Friday, August 31, 2012

Boston - Day 8

On Friday we had the morning free to go and visit Salem. The House of Seven Gables is about as close to a National Trust property as you are likely to find in the US. Although it was the basis for Nathaniel Hawthorne's story in 1851 the home was extensively remodelled by Caroline Emmerton in 1908 after she purchased it to prevent its demolition.
We then walked into town and had a sandwich before visiting the Peabody Essex museum which had a special exhibition of work by Ansell Adams. The museum has a nice collection of Eastern art and  much more besides but we had to dash back for the Kidstock! performance in Winchester. The end of week show - Glee club goes to Broadway - gave all the kids equal opportunity to sing and dance and generally impress their parents (or Aunts & Uncles) accordingly.
In the evening we headed out for a meal in North End and took advantage of Restaurant Week; a fixed menu at $33 gave us each 3 courses. For dessert we could not avoid Mike's Pastry and each had a Cannoli which we ate under a full moon in Columbus Park. Perfect!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Boston - Day 7

Although it was a long drive, our GoBoston cards gave us free access to Six Flags New England. Free apart from the car park and cost of lockers and food and drink that is! However, the coasters are suitably impressive; the contrast between Bizarro and American Cyclone being the starkest. Perhaps the greatest use of computers is to design rides that provide fewer bruises than those of years gone by. Oh, and possibly advances in medical science, limitless access to all of human knowledge, etc. etc.
But we soon tired of all the thrills and excitement and returned to Winchester in time to join the 'wall party' with the neighbours who were all extremely friendly and hospitable. A nice ending to a busy day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Boston - Day 6

The day started off after a bit of a lie-in. We drove back into Boston after a spot of shopping at Target and shoe shopping in Woburn. Once again we found ourselves in the Northend ahead of our scheduled excursion so we had lunch in local restaurant and prepared ourselves for a Segway Adventure! I heartily recommend everyone to try a Segway. They're great fun, very easy to learn and the longer you spend on it the more familiar and enjoyable they become. Our guide, Captain Nemo, gave an informative account of the local sights and ensured the whole tour was a highlight of our week.
Afterwards we took the the T across town for a whistle-stop tour of the Museum of Fine Arts where two remaining Georgia O'Keeffes had been left behind from a tour of Japan. We then raced back to Winchester in order to meet the family at the China Sky restaurant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Boston - Day 5

On Tuesday, the weather turned wet so we emerged from the T station and huddled under an umbrella whilst getting our bearings on the Harvard campus. After coffee in The Coop bookstore we walked across to the Peabody Museum and Natural History Museum. Both were very 'old school' and would have been ideal venues for another Night at the Museum sequel. The mineral exhibits were very impressive, but I expect it is only possible to look at a finite number of stuffed animals before starting to feel slightly despondent; we probably exceeded that quota. 
Walking back through the campus we saw John Harvard's [statue of three lies]; it's not him, he didn't found the university, and it happened in 1636, not 1638 (and the untold fourth lie is that it's not lucky to touch his foot particularly when you consider what freshmen are made to do when they start college!)
We rode the T back to MIT and met Andrew who gave us a guided tour of his office and recounted several of the MIT Hacks as we walked around their campus. We ended the day with a cruise on the Charles River and then joined up with Andrew again at TD Garden for the train ride home to Winchester. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Boston - Day 4

We had purchased GoBoston Visitor Cards in advance of our holiday so we kicked of the week with a trip to see some whales in the bay. The Boston Harbor Cruises catamaran takes about 1 hour to reach the feeding area where we were fortunate enough to see a Finnback and several Humpback whales. On the way back we saw The Bounty (a replica tallship built for the 1962 movie) that was leaving Boston to continue its tour along the East Coast. 
After grabbing some lunch from the White Hen Pantry in the Northend, we sat and ate under the trees admiring Paul Revere's statue. Next we visited his restored home and learned of his famous ride to warn the colonists that 'the Regulars are coming!'
Finally we returned to the harbour and New England Aquarium to meet Myrtle the Turtle, get close up with some Jelly Fish and hands on with some Rays. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Boston - Day 3

On Sunday the weather was perfect for a trip to the seaside; New England style. Rockport is about 40 miles east of Winchester on the peninsula that forms the northern part of the Massachusetts bay. Most of the shops along the front are aimed squarely at tourists like us, but this was not a problem when they are selling whole fresh lobster for only $10! 
After our light lunch I bought a bucket and spade for Iain and we headed back to the local beach to build Crab Castle. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Boston - Day 2

On Saturday we had a lazy start and enjoyed proper American Hotdogs on the grill (not barbecue!) Afterwards we headed into Boston and explored Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall Shopping areas, then walked around the harbour to the Institute of Contemporary Art that had been repurposed as a 90ft cliff for the Red Bull Diving Championships.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Boston - Day 1

Almost all modes of transport conveyed us on our journey across The Pond; taxi, train, maglev, Airbus A318, Boeing 747, Hire Car and Shank's Pony. We arrived without any problems and were met by Andrew who guided us back to Winchester where we crashed crashed out almost straight away. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

London 2012

Whilst Coventry played its part in hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, the atmosphere and excitement in London was hard to ignore, so we took a trip to see our friends Jon and Hetty and experience the occasion first hand. 
The crowds at Tower of London were at least three deep but we found a good spot and cheered the athletes as they came by on their first lap of the Marathon. Afterwards we strolled along the river to St Catherine's Dock and took a river boat up to Embankment, where the crowds were even bigger. By the time we met up with Hetty, Evelyn and Myles we felt like we'd participated in the marathon, but we continued along the canal past Mile End Floating Market, through Victoria Park and on to Stratford Station before getting a bus home. A great day out!