Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 1:10 PM | 3 comments

Happy Holidays

Kyle and I hope everyone had a Christmas filled with laughter, family and friends.
May this coming year be filled with good times and happiness.

Julie & Kyle


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 10:34 PM | 9 comments

Kyle's Birthday Cake

By request, here are the pictures of Kyle's birthday cake that I made for him. The only thing not edible is the Mario figure. It was a lot of fun seeing it come to life. It took me many days of planning, and then about three to put it all together. Can you tell that I love Kyle?


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 9:28 AM | No comments

Last day for the Wiens'

On their last day, we took Betty and Dewey to the North Shore. I guess you could say that is our favorite part of MA. We went to Gloucester, the beach outside of Gloucester and Rockport.
This was my 3rd visit to this restaurant in Gloucester. It is the place for lobster. It is also a new tradition to take the bib picture.
After lunch, we walked around Gloucester's main street and then headed to the beach.
It was another cold day, but Kyle brought an extra hat for Dewey so he could walk on the beach.
Like this guy, I went barefoot for a little while. I couldn't resist the opportunity, but it was cold.
Then we drove to Rockport. I had yet to be here when most shops were open, so we made sure we would have plenty of shopping time during this visit. After getting some wonderful items we enjoyed the sunset. It was too cold for Dewey so he stayed in the car. However, he underestimated the time we would take shopping. Kyle went back and warmed up the car for Dewey, while Betty and I enjoyed some coffee and fabulous sweet cream strudels.
Sunset in Rockport
We drove Dewey to the point of Rockport so he could see the sunset from the car. Betty, Kyle and I braved the chilly air for a few photos.
We were so glad Betty and Dewey came to visit us. It was their first time here and I hope they loved the area. I think Dewey was really surprised at how nice everyone in the Boston area is. You really get the feeling that the people could come from small town America.


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 10:27 PM | No comments

Cold day in Boston

On the 2nd day of their visit, we took Dewey and Betty into Boston. It was their first time to ride a subway!

We walked through the Commons for as long as we could stand the biting cold air. We found refuge in a coffee shop to thaw our limbs.

The edge of the Shaw memorial overlooking the Commons

The mother duck only had one son in tow this time.

After our break in the coffee shop, we decided to walk about a mile to the Prudential Center (a large mall) where we would catch the Duck Tour. Along the way we passed some of my favorite buildings. I just love the style of this church, and there are many like it in Boston.
We had to wait a while in the mall before our Duck tour started, but it gave us an opportunity to warm up from our mile trek. You may be wondering what a Duck Tour is. Well, it is a tour of Boston in a Duck...obviously. The DUCK is a WWII amphibious vehicle that can drive on land and cruise through water.

When it was time for our tour, we loaded up into the Duck. Sadly, we ended up sitting in the very last seats in the Duck, and the back door was completely open. Normally in the summer, there are no windows on the Duck. During the winter months they button it up with plastic windows, except for the very back. Poor Dewey couldn't take the cold. He moved up to sit with someone else.

 Our guide was great: both informative and funny.  I laughed the whole way. He even mentioned my laughter to me as I got off the Duck. It seems like it might be a strange tour to take, but it is worth doing.

The bridge in the background is the Zakim Bridge, part of the Big Dig project.  The support columns and spires on the bridge are meant to symbolize the Bunker Hill Monument and Boston's shipping history. You can see another Duck in the water too.

After our tour was over we split up for the night. Kyle and Dewey went to the TD Garden to watch the Celtics take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (that's basketball for those sports-challenged folks out there.  The Celtics lost even though Kevin Durant didn't play). Betty and I came home for a nice quiet evening of Sense and Sensibility. All in all, it was a great day, but boy was it cold.
Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 6:11 PM | No comments

The Wiens' visit Cape Cod

The next few entries are way past due. Please forgive my laziness. It is crazy how time flies when you don't have work to organize your life.

Back on the week prior to Thanksgiving, Dewey and Betty (Kyle's parents) came out for a visit. They were here for 4 wonderful days of very cold sightseeing. I think Dewey barely made it through the weekend (due to the cold, of course).

We started our adventure by heading down to Cape Cod, which was new to all of us. Our first stop was a town called Sandwich. Sandwich is the oldest town on the Cape. We stopped to look at a few swans gliding across the picturesque pond and at the working colonial grist mill. Sadly, the mill was closed, but the area was beautiful. While we were here, it felt appropriate to eat while in Sandwich. So we lunched at a tea room across from the pond.

As we headed farther "up" the Cape, it became apparent why this place is so busy during the summer months. The beaches are beautiful, and the land is limited. I'm so glad we went during the Fall. We had to share the area with only a few others. While on the first beach, we watched as birds dive bombed the ocean in search of food. Over and over again, they slammed into the water. It was neat to see.
 Our next stop was at the point where Marconi successful completed the first transatlantic wireless transmission to King Edward VII back in 1903.
Marconi's tower station...it's only a model.  The real one was dismantled and/or swallowed by the seas as the coast receded.

Kyle reading about Marconi
What a beautiful place to work. Lucky Marconi.
For those who might be interested, there is a suspenseful historic fiction book that links Marconi's invention of radio to the capture of a notorious murderer: "Thunderstruck" by Erik Larsen.  Kyle thought the book was just ok, but it had much more impact when we visited this site on the Cape.

Heading farther "up" the Cape, we were racing to see the sunset from some sand dunes on the tip of the Cape. Sadly, we didn't make it in time, but we found this deserted beach along the way which proved to have a wonderful view of the sunset.
 We even manged to see more amazing skies when we got to Provincetown.
 None of us were really hungry yet (the sun set around 4:30 pm), so we drove through the narrow shop-lined streets of Provincetown before heading out. It did look like a wonderful place to spend some time, preferably when it's both warmer and still not crowded (which is an unlikely combination).
On our way home we stopped in Plymouth at the Lobster Hut for dinner.  The place doesn't look like much, and the ordering process is like eating at a fast food joint, but the food was great.