like nothing to me, after the pace at which I’ve been going these past several months. I saw a show, socialized, did yoga on a dock in Gantry Park, played with my son in some spare moments, and just sat for a long while under a tree enjoying the feel of the breeze and the peace. I didn’t touch anything extra that I had brought to work on. It was restorative, and also a little surprising to me that I would find a way to relax on a work trip, especially in a city as crowded as NYC.

Of course, I had to make up the time on my other freelance obligations when I got back, but it was well worth it.

Gettysburg Visit

So, I realized I never actually did a post on how Gettysburg was.  In a word: hot.  I took exactly three pictures, and none of them turned out very good because the sweat was pouring down my body and stinging my eyes.  The humidity made it feel like we were swimming at times.  But the visit was still worth it.

We drove through the country roads of Pennsylvania that morning, and it was a lovely drive.  The forests mingling with the farmland, the mixture of very old and very new houses, the small towns, the beautiful waterways, lots of horses – it was lovely to see from our air-conditioned vehicle.  🙂  We drove through Hanover, PA and saw some amazing old architecture.  Just really picaresque the whole trip.

When we arrived at the battlefield, we decided to just do a “small” loop of the trails because of how hot it was.  You could do a car tour as well, but since it’s such a pain to get a two year old in and out of a carseat, we pulled out the stroller, went inside the visitor center to sunscreen in the air conditioning (Badger brand, if you’re wondering – works well and has completely safe ingredients but tends to show white against your skin once you start sweating no matter how much blending you do.  Still, my eyes water and burn using normal commercial brands so we put up with the gentle and safe alternative.  And it smells REALLY good.)  Then we took off for the trails – through the woods, across a street where we noticed a construction crew, then to the battlefield proper.

It’s always nice to gain some historical perspective.  To really reflect on the soldiers that fought and died where you are standing.  I’ve studied the Civil War quite a bit and read a lot of literature from that time, so it was fascinating.  And I did as much reflecting as I could while taking turns pushing the stroller in high heat and humidity.  And somehow, we got turned around, went on a longer loop than anticipated, and had to try to figure out how to get back to our car.  We came out much further down the road and crossed the street again only to find that the walkway was blocked with cones and rope.  We went back and forth over whether we should just try to walk off-trail or go up the busy road towards the other trail entrance, when an incredibly helpful park ranger came across the street to us and told us that they were just a couple of days out from opening the trail back up so we could duck under the rope and go on our way because the road wasn’t safe with our stroller.  Such a nice man.

See, they didn’t really advertise the fact that the trails were closed (where we noticed anyway) because we were the only idiots actually trying to hike in the heat!  But we were saved!  And made it safely back to our car.

We drove through the city of Gettysburg, got a little turned around so got a nice tour of campus, and at lunch at a decent family restaurant.  Then we were on our way home!