What a way to go

Published 3:08 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2022

My apologies for writing yet again about travel and spending time with my family. However, that is all we have been doing for a few weeks and it is sheer joy to finally have this extended time together.

This is the first time I have ever written an article from a moving train. I have written from an airplane flying over the Rocky Mountains. I have composed an article while on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and on the Gulf of Mexico. I have written while in a car, in a hammock, and even occasionally while sitting behind a desk.

Even as I write, Mary Lou and I are headed to New York City with our oldest grandson, Henry. This is his first train ride, and what a beautiful journey it is. I never tire of riding the rails but today seems especially lovely with the views of the boats on the water as we wind our way south from Boston.

We are just finishing up a wonderful long weekend with our all our children and grandchildren in Boston. We soaked up all the historical sites from the Freedom Trail and the Boston Tea Party to the beautiful old naval ship, the USS CONSTITUTION, also known as “Old Ironsides”.

We stayed on the edge of the North End, with its large Italian population and wonderful collection of restaurants. Of course, we also sampled the seafood that Boston is known for, not once but several times. We never seemed to tire of Calamari, Clam Chowder or Lobster…. always Lobster.

Boston is an easy city to get around in, with most things we wanted to see no more than a 15-minute walk. Uber is everywhere, and there are even water taxis and the subway. The fact that the weather was a cool mid 70’s during the day made for a perfect setting for exploring the city with our family of ten.

Our hotel was more centrally located than I expected, overlooked the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and had a corner balcony that afforded delightful views of the city, especially as the day turned to night. It also had a restaurant that fit our family’s needs perfectly. The table for ten overlooking the park seemed to have been built just for our visit.

Mary Lou and I have visited Boston a half dozen times during our married life, but there was something special about having all our children and grandchildren together. The highlight for me was showing my grandchildren the Profiles in Courage Award section in the John F. Kennedy Library, where they got to scroll through the electronic screens to find my name, my award, and my acceptance speech from almost 20 years ago.

I asked my grandchildren what their favorite part of the trip was. Laura liked all the time the family spent together. The cousins were in non-stop game mode no matter where we were and what were doing. Will liked the USS CONSTITUTION and the Freedom Trail. Henry liked the Boston Tea Party ship & museum. Andrew, who is 3, truthfully said he liked watching Blippi on his tablet. When pressed for a more appropriate answer, he finally said “hanging out with Henry and Granddaddy”. Smart kid.

During our almost four-hour long train trip, Henry learned to play Gin Rummy with his Granny. How cool is that? Hopefully, it is a memory he will recall whenever he plays the game in the future.

As we approach New York City, I realized we have traveled the past week by train, plane, automobile, boat, and foot. Whatever the mode of transportation, if you can gather your kids and spend time together making memories, then it does not matter how you get there. Any of them is the way to go.