Monday, June 6, 2011

April vacation: Boston Marathon and college visits

April vacation in Massachusetts begins with Marathon Monday. We had wanted to visit some colleges with Tobin over vacation. Monday began with a scurry to get to the finish line in Boston, or as close to it as we could, before the lead men finished the marathon. Miraculously, we were able to find a parking spot right on Mass Ave across from MIT. We walked across the Mass Ave bridge and found barricades near Abram's fraternity house where the race route elbows two the last 1/2 mile.

Here is my gang hanging out waiting for the lead men to arrive.

This is Chi Phi, Abram's fraternity house, at the corner of Hereford and Comm Ave.  We saw the lead cars with times arrive before the runners did.  It was a good spot to stand and get a glimpse of the runners.

The magnolia trees were blooming that day.  It was a beautiful spring day. 

Here are the three lead men, one was American, at the final stretch being directed by the police officer.

There were still wheel chair racers coming in with the lead men.  It is difficult for the racers if they follow some of the lead cars because the cars cannot go past this point, but the racers need to take a right to finish the race. 

Here was one of the lead women. 

We stayed to see some of the finishers.  I was able to download an app to get updates on a friend who was running, but we did not stay to see her finish.  The marathon was a treat and now we were going to walk to North Eastern to meet up with Nico who was going to give us a tour. 

While walking down Newbury street I found a clothing store that had their display window full of old sewing machines.  I was so interested in looking at them. 

This is North Eastern from the street view.  The green line is above ground here and has a stop where we were waiting.  I wasn't sure how the school would seem being right in the middle of Boston.
Then Nico took us into the heart of the campus and it was amazing.  I was struck by the fact that less than building width ago we were right on the main streets with all the noise of the city and now it was quite and beautiful.  It was almost like you were transported into a new place.

This is North Eastern's memorial wall for veterans.  It reminds me of the wall in DC for Vietnam.

As we are walking through campus, we find a statue of someone with a cat.  Of course my girls will pose well with a cat statue!

Nico took Tobin to eat lunch in one of the main campus areas while we discovered that Pizzaria Uno has a fantastic GF pizza!  Thanks Nico for taking time to show Tobin and us around your campus.  I know he liked the campus. 

We briefly walked through MIT before we left the Boston/ Cambridge area.  MIT was having a four day weekend due to the holiday so we couldn't show Tobin some of the larger classrooms nor the chapel where he was baptized.  So Abram, Isaac, Aidan and Tobin returned for a tour and talk on Saturday to learn more about MIT.

Thursday we headed to western Mass to see UMASS Amhurst.  The UMASS running coach had shown interest in him earlier in the year so we went out to see their campus.

It is huge!  We couldn't see one end to the next.  It is a beautiful campus though. 

I love that there are bike lanes and walking lanes on campus.

We ended the tour of campus by eating at the best cafeteria, as told to us by our guide.  For starters, we ate for free.  The cafeteria was huge.  There were so many different choices for food it was overwhelming.  We sat in cafe booths with soft cushions.  Very nice!

Friday, Tobin and I went to WPI for a tour.  We didn't get to see Dylan though.  He was off campus, plus it was final project week so everyone there was very busy.

Not every day was dedicated to Tobin and colleges.  On Tues I hosted a soccer party for Carmen's indoor soccer team.  I had ten 13 year old girls over from 2-8.  They were great, squeally for a bit, but everyone had a great time.  I have a picture of the soccer ball cake I made, but cannot find it as I write this blog.  Once I find it, I will edit this blog and update it. 

Overall, we had a full week. 

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