Harvard AMP and Boston Fall Trip 2013

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  It was a beautiful day in Minnesota today.

The kids and I made it back from Boston today – and this fabulously sunny day was the perfect welcome home. Our Harvard AMP and Boston Trip Fall 2013 was a five day whirlwind visit to see Phil during his break from the Harvard AMP. As a reference for future visiting families, Harvard puts together a lovely program for the visiting families. Let me guide you through our jam-packed visit…

The kids were anxious to see where Phil had been staying the past month. Here they are outside Kresge Hall – where AMP students eat most of their meals. Our Friday Night Dinner was here.

Kids in front of Kresge Hall

Behind Kresge, is McArthur. This is the dorm for AMP students. It is divided into living spaces for the small groups and each small group has eight students. It’s very lovely.
Kids on their way to McArthur Hall

The official Family Program starts on Friday afternoon.

First up, we had a tour of Harvard. (Our tour guide, Scott, was from Sioux Falls and went to college at Hamlin. Small world.)  If I get a chance, I’ll edit in some of the audio from our tour. Stay tuned.

We crossed over one of the bridges that connects Harvard Business School with Harvard (undergrad).  

The kids stopped to check out the rowers on the Charles. Behind them, in the distance, is the tower to the dorm JFK stayed in during his time at Harvard.

Kids on the Charles

Here’s Johnny – never out of step with Tour Guide Scott.

Johnny with our Tour Guide Scott

Here’s the famous gate where students, “Enter to Grow in Wisdom“.

I might have to write that over our door…

Enter to Grow in Wisdom

I caught Phil and Emma having a chat in Harvard Yard. Up until the 1990’s, women graduating from Harvard Business School had Radcliffe on their diplomas – not Harvard. Looks like it can take a long time to “grow in wisdom”.

The little boys on the library steps dreaming big dreams – but not about Harvard – they’re talking about the upcoming Vikings game.

Walking around Harvard Square is a trip. It’s really something to see – so don’t miss it if you get the chance to take a tour!

Here’s the gang – with PJ walking his PJ way… making all the Ebeling ancestors scratch their heads while the Dekker ancestors just grin and raise a glass.

The kids walking Harvard Square

The architecture at Harvard is grand. It’s everything you’d think it would be. 

Psst.  Learn from my mistake and wear comfy shoes – this ain’t no 30 minute tour. By the end, I was walking barefoot through Harvard Yard. Sounds poetic, but I would have preferred my Teva flip-flops.

Here’s John with the John Harvard statue. I actually told them about this statue before our trip, so they were excited to finally see it in person.

John and John Harvard

Here’s PJ and John at the John Harvard Statue.

After the tour, we freshened up and changed clothes in Phil’s dorm. Smart idea! (FYI future AMP’ers: I sent Phil with an outlet strip – which has come in so handy for him now that everything needs charging…)

Here’s Emma and Will with Freddy from Australia.

Day Two began with spouses attending two classes in the morning: one on finance and the other on leadership.

The kids got to go with Phil to the New England Aqaurium.

I was so glad the kids went to the Aqaurium. A few parents had their children attend classes with the adults, but I think they need to be older to really fathom the material.  For our crew, the Aqaurium was the best bet.

After the Aqaurium, it was for the Harbor Cruise/Luncheon. Note for Families: Bring sweatshirts and wet wipes for the kids.

We stayed below deck – out of the wind, near the restrooms, and next to the buffet. We had the whole level to ourselves until others figured out our good fortune.

The Harbor Cruise offers the best view of the city (you’ll have to throw in your own good-looking children…)

and the historic SS Constitution.

Will wonders never cease – a pic of Mom and Dad. Here’s me and Phil on the cruise.

After the cruise, we took the kids to see Potted Potter which they all thought was completely hilarious. At just 70 minutes sans intermission, it was the perfect length for them. Here’s the one photo I took before I had to put my camera away – no photos allowed.

Potted Potter

btw, we switched hotels.

We were originally booked at Le Meridian (which was being aggressively picketed by the hotel workers – which not-suprisingly scared the kids). I didn’t think this place was a good fit for us – not particularly family-friendly or comfortable for us under the circumstances. I checked us out after 15 minutes (cheers to the courage that comes with being over 40!!) and I was so glad I did. The peace and quiet that we felt just getting a block away from the hotel was such a relief.

As it turns out, we found rooms at Hotel Marlowe which we loved! So it all turned out just fine in the end.

Valet parking was a snap with the hotel’s courtyard. (After driving around Boston on day one, I needed something sane and this was so nice for unloading four kids/bags/etc.)

Plus, dogs are welcome… and that is so comforting to us.  Even without Sonny, it’s nice to see a pooch walking around from time to time.

There’s always fresh fruit-infused water in the lobby. (I’m stealing this idea!)

Once my head cold went into overdrive, I drank this water non-stop. It was handy to grab a glass every time we came and went from the hotel.

Here’s the lobby…

Hotel Marlowe brought a goldfish to our room to keep the kids company during our stay.

Day Three started with a Duck Tour. This was our family favorite.

Here we are transitioning from land to water…

This tour really was so informative and educational. I wish I would have taken this tour first – it would have helped me make sense of Boston.

So word to the wise, this is the perfect overview to start your trip. I could have gone again – I liked it that much.

On the cool side, they let all the kids drive the Duck in the bay. Happy kids make happy parents. Amen.

Here we are at Papa Razzi having Pizza and Minestrone (for me).

After this, we went back to Phil’s dorm and did some quick laundry to get us through the last days of our trip. (I love being able to do laundry on vacation. Can’t help it. I just do.)

Day Four we were on our own. I stayed in the hotel trying to nurse myself somewhat back to normal and waiting eight hours to get my doctor to call something in to CVS for me.

Phil took the kids to the Children’s Museum for three hours (it was a hit!). They ran into their Australian friends there, too. Then, they went to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs II.  

By the time they got back to the hotel, I was ready to join them for supper and then start packing for the trip home. It really went by so quickly!

While we were off galavanting around Boston…

Sonny was being superbly cared for by Grandma and Grandpa. He’s apparently found a lake he fancies on their daily walks. Plus, he’s been chasing the deer that stop by daily to eat the apples under their apple tree in the backyard. I even heard that Grandpa gave him some steak-bites. So, turns out, Sonny had a nice vacation, too.

They’ll be bringing him home tomorrow – just in time for his annual vet check. Lucky boy.

So, we’re back in the Land of 10,000 Lakes – happy to be home, ready to go back to school, and get back to normal life around here – yet we’re counting down the days for Phil to get home. It was a great trip, for sure – but we all agree that we miss Dad.

After Sonny’s appointment, I’m going to the doctor myself – hoping to be back in the groove by the weekend.

Speaking of which, it’s supposed to be rainy and cold; time to start planning for a Saturday of making soups and stews. Sounds like just the ticket to me.

Still growing...




Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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1 Comment

  1. The Engineer on November 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for a great visit! Now back to the books!!

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