When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The view from the Fisherman's Memorial - Gloucester, MA

We recently had one of those weekends of driving back and forth to the Boston area for soccer (both days - if we didn't have the dogs I would just stay overnight!). One of the games was at Gordon College and I can't tell you how excited I was when I located it on the map - just a few minutes down the road was Gloucester and it's been on my laundry list for quite some time now. I knew we had just enough time between games to at least see what the hub-bub was all about, so much to my son's dismay I trucked right on by the exit for Grapevine Road and instead hit Rt 133/Essex Avenue.

This winding road brought us directly to the intersection of Rt 127 and looking to our left, standing tall overlooking the harbor, was the Fisherman's Memorial. It was a bitterly cold and windy day so we easily got a parking spot right there but I was amazed at the folks jogging and walking their dogs along the path - thems tough people in these parts! The sweeping views of the harbor were amazing with rafts of sea ducks floating along with mixed pairs of eiders, long tails, scoters, loons - I know if I had stayed longer (and could have seen without the wind forcing tears in my eyes) I would have found so much more.

Ten Pound Island stood in the forefront with the Eastern Point lighthouse hiding in the background, allowing the marker on Dog Bar to show off instead. From the listing of sailors lost at sea, my son quickly pointed out the members of the Andrea Gail who were swept away during the merging of Hurricane Grace and the nor'easter of Halloween 1991 and made famous by the book and movie "The Perfect Storm". We talked about how in the movie Billy Tyne reminisces about turning the boat into Gloucester Harbor and my son turned and questioned where Bobby Shatford might have lived. He wondered where the boat would have been kept. He wanted to know if the bar was still open.

I guess in a sense, I won.

From the Memorial we looped through the tight streets of the downtown area and I vowed to return on a sunny summer day to do this again. There are many little parks and shops and I could definitely see myself spending an entire day there.

We headed back to Gordon College where the boys won their game under the lights while I, bundled up in a queen sized blanket looking like a cocoon, just about froze to death. Even though it was close to 11 pm when we got home, I have to admit, it was worth the trip.

The 8' tall Fisherman's Memorial

The members of the Andrea Gail who lost their lives in the Perfect Storm

Overlooking Stage Fort Park

Ten Pound Lighthouse

The Dog Bar marker

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Soccer Season starts again - Maine to Mass, two days in a row

If feels like soccer never ends for us here in a state where it's really only warm enough to be outside in shorts half of the year. We went straight from school and travel soccer to indoor and are now starting spring soccer. Suckers for punishment? Maybe, but it's all good. 

Last weekend we participated in March Madness held by Global Premier Soccer. It seems early but it always seems to correspond with the time change for some reason. This year our schedule was pretty simple - be in Lancaster/Leominster around 11 am Saturday then Medham for 5 pm. The following day be in Ashland in the afternoon. We have reasons to not spend the night in a hotel, to include the fact that I have two dogs that like to sound the alarm at any noise. I'm sure we would be sleeping in the truck the first time that happened.

Driving is always interesting, me in my big truck on the Mass highways should be enough to scare anyone. Saturday went very well but Sunday was "Ride your brakes on the 495" day and I didn't get the memo. 

The fields are all turf and are plowed/snowplowed/shoveled. The snowbanks behind the players and parents emit frigid temps the entire time. The wind is brutal but when the sun is out it 'feels' warm. The boys are allowed undershirts, hats, gloves and tights/leggings during play but for the most part they just go with shorts and short sleeves. The parents are lined up along the field wearing hats, gloves, snowsuits, parkas and boots and are wrapped up in blankets or sleeping bags or whatever else they can get into. You can always tell the new parents because they come with no hats, pretty gloves, hair coiffed and light shoes. They typically end up in the car with the heat blasting before halftime.

The boys won two of their three scheduled games (7-0 & 3-1) which was great considering this is a practically new team. They are fast and strong and once they learn to trust each other a little more they will be a force to contend with. 

I honestly can't wait to watch these guys grow closer together. 

Getting ready to cross the Piscataqua river in Portsmouth, NH

Overlooking Progin Park, Lancaster MA - the banking separating the fields was easily 8' high

This was our field at Progin Park - parents looking directly into the sun AND wind

Monsters mid-game trying to get snow in the truck

Dude was smoking. I mean, seriously? You can't wait? Drive off campus? And he was a coach too.

The sun sets overlooking the Gordon College athletic fields - Medham MA

Gordon College - the banks here were about 4' high... brrr

But on the ends? They were more like 6' high

Under the lights!

Ashland High School, MA - it was interesting to see the snow amounts and how they ranged from town to town. Here the banks were 2 1/2 - 3' high.

It looks nice and sunny but man - the wind was brutal.

Come with me now! Maine to Leominster to Gloucester to Medham in 35 seconds!


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