Sunday, August 14, 2011

High-flying adventure

In spite of keeping pretty close to home this summer, we've had some great adventures in and around Boston.  This Friday we took a little drive to Kimball Farm in Westford with a few friends from Cambridge.  Three moms, six kids, and a crazy amount of fun!

First on the agenda was a hot air balloon ride!  I've never been up in a balloon and this was quite an experience.  As the kids and I drove up to the parking lot, our friends were already there and waiting in line.  The plan was for Hilary and myself to take the 4-year-olds up in the balloon while Sarah stayed down with the three toddlers.  I didn't have much time to prepare River or myself for the experience, which was for the best since it didn't give me a chance to get nervous. 



 River hopped into the doughnut-shaped bucket willingly, we got all the kids hooked onto their safety lines; then, before we knew it, the tether was loosening and we were floating up into the sky.  My stomach dropped out from under me and I looked over to River, who showed no signs of stress.  Personally, I felt much better knowing we were tied to the ground and wouldn't be going higher than 300 feet.

The other kids did amazingly, and also showed no signs of fear.

video

 We got some video of the adventure.  I was terrified I was going to drop my phone, so it's pretty short and sweet.

 And here's our shadow as we were pulled down.

Next, we wandered through the farm to see what was available and discovered a fantastic mini golf course.  I was drawn to the bumper boats, but the logistics just seemed too difficult to work out.  Instead we got three balls and clubs for the big kids, extra balls for the toddlers and we set them loose.

 What followed was pretty unrestrained chaos.  Everyone was on the green at the same time.  The little ones kept stealing the big kids' balls; which didn't actually matter that much as the game they were playing could be considered "golf" in only the loosest of terms.

Basically we'd let them knock their balls around the course until a group came up behind us, then we'd move on.


 Here's a typical moment from our game.

 It was by far the best mini golf course I've ever been on.  There was a little river running next to the course, with bridges, waterfalls, and little gullies.   The course went up and down hill and in and out of caves.  The kids were never bored, and we wore them out plenty.

 A brief moment of calm with River and his friends.

 Lila already had a sense for how to hold the club and was desperately trying to play along.  (After a short t-ball session yesterday, I can say with near certainty that she is going to be the jock of the family.)

 We made it about 2/3 of the way through the whole course before hunger and fatigue took over.  We ate at the little outdoor grill nearby while the kids watched the chickens, goats, and ponies play.  Of course, some special treats were involved, and River picked out some candy buttons that were a big hit with the whole gang.
 
Tired, happy kids, at the end of the day.

We had such a great time.  I'm so glad to have made friendships like these in our time in Cambridge.

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