Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New England - first impressions

Just some quick photos snapped out of our car window as we've explored the area in NW Boston and just across the New Hampshire state line in towns like Windham.

Certainly New Hampshire makes you believe the area could have been New Scandinavia as well with its granite rock lined highways , abundance of silver birches and greenery.

Or, New Netherlands with the rainfall we saw over the weekend!

Whatever you call it, it is beautiful up here. Everything in nature is still so green, so tender and so bright. Roads wind through the towns big and small making it necessary to be an active driver, but always giving you a new view around every twist. Many, if not most, towns still maintain a center established decades (if not a century!) ago around a white clapboard church with its soaring steeple, matching - yet modest - town hall and more recently added police station, fire station and library. It also caught our eye that many towns also had their own VFW (Veteran's of Foreign Wars) hall among the official buildings.

The majority of shops and businesses in the towns carry the names of their owners rather than that of a large national chain. Not that you can't find a Wal-mart, Target, Walgreens and so on, but they don't own every street corner. One exception to the rule is Dunkin' Donuts which has absolutely cornered the dough nut market here. If its a dough nut, bagel or hot cup of Joe you need, worry not! There is a DD just down the road - no matter where you are! Over the weekend, we had to see what the fuss was about and picked up our own 6-pack of DD. Good stuff :-)

While we miss the immediate warmth & a smile a Texan shared with you when you met them, I've run into many friendly people on my trips around town. Of course, there's nothing like a baby and a toddler in tow to get a stranger to talk to you, but I would say I've found the people around here open and helpful one on one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Virtually connected already

Making our move, I have to wonder where would I be without email, google, websites, online forums and the Internet in general. I think I'd be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the postman every day hoping for an answer to a letter I had written weeks ago, trekking around town to find the library and settling in to our new home much more slowly.

Thanks to all those things electronic and digital, I landed in Boston armed with a an email inbox full of hints, pointers and people who could help us find our way around. There's the college friend married to a Harvard Law grad who put in me in touch with many of his school friends -- several who graciously offered to answer my many questions; the Dallas playgroup mom who relocated to Boston with her family a year ago; the Boston friend of a friend who now lives in Helsinki; the local list from Mamasource; the Boston Finns group; the Babycenter board; and the local city websites listing times for library story hour and mapping out the best playgrounds. In less than a week, I feel like I already "know" so much about the area and certainly do not feel so alone even if I haven't yet made many face-to-face connections.


We're New Englanders now!

When I started this blog, I never imagined we'd go hop-skipping so quickly from place to place! It was already a big undertaking to move from Helsinki to Dallas to become Texans, but here we are - less than two years later - calling Boston our new home.

Our move this past weekend went as smoothly as it possible could have. It'll be difficult to ever have to move without the support of a relocation company and program!

We said farewell to our house in Coppell Thursday morning as the packers came in and began boxing our belongings. We all headed over to the Gaylord Texan resort for our last nights in Texas. It was the ideal place with a chance to stroll past miniature versions of all the Texas highlights - the Riverwalk from San Antonio, the Alamo, the canyons we never got to visit and just the grandeur of this big state.

Friday, a big rig parked in front of our house and the movers began filling it up. Our two cars were loaded on into a tunnel between the boxes to make their trip northward.

We flew out without a hitch from DFW. In fact, compared to our first attempt to fly with Peanut & Tex, this was a cake-walk! I had virtually five people helping me and the little ones through security, the ticketing agent smilingly accommodated our seat change requests and we easily boarded the plane first. We were situated in the very rear of the aircraft in two&two seats in our own mini-section as the rear galley was in front of peanut and papa. They had their own bulkhead while tex and I relaxed behind them. The roar of the engine had a soothing effect on the little ones as they BOTH slept nearly two hours of the 3.5 hour flight.

Boston welcomed us with clear skies and brisk temperatures. Our drive out to Burlington gave us a quick glance at the harbor (WATER!!!) and a view of the city skyline. We're looking forward to exploring it all.Link