Our annual trek back home every summer has become busier than ever now that Vincent is on the go. It began (and ended) with a lively plane trip-much more tiring than last summer when Vinny didn't require such constant entertainment. We filled our days with lots of field trips and visiting...and trips to Dairy Cream for the yummiest soft serve. Thanks to Katie and Brian, Ant and I were treated to the most memorable trip to Fenway Park, where we got to sit in the front row right behind home plate. We were on TV all night! It was such a great visit to Boston. Brian's family has become our family, and spending time with the Rosadini's, Hoffman girls, and of course the Claffey's is always treasured.
Soon after Boston, we spent a couple days traveling all over Connecticut to Kid City, an interactive children's museum, The Maritime Aquarium along Long Island Sound, and the outlets. We spent a lot of time hanging out in the front yard. While he's still in his mama's boy stage, Vinny is developing quite the independent side, wanting to do everything himself-including sitting with Daddy in the big boy chair-he even figured out how to place his sippy cup in the cup holder.
Vinny loved playing with my nephew, Blaise, although you'll have to take my word for it, because judging by the pictures, it doesn't appear Vincent even cracked a smile. Blaise was so sweet with "Binny," sharing his toys and bathtub, playing together, watching favorite TV shows, eating ice cream, and giving kisses and hugs. It's so fun watching Vinny with his older cousins on Anthony's side, but with only 11 months separating he and Blaise, it's so comforting to know that Vinny has a buddy his own age, and they are becoming so close-even with nearly 3000 miles between them.
Although we were on the go the whole time, we got to visit with Vinny's Great Grandparents, too. We've decided this Japanese Maple will be our official photo spot every summer. I've had fun looking back at how much Vinny has changed since last summer. He's gotten so big and although he smiles all the time, he still surveys his environment before he can be sure it's safe to cheese it up for the camera.
One of our favorite parts of our trip was a visit to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. It's a real old-timey boardwalk beach. Ant and I couldn't wait to see Vinny reaction to the sand and sea, and he loved it! He could have played in it all day. I wish we had more time to vacation there. The beach was beautifully manicured-no rocks or seaweed, just soft white sand. The water was freezing but that didn't stop Anthony and Vinny from taking a quick, and I mean quick, dip into the Atlantic. We decided to take the long way home along Route 1A which winds long the coast through some really old colonial fishing towns. We stopped in Gloucester for lunch and got caught up in a huge Italian Fiesta in honor of St. Peter. The entire wharf was filled with a carnival atmosphere, and the harbor was crowded with boats to watch the annual greased pole competition and the Blessing of the Fleet. As the priests called upon God to protect each fishing boat by name, I was reminded of the perils these fishermen put themselves through. It's not just a reality show on the Discovery Channel; the fishing industry is the heart of Gloucester and so many neighboring New England communities.
Our visit back home was wonderful. Anthony golfed a bunch, and participated in his favorite event of the whole year, The Trainer. Run by Brian now, the Claffey's know how to throw a party! Soon after, we packed up our things and returned to Surprise...but not before one last trip to Dairy Cream!