Beating the one-car-family blues

I spent allll winter waiting for warm weather so Beatrice and I could finally get outside and enjoy our gorgeous summer city, something I never really got to do when I was working in Chelsea.

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After a couple weeks of lovely weather, however, I realized that we had done all we could do on foot.

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I was getting cabin fever from walking the same [stunning] two square miles over and over again, and I was feeling extra frustrated because I knew that so much more outdoor fun was waiting, just beyond the distance I was willing to walk with a baby strapped to my chest.

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Erik offered to leave the car for us on the days he works in Chelsea, but the commuter rail doesn’t make financial sense without the monthly pass — it’s $18 round trip now! I spent about two days feeling sorry for myself, and then I realized that I had been missing a HUGE opportunity.

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As soon as Beatrice woke from her nap last Thursday, I threw some essentials (small toys, this wet bag and wipes pouch, two diapers and cream, a picnic sheet, a sun hat for Bea) into a tote bag, packed the child into the Tula, and carted us down the hill just in time to catch the train to Rockport.

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Twelve minutes later, we pulled into the station and started a leisurely stroll toward downtown.

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We waved enthusiastically to the beach-goers and then continued on our way …

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… to Nate’s, where we ordered a Greek salad to go and watched the ocean across the street.

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When the salad was ready, we brought it just behind the restaurant to Millbrook Meadow, a lush, semi-hidden wonderland that we discovered accidentally last summer.

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Bottom to top: sheet, Greek salad, baby, grass, ocean, sky. Best view :-).

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I tried to share my salad with Beatrice, but she only wanted to dump it out and eat all the feta.

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We did some crawling around on the glass-free (score for Rockport!) grass. Beatrice favored the dirt patch.

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After a quick wipe down and diaper change, we took a waterfall selfie to send to Erik, whose enthusiasm for water restoration/conservation projects never fails.

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Next stop was Bearskin Neck …

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… where we walked up and down the road looking into all the charming shops and galleries.

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We had about 45 minutes until the bus home was scheduled to arrive …

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… and between the view and the ice cream, we had no trouble passing the time.

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In this perfect-world-for-a-day dreamlike scenario, Beatrice fell asleep just as I took the first lick of my strawberry cone.

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I hopped on the bus with my sweet sleepy package …

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… and enjoyed the relaxing, scenic ride back home to Gloucester.

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Beatrice was STILL napping when we got home, so I had about five minutes of uninterrupted couch time before I had to spring into action again. It was glorious.

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Now that I have finally conquered the CATA bus system (only took me three years!), the possibilities are endless. We can go to Rocky Neck. Magnolia. Manchester-by-the-Sea. Good Harbor Beach. Target. We can spend all day riding the bus just for the heck of it if we want to. We don’t actually want to. But it’s enough to know that anything is possible. With a small tote bag, three hours to spare, $4, and a baby in a carrier, I can travel the world :-).

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2 thoughts on “Beating the one-car-family blues

  1. marybcunningham says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and hardly ever comment, but I loved this post so much! I think you were very brave to explore new horizons! Good for you. I’m looking forward to “traveling” New England with you this summer.

    Like

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