Okay, I'm back home! I had camped with the two kids and the squiggly dachshund in Punderson State Park, Ohio and Verona Beach State Park, New York on the way to Boston. Punderson wasn't very exciting, but Verona Beach was beautiful. The campsites were right by the lake (Lake Oneida), with the beach a very short walk away. And they even deliver firewood right to your site!
The four days in Boston were jam packed. The first day involved tux fitting, a family BBQ, and swimming in the hotel pool. The second day involved a TV shoot*, more swimming, the wedding rehearsal, and an excellent rehearsal dinner. The wedding was actually an hour away from Boston, at a beautiful winery. And my rehearsing was very strenuous, both memorizing my best man duties and running through all the music with the rest of the brass quintet. We even missed the appetizers! Saturday was filled with the wedding, as I had to get myself and the kids dressed (my daughter was the most beautiful flower girl in the world, with gorgeous hair done by her incredible cousins), and get out to the winery by 11 am for pictures. Then I was very busy, playing prelude music and the processionals (Handel's "Hornpipe" from Water Music and Charpentier's Prelude from Te Deum), running to stand up in the wedding party, running back with my brother to play a sextet arrangement of "Ashokan Farewell", running back up to help catch the two dachshunds who carried up the rings (sort of), and then running back to play the recessional (Rimsky-Korsakov's "Procession of the Nobles"). Then the brass quintet moved to the reception area and we played some postlude music, so we missed the cocktails that were apparently very tasty. Add dinner, my toast, and dancing, and I was exhausted. We didn't get back to Boston until 7 pm, having a quick bite at my brother and sister-in-law's house while my kids "helped" open wedding presents. Sunday morning we had a family brunch, swam some more, and then my kids went with my sister's family on a duck tour while I proved how awful a golfer I am with my brother, parents, nephew, and brother-in-law. We all met up at a sports bar right next to Fenway Park for dinner.
Monday we headed back, making it to Bald Eagle State Park in Pennsylvania rather late because of highway construction. In fact, there was tons of construction going on throughout Pennsylvania, probably those shovel-ready projects related to the stimulus package. I was able to get enough of a fire started to heat up dinner, even though the park office was closed when we arrived, so I had to scrounge partially burnt wood from empty sites, and the tinder was rather damp from recent rains. But the next day we spent at Barkcamp State Park in southeastern Ohio, after listening to "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" about five times while passing through Wheeling. Barkcamp had a great beach and wonderful hiking trails. The only bummer was that there were no flush toilets, something I managed to miss when picking parks to camp at.
*My brother and sister-in-law managed to get involved with the PBS kids show "Fetch", with Fetcher kids decorating two wedding cakes that all of the wedding guests had to vote on. That Friday morning some of us went to a preliminary shoot at the bakery, including my dachshund and my brother's two dachshunds. Each of my kids had some good lines, we will have to see what makes it past the editing process when the show airs next year.