#tbt: Tales of a Third-Grade Laura

Only the coolest 8-year-olds had Walkmans. And spoiled toddlers, apparently.


I don’t know how I thought I was going to pay for one for her on her sixth birthday (two months away at this point). That was obviously a lie to make me look good in front of Mrs. Kleinhans.

ANOTHER magical night

Once upon a time my girls and I had a Girls Night and watched Magic Mike.

Another night, we got brave and decided to do crafts and watch the best sequel of all time, Magic Mike XXL.

What follows, as before, is the unfiltered commentary overheard (from me by them) during the run of that beautiful film.



What happened at the end of the last one?

Is that awful girl in this?

Aw he has his furniture business!

I could watch him carry furniture all day.

He’s gonna drop it.
No he’s not going to ‘cause he’s a furniture specialist.

He can have a nicer car cause he has a business.


I feel good about this scene.

Wait does Channing Tatum have bad teeth?

He should always chew gum all the time. Because of the jaw.

What if his worker guy came back?

I don’t understand?
It’s just about the camaraderie.

Wait where is Jacksonville? Is it on a beach?

This is the worst movie ever

This scene is lasting way too long.

Is he bandaged?

How is (Matt Bomer) not gay in this movie? He’s wearing a sarong.

What’s that? Molly?

(At the same time) It’s like ecstasy, It’s like cocaine

Is that Amy Schumer?

This is about to be weird.
This is about to be the best part of the movie.

Backstreet Boys, he loves them!

I would say “please clean up those Cheetos.”
He’s making a mess!

I’m not mad at this.

They’re littering so much. They’re gonna get pulled over for littering.

Is he asleep?

The car disappeared in the woods.

You don’t stay there for two days with a concussion. Or get oxygen.

They’re coming off the molly.

(Girl in uncomfortable pose) Whoa. Good for her.


I feel like she’s the lady in pirates of the Caribbean where you can’t understand what she does.

Oh Michael Strahan!

I feel like he should not have been allowed to do this.

He’s on television every morning!

Shhhhh. Twitch.

Pick up your money!

Oh god.

We have to listen to how hot this is.

Take your pants off, Jesus.

Childish Gambino: “he’s a magician”

I don’t even have a fucking clue what’s going on in this movie anymore.

Jada is a badass.
She’s a mom!
You can be a mom and a badass.

Do they sleep together? I hope they do..

What’s his name in this movie?

Do they have to sign a medical waiver before they go to this place?

This is basically sex.

Rewind that so I can take a picture.

I got so excited I dropped my phone.

He’s everywhere.

He’s not picking up the money?
No somebody else picks it up later. They have somebody to do that.

Long discussion about Matt Bomer’s sexuality.

She looks like she’s dirty.
That’s ‘cause she’s married to Johnny Depp.

I hate everything about this.
Once again this scene is lasting too long.

Way to bring the mood down.

This part just really throws the whole mood off.

I’m so embarrassed. I don’t understand this scene.

This is a Christian movie.

Wait, rewind that. That’s the best part of the movie.

Every time they show Tarzan: Ew

Don’t forget your friend in the hospital!!

It’s taken them two days to get somewhere that takes six hours. They must have left on like a Tuesday!

Oh they got a new DJ to replace the dead one.

Lollipops – they’re gonna pick it up with their butts.

Are they gonna dance to lollipop? (sings old version)
NO NOT THE 1950s doo wop version.

Are they sewing?

I like this montage cause nobody is talking.

Myrtle Beach! Finally.

Her hair looks bad. It’s a low budget film

Typical. Racist. Sparkles.

I’m afraid they’re gonna be birds.
I’m afraid they’re gonna pick up the lollipops with their butts.

Oh god. Here we go.

I’m not prepared. Dear God.

Tarzan – get him out of the way first.

He is a bird!!


D’angelo! OMG! That video – nobody? We are 30.

This is how people get hurt!


He looks GOOD in a tux (Joe Manganiello)

I don’t know what to do with my hands.

Why am I clapping?

This is the best wedding ever.

