Friday, November 29, 2019

Autumn in Canada #5

Autumn in Canada 

Friday, October 4, 2019
Boston, Mass

We find that we never leave our hotel without sunglasses and an umbrella! The high today was 60F and low 48F (at midnight). 40% chance of rain with 25 mph winds. That wind chill factor truly makes a difference in how cold one feels.
We took Uber to the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. We thought we’d spend maybe 2 hours there and then take the bus for downtown Boston. We ended up staying 3-1/2 hours that's how much we enjoyed it! the library overlooked the Old Harbor. It was just beautiful.

We were amazed at his young life, his illnesses, that he was a poor student in high school and early college. But he managed to graduate with a law degree at Harvard anyway. Apparently, he had no desire for political life, his older brother, Joseph, was groomed for the Presidency. But he died in WWII and the presidency was left to Jack. 

Jacqueline Bouvier also had a young life in a well-to-do family. She went to Vassar College,  spent time in Paris before the war, then finished at Boston College with a degree in French Literature.

There was a complete section of his campaign for President. I was not yet in high school when he became president. But I do remember much of his campaign and his life in office. They handled his death with a great deal of sensitivity for the museum guest.
We had a snack at the museum cafe and ate a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory after Uber dropped us off at our hotel. We went for a swim at the pool and met a man from Northern Germany his 8-year-old daughter. He was fun to talk to, his accent sounded Scandinavian, not German. After a few laps, we headed to our room for an HGTV marathon.

This is our last full day in Boston. We are amazed at how pretty the town is with its amazing landscape and vivid colors of flowers everywhere. Any place they can fit in a group of flowers, plants, or even trees they manage. And the colors of all the flowers are lovely. Most locals of Boston seem to take great pride in their city and enjoy talking about it. There just wasn’t enough time to see it all, so we plan to return… someday.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Autumn in Canada 4

Autumn in Canada 

Thursday, October 3, 2019
Boston, MA

       After a full breakfast we got ready for our cold walk to Symphony Hall, a couple of blocks away. We had tickets to see the Boston Symphony rehearsal at 10:30 AM. (Our visit to Boston was in between performances so we bought  tickets to the rehearsal.)

       After the hot, sticky, day yesterday – today was downright cold…51º at 10 AM.  It was a cold windy walk but we found a lovely tree-lined street along the way just starting to turn to autumn colors. You could imagine how lovely it will be once they fully turn color.
Once inside we had seats on the aisle very near the stage. Behind us was a nice Bostonian couple with whom we had a nice conversation before the music began. The theatre part of the Hall was magnificent! Gold leaf with heavy red curtains and a stage above us.

        The Boston Symphony played a modern piece by James Lee III called “Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula.” We thought it was a bit dissonant. Luckily, the next number was by Bedrich Smetana called “The Moldau”.  Then “From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields”, and last, “Blanik” from Ma Vlast (My Country.)  These were much more melodic and enjoyable.

        During a break, We went up to the Balcony to see what the view was like. Just like the view from some of the old New England movies of 18 century people dressed in hats and canes enjoying the theatre. We returned to our seats to watch Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1 in C Minor. With the virtuoso pianist Yuja Wang. The rehearsal finished up around 12:45 PM. We bundled up again and headed to the big mall that runs through the hotel, Prudential Center and several hotels (including ours). Best of all, it was enclosed.

      Lunch was at a place called “Eataly”, a huge Italian market, shopping and restaurant establishment indoors. The food was scrumptious and "real Italian".  They have a huge space for cheese...all kinds of cheese. And die for!!

       As tired as we were, when we got back to our hotel room, we decided to go for a swim. The pool was much warmer than yesterday and we swam twice as long before. Again it felt good to move in the water.

        We settled in with hot chocolate from Starbucks in the hotel lobby and a marathon of HGTV. It began to blow and rain again. It was nice to be warm and cozy in our hotel room

Friday, November 15, 2019

Autumn in Canada #3

Autumn in Canada 
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Boston, MA
We found out today was going to be hot and sticky with a 60% chance of rain. We left the hotel about 10:00 and waited for our second day of the trolley tour.

          We took the trolley to the USS Constitution. It was miserably hot and humid by 11:00am, a big contrast from yesterday! We went to the museum and then to the actual ship. We were amazed by how many ropes, cords, and blocks and tackles there were on the ship! How does the crew know which rope to pull for what? It's still commissioned after 200 years!  Bill went below to investigate the two decks below.

