Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 2 of our Vacation - Boston

Our first full day in Boston had us downtown nearly all day. We had a walking tour reservation for 10 am and resolved to ad lib our adventures after that concluded.

Our tour was a good way to start knowing the city, but I'm not sure it worked quite as well as I had hoped. I would've liked to have covered more territory on the tour, but I think that's easier said than done. Once down there I remembered how cramped the downtown area is. Besides, the tour guide had to fight crowds and noise enough in what he did do with us.

Burial Ground near the Commons. The guide did a good job providing context about the imprecision of the grave markers. Actually, he had some very good stuff to share about death in late 18th-century America.  
Sam and Caroline with our guide. 

The old State House and site of the Boston Massacre. 
The guide was very knowledgeable but a bit more sarcastic and dry in his approach than I wanted. In many ways, he reminded me of the guide that we had for Diefenbunker last August outside of Ottawa. But the irony and sarcasm there worked better. He was a historian though. He didn't simply deliver a script of things one could've learned through Google. He was providing context and presenting what was plausible about what took place. He was friendly, too.

The teaching I received at Gettysburg and Villanova was very, very strong concerning Revolutionary America. Therefore, being along the Freedom Trail is very familiar to me. It's one of those places that I can return to many, many times. It's also something I can do some tour-guiding of myself. I spent quite a bit of the time there boiling down the history for Sam, talking a lot about smuggling, the tensions between Redcoats and Bostonians, and what exactly happened at the Boston Tea Party.

The walking tour began at Boston Common, where I thought it would end. I was wrong about that. The tour actually concluded down by Faneuil Hall. We improvised lunch down there and then traveled to the New England Aquarium.

The Aquarium proved to be quite crowded, though not as crowded as that zoo we visited in Quebec two years ago (nothing will likely compare to that anytime soon in our travels). There were good exhibits for the animals there. Their penguins were especially good, as was the massive deep water tank that serves as the focal point of the aquarium.

A stern looking penguin. 

Caroline at the deep water tank. 

Sam listens to an answer to his question about fish diet. 

Sam worms his way in to touch some rays. 
There's a chance we wore Caroline out today. More walking than we planned. I'll confess to a penny-wise, pound-foolish moment of judgement: I parked for free on Beacon Hill! I couldn't give up the spot, which meant the whole family had to hoof it back from the Aquarium to the Common, which is a short but uphill walk. That walk, and a mishap at the splash park near the Aquarium I think Sherry recorded, might have been a bridge too far for a seven-year-old.

Massachusetts State House. Unfortunately one can't simply walk in and see the cod anymore. 

The 54th Maine memorial gave me a chance to talk with Sam and Caroline about the Civil War. 
We returned to the house in time for a quick dinner and then Sam and I explored the nearby park on bike. He and I found some neat stuff atop Pinewoods Promontory, a hill overlooking Jamaica Pond. The park has preserved the imprint of a large mansion that once rested up there. There are granite slabs marking the original foundation.

Sam surveys Jamaica Pond. 

My picture might not show well how beautiful the sky was that night. 

Mansion outline at Pinewoods Promontory.

Resting along our bike adventure. 

No comments:

Post a Comment