Suddenly I want a sex swing.
I’m getting one. How much do they cost? Do they sell them on Amazon?

She’s still in the swing.

How do you get to be an extra in this movie?

I want pleather pants – they sell them at Express.

He’s so hot.

This is absurd. This is the quietest we have been the whole movie

I feel like you shouldn’t be allowed to do this to strangers.

I can’t breathe.

Can we watch it again?

Twitch is hung.

I’m still not sure if this a competition or not.

Oh she’s still in the swing.

Yay he’s back!!! It’s Enrique Iglesias!

Remember when the swing came out and I didn’t know what to do with my hands?

Channing your life is still shit!

Tell me that’s the end. Yes!

Bright lights big city

Two seconds into NYC this is our view.

photo 1

Two seconds into NYC for Megan and G, they see Peter Dinklage. (Who was referred to as “The Angry Elf” for the rest of the trip and in any mentions of him despite his other work, including his current awesomeness on Game of Thrones).

Oh and speaking of Elf, this happened…

Anyways. When we left off with the trip recap, we had just met up with Megan and G, and were headed back to the hotel to prepare for the night out in the city.

Luckily there was a little market across the street so we could get pregaming supplies – entirely too much beer and also Doritos and chips and salsa. Because of course.

Wanna see a bit of our room?





We stayed at the Salisbury, which I highly recommend because of the convenient location and the really nice rooms and not at all because it kind of looks like The Shining in the hallways.
photo 1

We played our new favorite game, Heads Up, which is kind of like Headbandz only not and much better and it was on Ellen so you know it’s the shit. And one of the cards we had to get someone to guess was Bill Cosby and all Rachel and I could think of to do was say “After I stick my spoon in your pudding..” Thank you, Kenan Thompson… (That isn’t that video but one almost as good.)

Dinner was at PJ Clarke’s, which was nothing to write home about, but it was good nonetheless. And Sami got mussels and I ate a few so I may or may not be kind of over my texture issues?

PJ Clarke’s was right across from Lincoln Center, so we ran across the street for some photo ops after we were done eating.

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

Then, it was time for the most important photos of our trip. The ones from Times Square at night.

Before, during and after our own pictures, we photobombed other peoples’. Mainly they did. I had an ill-timed need to run to McDonald’s to pee. Because beers. But my sisters, Chuckie and G are definitely in the background of a lot of peoples’ pictures from that night. WIN.

After we’d reached our photo quota and started to freeze, we were ready for the main event. Drinks at McGee’s Pub. If you’re a fan of How I Met Your Mother (and really, who isn’t?) you’ll be excited/happy/jealous to know that this pub is what MacLaren’s from the show is based on, and is visited on occasion by members of the cast.

Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we didn’t see any of them there. I did, however, ask the bouncer if Neil Patrick Harris was there or would be there soon. And tweeted to him and Bryan Cranston (in town doing a show on Broadway) to come have drinks with us. Didn’t work.

But we did manage to get pleasantly plastered, rack up the biggest bill for drinks I have ever seen and/or been part of in my life, play Heads Up in the bar, make new friends at the tables around us and also try chocolate covered pretzel shots which were life-changing.

Best joint celebrating of birthdays ever. And a much-needed, very fun night with people I love. And, I like to think, almost with NPH.

Start spreadin’ the news…we’re leavin’…in three weeks.

In a few weeks, my sisters and Chuckie and I will reunite in Boston for the first time since this time, but for a different reason entirely.

You see, once upon a time, when Rachel and I were young and thinking our jobs would pay us well enough to do such things – we told Sami, “Yeah! When you turn 21, we’ll celebrate by taking you to New York City!”

And all these years later, she remembered, although I’ve heard it was with a little help from one of my roommates. Whoops.

Don’t get me wrong, we always wanted to take her. But there was that whole paying to get up there and having a place to stay.

Well fate intervened in like 12 different ways – including the fact that one of the three of us would be a short drive away from NYC by Sami’s 21st birthday. That meant we could split our time in Boston – where we could stay for free – and NYC.

