We had checked our stroller so Daron devised an easy method for keeping Jacob close as we went through the St. Louis airport. Thank goodness for rolling suitcases!
We left Texas on the first of July, landing in Boston just before dinner. So we drove to the North End, the Italian part of town and my favorite area to eat. We met my parents and my sister's family at a family owned Sicilian place. The food was excellent and the back room was quiet.
Since Mom and Dad don't have enough room in their house for all of us anymore, we stayed with my good friend from high school. She and her husband were very hospitable and took very good care of us. Thanks Julie and Steven!!
Tony's family arrived late that night, and Michael and his wife live nearby in New Hampshire, so by Wednesday we were all there!
The first day we spent time relaxing and hanging out. I miss my parents' yard - quarter of an acre and no fences, tree swings, green grass, and decent enough weather that you're not stuck inside next to the AC every day of the summer. The kids played outside every chance they could and the cousins all got along fabulously.
We got to the Minuteman Museum in Lexington and the Old North Bridge in Concord.
Esther and her cousin Bekah are best friends and co-conspirators.
My nephew Daniel is a sweet terror. This was one of his sweeter moments.
The following day we went to Salisbury Beach. It was overcast but still warm enough to swim. The water, on the other hand, was freezing. But that's completely normal for the northeast Atlantic Ocean during the summer. Daron, my California boy, was shocked when he hit the water!
Us Brown kids all have fond memories of the Fourth growing up in a small New England town. The hurricane coming up the coast nearly ruined it but I truly believe the Lord intervened on our behalf. The night before the Fourth, Chelmsford always has a celebration on the Common with food, craft, and local business booths, entertainment, and gathering with friends.It was pouring rain around 5pm and I kept praying that the rain would stop. Shortly later, the clouds parted and we all rushed to the center of town. What a blessing! I hadn't been home for the Fourth celebrations since 1998.
I ran into some old friends! Mel, Kristy, Jen, and me. We had a get together with some of us later the next week. It's crazy to think it's been 18 years since high school graduation!!
Melanie and Michael sharing a very large homemade ice cream sandwich. Yum!
My favorite meal here? Large grilled sausage and pepper sandwich, lemonade, and hot fried dough from the All Saints Church booth.
The gorgeous white church in the center of town.
Every year, the fire department downtown raises the flag on the ladder truck while the Chelmsford Band plays the national anthem. Very moving.
The next morning the clouds were threatening again and there were a few little sprinkles as we waited for the parade to begin. The rain held off until we were safe in our cars and then it poured all day!
Bekah, Esther, and Jessica - cute matching cousins!
More cute matching cousins! The only one missing is Aaron who was participating in the pre-parade road race with my sister and her husband.
A few people dressed up in fun costumes to race in. A pilgrim and Spiderman...
Here comes my brother-in-law! He made good time.
My sister and her son, Aaron. He was rather embarrassed at all of us yelling his name when they ran past.
The rest of the day was spent indoors but we still had a great BBQ, the kids had a parade in the rain with umbrellas with Grama leading the way, and everyone just talked and ate, and enjoyed being with each other.
My aunt Janet (right) and her roommate Shauna came up from Connecticut to spend the day with us.