Back near the beginning of December, Grace, Claire and I took a crazy plunge and snuck off to Boston to visit my sister and her family.
You see, years ago as we were packing up our life in D.C. (where our first three children were born), I vowed that even though we were leaving to settle in the West, I wanted our kids to know at least a portion of the East.  We spent quite a lot of time living just outside Washington D.C. growing up, and I went to college back there, and it’s always tugged and pulled at everyone in my family in one way or another.  
And because of that, we have had a perfect avenue to get there with three different brothers settling for a while right in the heart of NYC, one in D.C. for a few years, and my sister living for many years in Boston.
We took all the big kids back to our old stomping grounds in D.C. when they were old enough to appreciate it (posts about that HERE and HERE and HERE).  And then my plan was to take my kids one by one on a little trip out there to visit family and soak it all in.  I took Elle first, dying for her to visit her namesake Wellesley College while my littlest sister attended there.  Her trip is back HERE (with links to part 2 & 3 in that post).
Then I took Max a couple years later.  His trip (along with crazy two-year-old Lu is back HERE (with part 2 HERE).
Both had a special little tag-along of Lucy, because we couldn’t very well leave her home back in those days.
But time kept marching on and as my sister got ready to wrap up her time back East and come out West, I figured I better get busy getting my last two girls out there to that magical place where I lived for my Freshman year, and that created seeds in my heart that have changed me in many ways over they years.  
And the only time we could eek out to make that trip happen was smack-dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.  Jet Blue was offering some phenomenal fares and we jumped on them and were off.
Not only did I want these girls to see Boston, I wanted selfishly to soak up a little sister time, and to have my girls soak up that great sister of mine and her family too.
Man alive we love those guys.
That Saydi is a wonder I tell you.
Not only was it crazy Christmas-time, but it was MOVING time for them.  Closing up an era of their lives in Boston, moving right after Christmas.  So she was a champ for still being so excited about visitors and taking such good care of us.
We took the red-eye and arrived in pitch-black Boston a little earlier than scheduled (a little before 5 am).  So we surprised Saydi by taking an Uber to her house, gave her big hugs and went back to sleep until she sent her daughter Hazel down to get something in the basement where we were sleeping…and she found US!  (We surprised her… she didn’t know we were coming.)
These two cousins basked in being together for those few days we got.  Love that they love each other so much!

After breakfast and some deliberation on what to do first, we headed to Wellesley College.

Wellesley is one magnificent place I tell you.  Especially to our family since all three of my sisters graduated from there.  And I named my daughter after that place.
When I applied to college way back when, I applied to Wellesley where my sister was attending at the time.  I got lucky enough to get in, (although off the wait-list), but despite the draw of my older sister being there, I just couldn’t commit to an all-girls’ school 1/2 hour outside the big city of Boston.  I was much too social and boy-crazy at the time for that (after having come out of my painfully shy shell the last couple years in high school), and opted for Boston University instead (which you can’t get more smack-dab in the middle of the city than that!)
Still, I loved visiting my sister at Wellesley, I practically spent every weekend there.  And one day, walking around that gorgeous campus I decided I better name a daughter after that school some day.
I know, weird.  But it became even more sentimental when both my other sisters decided to go there too so in a way we were kind of naming her after all of them.
So that spot has become pretty interwoven into us girls, and we love it.

Even though this time around it was laden with fierce wintery frigidness, Saydi and I were pretty delighted to show the girls around.

Although the glory of Fall was over (which we hit perfectly the last couple times we went), that wintery place was still pretty beautiful.

I loved this carpet of leaves covering everything.

This was Saren’s first dorm.

So kind of partly mine too since I spent so dang much time there.

Check out the commons rooms there.

Yeah, not your average hang-out spots.

Saren (my older sister) was the House President there…see her name half way down below?

The library:

This huge tree I was always in love with:

These girls I’m even more in love with 🙂

The girls coming out from behind the Wellesley chapel:

Inside the chapel…aren’t those windows beautiful?

And see that little road off to the right behind those girls?  That is where the bus would drop me off when I would come to visit.

Grace enjoyed the Wellesley swing:
From Wellesley we headed over to Concord.  This map helps give a little better orientation:

I loved this part because it was kind of new to me.  I don’t remember ever going out to Lexington & Concord.  I’m sure I must have at some point in my life, but not as a carless college student.  Here these cousins are hanging with Henry David Thoreau in front of a replica of his cabin where he lived on Walden Pond:

And here we are at Walden Pond:

Did I mention it was freezing along with all that beauty?

Pondering Grace…

From there we went to check out the North Bridge which I LOVED.

…for the history as well as for how breathtaking it was bathed in the sinking, mellow sun.
Here’s some history about that place:

This obelisk says:

“HERE On the 19 of April, 1775, was made the first forcible resistance to British aggression. 
On the opposite Bank stood the American Militia.  Here stood the Invading Army 
and on this spot the first of the Enemy fell in the War of that Revolution 
which gave Independence to these United States. In gratitude to GOD 
and In the love of Freedom this Monument was erected AD. 1836.”

A little more detail:
The light was so gorgeous we had to linger a while which gave us time to think of the incredibly significant event that took place there all those years ago.  How frightened those colonists (many untrained farmers pushing for freedom) must have been.  

We made a quick stop at Louisa May Alcott’s home where she wrote “Little Women,” which was closed, but which made me determined to read that book with my girls.

We stopped at the temple en route back toward home:

…and touched that beautiful thing.

From there Saydi dropped the girls and I off at the “T” where we went off on our own evening adventure.

Does this other picture look like a familiar face a few years back?:

Wait, how did she grow up so dang fast?

We got some dinner at this little market:

…and headed to see Blue Man Group.

Do you think those girls were excited??

They left the theater looking like this:

…and us looking like this:

Does this other face look familiar too?

Yes, Max and I got to see those guys all those years ago too.  Gotta love those memories.

It was a pretty grand first day in that city I love so much…which love started seeping full-heartedly into my girls as well.


  1. Oh hey Tower Court and the Schneider bus stop! Class of '06 here. Those first stained glass windows in the chapel must be new – they're gorgeous!

    1. Agree with Kait, it would be wonderful if people followed suggestions that grade school children learn about … if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

      I have no idea why she would have changed schools but some positive reasons could include broadening horizons by studying under different professors, chance to be with those that have the same beliefs and increase feelings of belonging and community, be closer to family, different classes not offered at other school.

      Positive thought are great!

    2. Good question. I really wanted to go to BYU. That was my top school. But I knew it would be so good for me to get out of my little bubble for a little bit first. And Boston was the right answer. I knew it would just be for a year (I had the perfect transition to go on study abroad to Jerusalem before my actual transfer), but I knew a year would be long enough to give me a bigger picture of the world. And to do something that was very far out of my comfort zone.

      Oh how grateful I am that I decided to do that!

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