Add in the most amazing, awesome, wonderful parents and Santa Claus, who gifted us for Christmas and birthdays the plane tickets to get up there, and well, we’re making it happen.

Over Rachel’s actual birthday and St. Patrick’s Day, the four of us (and hopefully a couple cousins that live close by) will be celebrating in New York! Sami turned 21 a little over a week ago, Rachel will turn 27 while we’re there, and a few weeks after we get back I’ll – gulp – turn 30. ACK.

So anyways. As part of this trip, the great Itinerist (is that a thing? or is it just itinerary maker? or tour guide) – Rachel – is making a list of stuff for us to do while we’re in town. We had to send her some ideas and mine ended up pretty doable, I think – an NBC tour and a visit to the World Trade Center Memorial, and as is always on my wish list for a Boston trip – going to see the Sox play.

(I’m one for three. They aren’t doing NBC tours while we’re there. And there aren’t any Red Sox games. I DON’T ASK FOR MUCH, PEOPLE.)

Well, actually I do. Here’s my ENTIRE list of stuff I actually want to do in New York and in Boston during our five day trip.

• Be the one to say “LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIIIIIIIIIGHT!” during SNL’s cold open.
• Ice skate at Rockefeller Center (because, let’s be real, it’ll still be winter when we are there because winter will never end)
• Have this happen to me:
• Hop in a cab and tell them to “FOLLOW THAT CAR!” just to see what they’d do.
• Speaking of cabs – find the Cash Cab and be on and win that show.
• Convince somebody random to fake propose to me at the top of the Empire State Building and cause a ruckus on FB when I post the picture after we get home.
• “Good game” a famous person.
• Be an extra in whatever show is filming there at the time.
• Find out where the Central Park Rangers are and see if they’re as mean as they’re portrayed in Elf.
• Instagram the shit out of everything.
• Buy fake sunglasses out of a suitcase in the park like I did when I was in seventh grade (the only other time I’ve been to New York. Also, moments after it happened we saw the people we bought them from get arrested.)
• Go to Times Square and ask someone where Times Square is.
• Visit FAO Schwarz and play something on the floor piano like in Big. It’s still there, right?
• In Boston: go to Wahlburgers and meet Alma Wahlberg and become best friends with her.
• Also in Boston: find Big Papi (David Ortiz for those not in the know) and become best friends with him.
• Have an awesome five days with my sisters and brother-in-law.

I think I’ll be able to check all those off, no problem.

You need to watch Breaking Bad

You might have heard this a lot already. Hell, there’s a pretty good chance you heard it from me. Especially recently.

You need to watch Breaking Bad.

It’s the best show ever. You can binge watch ’cause the series finale just happened. Also, I never steer people wrong when it comes to television.

Seriously. I’ve gotten people hooked on Lost, How I Met Your Mother, Justified, Dexter, Arrested Development.. and Breaking Bad.

Case in point, my sister, Rachel, and brother-in-law, Chuckie.

They watched the first four seasons pretty fast and the first half of season five. They were a tiny bit behind the live episodes but managed to stay away from spoilers and ended up watching the series finale just a couple weeks after it actually aired.

My sister decided after the first season was finished she’d send me her thoughts. That turned into a habit after each one was done.

And I’m so glad she did it. Her commentary was not only hilarious, it was spot-on. It was exactly what I (and several other people I’m sure) thought while they were watching. And if you DON’T ever wanna watch it, read her commentary. It’ll tell you all you need to.

Sami is catching up right now too and every once in a while I get texts with her feelings on the characters. I love it. I’m so glad they listened to their incredibly intelligent big sister with wonderful taste in television and checked it out.

Now. SAMI – and anyone else who is considering watching or is in the middle of watching – stop right here.



You people I was talking to a minute ago. Better not still be reading. This is your last chance to move on to another page. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Here we go.

Breaking Bad, season by season, by Rachel Cummings.

We finished season 1 last night. Here are my thoughts. 

I love that Jesse calls Walter “Mr. White.”

I love Walt’s bald head. He looks like a BAMF.

Walt’s wife is so annoying.

