Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Family time: A walk in the woods

I am not much of an outdoorswoman. I have not camped since I was 13 years old, when a couple of rainy and rocky nights under a leaking tarp during a school-sponsored trip put me off sleeping outdoors for pretty much the rest of my life. My husband and my older kids, all of whom love camping, like to say that I'm "roughing it" if the hotel has fewer than three stars. (Which totally isn't true, because I can't afford even a three-star hotel and we rarely go anywhere that involves a hotel stay, but you get the point).

So it was with much trepidation (on his part) that my husband suggested a hike through the Fells one sunny summer afternoon a few weeks ago, and there was great surprise and rejoicing amongst the kids when I quickly agreed. You see, I may not be one for a hike up a mountain, but I do love a long walk in the woods.

I wrote about the walk in The Boston Globe's "Bring the Family" column recently. Yes, that's a photo of my crew and, yes, our 4-1/2-year-old insisted on wearing a dress to go hiking. My grandmother, who was always bejeweled and impeccably dressed, would have been proud.

Here's an excerpt:

August 22, 2009
A Nice Walk in the Woods
By Lylah M. Alphonse, Globe Staff

Who: Globe Magazine staff member Lylah M. Alphonse, her husband, and their five kids, ages 2 to 15
What: An easy hike on a gorgeous day
Where: The Middlesex Fells Reservation, Malden (617-727-5380, and

... There are plenty of trails to choose from, and some of them even accommodate strollers. You don’t need special equipment, not even proper hiking boots. We outfitted each of our kids with a backpack stocked with their own water bottles and snacks - our 2 1/2-year-old rode in a pack on my husband’s back - sprayed everyone with insect repellent, and were on our way.... [More]

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