2 Moms. 5 kids. 1 van. 3 weeks. 3000 miles. Are we amazing or are we crazy? You decide.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Day 11 (Part 2): Thirteen Colonies

Along our trip, as we got further and further from home, people asked about our journey. One of those people—best recollection has it as one of the volunteer sailors on a Jamestowne ship—said that we would be going through just about every one of the 13 Colonies. We looked at our maps and realized that we were going through twelve of them, missing only New Hampshire. And we saw how close the towns of Lexington and Concord were to the NH border.

The rules for checking off a state as being visited are that you can’t just drive through and breathe the air. Foot must touch earth in the state. Not only that, the earth must not be in an interstate rest area or airport. You actually have to get out and do something. So we decided that we’d go to New Hampshire for lunch.

This is not to be confused at all with going to Paris for dinner, even if the “Welcome to New Hampshire” signs are also in French. (And hat-tip to an internet friend who made the comparison for me.)

We stopped in Derry, which was a far cry from the Derry, Maine featured in Stephen King books. (If I recall correctly, that town was destroyed at some point, so it probably wouldn’t have been the best lunch spot in any case.) We were just looking to see what we found, knowing that to be a risky gamble already. Luck and New Hampshire smiled on us, though, and we saw a sign for C & K Family Restaurant.

Exactly what the kids needed—the menu was full of the carb heavy foods that stick to your ribs and keep you going, even when it’s raining and your mom insists on singing the Preamble one more time. I highly recommend the C & K Family Restaurant next time you are in New Hampshire with a destructive horde. Even the more delicate among us laid waste to the table.

Upon our return to Massachusetts, we went to the portion of Minuteman National Park that’s in Lexington, pretty near where Mr. Revere was captured. I cast a longing look and sighed in the direction of Wayside House—where some of my old American Transcendentalist friends lived once upon a time—but we just went to the visitor center.

I’m glad we did.

That visitor center boasts (with every right) the absolute best presentation for subject that I’ve ever seen in a national park, ever in all of my life. And while I’m not as old as some of you reading, I’m certainly as old as I’ve ever been up to now. I don’t want to admit how much I learned from the presentation, but let’s just say that having little red lights on the map for the British, blue lights on the map for the Patriots (or Rebels, whichever way you’re more comfortable putting it) as well as some reenactments made it come clear to me. For some reason, I thought that I hated history all through school. Well, I did. But I think it probably had something to do with the way that the coaches taught it rather than the subject matter.

That’s when it became clear to me that this trip wasn’t completely about educating the kids; sometimes the mommies needed some smartening as well.

On the way back to Boston—or rather Brockton, where we were staying at the super swank Super 8 Hotel—we got caught in some horrendous traffic. So our hour trip up morphed into a 2+ hour trip back. And there was much whining. But overall, that day was a winner. Two states, not including panic, denial and euphoria. Big lunch. And then, to sleep.


Anonymous said...

That is awesome that you managed all 13. Very good that you realized it in time to make it happen.

I think we had very similar coaches for history.

I think a rest area counts--but I agree that an airport does not.

Atlanta Aunt

Chicka said...

Denial isn't a state. It's a river in Egypt.

You forgot about the state of delusion!


Anonymous said...

having fun following you all...
Jaxmom... If C doesn't send J a post card soon....could be a long standing grudge from J! :) He is very jealous of B's card!!! He is missing C big time....wishing we sent him to DC... bad foresight!!!
miss you all!!!