Her sister is even more annoying.

Drugs are disgusting especially meth.

If a body dissolved in my bathtub and fell through to the 1st floor and I had to clean up guts, I woulda just burnt the house down “accidentally.” No way in hell I’d clean up someone’s guts and blood. Nope.

Jesse’s little brother is a punk.

When Walter threw that fake meth down in Tuco’s office….. OMG. BAMF. That was the moment Chuckie decided he liked the show and wanted to watch more.

I hate that Hugo got pegged for stealing the meth equipment. He was so nice! Cleaning up Mr. White’s chemo puke! 

What does Walter’s wife do? She makes them a full breakfast EVERY MORNING. I don’t even get out of bed if Chuckie has to be somewhere before me much less make a full sit down breakfast. Damn.

Ok that’s all for now. I’ll let you know my thoughts on season 2 once we’ve watched it. I love that I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. I have avoided reading anything about the show, the finale, etc. So I literally have no clue where this show is going. And I love that. 


Ok. OMG.

-Tuco freaks me outtttttt!!!!!! Glad he’s dead and I soooo thought
hank was going to catch Walt there and shit was gonna hit the fan.

-wife: still annoying as ever and forever pregnant.

-I want that little redhead kid in the crackheads house! He was so
cute and I felt so sad for him!

– the landlord girlfriend girl was on Gilmore girls in the last
season(s?) and I hated her in that show and I hate her in this one
too. Annoying.

– what the heck is saul and all this bullshit? Walt is getting way too
deep and way too many people know his secret. Dexter never woulda
slipped up like that in his earlier days at least… But come on

– Jesse is a cutie.

– the whole walts wife and her old boss storyline freaked me out and
when she sang happy birthday to him I felt uncomfortable. So did
Chuckie. We wanted it to stop. I can’t believe she did that and
especially in front of all those people and then he’s at the birth of
their baby and walts not wtf? Not cool ted.

– soooooo pissed when that ho gets Jesse hooked on heroin and then
tries to take his money!? Not glad she died but dang. She had to go.

– I knew skyler would freakin put all the pieces together after Walt
said “which one?” Talkin about his cell phones. Oh man. My heart beat
so fast when he said that. She dug DEEP. Then tells him she knows
everything except what he did. Then he’s killed people and now left
with no family and no cancer and thousands of dollars he can’t spend.

– wtf is up with that plane crash?
Totally thought walts Fam was in those body bags and so relieved they
weren’t. I love Walter jr aka Flynn

Oh. My. God. 


-I hate Skyler more than ever. She’s sleeping with her boss just so she can tell Walt and piss him off. That doesnt work but she KEEPS sleeping with him for whatever reason, he ends up actually liking her and wanting a relationship, and she of course ruins that too and tells him to go away when he comes over to check on Hank. THIS WOMAN IS THE WORST.

– Those speechless mexican brothers are probably the scariest villains ever to be on tv, maybe besides the Trinity killer from Dexter. 


– I kind of love the Gus character. He’s so normal and not suspicious at all on the outside. Just a chicken restaurant guy. But secretly one of the biggest and baddest drug lords ever. He’s so chill. 

– JESSE. So glad he stopped doing drugs but then he started again! Ughhhhh. My favorite JEsse scene the whole season was when he was alone in the lab waiting for Walt and he fills his yellow suit up with air and is jumping around. Omg hilarious. I cried. 

– I think Walt and Jesse have the best love/hate relationship ever on TV or in a movie. They seriously love each other so much but also hate each other more than anyone else at the same time. Neither of them want to associate with the other one but they NEED each other. And deep down they secretly care about each other too but man do they hate each other. lol. I love it.

– I cried when Walt said he wished he had died before Jane died.

– The last 2 episodes of the season were INSANE.

– I’m sad that kid got killed.

– I can’t believe Walt ran over those guys and shot the one in the head. He’s gone rogue!

– Gale. RIP. 😦

– Walt is smart. Can’t wait to see how Gus reacts.

