There. Got your fix of Boston music? I feel better anyway.
Not much to tell. We arrived without event in Chinatown around 6pm, checked in at the Double Tree across from Tufts, and ate at Empire Garden on Washington Street (It was not good. This is not the Dim Sum experience you're looking for.)
Quick breakfast at Au Bon Pain inside Tufts, then back and forth across the street for a few hours for tests, appointments, etc. (detailed in the preceding post).
Afterwards grabbed a taxi over to the harbor for an early dinner at The Barking Crab. Awesome Dungeness crab legs, Irish Cider, and fish n' chips for the boys. Great vibe at this place, across the bridge from the Boston Tea Party tour (which was closed for renovation) and the Boston Children's Museum (to be explored at a later date).
This was our big exploration day. We took the T from the hotel to Aquarium Station. Quite an experience for the boys.
We grabbed a BHC cruise at the Long Wharf to go whale watching. Alas, it was a rough ride out into the Bay, it was freezing cold, and there were no whales in sight. We got a rain check for next time and despite Christie and Brennan succumbing to sea-sickness, we got a really beautiful view of the Boston skyline and the Bay.
Afterwards, with every one a little queasy from the boat ride, we walked over to the North End and took a short tour of Paul Revere's house. Of course, he lived in many places, and many other people lived in this house through the years, but this was were he resided when he made his famous Midnight Ride.
The North End is my favorite area of Boston. There are actors walking around dressed in Colonial Era garb and speaking Olde English, tons of incredible places to eat, cobblestone roads, old churches, and fascinating architecture. We ate at Genarro's, across from North Square Park by St. John's. It was honestly the most authentically Italian restaurant I've eaten in since living in Italy. Prosciutto and Gorgonzola Panini, Lasagna Marinara, Ravioli and Clam Chowder.
We turned a corner and found Hanover Street where I wished I hadn't eaten so much at Genarro's . Hanover was lined with every kind of bakery and candy store you can imagine. We cut across North End Park to the Haymarket T station as the day got colder. Had it been warmer, I'm sure we'd have stopped at several places, but the wind was brutal and we just wanted to be inside.
We caught the train to the Financial District where the Old State House sticks out like a sore thumb against the modern skyscrapers. This is the site of the Boston Massacre, where a street fight between colonists and a British Soldier escalated into the first bloodshed of the American Revolution. The English government held offices here prior to the revolution, and it housed the first Provincial Congress following the outbreak of war with England.
The North End is busy and beautiful but the architecture in the Financial District (toward the end of the clip) is equally awesome and obnoxious.
This is really the building where the Revolution itself started. Here, James Otis delivered a four-hour speech in 1761 railing against the Writs of Assistance - a blanket search warrant that allowed Officials to search private property without causation. It was the first public denunciation of Britian's control over the colonies. I bet he'd have a few things to say about the so called "Patriot Act." But I digress...
We were pooped, but there was one last place we HAD to go. Back on the T for a crowded rush-hour ride down to the Braintree Mall so we could surprise the boys with their first visit to the...
Dad geeked out a little bit too. They had a display model of the Tantive IV (Leia/Cpt. Antilles ship from Star Wars Episode IV) that had me drooling a bit.
We did one of those big-city-run-to-catch-the-bus-as-it-drives-away things and had to wait 45 minutes in the cold for the next one. We passed the time chatting with the Bostonians at the bus stop. Have I mentioned that Bostonians are the nicest people in the world? Don't believe the hype - we had four or five good Samaritans that voluntarily pointed us in the right direction throughout the week, without which we would have run late to everything the entire time. Bostonians = awesome.
We left early for Concord with the goal of catching a glimpse of the Bloody Angle reenactment. This was the battle that took place between Concord and Lexington after the "shot heard 'round the world" at Concord's North Bridge. The British were retreating back to Boston and got caught in a crossfire between the two towns. We got lost a LOT and ended up accidentally finding the best spot to watch from. The battle went on for close to 20 minutes and most of it was right in front of us.
It was freezing cold, so we walked around a bit and talked to some of the soldiers and a colonist who, after finding out we were from Arkansas said, "I know not of this place." We eventually succumbed to the dropping temperatures and headed home. It took us 5.5 hours to get to Boston, but 9 to get home - apparently we drove through one of the worst storms in recent New England memory. It followed us from Concord all the way back to Harrisburg and Christie drove the whole way, white knuckled but holding it together well. Here's her on the Bronx Expressway in NYC at 5pm. Fun for the whole family!