Thursday, May 8, 2014

boston - the marathon and a super-fun family trip

I'm sorry about the delay. I started this post over a week ago, but things have been a little busy…

So, picking up from where I left off, Easter Sunday we rolled out of here and caught a plane in ATL.

Move over Jolie-Pitts.

These kids were awesome on the plane. It wasn't their first time, but they are little and I'm not sure either of them really remembers the Kentucky trip in December 2012. Meme filled their backpacks with all sorts of fun things to do. 

Notice Joe and Joseph's matching shirts? Those were an Easter gift from Meme. Two good-looking guys if you ask me! Joseph was completely taken aback by all the public transportation, large equipment and moving things… 

We sat right at the henge of the double-bus that droves us from the airport terminal to the rental car. The noises and movement blew his mind. He was mostly quiet, but his facial expressions were hilarious. Then, when it was time for us to get off, the nice driver let he and Hannah open and close the doors. My sweet small-town children are overwhelmed in the big city!

Joe left the airport as soon as our plane landed and rushed to pick up his race bib. Gran Gran, Sarah (Joe's sister) and Aunt Barbara also flew in Sunday night.


We took the shuttle from the hotel to the train station and from there, the T to the race. It was quite a process as many stops were closed and there were thousands of people everywhere. We made it to Boston Common and played around a little, exploring the sights. Joe started in wave 1 at 10am. The route goes from Hopkinton to Boston (with a few hills in between). So while he ran, we kept busy.

{Standing in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument}

{Statue of George Washington in the Public Garden}

{Decorating squares for the America 4 Boston Prayer Canvas}

For an hour we tried to find somewhere to stand. Because of the increased security, sections of the route near the finish line were blocked off for crowd control. Around noon, we ended up on Hereford Street just before the final turn onto Boylston Street, with the finish line just ahead. I was determined to see Joe, and as the crowds kept getting bigger and we were not near the front, I scaled a building. Not really. But my mom and Joe's sister did help me get up on a narrow ledge where I balanced for a little too long (my feet were slightly numb). 

BUT, I got some good video, including one of this guy:

Now let me say, I was overwhelmed by the Facebook world (and by incoming texts). I renamed it "Joebook" for the day. Our friends and family were posting updates, comments, and pictures all day. It was emotional reading the things people said about Joe. I was getting updated via text quicker than I was receiving the alerts from the BAA (Boston Athletic Assoc.). The support and love was just unbelievable. {Joe and I continued to be amazed as we heard from people who watched online and followed Joe from work, school and home.}

The best picture from that day is this one, posted by Uncle Donald who captured Joe crossing the finish line at work:

He is in the center of the screen shot, arms up, shirt off. It was a hot race, but Joe did better than his goal, which was sub-4hrs. He finished with a time of 3:48. I was so proud of him. Just completing the race after the last nine months he's had was simply awesome.

He may never run a marathon again (his leg was hurting in the first mile), but he did it. He said he could feel the prayers the whole way and knew that's what got him to the finish. When I finally found him (we went to opposite family-meeting areas), it was emotional. Both of us cried as we hugged. He told me how hard it was. Someone asked him later if he was happy crossing the finish line. All he felt was relief. But it was an incredible experience - for him and for the rest of us.

Now, if you know Joe, you may doubt that really is his last. I am not so sure myself. But if it is, then I say - what a good one to go out on!!

We walked back to where I left the family at the Common. Everyone was excited to hug the finisher!

{Hannah and Aunt Barbara…and Aunt Sarah}

Hannah, Daddy's #1 cheerleader, was super happy to see him. She and Joseph didn't get to see him run because of the crowd. And poor Joseph had a rough afternoon. His nap time was right around the time Joe was finishing. He fell asleep for a while in the stroller and then woke up surrounded by lots of people and lots of noise. I guess he was scared, but he never stopped crying. He was better afterwards…

We went back to the hotel, rested a little, then went out to dinner. Look at this handsome man in his new BAA jacket? {He got it months ago, but would not wear it until after the race.}


We started the day in Charlestown.

We visited the Bunker Hill Monument and then went over to the Charlestown Navy Yard to tour the USS Constitution.

Hannah and Joseph couldn't wait to go on "the big boat that doesn't go anywhere".

Joe showed them all kinds of things on the ship. They had a ball exploring Old Ironsides.

The whole gang:

Then we headed into Boston and the Old North Church. This is where the "one if by land, two if by sea" lantern signal was given to Paul Revere and the patriots.

Hannah and Joseph were just interested in playing in the pew boxes.

We ate lunch at Quincy Market (right by Faneuil Hall). The lobster rolls were delicious. Afterwards we had ice cream, before walking to Boston Common.

We stopped along the way for photo ops. My sweet girl:

Joseph had fallen asleep in the stroller. We had to wake him up when it was our turn to board a swan boat.

My mom took the kids back to the hotel and Joe and I went to dinner in the North End/Little Italy district. A date - totally unexpected. Thanks Meme!

We picked up cannolis and headed back to the hotel.


Wednesday was rainy and yuck, so we were glad we planned on spending the morning inside at the children's museum. I haven't been to any other children's museums, but I'm telling you - this one would be hard to beat. It was awesome!

Hannah loved the climbing structure in the lobby, and Joseph loved the construction and music exhibits. Both kids had a blast throughout the place (it is huge).

We went to Harvard to Mr. Bartley's for lunch. They have a great menu of themed burgers. Definitely recommend!

No rest for us… Our next stop was Boylston Street. Joe wanted to go to the finish line and to Marathon Sports. We saw the site of one of last year's bombings and bought t-shirts at the store.

After a little stop at the Lindt chocolate store across the street, we went back to the hotel to recharge. It was our last night and we went out to a great dinner at Legal Seafood.

On Thursday we headed home.

Wonderful trip. Thank you Gran Gran, Aunt Barbara and Meme for joining us. Very special time. Lots of memories!

1 comment:

  1. This is a perfect record of a wonderful time in Boston!! I lived it all over again! Thanks, Lindsey!!