Sunday, February 26, 2012

What We Did Over Winter Break

When you live in New England, what you do over winter break depends entirely on your opinion about snow.  Our Native New England friends either love snow so much that they can not wait to get to a ski resort and enjoy the great outdoors, or else they hate snow so much that they can not wait to get south to a beach resort and forget about the wintry outdoors.

Our family is firmly entrenched in the Hate Snow category, but without the unlimited financial means to make a beach resort happen.   We tend to find ourselves all alone for the week of February vacation - five days of few organized sporting activities and very little company.

With unlimited, unstructured time, you would think that my children would be giddy beyond words when vacation week arrives.  And they are..... for a day.  And then boredom sets in and the fighting begins thus explaining why I like to keep the kids busy.

Very busy.

On our first "free" day, I brought the children to the Acton Discovery Center - a hands-on science and exploration museum.  This is our fourth visit to the Center and we went mainly to use their fantastic art and wood-crafts room.  Sadly, every other home-bound family in the New England Area had the same idea, so we checked out the exhibits while we waited our turn to create art and craft from wood.

There is a tremendous amount to do and learn at this discovery center and we did it all.

At last it was our turn to create and we settled in like the old-pros that we are.

The next day, I brought the children into Cambridge to visit our favorite in-door swimming pool.

Afterwards, Josie was invited to a friend's house and Georgia and Henry remained home, complaining that they had nothing to do.  It wasn't our best day.

On our last "free" day, I took the children across the state to Magic Wings - a butterfly sanctuary.

I will write a separate post on this place next week, but I had to include some photos as a preview to you now.  It was AMAZING!  We've all been to butterfly places before, but this one beat them all.  It was two humongous greenhouses filled to the brim with tropical plants, animals and butterflies so plentiful you had to keep ducking to avoid collisions with them.  I've never seen so many different varieties of butterflies - some were as big as bats (which was, frankly, a little disconcerting).

We did a lot of calm, peaceful sitting in hopes to attract a butterfly or two to try out the comfort of our person.

And the girls got to hold an Australian stick insect (or something of the sort).   

Did you have these creatures running around your garden when you lived in Australia, Tara?

On the other days / free moments, we were entertained by a hockey game, a trip to the bowling alley with Gordy, a hockey practice and a soccer practice.  The activities didn't completely stop, lord knows.

It was a busy (and therefore fun and stress-free) week.  

But the fun isn't over yet, Gordy and I made the spur-of-the-moment decision to bring the children to our favorite city for a little weekend holiday....

Any guesses where we went?

Stay tuned!

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