So. How were your holidays? Great. Glad to hear it. Ours was a blur of family meet, greet and eats in which we drove from one end of eastern Massachusetts all the way to... a slightly different end of eastern Massachusetts. Relatives from relatively great distances travelled from various points south on I-95 to come up, visit, make merry, and give our offspring an ungodly amount of toys. It was all very festive, although we are now faced with the dilemma of what to do with the fact that we now have more toys than our home can actually accommodate.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful - because I'm very grateful indeed that our relatives like our children enough to actually go out and get them something cool for Christmas - but there's no way around the spacial limitations of 5 people of varying sizes living in a 1750 sq. ft. home. In other words, when somebody gives us a stuffed tiger roughly the size of a german shepherd, it's actually something of an issue. Similarly, when I decide that TheHurricane will be thrilled with one of those wooden, magnetically-connected train sets - without actually figuring out the logistics of how such a set would dimensionally fit into one of our rooms - I create an entirely new set of headaches.
In other words: we're outgrowing our house. Unfortunately we can't afford to move -- so we're going to have to sell one of the kids, which should free up space while simultaneously improving our cash flow. (I'm very excited about this plan.)
Anyhow. Tuesday, the kids went back to school/daycare -- and TheWife and I decided to ditch work for a couple of days. I should note here that Tuesday and Wednesday mark the first "two consecutive days off from work" thing that I've enjoyed since the birth of the twins in June of 2005... so this break was a long time coming.
So. Tuesday, we
dumped the monsters brought our beloved children to school, and then immediately fled to the happiest place on earth -- a.k.a. Portsmouth, NH. I don't know if you've ever been there, but it's one of my favorite little cities in America: a great combination of cobblestones and colonial architecture, seaside feel and tons of great little shops (and I'll note here that TheWife brought us into pretty much every artsy-craftsy artisan place in the city, so as to fully appreciate the wealth of pottery and jewelry and clothing and... uh... other crap... therein). It also happens to feature - god bless me - a lovely little brewpub (a sister company to the good people at Smuttynose).
(Let's take a moment here to makes the brilliant observation that wandering through hundreds of little boutiques becomes a far more palatable experience after you've downed two extremely potent belgian-style ales. To quote myself as I tripped over the cobblestones: "Wheeeee!")
Afterward, we came home, picked up the kids and
navigated 14 hours of screaming enjoyed our evening and morning hours with them before dumping their bodies once again leaving them with their friends and teachers and fleeing making our way to places better experienced without the company of parasites children -- in yesterday's case, Harvard Square.
It's funny how much Harvard Square has changed over the past decade. Many of the great old, high-character stores (like Wordsworth, God rest yr soul) have departed and been replaced by chain stores -- which is sad, insofar as that a lot of the Square's appeal has departed along with them. That being said... we still had a good time, first hunting down a couple of decent used and indie CD stores (and picking up the newish Mew, which had better be good or else somebody's going to get their ass kicked) before making our way to a splendiferous Indian feast (with accompanying Kingfisher, of course), grabbing a pint of Herrell's mint cookies and cream, and finally returning to the suburban wasteland we call home.
Where the tiger was waiting.