– Of course Skyler wants to get all up in Walt’s business and launder his money for him even though she tried to divorce him over all this shit but then she saw that bag full o money and ever since then she’s been all about it. Bitch. Why do I have a feeling she’s going to ruin something?

The end. Season 4- GO!

– I will never look at a box cutter the same way again.

– when the 1st episode ended Chuckie said “hey. remember when they liquidated that guy?” and then he laughed. I don’t know what disturbed me more- watching that scene or hearing chuckie refer to that guy as “liquidated.” ew.

– Battle of who has the worst new haircut: Jesse v. Skyler. And the winner (more like loser) is… both of them! I am not cool with Jesse’s shaved head look, mostly ’cause I want Walt to be the only BA with a bald head and I liked Jesse’s constant “just rolled out of bed” hairstyle. Skyler’s haircut sucks mainly just cause she sucks.

– Marie is super weird and what’s with all the purple stuff?

– Jesse’s teeth are waaaaay too nice for a methhead. They’re like, super white. They could have at least made them a little yellow or something. 

– Flynn is the smartest character on the show. He knows how to work people.

– Poor Holly. Always and forever sittin’ in that carseat, taking care of herself because seriously NO ONE ELSE IS.

– “I AM THE DANGER.” Maybe my favorite line in a TV show EVER. 

– Chuckie and I are adding “yo” to the end of everything we say now. “Pass me the chips, yo.” “Make me a chocolate milk, yo.” “Stop stealing the covers, yo.”

– I love the show’s attention to details (besides Jesse’s white teeth which I will forgive them for…) Skyler’s car has some dents in it, their houses all have clutter like normal people’s houses… Most tv shows, even if the people are supposed to be middle class, they have the nicest houses and cars somehow. I like that BB keeps it real.
– I can’t believe Gus took out the whole cartel like that. Whoa. He has no shame.
– Walt laying in that crawl space laughing like the joker was probably one of thre freakiest scenes ever.
– OMG when Ted tries to run away and then falls… I laughed so hard I was crying. Chuckie was laughing at me and said it was just like watching Americas funniest home videos with me hahaha. But then I felt bad later when I found out he actually got hurt.
– I want Hank to be a hero.
– Gus straightening his tie with half a face before he drops was pretty much the perfect exit for his character.
– I felt so happy about Brock living and about Jesse and Walt being friends again alllllll the way up until the last second of the season when I saw that plant on Walt’s table. OH. MY GOD. I hope Jesse never finds out but at the same time, at this point I’m kinda hoping he does and hope he kills Walt. No I take that back. No I don’t know. I’m so conflicted.


