Monday, April 25, 2011
While they were doing that I had a mobile workshop that went out to Brookline. One of the places we stopped at was the birthplace of John F. Kennedy. He lived here until he was five. They decorated the rooms according Rose Kennedy's memory and used some of the tings that she had kept such as the baby buggy the baby's would sleep in and in the dining room the plates that had the kids names on them.
After lunch it was time to head back to the hotel and then take the girls to the airport. They both had school tomorrow and I still had one more day of conference. I got them to the airport and then went back to meetings. After the meetings I then had a ticket to a Red Sox game at Fenway park. I was looking forward to going to this storied ballpark. I was going to take the subway to the game but every train that came was full and no room to squeeze in so after four trains I decided to walk. A lot of other people did that too. It was a mile and a half walk but I made it to the park on time.
My seat was along the right field looking at the green monster. The ball park seats 38,000 so it is small compared to other places but it is fun. They still change the scoreboard of what the other teams are doing by hand between innings.
The next day was more meetings and before I got ready to come home in the evening I went to look at a couple final sights. I went to the Mother Church of the Cristian Scientist which is head quartered in Boston. From there I went over to M.I.T. to see the building designed by Frank Geary. It looks like Toon Town in the middle of a very classy campus and then finally took a picture of Harvard from Harvard Square.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
After they finished the aquarium they decided to take the duck tour which is a tour bus that drives through the city but it is also amphibious and goes into the river . At first the person driving the tour was a newcomer and they did not like him as he was not comfortable with what he was doing. They thought what did we get ourselves into. They came to find out though that he was taking them to a place the tour began and another person took his place for the actual tour who was lively and funny. They saw Bunker's Hill, Old Ironsides, the North Church were the lanterns were hung to say how the British were coming.
While they were doing their tour I headed to the conference center and got off at Copley Plaza. The plaza is in front of the Trinity Church and I had to take a couple of pictures. Next to the plaza on the street was some Greek parade going on so I took a picture of that also.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
We had booked a whale watching tour with the aquarium that was scheduled to leave at 11 in the morning. We got there early and walked around and bought some things from the street vendors. We were excited as they had talked about what they had seen last week when they went out. The sea was suppose to be smooth and a great time to go out. We found our spot at the back of the boat and sat and enjoyed the sun. The warmth did not last long. Once we got out on the water which was in the low 40's and got moving at 30 miles an hour it became very cold. While we did see the light houses on the islands on Boston's outer islands once we left those there was nothing to see.
When we got back to shore we decided to venture over to Fanual Hall and Quincy market. We watched a street actor who was put into a straight jacket and then hoisted by his feet above the ground and then he worked himself free. He was cracking jokes the whole time he was both tied up and when working himself free.
After watching him we walked around the different shops for a few hours and then thought we would have an early dinner. There is a place in the market that we have gone to before to have lobster which is what I had my heart set on. This is the place years ago that Shannon got sick at. While I had my lobster it was not as good as we had remembered or maybe we were just still bummed about the whale watching. Maddie did not want to eat anything there so we went to get her pizza after we ate at Durgon Park.
We then started to walk along the Freedom Trail heading back to our hotel. It is so interesting seeing these old buildings that were scenes of events that began the American Revolution such as the State House where the Boston Massacre occurred or the South Church were various meetings were held.
We visited some of the cemeteries next to these churches where some of the famous people are buried. We then made our way to the Boston Commons which is a large green space in the downtown area. We looked for the Make way for Duckling statues. The name comes from a famous children's book written about a mother duck and her ducklings that explore Boston.We had to take a picture there because Cindy had bought the book to give to Payton. After that we walked a bit further and found an ice cream shop and then made it back to our hotel walking about 2.5 miles that evening.
Monday, April 18, 2011
We got our car, a Mazda CX 9, they upgraded us to that for $10 more. It was a nice car and a lot more room than the compact car we had first signed up for. Our plan was to drive north of Boston so we could explore for a day. We drove to a place just east of Lowell, Massachusetts called Andover which was only 25 miles from Manchester. We commented how pretty this drive would be in the fall when the leaves turn color or in the summer when everything is green. We had dinner that night and used Maddie's phone to guide us to find places to eat. We then decided on ice cream for a treat and turning to Maddie's phone again we found a place called Friendly's. Great ice cream and we learned it was a chain in the northeast.
We next visited the Fisherman's Memorial. It has the names of over 5,300 people who were lost at sea since the 1600's to the present that were from the area. It was a remarkable tribute. The statue looks out over the harbor where the fishing ships come in and out of the Atlantic.
We drove around and looked at the docks and the narrow streets and the large homes that overlooked the coast. We continued east along the Cape to a place called Rockport. Again there were a lot of homes, especially summer homes that lined the shore. We finally came to the little town center. You could tell this is a vacation spot but this time of year things were just starting to open up and there were not many people there which made it even better. The shops are on this little peninsula called Bearskin Neck.
The area had several interesting lighthouses. You could spend a lot of time exploring them if you wanted to. The picture to the right is of the Staitsmouth light house that is the entrance to Rockport. To the south of this light house on an island is the twin lights. These two towers were built in 1771 and as a ship passes them and they both line up you know that is true north. Sailors would use them to make sure their compass was correct as they went out to sea.
That took most of our morning and as we looked at the clock we wondered if we had time to go south of Boston to the Plimoth Plantation. Plymouth is about 30 miles south of Boston. We punched in the directions and it said it would take us an hour and a half to get there so off we went.
The path took us right through Boston. It was amazing to see all the small towns, forest and ponds and swamps then come over a ridge and there was the skyline of Boston. The freeway took us through town in the long tunnel that was called the Big Dig. This used to be an elevated freeway that cut Boston off from the piers but several years ago it was determined to bury the freeway. We hit some slow traffic south of Boston which surprised us as it was only 2 in the afternoon. We made it to the Plimoth Plantation. This is a recreated Pilgrim village of 1627. Once you walk to the village from the visitors center the people act, talk and work like it was 1627. They each are a certain person who lived there at that time. They all talk with old English accents, work with hand made tools, cut wood to make fires to cook on, have cows and chickens to tend to, make wooden tools and repair the thatch on the roofs of the homes. As you talk to them and hear what is happening Maddie said this is not the way they tell the story at school. There are few similarities between the traditional Pilgrim story and what really happened.
Here we learned how poor Maddie was because her shoes were worn to nothing, only the soles were left (flip flops). We also learned about the importance of a large skirt; gives you privacy when you go to the bathroom. Breakfast is milk and bread. Supper is the big meal around 2 and then at evening you have left overs from supper.
Maddie laughed at me because she said I started to talk like them in asking questions.