But we didn't go out of town without kids on account of our engagiversary; the two events just happened to coincide. Mark had meetings in Boston this week, and last night I joined him there. I know it sounds all pretentious and all, but we flew up a friend's daughter from Atlanta to stay with the kids. It's not really as uppity as it sounds because we used miles to fly her up. She has family here in CT too, so it was a chance for her to see them.
Anyway, Mark had driven up earlier with colleagues, so I drove up yesterday - 2 hours of blissful peace and quiet in the car. No fights. No potty stops. No "I'm bored"s. Just peace and quiet. OK, so not quiet because I got to blast my music as loud as I wanted. And when I got there, I giggled a little when the valet asked me if I wanted him to pahk the cah. Seriously, how can the accent be so different just 2 hours away?
The hotel was the very pretentious Charles Hotel, which I would never stay in on my own dime. Not that pretentious makes it any more comfortable than our regular Courtyard Marriott. But there were TVs in the bathroom mirrors, and that was pretty cool.
After I checked in and Mark's meeting ended, we grabbed a bite for lunch and then tackled the freezing cold outside. The Charles Hotel is in Harvard Square, so it was fun exploring a bit. We didn't see as much as I wanted to on account of the freezing cold, and I did not take my camera because my gloved hands do not take pictures well. (I imagine I was probably the only Starbucks customer in Cambridge who ordered an iced drink to carry around in the freezing cold.)
Later on we ventured a little beyond Harvard Square in the car, I mean cah, and I found the first landscaped cemetery, established in 1831. I love cemeteries. I'm not being morbid, I just think they are beautiful, and I love to see the dates and the history in a cemetery. This one was especially pretty and fascinating.
For dinner, we joined Mark's colleagues. In a pretentious hotel like the Charles Hotel, what could fit in better than a pretentious Italian restaurant? That is where we ate. Restaurants like these always take something good--a steak, for instance--and completely ruin it by topping it with fruit or serving a side of octopus with it. Those are the kinds of things I discovered on the web menu we checked out beforehand, so I wasn't too excited. However, I had spied a cute little Hah-vard IHOP right down the road we could go to after dinner if the fru-fru food was inedible. Much to my surprise, though, the food was good. Really good. I pushed the apples off to the side of my salad plate (I do not mix fruit with my salad!), my steak came sans octopus, and I made a special request that the chef leave the orange peel glaze off of my chocolate torte, so it was all delicious.
We had a private dining room for our party and spent a couple of hours chatting over dinner and after dinner. This was my first meeting with most of Mark's colleagues. Did I mention I'm a little burned out on meeting new people? But I put on a brave face and actually had a good time getting to know them. I have heard about these people for years, so it was fun to put faces to names.
Although some headed out elsewhere for after-dinner drinks, we turned in early because we had to rise early. Alex and Michael had their first basketball practices today, and 10:30 isn't as late in the morning as it sounds when there is a hotel room to be packed up and a 2 hour drive.