Ok, I took notes about the season as it went along because so much was happening, so these are the things I thought as it went and you will see how they changed, obvi. Here it goes:
– Landry from Friday Night Lights is the red haired bug tent guy! Yay! We love Landry! (And we continued to refer to him as Landry the entire season.)
– Walt is a big jerk. He’s totally desensitized.
– Jessie is such a softie for kids. 
– I can never tell if Walt is crying for real or faking. He’s too good at lying and I don’t appreciate it.
– Walt is so manipulative and twists everything to get what he wants. It’s not even right.
– OMG when Hank found that book in Walt’s bathroom…. I shrieked with joy. Hank is finally going to get him! Yesssssss
– I love that Hank and Jesse teamed up and that Marie is making him coffee.  I actually have grown to like Marie a lot. She’s moved her way up from least liked characters to most liked characters.
– HAAAAAAAAAAAANK!!!!! And Gomey!!! But HAAAAAAAAAANK. This show officially sucks. We are pissed.
– When Walt tells Jesse he watched Jane die… He really is the devil. I hated him a lot but at this point, he is at the bottom of my favorite characters list. I actually like Skyler now more than Walt. How did this happen.
– Jesse has been manipulated by Walt more than anyone else on the show and he’s basically the last one to figure it out. I hate this for him. He never asked for any of this. He was perfectly content doing some meth and chillin until Mr. White showed up. (I love that Jesse calls him Mr. White the entire series.) 
– Jesse’s gf. 😦 WTF Breaking Bad. TOO FAR.
– Walt’s hat reminds me of the hat from that Johnny Depp movie Secret Window. He’s like a different person when he wears it. “You stole mah story” lol
– Lydia’s sunglasses are dumb.
– I’m glad he FINALLY admitted what we’ve all known all along- that he did NONE of this for the family, he did it for himself. It was clear from the beginning he had issues with that Grey Matter company and the life he missed out on and thought he deserved the life Elliott and Gretchen had. He’s all about entitlement and credit. He wants credit where credit’s due. It’s sad.
– I hate Walt so much but have to give him credit on that crazy gun contraption he put together. And he saved Jesse! He redeemed himself slightly but still no. You still screwed up his entire life and even though he’s alive he’ll never be happy.  So good job.
– Overall we are satisfied with the ending but still really sad. This show has been giving us bad dreams for days and we’re still really mad about Hank. I don’t think we’ll ever get over that. And I’m sad for Jesse’s life because I don’t think it’ll ever be good.
So I think this is probably one of the most well written shows I’ve ever seen. When I think about the series as a whole, it seems more like a really long play and not like a TV show. The character development, the themes, the symbolism in everything… It’s so much like a good play. And also 99% of plays have tragic characters with tragic endings so… yeah.  This fits. But really. I don’t think any other show’s writing or story has ever been this good. Or at least not any show I’ve watched.
I can’t believe they made Walt such a likable guy to start off and then over 5 seasons make him into the devil and make us hate him. Definitely did not see that coming. This whole series could have been avoided if he’d just set his pride on the backburner and took the job and/or money from Elliott and Gretchen for his chemo in the first place. Ugh.
Flynn is my favorite character of the whole series. I love the innocence he brought to the story. He is the best and probably the only character that didn’t do something awful the entire series.
This show elicited a lot of capslocks from me.  (I had to look up how to spell elicited. I thought it was spelled illicited. Whoops.)
Now Chuckie and I get our life outside of the TV back and we enter our time of recovery. I think it may take awhile. This show messed us up. We love it and hate it all at the same time. Us and the show = Walt and Jesse.


So where were we, in terms of telling the story of our trip to Boston, mainly in pictures?


Yeah. This guy.

OK, so basically everyone in Boston dresses like that.* Also we went to a tea party.* And met Tom Brady.*

*None of those things are true, however, I did have sweet tea at one of the restaurants where we ate. And we did see Tom Brady.

Tom Tom and the guy from The Patriot (R.I.P. Heath Ledger) were part of a scavenger hunt my sister set up for us. Because she’s a nerd. And we’re totally nerds who would do it.

There were all kinds of fun things on the list to check off — that was actually my favorite part, ’cause y’all know I love me some lists.

We had to find some one in Boston Red Sox gear. Easy.

Fun fact: He didn’t speak English and I’m 90 percent sure had no idea what I said when I explained I needed a picture with him. We also were breaking the first rule of public transportation in the North – don’t talk to anyone.

We had to find six different Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s the one we thought would be easiest. And then we accidentally went to the same one twice.

We had to take a picture of a homeless person sleeping on a bench. No sleepers, but we did find this guy. Here he is looking directly at the camera. We were not as sneaky as we thought.

We needed to find a building with gold on the roof. And I swear to God what Sami is pointing at is just that. REALLY far away.

Also part of the scavenger hunt? Interacting with nature, which Sami is obviously a pro at, as seen here.

And here.

And here.

It took all day and then some, and we were reaching on a few of ’em, but we accomplished them all. We went above and beyond on the penguin one, but you’ll have to wait for the post about the aquarium for that. Suffice it to say, we are overachievers.

Among the other pictures I have yet to show you? Some of Beacon Hill, where the folks with the money live and we just walked around for about 20 minutes.

Chuckie’s school! (A.K.A. Where They Keep The Smart People)

The Dome at M.I.T.

A random present Mom sent with us.

And finally, maybe my favorites of the whole trip, pictures of Boston, at night, from the top of the Prudential building. You can see the whole city from up there and it’s gorgeous.

I even managed to get a far away shot of Fenway.

