Before Ian's parents and grandma moved to Cape Cod last October, we'd made just a few short trips to the Cape and islands, and had the general impression it was a fancy place full of wealthy people and summer tourists, with unbearable summer weekend traffic. While that perception isn't entirely off the mark (their cozy home is a short drive away from the expansive Kennedy compound), we discovered it is so much more.
Given the timing of their move, we experienced the off season first. I've been enamored with the image of the beach in winter ever since I read Hattie and the Wild Waves when I was little. It was so lovely to spend Thanksgiving and a belated Christmas strolling on the beach, with a roaring fire waiting for our return. The ocean was expansive and beautiful, and we had it all to ourselves. One of their amazing neighbors took us oystering and clamming, and we felt like locals in our waders, clam rakes slung over our shoulders, filling up wire baskets then slurping down oysters with homemade hot sauce, the smell of ocean filling all our senses.
And then summer came. After our eternal Narnian winter, I didn't care how bad the traffic was, as long as we could soak in the hot summer sun, feel sand between our toes, and eat all the ice cream we wanted (Grandma Judy is a connoisseur, and her favorite is Katie's). It was glorious.
While we'll miss the sunshine and ice cream, we're looking forward to once again bundling up and enjoying quiet winter weekends on the Cape, watching the wild waves. You can call me Hattie.
See more of our Cape Cod photos on Flickr.
Shortly after last year's Color Me Rad, I got an email offer for a big discount on registration for the 2015 race. I made sure we didn't have other plans for April 11, 2015, then signed us up. Since it was still months away, I marked it on our calendar, then didn't give it another thought.
The night before the race, with our car reserved and white shirts and running gear waiting by the door, I pulled up our tickets on EventBrite, and panicked. The tickets said August 1.
Stomach sinking, I did an email search and discovered I had missed seeing a race update with the subject line: "Color Me Rad Boston changed to August 1st due to record snowfall." #fail. I looked at our calendar. We would be in the Dominican Republic on August 1. The next morning I sent a quick email asking for our options, and thankfully was assured we could transfer our registrations to the August 29 Providence race.
But what to do with the rental car and our now wide-open Saturday? Ian suggested we stop by some open houses. We were close to our down payment savings target, and it would be a great opportunity to see if that target number could get us into a home we loved. We spent Saturday morning driving to a few homes Ian had scoped out on Trulia, and Saturday afternoon crunching numbers and charting our plan.
We connected with a highly recommended realtor (a fellow REUNIONer), who ran through the process with us — a mini first-time homebuyers class — and recommended a mortgage broker. By the end of May, we had a concrete budget, and by mid-August, we were closing on our first home. I'll share more of that story soon, but suffice to say, it was a busy summer. Over the next two weeks, we spent our evenings moving all our worldly possessions and said goodbye to our Brookline apartment.
Move completed, we headed to the Cape to avoid the chaos that is Boston on unofficial moving weekend (most leases start on September 1, when the city plays a giant game of upset the fruit basket). We were ready to relax and to relieve some stress by chucking colored cornstarch at each other (after a short drive to Providence). The race that prodded us along on our homebuying journey was also our finish line — one we were thrilled to cross.
I love Pixar. We own every single movie (except Cars 2, which is on the wish list). I quote them all the time. In fact, Ian quizzed me on random Pixar quotes he pulled from our Pixarpedia (yes, I know), and I was able to correctly identify almost every single one. So it was only appropriate that for my birthday we went to the Science Behind Pixar exhibit at the Museum of Science.
We arrived a little early for our timed ticket, just to make sure we weren't late. Promptly at 1:30 p.m., everyone in our time slot was ushered into a small room to watch a short introduction video hosted by Pixar characters, and then the doors opened and we were released to explore the giant interactive exhibition space.
We got to meet our favorite characters as we slowly worked and played our way through the process of creating an animated movie. Eight areas highlight modeling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting, and rendering, each illustrated with a different movie set. Everything is interactive, allowing visitors to experiment with the process: we played with the lights on a miniature set from UP! and adjusted camera focus with Wall-E. And the exhibit was sprinkled with plenty of videos interviewing Pixar employees about their jobs and how what they do fits into the big picture.
We spent 2+ hours wandering around and learning about the complex science that goes into creating Pixar's incredible and beautiful stories, and loved every minute. In fact, we spent so much time there we weren't able to use our tickets to the museum proper (but we've got six months to squeeze in another visit). We highly recommend catching this special exhibit before it closes on January 10!
See more of our photos from the exhibit on Flickr.
Labels: backyard tourists: Boston