It began to drizzle while we waited for the trolley. We got off at One Washington Plaza in search of lunch. We walked down the narrow, brick streets and found a plaza of department stores and eateries. It was getting hotter, more humid and starting to drizzle...just plain miserable! We settled on a Falafel place to eat. We walked down the plaza and found some benches and ate lunch. Just as we finished eating,  the wind came funneling down the narrow street blowing autumn leaves. Then the drizzle turned to warm, gentle rain. We sat together listening to the rain coming down all around us. It finally stopped about 10 minutes later, then the wind took up again and blew the leaves again twirling around us and our park bench.

We tried to see the Old State House but it was closed. Built-in 1712-13 it was the site of the Boston Massacre. It is considered one of the most significant events that turned colonial sentiment against King George III.

When we headed for the trolley it was pouring hot rain.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Autumn in Canada #2

Autumn in Canada  

Boston, MA
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
          We slept great under the thick, warm quilt.

          The hotel package came with breakfast. We didn’t know what to expect at the Side Bar Grill in the hotel lobby. We've learned that not all breakfast buffets at hotels are equal. So we were expecting the usual dry scrambled eggs, salty dry sausage, strips that look vaguely of bacon, some kind of warmed up freeze-dried potato cubes and assorted cereal and bread. BUT this buffet was to die for!! Five tables were full of appetizing foods. Our waiter, Dick, was delightful. He greeted us with the warmest welcome and catered to our every need. We struck up a conversation with two ladies at the next table and learned they were from Glendora, California…about 30 miles from where we live. Small world!
          We talked to the Concierge and bought our “Hop-on/Hop-off” bus tickets before heading across the street to the Hilton Hotel to pick up the trolley. We met a group from Liverpool, England. There seem to be many visitors from the UK in Boston.

         The large trolley/bus arrived a little after 10 AM. It was open-sided but had roll-down plastic windows. Surprisingly, the weather was much cooler than the 78º predicted by the weather service. Felt closer to 40-50F because of the wind chill factor. We pulled the plastic windows down, but the view through the fuzzy plastic was not ideal. However, it was better than freezing.
Our tour took us through narrow streets lined with very old buildings nestled between looming skyscrapers that blocked out the sun. Our driver/guide pointed out historic places along the way, sprinkled with interesting trivia about Boston.

          When the bus arrived at the Boston Tea Party site it was time for lunch.  We walked down Congress St. in the old warehouse district and found a place for lunch called Sweet Greens. It’s a healthy, veggie restaurant set up in the Chipotle model where you select ingredients and make your own lunch meal. We took our lunch and strolled back to the pier by the draw bridge, near the Tea Party site, found a bench next to a giant milk bottle-shaped building made of wood with HOOD painted on the side. We were enjoying our lunch when it started to sprinkle. We had our slickers so continued to eat enjoying the view.

      We strolled over to the Tea Party site, they have a reenactment, multimedia presentation, tea room, and gift shop. Unfortunately, the only time they had an opening for the next show was the time the last trolley picked up. We decided to try tomorrow.

          The trolley arrived at the final stop near Christopher Columbus Park. Everyone got off to wait for the next trolley. Meanwhile, Janet and Bill took a walk in the Rose Kennedy Rose Garden. The roses were not all in bloom but quite a few were.  
          We continued our  travel in the trolley past the Old North Church and heard stories of Paul Revere and the British soldiers.  We didn't know that Revere not only notified the community the British were coming, prior to his famous ride he took a boat in the darkness of night and met a "high ranking Brit who was an informant. Revere rowed in silence to meet him at the bow of the ship. He could have been captured or shot. With that information, he rowed back around the ship to the North Church and you know the story from there.

       Paul Revere's house was just a block from the Old North Church. Revere was quite a character and a real loyal colonial. The Paul Revere house, built around 1680 is the oldest residential building, still standing, in downtown Boston.
          We discussed taking the ghost tour tomorrow night, but we couldn’t figure out a practical way to get back to the hotel after the ghost tour, 8:30pm.  So we opted to pass on it.
          For some reason, the heated pool was almost as cold as the Naples Bay tonight. We swam about 4 laps, it felt so good to move freely through the water.