Massachusetts 2010-2011: Happy New Year

close up snow bridge.jpgmore snow picnic.jpgNew England is so beeeeeeeautiful–especially after a nice fluffily snow and before it turns to slush, then not so pretty. We had a quickie visit with Carol and Al and their terrific offspring and grand-offspring. They have a rock solid family-all for one and one for all. Coming from my nearly only-child status, it is overwhelming and I am usually green with envy. They have such energy and enthusiasm and great candor. I love them all. Carol and l have only been in their house about a week–and we arrive…But true to form the ‘kids’ had mobilized and it looks like they have been there for years. It is a fabulous house. I didn’t think the first old house could be beat, but this is it…very nicely remodeled.

Happy news about Al. Al had a stroke while he and Carol were in Aruba and thank God, he is much improved. Len and I were so surprised at how well he is doing. He is our hero and I guess we just love him so much we were really anxious about his recovery. He is getting great rehabilitation and apparently is really responding well. I bet he gives those therapists a run for their money. Every conversation with Al is funny and memorable. I love to think about all the terrific hilarious stories we have…referred to as Al Stories. One of the days we were there he gave us all a good scare. He complained of a headache and other stroke-like complaints. Carol sent him off to the hospital in an ambulance–they kept him a good 12 hours doing all kinds of tests–thankfully no evidence of another stroke. Carol and Al are looking forward to a shift in their work schedules and more leisure time. The new house has accommodations for chickens and rabbits…I am so jealous. It will be very Martha Stewart-like.

Len and I went to Boston two times….once a full day getting me new specs at SEE’s Optical shop–trendy frames that are not available at all in Texas. We also went to Providence, RI to hit the Italian grocery stores on Federal Hill….not quite the ambience as the North End but close enough. I had a great time with the frisky butcher at Constantio’s Venda Ravioli–Italian Grocery Store. We both had hat envy! Then Len and I scouted around for some Crema de Limoncello…whew, found some, of course. Darn, now I will have to drink it. Len and I looooove grocery stores so we had a big time and then took lots of photos. One fun stop: Purgatory. I should be so lucky to end up there—anyway, it is a state park near Oxford. It was really pretty with all the snow.

We HAD to have breakfast at the Oxford Diner the first day–oh blessed misery. To eat there or to see it? Which is best? It is fabulous diner food and the portions are enormous. Without exaggeration, the small breakfast that I ordered could feed 4 easily. I did my part. Len’s full order breakfast included an entire package (a pound?) of kielbasa! diner grillLen in diner

The snow stayed pretty and functional until just about the end of our trip. I especially liked having a huge outdoor prosecco chiller.

We said our tearful goodbyes on New Years Eve Day and went back to Boston…had dinner at North 26, the restaurant in our hotel…Bostonian…oh so very convenient for Quincy Market and the North End haunts. I can’t ever get enough of the North End. Ever. We bought too many groceries and then paid dearly to have them shipped. Those canned tomatoes that I talked Carol out of will never be opened….they are too pretty. I also found my favorite pizzelles–chocolate dipped from Bova’s Bakery…I must remember the corner of Salem and Prince. Hmmm, what else? We couldn’t even get in to Regina’s Pizzeria…this is what happens with fame. They just won the Best Pizza in Boston from some TV show. So we had to suck it up and get a slice at Faneuil Hall.

After roaming the North End and Quincy Market we went back to the hotel…did some quick texting to Rachel and Justin who were at the Gardens watching the Celtics…they came over to the hotel for a couple of drinks. It was especially fun to visit with them in that venue…They are loving living in Massachusetts.

New Years Eve dinner could have been better…the food was very good but the service was hideous and there was a guy sitting two tables away who so so loud and obnoxious. We couldn’t hear a thing. So up in our room and sound asleep by 11:00. New Year’s Day: A full day of flying home.Carol.jpg Lorenzo and Al.jpg Stuffed Banana Peppers.jpg

how to chill champagne .jpgLen and Susan new year rachel justin Len and susanKaren.jpg quincy night 2.jpg

Boston City Flow

Len Federal Hildurty nelly again.jpgKirstin and G.jpg  Crol and andy.jpg me and hat man.jpg  Me red sweater.jpg IMG_0865.jpg


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