Our “historic” Massachusetts snow report

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We haven’t been here at the blog much – we’re still in the B bus all the time, but now that the girls are in middle school, our use of social media has changed dramatically. While I still love the WordPress platform, blogs are actually becoming sort of old school. I’m experimenting with Twitter (@theotherpamela and @pamelaJCHS), and GHB and LHB are very active Instagrammers. Also, they are operating in a comprehensive online Google-world that is fully integrated with their school curriculum and assignments. But once in a while it’s nice to use the blog format to post a bunch of pictures or tell a particular story.

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This month, the story is EPIC SNOW.  The kind of snow that is commonplace in Canada and parts of the Midwest, but that, over a short span of weeks, is literally paralyzing the high-density metro region in which we live. I loved it when my favorite local weather guy blogged about the snow stats and history, and took us back to the journals of Cotton Mather, to find so much snow falling on Boston in so little time!

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looking outside during the beginning of the first blizzard, January 24

I have worked at Harvard for over 20 years and this past week was the first time ever in that time that the university was closed/classes cancelled for two days in a row. Our beloved “T” system has been laid low. Travel and parking bans and many many days of missed school.  My commute time is more than doubled, with traffic into and out of Cambridge forced to inch and crawl along the narrowed streets.

Claustrophobic driving: can you find the parking meter?

Claustrophobic driving: can you find the parking meter?

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Sidewalk in front of the house, looking towards crosswalk

 

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a screen shot from my Instagram on Wednesday

Everyone constantly comparing notes about the state of their driveways, ice dams on their roofs, and salt snakes.  We’ve been taking lots of photos, and thought we’d share some as we hunker down for what is, I think, the 4th major storm in 3 weeks, set to begin this afternoon. We’ve been outside every day trying to hack away at the frozen drifts to widen our driveway access enough to keep using it even if/when we get more snow.

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GHB out with the shovel

Good news for today is that the sun is shining this morning and the girls will spend a couple of hours outdoors on a snowshoe walk with the girl scouts, before we get snowbound again.

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In between storms, at the beginning of the week I had to go to Washington, DC for work. I took some pictures of our epic snow from the air, as we made the approach to Logan. It was dramatic how heavy the blanket of snow looked from the air, erasing all color from the landscape so that the photos look black and white even though they’re not.

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Oh, it’s also Valentine’s Day – happy heart day!!

– PHB

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dreaming of summer: let’s go for a RIDE

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above: Hershey Park / Hershey, PA

2013 Summer Roadtrip Recap: Picturing Thrills and Chills

We didn’t end up blogging from the road as much as we thought we might. This was partly because we had to rely on inconsistent wi fi access at various stops along the way, and partly because we typically spent our evenings finding a local eatery, swimming in a hotel pool, and trying to get to sleep early so we could get an early start in the morning!  Days were spent driving (of course!), and cramming in as much scenic wonder, historic sites, and fun pit stops as we could manage. Months have gone by and summer seems both a distant memory and a longed-for mirage on the other side of this bitterly cold winter. We thought it’d be fun to do some more roadtrip recaps, to capture more of the highlights from our amazing 3,600-mile journey, and other images from Summer 2013. 

Before and during our big road trip the girls and I enjoyed rides that are faster, louder, steeper, twistier, and a heck of a lot more thrilling than driving around in the B Bus!

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Last summer we spent more time than we usually do at amusement parks. I took lots of pictures while they went on LOTS of rides! These are some of our favorite old-time carnival-inspired amusement park photos, from Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire, Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, and a few other tourist spots.IMG_0988

Our favorite ride at Canobie Lake Park: Da Vinci’s Dream. Always best at sunset.IMG_0987 IMG_0991

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Old-timey Over the Rainbow.IMG_4663

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PHB, GHB, & LHB all contributed to this post

nyc: final 2013 stop for the B bus

We didn’t actually drive the B bus to NY, but it was our last big family adventure of the year — a now-annual holiday visit with many cousins in and around Manhattan and Westchester. Festive meals, busy museum visits, Central Park and the city itself, watching the Pats game, fun movies, plus the New York City Ballet’s gorgeous Nutcracker! Also extra special to see GAP who lives all the way in Oregon!

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Lincoln Center

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Metropolitan Museum

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Heading home on the GO bus – looking back from the Bronx

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growing up red sox

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Watching Game 6 of the ALCS after a busy Saturday here of soccer, dance, and assembling gear for Science Camp next week. The girls are intensely focused on the game, calling out the pitch count to each other if someone has to leave the room for a minute. Maybe it’s GHB’s softball experience, maybe just growing up, but they can really follow the game now, and it’s much more fun to watch with them! We dug around to find some “historic” photos of LHB and GHB showing their colors as Red Sox believers.

