Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our Day in Boston

I'm still catching up on some blogging...remember a few weeks ago we went to Providence and Boston? It's time to share more pictures.

Dan was on his tour of the Ivy League sister schools so while he was in Cambridge, I was on my own to take the kids into the city of Boston. While we waited for she shuttle, we played Carcasonne in the hotel lobby. I carried that game, light but bulky, all day through the streets of Boston in my backpack ready to take on a new game at any point.

Anyway, years ago I was in Boston for the National Science Teachers Association convention and I found my way around there pretty well. So, I was looking forward to seeing Boston again. Honestly, I'm not a city person, but the city of Boston is my favorite. I don't know why but I love the T. It's way more fun than the DC Metro...older but cleaner- I think. Dan doesn't agree. So, we got ourselves to a T station and I picked up a Charlie Ticket (this would later give us reason to listen to the Kingston Trio song!). We went downtown and got off at Downtown Crossing. When we came to the surface, the first thing the kids got excited about were the pigeons! Country kids...what can I say?

Our first stop of the day, of course, was Boston Common where we were going to head to the Public Garden and find Mrs. Mallard and her duckling brood. The sun was bright, the sky was beautiful, the wind was stiff. We made our way there and crossed Charles St. We were delayed in our quest by finding quarters for a woman with an awesome parking spot who found herself with no quarters for the meter. I saved her and she was so thankful. I made her day...this would be ironic later when I needed quarters, but all was well.

Here we are! The Public Garden! We were taking the same route that Mrs. Mallard took as she led the ducklings to meet Mr. Mallard in the Public Garden.

Only it took us a while to find her...on our way we looked at statues of Revolutionary War heroes like Nathan Hale and George Washington. We thought sure Paul Revere would be remembered somewhere here, but we didn't find anything. On our next trip, we'll visit the Revere House and The Old North Church. You can bet the kids were excited to see them on the map.

However, we did find this little friend and I can say the kids were most excited to see him. Now I don't know...robins might hang out in the city of Boston for the winter, but to us he brought tidings of great joy!

We must getting closer the kids is the bridge of Make Way for Ducklings fame. Ok...Boston doesn't need Robert McCloskey to be famous, but if you don't live in Boston he sure does bring it to life for you! The kids had definitely seen this bridge before.

We are still searching...notice that J4 is wearing what appears to be my scarf on his head. We lost his hat in Providence so I gave up my scarf for my son that day. A mother's sacrifice.

Wait a minute! She's been spotted! Literally, these children who have been homeschooled on FIAR since day 1 took off at a full on RUN to see Mrs. Mallard. I had to grip the camera and run on after them!

We made it! We came to Boston to see her and here she is. Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings- Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack. We stayed here for some time and I have ample photographs of our children hugging her up and posing next to her. I had planned to bring Make Way for Ducklings- of course. And forgot. Of course. So, we made sure that when we went to the mall to have dinner at Dave and Buster's in Providence the night before that we picked up another copy at Borders. With my teacher discount.

So, we sat in the warm sun (with the stiff wind sometimes taking a break) and had a snack. When the snack was eaten, we read the book together while onlookers smiled at the sight of us reading Make Way for Ducklings in front of Robert McCloskey's tribute. There were others who stopped for pictures too. was all that we had imagined it would be.

Ah see....McCloskey's drawings DO make Boston's Public Garden familiar to children throughout the world.

When we could finally tear ourselves away from Mrs. Mallard, we double backed to a playground we saw on the way. There were ice skaters too which is so fun, but we did not have our skates- though I was carrying around a nice board game. We got to see the police Calvary and I took a photo op to capture these gorgeous horses who look rather calm but had just been spooked by a kid who clearly did not know how to handle himself around horses.

I should say before we played on the playground, we went to lunch after searching for a public bathroom which we found in a coffee shop next to a Dunkin Donuts which "didn't have a public restroom". It was complicated and involved door keys on large stainless steal cooking spoons. After we left the shop, because the kids declared they wouldn't eat there, we found a pizza shop on some street in the heart of yet another city college campus...Tufts? Or was it another one? Either way we had some awesome cheese pizza and we totally made a college kid's day when I gave him the last huge piece. He was so grateful, I felt that I had fed the hungry. Seriously.

Here we are at the play structure. J4 has play structure radar and it is amazingly accurate. He doesn't care what the weather or where it is, he must play. They call to him. Isn't that sky gorgeous? Logan airport is right nearby so we enjoyed the sounds and sights of jets leaving Boston as well. It was at this point that Dan met us downtown. Having been on Boston Common most of the day in February in the brilliantly skied weather in the stiff wind, we took stock to see what would happen next. Whatever it had to be inside. And with that decision out went the idea of visiting historical sites.

A few T stops later, we found ourselves at the Boston Children's Museum with another FREE admission. E11 was outvoted on the Science Center, but next time we'll go there. Upon getting in and getting settled which included putting our stuff in lockers which needed....quarters! (I did manage to find enough, but it was close) At least I made that lady's day. The first thing the kids hit this seriously claustrophobic climbing structure and a fun time was had by all.

We topped off the day with a meal at The Barking Crab. You have to have seafood when you are near the sea. It's a rule.'s a rule when you are from Maryland and you miss good seafood at your beck and call. After a stunningly expensive meal, we headed back to our T stop. We changed trains, got to experience live music in the tunnels, and finally ended up back at our original location. Now the hotel shuttle was not running at that time so Dan, being the skilled bus rider that he is, determined we needed a 134 (and went outside to see who was waiting for what bus) and just as I was calling the hotel to check on the next shuttle (that was my job) I see it go by so we RAN (Dan was running to tell us to run) to meet the bus and we were let off right at our hotel. My thanks to the lovely Boston bus driver! You made our night. Six years of taking the bus to work totally paid off in that moment. Great job Dan!

Exhausted from a day in Boston, the kids easily fell to sleep and we rested. Stay tuned for our next day's adventure which will take us away from the city of Boston westward toward NY State with stops at American Girl Place and Sturbridge Village.


kim wright said...

Well, I, for one, am waiting one, am waiting for the next installment.

School for Us said...

What a lovely day! I loved seeing your children run towards Mrs. Duck. :-) Priceless!

Boston is way up on the list of places I want to take my daughter. I went when I was about 12 or so. We had 2 cousins who lived there - a girl my age and a girl my sister's age. We weren't used to seeing people play instruments for money. Well, we can all sing fairly well and we started walking around singing. It was fun! (And, no, we didn't take...or earn.. any money)