Our first full day of SturmTrek 2014 was spent in Boston. The hotel shuttle took us up to the T station by the airport and we hopped the Blue line (first subway ride ever for the kids!) to the aquarium stop where we proceeded to follow the Freedom Trail….well, I use the term “follow” very loosely…stumbled, bumbled, backtracked, and wandered might be more apropos, but we saw some stuff. I really liked the Custom House, which I referred to the entire time as the “big clock building”. We were a little early for the ferry up to the navy yard, so we started with some of the nearby places….we went up to the State House Which is also the site of the Boston Massacre. I got a lovely pic of the family in front of the state house (though Daphne looks a *bit* like a thug….) And me? Well, I guess have a bit of a morbid and twisted sense of humor….
We then wandered through Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market, and enjoyed some of the public areas of Boston. There are so many pretty fountains and green areas in which to sit and relax on a beautiful day. I also really enjoyed walking the Labryinth by the sculpture dedicated to the 1915-1923 American Genocide. A little detail I appreciated about Boston was the thought that went in to the walkways. I saw several instances of beautiful metalwork surrounding the brick sidewalks and pavilions.
Finally we managed to get out timing in sync, and we caught the ferry up to Charlestown Navy Yard. Beautiful views of the Boston Skyline from there…I could even see my big clock building. A few mere moments later, I thought Dave was going to come unglued just at the first sight of the USS Constitution. From there we trekked up to Bunker Hill Monument. I really wanted to climb the 294 steps to the top, but tummies were rumbling.
I have to admit that I’d been salivating for lunch since Brian Best tweeted at me around 10:30am and asked if I’d found Legal Seafood. (which we had, and had giggled at the name). We had planned on going to The Barking Crab for lunch (as seen on Man vs. Food), but I can’t resist a recommendation from a trusted source…plus Yelp reviews for the Crab were so-so. Many many others have since confirmed that Legal is THE place to go for seafood in Boston. Legal is a good mile or so from the North End, and was WELL worth the walk. As a family we split a Crab Cake appetizer, a cup of clam chowder, a seafood platter containing grilled swordfish, tuna salmon, scallops and shrimp, an order of Fish & Chips, and then of course, there was Daphne and her Lobster…..
From there we did a bit more freedom trail exploring as we walked toward the Boston Tea Party ships and Museum, which was conveniently located near South Station, where we hopped the red line to Braintree. In Braintree we met up with dear friend Steve Branfman, who took us out to Thayer Academy, a private school where he teaches art. The campus is BEAUTIFUL, and fine and performing arts are treated so well here. Dave, of course, took a minute to look at a kiln while we were there. From Braintree, we drove to Newton Center, where we visited Steve’s business, the Potters Shop & School as well as his personal studio. Guess what Dave did there? Yep, look at another kiln….quite fine with me, I was busy drooling over the ceramics books. (Sorry Mom, I couldn’t find a copy of the Magic of Ceramics, 2nd ed. for you….) I DID find a jar of AMACO glaze that’s probably 3 decades old at least….and it’s still liquid! It’s also one of the heavily sought-after, discontinued LT Glazes…..I had to resist the urge to swipe it. 😉
The kids’ favorite part came next….Steve’s house, or more to the point, Steve’s dog, Bruno. They all played together and wore themselves out. Meanwhile, I got a tour of the beautiful flowers and shrubs that Steve’s wife, Ellen tends too, many of which we don’t really have in Lawrence. I think that seeing the different flowers and trees when I travel might be my favorite part….
After a delicious dinner and a delightful evening, Steve drove us to the T station and we took the train back to our hotel in Revere. We had to get everything packed up and ready to go before bed, because the next day we’d need to be on the Amtrak at 6:40am. This meant leaving the hotel at about 5:30. Dave and I had high hopes that the kids might sleep on the train, but as I write this from aforementioned train, I have been interrupted at least a dozen times from the cute, ever-energetic blonde girl sitting next to me. It’s also only fair to mention that I’ve also been distracted from time to time by the beautiful views on this stretch of railway.
We arrive in the Big Apple in about an hour. 🙂