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GHB first game @ Fenway 2009

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LHB first game @ Fenway, 2009

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Welcoming cousins O & P to Boston, ca. 2007.

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Grade 3 with special guest

Grade 3 with special guest Tim Wakefield, 2012

GO SOX!

– PHB, GHB, LHB

apples!!!

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posted by GHB

Check out this apple blossom sky!

This is a picture of the sky over the belltower of our church in the center of town two nights ago, which was the night before Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. We were driving in the B Bus on Mass Ave coming home from a dance class and PHB snapped this awesome pic.

Did you know that this is a picture of the sun reflecting off of the ice crystals in the sky making them appear pink? It only happens in the fall because of where the earth is to where the sun is at that time of year. People call this an apple blossom sky.

Today however, as a 5th grader I got a Kindergarten Buddy at my school and we all went apple picking with our K Buddies. Everyone was allowed to take home a small bag of apples and a pumpkin and we all got to see animals and go on a hayride. There was a working tractor parked outside of the bunny hut. There were no keys in it but we could honk the horn and turn on the headlights. All the kindergarteners couldn’t get enough of honking the horn.  It got annoying after a while!

Apples are at their best in the fall and they are delicious! We plan on making apple pie and apple slump.

– GHB

the caves of kentucky

posted by GHB

This is a photo PHB took of us 250 feet underground in amazing Mammoth Cave. We walked almost two miles underground but there are over 400 miles of this cave!

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I want to write more about Mammoth Caves because it was so cool. Right now we are posting from PHB’s phone while waiting for another cave tour of a different part.

from the top of the ferris wheel

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posted by GHB

Hershey Park sure does look exciting from way up high! Me and PHB went on a ride to look above Hershey park, the ferris wheel!!! This is a picture i took from almost the top of the ride. Sadly PHB’s fear of heights got the better of her and she mostly stared at the bottom of the car. LHB sat this one out viewing from the bottom. I thought it was awesome to see the park from above. Later in the ride all the lights turned on. Sadly the lights on the ferris wheel seemed to be broken and were pretty disappointing.

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PHB snapped this picture of a ride called the Flying Falcons, while we were riding.  The base turns around, the cars spin, all the groups of cars spin, and you go up and down the post. Just like the Comet, this is one of the rides that I had to coax LHB to go on. PHB calls me the Thrill Seeker.

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The third ride we went on was the Comet, a roller coaster that went on many steep hills. Like a lot of rides LHB had to be persuaded to get on. But after, she ended up liking 95% of them. The line was long but it was worth it — the coaster goes up then down a steep hill then loops around, goes up another BIG hill but not as steep as the first one, then it goes on a series of smaller hills that are really bumpy. It looped around, one more big hill, then takes you back. PHB luckily snapped this picture of us as we were going up one of the larger hills. We are in the 3rd row from the bottom!

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This is a picture of a ride called the Lightning Racers, from the top of the ferris wheel.  I went on this roller coaster 3 times, including once after dark, with the lights on! LHB went on it twice with me, both times during the day.  The cool thing about this ride is that there are two cars and two side by side tracks, like twins, ha ha! It’s basically a race between the two cars – one is red and one is green. The red one turns you on your side a lot and the green one has a lot more hills. In my opinion, the green one is programmed to win the race every time.

skeeballHershey Park was so awesome.  I’m glad I got to go there! On our way out of the park we picked up some skeeball prizes. LHB and I got small stuffed giraffes, and PHB got a stuffed Hershey Kiss!  After that we took the shuttle bus back to the Hershey Lodge and collapsed.

– GHB

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all packed and ready to go

posted by GHB

11x17 roadtrip map PDF 2013At 6:00 in the morning on August 11, 2013 we will embark on our amazing journey! The B Bus will roll along to the Mississippi River and back. Our first stop: Hershey, Pennsylvania. We will go to Hershey Park and I want to eat LOTS of chocolate!

LHB and I have full duffel bags and backpacks of stuff to take with us: contents including fuzzy friends, Nooks, iPod shuffles, books, and a lot of other crazy fun stuff. We will be riding in the car for many hours over the next couple of weeks.

At the top there’s a map of our route that shows where we’re planning to go. Along the way we will meet friends and family including some cousins I’ve never met before.

This is gonna be great!

– GHB

more summerfun photos

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GHB has some great shots from the photo course too, and she’s permitting me to post a few here on the B Bus.

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(It’s a dead bee.)

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And here are the final projects from the class (if you click on the image you can see it close up):

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campanula in our front garden

– PHB

rites of spring

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Recitals, Softball Games, 4th Grade State Projects, Chorus Concerts, Birthday Parties, Garden Planting, Fez Wearing, and Watching Things Bloom…. this is what we’ve been up to in the slightly madcap month of May…!

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– PHB