And a close up of this creepy-ass doll they have as part of an exhibit up there. As if they need something else for people to come to the top of the building for.

Yeah, that’s a face projected in there. And it talks to you. And is ridiculous. I hate it.

You know what I don’t hate? Seals and sea lions. And penguins. And aquariums.

Stay tuned for one of my dreams coming true. No big deal.


If you do nothing else, at all, in Boston, make sure you make a stop at Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli. When we went there, the first night in town, we were in line in front of a couple who had come straight there from the airport. They had their rolling suitcases with them and everything. IT’S THAT GOOD.

Rachel documented the occasion.

Between Mike’s and Toscanini’s (the ice cream place just a couple of blocks away from where my sister and brother-in-law live), I think Boston’s got the market on dessert foods on lock.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

The second day we were there, Sunday, will hereby be known as The Day We Walked Five And A Half Miles.

We started out at the bank they robbed in The Town.*

*This is a true one, actually. Filmed right there. So there. Sadly, neither Jeremy Renner or Jon Hamm were seen that day. Dammit.

But the main attraction for the day was Harvard. FRIGGIN’ HAHVAHD. Where the smahties ah. (That getting annoying yet?)

We walked all over the campus and I’m pretty sure I took pictures of every building there. It’s so pretty! And flat! (I went to school on The Hill at WKU. Strongest leg muscles of my life, those years..)

We saw the John Harvard statue, which isn’t of John Harvard, he wasn’t the founder anyway, and oh yeah, the year on there’s wrong.

Someone had thrown green paint on it for some reason. Someone who likes their historical facts to be true, probably.

Sami and I posed here because it looked like the hallway where Rory Gilmore’s dorm was. (I know, wrong school.)

Across the river, we visited Harvard Business School, where my grandpa went! So cool and so surreal to be there after hearing him talk about it so much. And see the dorm where he lived, which was still there!

Grandpa’s dorm.

Not the Liberty Bell.*

*This is also correct. How ’bout that.

We took a break for lunch where Sami tried to rid herself of the gold coins she’d gotten from the machine earlier as she put money on her card for the T. No such luck.

Then it was back to walking, by buildings.

And geese.

And street performers.

And this family photo session that was going on, wherein the dad just kept throwing leaves at this baby.

Oh, and this happened.

Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without some sort of dessert, too, so, this also happened.

Next up? MIT, nighttime photography, dreams coming true, and why we got a picture with this guy.


That’s how you say it, with the accent. Or maybe it’s more like BWOAHSTEN. I dunno. I can only do certain words. Like hahbah (harbor), or ahhch (arch) or pissah (pisser).

Which reminds me, I only heard like, ONE person with a legit Boston accent when we were there. I’ma need a redo.

So in case you don’t know me outside of what you read here, I recently took a trip with Baby Einstein to see our other (now MARRIED) sister and brother-in-law in their temporary home in Boston. Why are they there? Because he’s a genius and goes to school at MIT and is getting two degrees from there in two years.

The littlest sister and I visited the middlest sister and Swarles for five days. As an added bonus, we got to spend tons of time with Ines, Baby Einstein’s BFF and our now adopted Spanish sister. It was such a good trip.

And you guys, I took so many pictures. Spoiler alert: A lot of them are of buildings. ON ACCOUNT OF THE HISTORY. Not to mention we did a historical tour just a few hours after we got into town.

We had an AWESOME guide.

And were so ready to learn.

I got some seriously screensaver-worthy pics from this tour…just sayin’. Feel free to steal one or all of them for your desktop.

We saw where the original gangstas are buried. Like Pauly Revere and Sammy Adams.

We even saw the world’s first Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.* George Washington ate there.*

*This fact is not true. But it was a Ruth’s Chris in that building.

We saw the Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was read.

Surrounded by newer, much much much taller buildings. Crazy.

Then we said goodbye to our tour guide.**

**Only photo of all five of us at once from the whole trip. Like I said, I’ma need a redo.

And we commenced doing touristy-type stuff, a.k.a. walking all over the place in Boston.

