Friday, January 15, 2016

Same Road Trip, New Car

Demi has had her new 4Runner since early November.  But this is only the second time Caz has been in the car.  How the dynamics have changed, now that he can drive.  I really wanted him to log some road time on this trip but it really wasn't a great opportunity.  The boys had to adjust to not having a 3rd row.  They actually had to share a whole backseat.  Like an ordinary family.  How novel.
     It went just fine.  We only stopped once, which is a minor miracle.  We made good time.  The boys  played Trivia Crack with Demi.  It was fun to listen in.  It was a total Griswold drive in the new family truckster.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Packing with Care

It's all a part of the growing up process.  We had quite a night, last night.  Demi and I had arranged our schedules, asked for favors, and made Caz a priority, all in order to go see him run.  He has a state meet on a Friday night.  It was going to be a family outing.  But then, just before bedtime, Caz declares that he likely isn't running.  One of his relay teammates had pulled a hammy at the last meet.  Two others were home sick from school today.  "I likely won't run."  So we explain to Caz that it's fine, but then we are going to save our chips for another meet, so we won't be going.  "That's fine.  I am still going to the meet."
     Fast forward to 4 pm today.  The meet starts at the Roxbury.  Text - "When you come, can you bring my compression shorts.  I can't run without them."  Next Text - "I am definitely running".  Needless to say Demi had to pause and take a breathe.  I started running calculations in my head about how to make the meet.  Demi explained to Caz that he was SOL.  I ended up at home having dinner with Demi and Coco.  He knew the story.  He needs to prepare better.  He needs to communicate better.  But it's all a part of growing pains.  He did run.  And he ran well.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Today is an adjustment day.  Linda and I got up early.  Since we went to sleep at 8 last night, we did get 10 hours sleep.  I went to the gym.  Back to training.  Coco got up around 7 and Caz slept until 9. They are going to have to get up early for school on Monday, so this is just the beginning.  We had to adjust our eating schedules.  The menu will change drastically too.  No one is going to bring us endless cappuccinos each morning anymore.  The boys won't have their pick of croissants or pastries.
     Demi is off to bring our last family member home.  She's going to the NY ferry to meet her sister and get Gizmo.  We all missed our little pup.  She is going to be over stimulated with all the attention and affection.  And we will love every minute of it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016

It is a New Years Day return for the Chin Family.  Our direct flight from Rome landed at 2 pm local time.  Which means it was 8 pm Rome time and our bodies were feeling it.  We made it to about 8 pm Duxbury time before we all crashed.  Jet lag, here we come.  But it is all worth it.  It was a trip of a lifetime.  I will back post a chronicle of it.  I really don't like advertising any lengthy departures, so apologies for the historical posts forthcoming.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Day Two - Christmas Day in Rome

Our first Christmas away from home.  It was different for sure.  The boys were not rushing in with coffee, so we could head downstairs to the tree.  I had brought gift bags so that each of them had a present to open in Rome.  We had Christmas Morning cappuccinos.  We then rallied to go sight seeing.  There was a nice Christmas tree set up in the square, on the way to our first site.  We saw Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon.
     Trevi Fountain still amazes me.  Fed by the aqueduct system, the amount of water pouring out of that is astounding.  The carvings are awe inspiring.  Neptune with his trident presiding over the whole scene.  There were a lot of people seeing it with us.  The amount of selfies being taken was Kardashian-like.  I can't believe how much primping was going on.  The vanity was thick.
     We only got to see the Pantheon from the outside.  But you could peer in through the opening of the large front doors to see the entire dome.  Navona was a happening spot too.  Again, the sculptures were amazing.  The Fountain of the Four Rivers sits in the center.  We had read up about which four rivers were represented and why the statues were made they way they were.  We walked a lot that day.
     Dinner was amazing.  We had booked our favorite restaurant from our last trip.  They didn't disappoint.  The amount of food during the appetizer was overwhelming.  The boys could not believe how much food they brought.  My suckling pig came with the hoof on.  That didn't stop anyone from taking a taste.  I can't believe we got dessert down, along with Limoncello that was very much like Moonshine.  And to top it off, they had the restaurant car take us home.  A very nice touch.  A great way to spend a holiday.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day One - Italy

We landed on time at Da Vinci Airport.  Customs was not bad.  The van was there to meet us.  It was raining a bit, and we had to get the luggage quite a ways over to the van.  The hotel had our rooms ready, which was a nice surprise.  We all slept for a bit. We talked about powering through, but that was short lived.  I finally rallied the troops.  We went for a walk towards Castel St. Angelo.  Along the way we stopped along the way at a newsstand for cappuccinos.  The boys got them too.  They seemed to like them.  Right there, will sipping away, there was a man in chair reading A Christmas Carol, out English.  He then launched into T'was the night before Christmas.  It was a great way to start our family adventure.
     We saw that Castel St. Angelo was open for tours, so we decided to go in.   We had seen in Angels & Demons a few days before, so we were extra excited to see it in person.  The Courtyard of Angels, the statute of Archangel Michael, and the turret, were just amazing.  The artwork in there was amazing as well.  Some of it was like a smaller version of the Vatican or St. Peter's.  It was just getting towards dusk.  We got some great photos of sunset over some landmarks.  The full moon had risen as well.  Taking photos with the backdrop of the Colosseum & Vatican was truly a boon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lift Off

Our direct flight to Rome, on Alitalia, left Boston at 5:30.  We got a good meal at Durgin Park in the airport before boarding.  Our last American meal before Italy.  I was a little worried about the boys on a 7 and a half hour flight.  But Alitalia really does a nice job.  It's a big plan.  The overheads are not directly above you, so you don't feel cramped.  There is plenty of leg room.  Each seat has a personal monitor.  There are tons of movies, tv shows, music and games on those monitors.  The controllers go into the armrest and control everything.  The light, air, tv, ....everything.   They feed your well.  The beef dinner on the way over was very good.  They give you a pillow, blanket, and headset.  It is so different from domestic flights.  The boys did just fine.  On to Rome....