It’s funny how tourists sit on statues of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings. Inspired by McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings, the brass mom was just the setting for our family portrait (yes that’s Baxter strapped to my chest). It was there that I realized I can’t smile normally when other people take pictures of me. Can you blame me? I was excited! My new family was traveling in a new town with friendly people. I had a happy wife and a more or less behaved son on my sweaty chest.
Thanks to the generosity of friends on the occasion of our recent marriage, we were treated to a stay at Beacon Hill’s newly renovated former city jail, now the Liberty Hotel. It’s like Toronto’s Drake Hotel taken to the next level with lots of “look-at-me’s” who come out at night to be seen.
So it’s Saturday night and there’s a buzz of multiple parties going on inside the chic, modern hotel with seventeenth century granite walls. In walks the Bond family with a stroller the size of a Humvee. We’re a little sweaty and we smell like pretty-good Indian food. 90 feet under the soaring cupola and guard’s catwalk, we weave through the sudden evening crowd, past the white leather high back chairs, around the Bloody Mary Bar, and past the friendly concierge on our way to the elevators. Once settled in our room, we attempt to keep our uber-cool neighbours awake with baby Baxter’s screams. Now this is living!
In our two-day visit, Baxter made one very fancy dinner miserable but the lack of any discernable schedule excused his evening exorcisms. All in all, he was a gem. He always drew the attention of adoring fans and we began to understand the depth of this new fraternity we’ve joined as we came across so many sympathetic parents with kind, silent stares that communicated a book-full on patience.
As the mercury rises we drive up the coast to Topsham, Maine where we will visit friends who are also new parents. Excited to continue our journey, we’ll be totally oblivious to their lack of air conditioning and lovely loft accommodations.