Thursday, July 9, 2009

Herding Cats Through Boston

Yesterday I gulped hard and decided to take my kids and my nephews to Boston see the Tall Ships. Now my kids are used to my eccentricities and were not at all surprised that I wanted to go and look at sailing ships. My nephews, on the other hand, did not know what to make of my idea.

I was more than a little nervous about going into town too but I gathered up my courage, fueled everyone up on an eggs and bacon breakfast, wore them out a little in the pool, made muffins, grabbed a dozen bottles of water, and we set out for Boston.

While driving to Boston I had made 4 rules for myself;

  1. We were going to stay in town for 4 hours. Not a minute more. Not a minute less.
  2. Consequences for bad behavior would be delivered calmly and swiftly. I promised myself that I was not going to swear like a fish monger in front of my brother's children.
  3. I imposed a $50.00 spending limit on myself (except for parking and gas). This meant no crappy souvenirs and no matter how badly I might need them, no oysters and martinis for me.
  4. I promised myself that I was not going to ask the kids what they wanted to do. I needed to run the show otherwise chaos would ensue.
I was able to keep rules 1 and 4 easily. We checked out several of the Tall Ships, talked about which ones were my favorite (most of us liked the Portuguese barque Sagres). We then made our way over to Fanieul Hall and had pizza from Pizzeria Regina. The kids watched a street performer while I called the office. While I was able to calmly deal with the minor incidents of misbehavior I knew that I had no shot at not swearing. Besides it was fun listing to my nephews giggle when I told a driver in front of me to get his head out of his ass.

My $50.00 spending limit went to hell went we went to the North End. Oliver suggested cannoli and hot chocolate at Cafe Vittoria. Up until that point I had spent about $25.00 on lunch, sodas, and a bag of Doritos so I figured why the hell not. I ordered chocolate chip cannolis and a round of hot chocolates for everyone and I got myself a cappuccino. We talked about Italy, and soccer, and poops (remember...I had 5 boys with me....poor Fiona, what she had to endure these last two days). The very nice waitress gave me the bill....$45.00. So with the $10.00 tip I left her (she earned it having to wait on my crew) my budget was blown to only $20.00 however.

Walking back to the car was a challenge. The kids were bouncing all over the place. Oliver, walking along side of me, said "Dad, after giving them hot chocolate and cannoli and expecting them to behave in the car would be like throwing five superballs into a phone booth and expecting none of them to bounce into each other." So we played red light green light in Columbus park to take the edge off of the sugar rush. I have a very smart kid.

Now breakfast is ready and the kids are stirring. By 5:00 t0night my nephews will be at their home and my kids will be with their mom. The idea of having a quiet apartment to myself is less appealing than I thought it would be two days ago.

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