Did you know macaroni was first eaten in Boston?*

*It wasn’t. Don’t come to this blog for its historical accuracy, guys.

You know you love it though.

Told you.

Fun – and true – historical fact: This guy. He’s done stuff like this since I met him almost 12 years ago. Except then it was more dangerous, like, jumping out of trees. But this, right here? This is the Chuckie I’ve known for years, the kid who will slide down an entire stair railing and look like a happy lil’ dude while he’s doing it.

Keep in mind, friends, that this is only pictures from the first day. And not even the entire first day.

I’ll be back with more later, including how two of my dreams came true and I fell in love with a dessert. Whaaaa?????

For now, though, just feast your eyes on this amazing piece of photography. And then save it for your desktop wallpaper. You have my permission.

Not even gonna try

There is no possible way I can describe to you all that was my little sister’s wedding a little more than a week ago.

August 24, 2012 will go down as one of the best days of my entire life. I don’t think I have ever been happier than I was that day. And I wasn’t even the bride.

Instead of me trying to rehash all that happened in the whirlwind that was Wedding Week – a bachelorette party, rehearsal day and wedding day all in 72 hours – I’ll let the few lots of photos I took do the talking.

Above photo by S. Montano, first-grader

Above photo by A. Montano, age 3

And that’s not even close to what it was like actually living it. But you get the idea.

And for further reading, check out Rachel’s blogs on getting home (long-time readers will recognize the video clip that may or may not have appeared here before…it’s a family thing), half of the most amazing bridal party there ever was, getting ready and finally, The Event.

I’d do the whole thing over again in a second. But maybe after a little more recovery – I still have a couple random bruises from the week that haven’t completely healed yet.

My girls

I’m the oldest of three girls. I without a doubt have Oldest Child Syndrome. I’m bossy, protective and afraid to be a rule-breaker, most of the time.

My sisters and I are three and nine years apart, and these past few years we’ve reached ages where it doesn’t feel so far away. Our friends are just that – “OUR” friends, because we all hang out with most of the same people most of the time.

I’m currently the only one full-time in Louisville and the others have left, but they’ll be back. Sami’s in Lexington, being all smart and whatnot at school, and Rachel’s in Boston, with her HUSBAND (AHHH!!) who is studying for two years at MIT. Because he’s a genius. No seriously. Frigging MIT.

The three of us stay in touch in as many ways as we possibly can – texting, calling, Facebook, Skype, FaceTime, Twitter, Instagram. It’s safe for me to say these two know me better than just about anyone else and I’m pretty sure I know them just as well. And we all three know that if given choices somewhere on something, we will all pick completely different things.

We have songs. The High School Musical 3 Soundtrack is one that never gets old, and with both of them I have a special song just for car dancing. And both, strangely, are by Enrique Iglesias.

When Sami gave her MOH speech at Rachel’s wedding, she talked a little about our bond. She talked about how we’re kind of weird in that we are sisters who enjoy spending time together, want to hang out with each other and aren’t just sisters, but best friends as well. That doesn’t always happen. I know siblings that don’t even speak to each other and haven’t for years.

I’ve thought about that a lot since the wedding, since both of them went to their respective second (temporary) homes, away from the town we grew up in. Because I miss them.

Growing up comes with its perks – like driving and being able to go to bars and weddings and babies – but it happens too fast. Wasn’t it just the other day we were all under the same roof, fighting over whose turn it was on the computer and what to watch on TV?

I take comfort in the fact that my relationship with my sisters will only continue to grow as we do, as we get older, get married, have babies, find jobs doing what we love.

One of my jobs at the pre-wedding festivities (in addition to keeping the bride calm, keeping the drama out, making sure Liz was on time, putting together a playlist and various other things) was to take some pictures during the time the professional photographer wasn’t there.

Oddly enough, probably my two favorites from the weekend taken on my camera, weren’t taken by me.

But they were taken of me, surprisingly, with my two girls, when we looked all pretty and when we did that thing where we have a group hug and sing that song from The Hangover.

I love these two more than anything in the world, and I’m damn lucky to have ’em.