Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boston 2010

Edward and I just got back from four wonderful days in Boston, MA. He qualified for the trip through a campaign with his company, American Family Insurance. Am Fam has provided us with trips to several destinations we might not normally visit (Washington, D.C., San Diego, New York City, Montreal, and Orlando are the cities we've visited thus far) but that we've had a wonderful time vacationing. We felt a little guilty leaving the kids behind, but we looked at it as one last hurrah before a new baby. The kids stayed with my wonderful parents, and of course they all had a blast.

~The Old State House~
Over the course of three days, we walked the Freedom Trail. It is a 2.5 mile trek that highlights some of the most important events and places in the city. It was a definite highlight of our trip. It was neat to actually see some of the significant places I've learned about throughout my life.
This is Old Granary Burying Ground. John Hancock, Paul Revere, Robert Treat Paine, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin's parents, and Elizabeth Goose (believed to be Mother Goose) are all buried here. The OLD gravestones were quite remarkable.

~Samuel Adams~

~The Victims of the Boston Massacre~

~Josiah and Abiah Franklin~

~John Hancock~

~Paul Revere's House~

"Listen my children and you shall hear,
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere...."
Paul Revere had 16 children. This three bedroom home was probably quite spacious at the time. It is the oldest home in Boston.

~Edward having a good time~
He figured he might as well let the donkey eat straight out of his wallet.

~Paul Revere Statue in Front of the Old North Church~
"One if by land. Two if by see."
This was one of my favorite places. Two lanterns were hung here on April 18, 1775, signaling the Redcoats' departure by sea for Lexington and Concord. This is still a practicing Episcopalian church where services are held each week. The pews are set in these cubicle-like boxes. Church members' heads barely peak from the tops to see the minister. It would be kind of nice to corral our kids in one of these! Although, they were VERY loud due to the old and creaky boards. I suppose at this church it was believed children should be heard and not seen!

We often saw really small doors. I don't know if it was because the people were smaller 200+ years ago, it cost a lot to build larger doors, or something else.

I don't even know what this was for! I felt sorry for the pregnant mamas if they had to use this door!

~The USS Constitution~
This was another favorite. This is the world's oldest commissioned warship. This vessel, with wooden sides, was nicknamed "Old Ironsides" when in 1812, cannonballs of a British warship literally bounced off the triple hull. It was quite impressive. Too bad that ugly crane blocked the great view!

~One of the 44 guns/cannons~

This ship was pretty massive. It was especially impressive considering it was made 200+ years ago.

~The USS Cassin Young~
This was a World War II warship. It was also very impressive.
It's kind of hard to tell, but that is the sleeping quarters. That's a triple decker bed!

~Ginormous Torpedo~

This kitchen was TINY! But check out the four foot mixer!

We ended our trip with a stop in Cambridge to tour Harvard. Eh. It was just like any other campus in my book, but I'm glad we had the opportunity to go there.
We were glad to get home to see our babies. Edward took an extra day off so we could rest after our vacation. We walked our little legs off! Vacations are great, but there's no place like home!

Whale Watching

One of the highlights of our trip to Boston was a whale watching cruise. We managed to book our trip with several other American Family friends, so it made for a really great day. Our family had been on another whale watching cruise when we went to Bar Harbor, Maine six years ago. It was an incredible experience, so we knew we wanted to do it again when offered the chance. When we went in Maine, there were only about fifty people on board the boat, and it was FREEZING out on the water. This time about two hundred fifty people were on board, and thankfully, it wasn't as cold. The big crowd made it a little harder to view the whales than our previous trip, but still, it was an amazing thing to see.

~Heading away from Boston~
We were delighted to have such a great "show" by two humpback whales. We only saw two during our three hour trip, but our boat stayed right with them the entire time.

~ Up close and personal~
The most amazing part of the cruise took place during the last twenty minutes we were out at sea. This funny girl, Ursa, would stick her tail out of the water and slap it down, making enormous splashes. She repeated this over and over. She would also roll over onto her back and stick her pectoral fins out of the water. The "show" she gave was far better than anything we've ever seen at Sea World.