Destination 15: Athol, Massachusetts


After our night in New Jersey, we made our way to Athol, Massachusetts, where we visited Mom’s friend Lisa and her 4 boys (Jacob, Noah, Luke and John). The drive was a little long but we got there just in time for dinner.

We stopped by a grocery store on our way there to pick up various ingredients for a delicious BBQ for dinner. Lisa told us to call her 10 minutes before we got there. We weren’t quite sure why but we kind of shrugged and said “OK.” What we didn’t realize until we turned the corner was that the house was on an island in the middle of the lake and Lisa needed to pick us up in a boat! To say the very least, we were pleasantly surprised!

Thankfully, we made it to the island without sinking the boat with our heavy suitcases and six passengers. Once we docked, we couldn’t believe our eyes. It was as if we walked into every child’s dreamland. There were two houses—one for Lisa and her kids and one for our family—overlooking the gorgeous lake. In the middle of the lake sat a water trampoline that the boys were already somersaulting off of. Fishing poles, paddleboats and various floating devices lined the dock just for the kids.

The kids immediately dropped their bags (and pants, literally), changed into their suits and joined the boys in the lake. Meanwhile, we BBQed delicious steaks and made some corn on the cob and garlic bread for dinner. It was the quintessential summer evening. While we waited for the kids to finish playing and fishing, I read Real Simple magazines to my heart’s delight while Mom and Lisa caught up in the kitchen and Dad manned the grill.

[The lake house!]

[The kids jumping off of the water trampoline]

[Isn't it just beautiful?]

[Luke and Robert fishing :)]

[Hi Luke!]

[Mary keepin' up with the boys...caught a fish on her own!]

After devouring dinner, we lit up the fire and roasted some marshmallows and made smores. The kids really thought they had died and gone to heaven. Nothing could make this night better. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing, catching up and playing…100% fun.

[The bonfire]

The next morning, we had originally scheduled to drive into Boston and do the freedom walk. However, with the hot weather and the beautiful lake calling the kids’ names to come and play, we made some last minute changes. Dad stayed with the kids at the lake house while Mom, Lisa and I went into Boston for a day of leisurely activities (aka shopping).

After doing some miscellaneous errands in Boston, we went to a Mediterranean place for some yummy falafel wraps and salads. Afterward, we drove to Newbury Street, a cute area of boutique shops and cafes. Though much of the stuff in the shops were entirely too expensive, it was fun walking around and having some quality “girl” time. We ended up getting some cute clothes for ourselves as well as a little gourmet chocolate to bring back to the clan.

Around 5 p.m., we headed back to the lake half-scared to see what we’d finc. To everyone’s relief, the kids were happily fishing for bass and snapper turtles while Dad hosed down the picnic table because of one too many spills.

We fixed a quick dinner of leftovers and left the rest of the evening for playing time because, c’mon, nothing really beats swimming and fishing at a lake house with four boys, ages 9, 7, 5 ½ and 4.

[The boys are pretty proud of their fish]

[They even caught a snapper turtle!]

[Their photoshoot...I see a future career. Don't you?]

The next morning, we planned to leave around 6 a.m. so it was an early bedtime for everyone. The kids and I popped Pirates of the Caribbean into the laptop and fell asleep shortly after. Like I’ve said plenty of times already, the lake house was a dreamland for the kids and adults alike. Everyone had such a blast catching fish, swimming and chatting. We had a chance to slow down momentarily, take a deep breath in and relax. After all, that’s what vacations are for, right?!


yojamie said...

more breathtaking than you described to me on the phone. Every destination you and your family arrive at only seems to somehow top the last. great photos once again. love you & miss you!

Simply Tanya said...

Wow, the lake water looks so fresh! Robert looks like he definitely has a future in modeling... let's get that boy started! And, Mary is absolutely gorgeous. :)

Mai said...

I love this post!! And I pretty much loved all the previous ones too :) I think these family roadtrip blogs are some of your best yet - keep it up girl!