09/02/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT
Apparently even Kennedys crave Kennedy nostalgia. On Aug. 12 and 13, four dozen members of the clan made like common folk and schlepped around Massachusetts—by chartered Peter Pan bus, no less—to visit several landmarks associated with the family's storied past. Organized by patriarch Sen. Ted Kennedy, the whirlwind tour was designed to acquaint younger Kennedys with their legacy. "It was part reunion, part fun, part history," explains the senator's spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter.
Participants, who included Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, 44, and children Rose, 14, and John, 9; Maria Shriver, 46, and kids Katherine, 12, Christina, 11, Patrick, 8, and Christopher, 4 (husband Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't make the trip), made stops at what for most must be familiar locales: St. Stephen's Church, where matriarch Rose Kennedy was baptized and attended services, the JFK library and President Kennedy's birthplace in Brookline, Mass. The itinerary also included Revolutionary War sites such as Boston's famed Old North Church. There Maria's mother, Eunice (who broke her hip the following week), eyed a $3.50 refrigerator magnet featuring her brothers John and Robert in the gift shop but told an employee she didn't have time to buy it. As the 81-year-old hustled back to her tour bus, clerk Tom Casteel ran after her and handed over the souvenir for free. "Her eyes filled with tears," he says. "There's a special feeling for that family."