25 June 2009
Summer means vacation. When my nephews were in elementary school I always planned an adventure during the summer with my friend and her two children, my honorary niece and nephew.
Summer means "Let's go to the beach!" One year we visited one of my favorite places, Martha's Vineyard. We packed my friend's van with four bikes, food and the endless gear four kids require for a week's stay at the beach. We survived the trip up 95 from New Jersey with frequent stops at the MickeyD's. The ferry ride was a big hit. My nephews were a bit concerned that there was no boardwalk or games awaiting them but once there, quickly fell under the spell of the Vineyard. We stayed at a lovely place in Edgartown, rode bikes and visited the beach every day. In the evening, we walked about town after dinner to the book store and ice cream parlor. The first night there, the three boys travelled the narrow sidewalk at the speed of light from our lodgings to town with ice cream and adventure on their minds. My dear friend, appalled, as they barrelled through crowds, causing people to step aside and at times, off the sidewalk, corralled them--ages ~10, 6 and 6 into a single file and began the march that would become our nightly walk-left, left... one two three! It was controlled and for the most part, blissful chaos from thereon in.
Summer means riding bikes. Our treks began as so- my friend riding with my two year old niece, her daughter, on the back of her bike, my oldest nephew, his brother and my friend's son with me in the rear. The two younger boys had varying degrees of cycling ability--younger nephew rode very well but didn't fully understand the need to stay on the right side of the path and honorary nephew wanted a 'big' bike like younger nephew so was learning to navigate and trying to understand why he had to pedal so much. Luckily, the Vineyard has a great system of bike paths so vehicular traffic was never an issue. So it would begin--my friend would start off , followed and quickly passed by my older nephew who had strict instructions not to exceed more than a half mile lead, his younger brother pedaling gleefully albeit on the wrong side of the path and honorary nephew sometimes pedaling with me following yelling, "Right! Right! The other right! to younger nephew and "Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!" to honorary nephew.
I am pleased to report, we made the trip, without injury or injuring other cyclists. A good time was had by all.
Finally, summer means popsicles and the potential for an 'all girl getaway' since the boys were now too old to hang out with us. Hence, this popsicle moment in Chicago with my honorary niece after a day of sightseeing and shopping at American Girl. A whirlwind of a weekend filled with great sights, museums, food, tea with our favorite American Girl and no boys! Priceless.
4th of July weekend is just around the corner--time flies...enjoy the summer!