||We all enjoyed Boston -- what a great city! If
we were keeping a "Top 10" list, Boston would get a "10" for personality.
Although many complain about the traffic, (and it was
frustrating at times), we enjoyed the entertainment of it as well.
In short, driving in Boston is just like driving in Mexico. For
a complete description click here.
Boston is a town of American history as well as an enjoyable
place to visit. This page focuses more on the general sights and
stories of our Boston visit. (Click here for our "Adventures
on Boston History.")
The photo on the left is the U.S.S. Constitution, better
known as "Old Ironsides", America's oldest floating battleship. The
sides are not iron, but oak. This type of oak, found on the east
coast, is an extremely hard wood. Cannonballs would simply bounce
off the sides and so it got it's nickname "Ironsides".
||Here's a picture of Boston from the top of the Bunker
Hill Memorial. (It's a little hazy looking due to looking through
the plexiglass window).
When we first drove into downtown Boston, we came across
a huge hole in the city -- it was the largest inner-city freeway construction
project we'd ever seen. They're in the process of building new bridges,
a new underground transportation system and new freeway system all at the
same time. It's apparently been underway for the past several years
and is scheduled to continue for several more. (Of course it's already
millions and millions of dollars over budget and the locals love to complain
We saw these rock walls in lots of places where today's urban
development hadn't rolled over the open land. When shipping canals
like the Erie, and later the railroads opened up the midwest, the small
farms on the east coast could not compete. Soon the land was covered
by trees and underbrush once again. It's hard to imagine that anything
in America has ever been reclaimed by nature, (especially in this, the
earliest and most heavily populated part of the United States).
||We camped at a Massachusetts State Park about twenty
miles south of downtown Boston.
These rocks are part of a short wall that goes through
the woods. We learned that settlers in the 1600's cleared most of
the trees all along the east coast. This provided building material,
fuel for heat, as well as clearing the land for farming. The rocks
are basically fences. Some mark property lines, others are tall enough
to keep sheep from jumping over. They also made a good place to move the
rocks cleared from the farm land.
||The Boston Science Center became a home base for us.
We drove around town a couple of times but the only place we ever found
to park was in the Science Museum garage, (we're too high for most downtown
parking garages). From here we could catch the "Green Line" elevated
train to downtown Boston, about a ten minute ride.
This is a picture of the museum's Vandergraph generator.
Large rubber belts travel up and down through the tubes creating a static
charge. The charge builds up in the domes atop the tubes.
||The operator is standing in a wire cage that looks like
a large canary cage.
This is what it looked like once the Vandergraph generator
generated enough of a charge to jump over to the cage. This generator
is the largest of it's type in the world and was donated by M.I.T., (which
is just down the street). I think this is the best, or one of the
best science museums in the country. It has a great mathematics department
and many hands-on displays for the kids.
||Boston is surrounded by water. So naturally you'll
find some sort of Duck Mobile, (old military amphibious landing vehicles
turned into narrated tourist boat-buses). Max really wanted to go
on this one. Next time we're in town we'll do the Duck tour.
||Here's the public market that we passed on our walk along
the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is part of the National Park Service's
three mile long loop of historic Boston.
The market is only opened on Fridays and Saturdays.
We had passed by here on Friday and then again late Saturday afternoon,
about half an hour before closing; (boy, had the prices gone down).
Fruits and vegetables were going fast and cheap. We picked up a whole
flat of beautiful strawberries for $2.
||Most of the streets in Boston were created over 300 years
ago so, needless to say, a Winnebago was not part of the road design specifications.
Bostonians simply paved over cow paths. The Boston
Commons, a huge park right in the middle of downtown, was originally set
aside so that everyone would have public grazing land for their livestock.
(In New Jersey we stayed at an RV park that was located on a busy, main
street named "Cow Path Road.")
||Do you recognize this bar?
||Here's a clue. This guy is eating a "Norm" burger.
He squeezed it together, looked at it, held it up to his mouth, squeezed
it some more and then did his best to get his mouth over it for a bite.
It was at least 6 inches high when it was served.
||If you guessed "Cheers", you got it! This is the
bar that inspired the TV show. It's a very crowded place, full of
tourists. Even though it's extremely popular, the food was great,
the service good and the prices reasonable.
Boston is a truly unique place, full of surprises.
One day we were strolling through downtown when we came across a beautiful
park with a lake, manicured shrubs and brick walkways. Cheryl realized
that we were in the Boston park described in one of her favorite childhood
books, Robert McCloskey's classic "Make Way For Ducklings". There's even
a statue of the ducklings.
We stopped by Paul Revere's house in the North End, (a few
blocks from downtown). We walked down it's main street which is now
in the Italian district. We wandered into a good looking bakery and
ended up going back three times. It turns out that "Mike's" is a
terrific bakery. This is the sales line. We purchased some
great Marzipan, (almond paste candy shaped like small fruits and berries),
and a very sloppy, delicious Boston cream pie.
Here is the grave of Mary Goose. Would you believe
she is the original "Mother Goose"? As we were told, she was a great story
teller and her son-in-law owned a local print shop. You can guess
the rest of the story. It was amazing to realize that Mother Goose
was a real person.
You've got to visit the Italian District when you're
OK, you can tell we like Boston, but if you're thinking about
moving here you might want to brace yourself. We found a building
near Mike's Bakery next to the Paul Revere's house, (here's a picture of
the building and a look down the street out front). Here's the rental
ad for three of the units.
||Friday night we drove through this neighborhood and the
main street looked like a mob scene. There were people everywhere!
Cars were double-parked all along the narrow street and two-way traffic
could hardly maneuver through. The bars and restaurants were packed,
everyone was dressed to the hilt and music filled the neighborhood.
The local guys looked like they were right out of the 1980's gangster movie
"Wise Guys" -- black suits, black shirts and black ties and lots of attitude.
It was great -- another true piece of "Americana".
||So what will Mitch and Max remember about this great
city when they're 40? I think it will be this grate. After
we climbed up 296 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument we discovered
this grate. It went straight down through the center of the obelisk
tower to the bottom. The boys ran back down the circular stairway
and about every 30 steps would yell up into the chamber, "can you still
hear me?" By time they got to the bottom, every one at the top was
involved and laughing.
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