Or, as the locals would say Bahston!
Either way, we absolutely loved this city! It is very clean, with lots of character and history. It has so much to see and do. We were only able to stay a week but could have stayed three to maybe see it all.
First we walked the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile walk around the city stopping at different landmarks along the way (here’s the complete list, although we didn’t have enough time to enjoy each to the fullest). First up was the USS Constitution, nicknamed Old Ironsides because a sailor on board had shouted “The sides are made of iron!” during a battle when he saw the British cannonballs bouncing harmlessly off the sides. In fact, the sides were Southern Live Oak from Georgia, a very dense and hard wood that is over twice as hard as English Oak.
We were also only a ten minute walk from the Bunker Hill Monument. Although it’s actually on Breed’s Hill (where the Battle of Bunker Hill took place too …), it’s an impressive obelisk that rises 221 feet (Mark climbed the 294 steps, I passed!) and has fantastic views of the surrounding area. You can see our marina on the upper left (photo on the right). It’s also only a few blocks from the Warren Tavern, which dates from 1780, making it the oldest in Massachusetts. We got to eat at the same place as George Washington and Paul Revere!
Speaking of Paul Revere, as the list shows, we also got to visit his home, and the cemetery where he was buried. Other highlights on the trail were the old North Church, Park Street Church and Faneuil Hall and of course, one of Mark’s favourites, the Old Corner Bookstore!
Sunday we had a light brunch at a different sort of local landmark – Modern Pastry, then spent the afternoon walking around again, this time along the waterfront. The street performers were amazing in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace area, including a young man raising money to go to the Berkelee College of Music in Boston (you can see lots about him on YouTube). He was an amazing singer, piano player and saxophone player, good luck to him!
Next day we took a trolley tour which gave us more history of the city as we travelled around but also allowed us to hop on and off at different points to explore on our own and included a ticket for a harbor cruise. (I don’t think we would have paid to go on some other boat to see the same stuff we saw from our own!) One of our hop off points was at Copley Square where we saw the very impressive Trinity Church and the Old South Church. The Boston Public Library was there too. I wouldn’t let Mark go in … but he said he wasn’t interested because he wouldn’t be able to take a book out anyway!
That night we visited with Lori and Jamie who we met last summer in Bonavista, Nfld. aboard their Sabre 36. Lori teaches at a high school in Boston and Jamie teaches computer science at Harvard. We had a great evening aboard Saving Grace with my Hawaiian meatballs and cannolis from Mike’s Pastry that they brought for dessert!
Tuesday night we had tickets to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park. That was quite an experience as it’s the oldest ballpark in the league, and this night they trounced the Oakland A’s 11 – 1 so the home crowd was happy. We weren’t allowed to cheer though, because a good friend (who shall remain nameless …) is a die hard Yankees fan!
Wednesday afternoon we took advantage of the once a week free admission to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. What an amazing and huge place! They had a lot of ancient artifacts, old and rare musical instruments, and of course, a whole lot of art from all over the world. Some examples of the instruments were a round trumpet that looked like a miniature french horn, another trumpet that had a slide instead of valves and an only slightly larger soprano trombone as well as a trombone with a dragon’s head for a bell! We say we made it through in the four hours we had but we could of spent a day and a half to do it real justice.
The marina was also only about a ten minute walk from Boston Gardens (or TD Gardens as they’re calling it now). It was pretty funny to hear one of the trolley drivers ask if anyone knew what TD stood for! I had to take a picture of the statue of Bobby Orr (from that famous picture of him flying through the air after scoring a winning goal) as my sister was and probably still is his biggest fan!
Constitution Marina was a great place to stay in Boston, so big thanks to John Van S for recommending it. (He was our crew last year to Bermuda and Boston was his home for many years.) The staff were wonderful and the facilities were fantastic!
It was sad to leave but if we can we will definitely visit again. Our trip to Mystic Connecticut is coming up!
Til we write again …