– Burlington, Vermont to Warwick, Rhode Island –

We had a short day today, since we planned to spend most of it with Mark’s brother’s family in Boston. That means I’ll probably keep this post picture-heavy and light on the words, since not much happened, other than adorable baby antics.

Our alarm went off at 6am, and usual, and this morning we went for our run on the Island Line Trail, which runs from Oakedge Park along the water and down into downton Burlington. It actually runs right past the performing arts center that we ate on in front of last night. The whole thing is at least 14 miles long, although it may be longer if you take another trail from the far end.

Maps of the trail are easy to find, and we were able to calculate our mileage from some we found online. We planned a precise 4 mile run for the day. There were lots of bikes out this morning, and we were all treated to several lovely views of Lake Champlain. The squirrels in Burlington were very brave, and they caused Ripley quite a bit of grief as we ran past. They would stop just outside of leash range and taunt her.

I'm never sure if Ripley really knows what she's doing when she points
I’m never sure if Ripley really knows what she’s doing when she points

When we finished our run, we mapped back to our hotel, planning to eat breakfast there (since it comes free with our room), but we were overcome with a need for pastry when we passed a Dunkin’ Donuts on our route, and we gave in.

It turned out to be a terrible decision, because Mark forgot his wallet on the counter. His running shorts don’t have pockets, and he set it down and left it by accident. We made it all the way back to our La Quinta before we realized our mistake. Since we were on a schedule, as we’d promised to arrive at Brian’s house by a certain time, Ripley and I went on into the hotel while Mark turned around and drove all the way back to the Dunkin’ Donuts.

Mark drinking coffee with a ridiculous expression on his face
Mark drinking coffee with a ridiculous expression on his face

Mark came back some time later, and I had already showered and started packing up the room, so we were still out of there by 9:15. I was proud of our hustle.

The drive today was just under 4 hours, so we had plenty of time to make it to Massachusetts by 2pm. We didn’t have any other plans, so we took a leisurely drive down through Vermont and into New Hampshire. New Hampshire disappointed me with its toll roads. The only highway from one spot to another shouldn’t have a toll. Or at least it shouldn’t to my way of thinking.

Kristy's collapsed bagel sandwich
Kristy’s collapsed bagel sandwich

Our only real stops were at a rest stop and bagel shop, both in New Hampshire. The bagel shop was our lunch just before noon, and we had bagel sandwiches very much likes the ones from yesterday. Today, however, they were packed a little poorly, and my sandwich utterly collapsed while we were trying to get it out of the bag.

Regardless of the poor construction, it was delicious. It had dill pickles, which the one from yesterday was lacking, and it had something called “hots,” which at first we did not understand. We had them on the sandwiches anyway, because we’re adventurous like that. It turned out to be spicy pickles (peppers and vegeatbles). They were an excellent addition.

A pretty tree in Brian's backyard
A pretty tree in Brian’s backyard

We were in Boston by the appointed time, and we hung out in Brian’s backyard while Ripley tortured Brian and Caitlin’s dog and Olivia played on her playground. Olivia is just over 2 years old, and she’s getting pretty good at saying real words.

She has a swing set and a slide, as well as a playhouse in her yard, all in the shade. She has quite the setup. She was showing off for us as well, especially on the slide. She wanted to be sure I was watching before she slid down. When we finished up, Caitlin had to leave for work, but Brian and Olivia had time to hang out with us for the rest of the afternoon.

Ellie the Keeshond
Ellie the Keeshond

We took a break inside for a while, where Olivia brought us toy cake slices and made us imaginary tea. She was very insistent that everyone have a proper plate, so she and I had to rummage through her toy chest to find tiny Disney plates for our cake. Mine was blueberry, in case you were wondering.

When we’d rested for long enough, we went back outside for round two with the playhouse. This time, Mark was invited inside to help. Her baby doll came with them. Its a little small for Mark, but he fit well enough, and he entertained Olivia.

Mark, imprisoned by his niece in a playhouse
Mark, imprisoned by his niece in a playhouse

When playtime was over, we went back inside and packed up Olivia’s things so we could head out of the house for a bit. We stopped at Brian’s office and took a lot at his desk, then walked around his father-in-law’s warehouse. Brian’s father-in-law sells ice cream treats in Massachusetts. He has vending machines and dispensary freezers in various places around the state. Mark even got a cup of ice cream out of the deal.

After dessert, we took Mark for dinner at a local Italian place. We chose one near Caitlin’s work, so she came by to eat dinner with us during a break. It was hilarious to watch Olivia eat penne. She stuck the noodles on her fingers and chewed them off of each one.

A Phillips Family Portrait: Brian, Mark, Olivia, Kristy, and Ripley
A Phillips Family Portrait: Brian, Mark, Olivia, Kristy, and Ripley

With an hour still to go after dinner, Ripley, Mark, and I reluctantly piled back into our car and headed south through Providence to Warwick, where we’re staying the night. Tomorrow Mark has a meeting down in New Jersey in the afternoon, so it will be a pretty quiet day as well. Things should pick back up on Thursday, after he finishes up in New Jersey that morning.

– Trip Total : 2,170 miles

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