Saturday, September 8, 2007


I went on two vacations this summer.
The first one was a mix of vacation and work.
The work part of my first vacation was the Children's Institute at Simmons College in Boston. The Institute was remarkable. The basis of all their summer insitiutes is to examine children's literature as literature. The theme this year was Food Glorious Food...the role of food in children's literature. Giving talks were the likes of David Macauley, Natale Babbitt, Polly Horvath, Robert Sabuto (one of those amazing paper engineers) and many more. The most scholarly talk was from Jack Gantos who compared Oliver, Chocolate War, and Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Marc Aronson was to speak but he was sick. He sent a rough draft of his talk which in rough draft form was betten than most finished products! I have a link to this talk if anyone would like to see it. He is one of the premier non-fiction writers. All in all it was one of the most satisfying programs I have attended.

The vacation part was great....but how could it not be with these cutes.

While there my nephew helped me buy a new IMAC.

Here my 4 yr. old niece is showing me how it works!

My other nephew and family live near Boston. His wife, Holly, and daughter Morgan drove me into Boston for the institute and then they all picked me up. For a thank-you I took them to tea at the Four Seasons. It was very nice. We then went to the "Make Way for Ducklings" pond which was coviently right across the street! And yes we saw lots and lots of ducks!

My sister Heather provided my before and after housing. The one of many things you experience while at my sisters is good food. We had it out in restaurants (went to Xaviors, run by one of the best chefs in the country...he beat Bobby Flay at Iron Chef!) and in at her house as she is an amazing cook...she actually likes cooking!

She and I then headed down to Cape May, NJ to join Susan Deeney, her daughter and friend and my nieces family. Later Heather's son, Zack, and his girlfriend and Heather's "friend" , Joe joined us. Besides the beach and shopping we ate at some mighty fine places. This is one of our favorites, The Black Duck.

Austen especially enjoyed the ocean...looking only! She would shout with glee when anyone said "Look Austen the ocean" but was not so enthusiastic about actually going in the ocean!

She did, however, love one of the shores great cream!
So that was part I of my summer vacation

Part II came at the end of Aug. when I went on the MLA cruise to St. John and Halifax in Canada. Until the last day, long sad story, I had a great time. Phyllis G., Susan D. and Barbara H went as well. Both cities are unique and fascinating in their own way.

St. John is a working town filled with character and one of the wonders of the world....a reversing river. Here the St. John river empties into the Bay of Fundy. Due to the geology of the bay, when the river tries to go into the bay it is forced back by the bay, thus the reversing action. So instead of the river flowing into the bay, the bay pushes it back....the river never gets to empty into the bay. It is an amazing site!

Halifax is more sophisticated and Peggy's Cove is clearly one of the most beautiful places in the world! Margaret's Bay is just amazing. It doesn't take a photo genius to take great pictures here!

One of my favorite things about being near a port is seeing tug/work boats.

Of course the ports were great but there is so much more to a cruise than just the ports. The ship was very colorful

and relaxed and civilized
We had two days coming and going to explore and enjoy the ship and all it had to offer and we took advantage of it all!

Then after playing all day we were greeted with a bedtime friend

But in the end one must go home and home we had to go.......

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