It's May now, and in Alabama, May means Summer. Here, I think that maybe it's still Spring. Either way, the weather here has been beautiful, and the city has come alive. Although I still miss my family and friends back South, most of my homesickness melted with the nasty snow. Hooray for Springtime! Doug and I decided weeks ago that we should probably sell our car. We've been dragging our feet a bit, because we both have moments of panic about not having one. But, we don't need to have it, and losing it will lift a huge weight from our shoulders financially. However, with a toddler in tow, we needed to make some other upgrades in preparation for the car-free life. First, we bought a humongous stroller, with bigger and better tires, a more comfy seat, and lots of cargo space. The first week we had it, Lucy and I walked/strolled about 8 miles, when we walked from our house to downtown Boston (and back). It's certainly nice to be able to do that, but it's quite a trek, and is definitely the whole day's activity. The stroller also allows for me to walk to get groceries, which can fit in the bottom. Pretty awesome. But, if I wanted to take the T (subway) or the bus, doing so with a stroller (even a small one) can be tricky.
Cue baby backpack.
This backpack thing (which can carry baby on front, too) has changed my life. I feel like I have so much more freedom now, since I can go stroller free. It's easy on my back and shoulders, and I can go anywhere with it...tiny shops, shops with crazy stairs, giant escalators... The ladies who sold me the backpack said that it's fantastic to have during the winter, because the snow-covered sidewalks can be really difficult to navigate with a stroller. Today, I took the bus to Whole Foods with Lucy on my back, since I didn't feel like walking, and made it home with two big bags of groceries. The Whole Foods is small and doesn't even have regular sized carts. Plus, getting our giant stroller up and down the (few) stairs at our house can be a real pain. So, shopping with Lucy on my back was nice. Soon (hopefully late summer), we'll have a new Whole Foods that's only about a 10-min. walk from home, and that will be awesome.
Cambridge came to life once the weather started getting nice. People out everywhere, lounging in the grass, playing frisbee, and acting much more friendly in general. I think winter makes everybody grouchy. This is a photo of a free, outdoor performance of Three Billy Goats Gruff for families. Stroller city.
This was taken during the early evening, while I was walking toward Harvard to see a documentary film screening about education. So pretty. The movie was screened in a Harvard dorm, so there were lots of Harvard undergrads there. This is definitely the heart of America's achievement culture, and sometimes it makes me feel weird.
This restaurant, called Clover, is in Harvard Square (though there are other locations, and a food truck). It's one of my favorite places to go because it's super delicious and local, kid-friendly, and cheap. I always get the chickpea fritter sandwich, rosemary fries, and hibiscus iced tea. Yum! If you visit us, we will go here.
In more personal news, Lucy's in a toddler bed now! She has been officially 100% weaned from breastfeeding, and is sleeping all night long, consistently. Finally! But, she's been having trouble settling down for bed time, which is apparently pretty common for this age. So, we got her a big girl bed so that we can lie down with her at bed time and read stories and snuggle to help get her to sleep. So far, it's working well.
I definitely have found my groove now that I know where things are and how to get around...and the snow is gone. I love being able to walk everywhere. I love that there are so many young people here and that the city has so much to see and do, even lots of free stuff. The library is magical, and is probably my favorite place to take Lucy. We have such easy access to the kind of food we like to buy, and that has taken away lots of weird stress from my brain. We're also learning to live more simply by being in a smaller space, and soon without a car, and it's nice to be in a place where lots of people have less and it isn't weird. BUT. I miss my family. And it's expensive here. And OMG, it's going to get so cold again. For now, though, this has been a grand adventure, and I feel like making this move across the country, from rural Alabama to metro Boston, has made us feel like we can do anything. Even with a baby.