Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why's it called Beantown?

I ❤ Boston!!!

After having limited luck navigating large cities on our own (Nashville, anyone?), we decided to do another trolley tour as a way of seeing the most of the city in the short time we had.

The Trolley map
The green line is the route the trolley took.  As you can see, we pretty much covered the entire city.

There are several of these hop on/hop off narrated tours in the city and, for me, they are the best way to visit a large city with limited parking.  Our campground host was able to give us good directions to a garage in North Caimbridge where we could park all day for only $7 as opposed to $30 - $50 in town, and we took the "T", as Boston's subway system is called, into the city each day.

The days we chose could not have been more beautiful, weather-wise.  High seventies and low humidity made riding in the open air trolley and walking on our own very pleasant. I took a million pictures, but only later realized that the camera I was using was okay for distance shots, but gave me blurry, unfocused images when I zoomed.  Still, I managed to get a few images to share with you. 

The house has actually been restored to not what it looked like when Revere lived here, but to a typical house of the period.  Very disappointing for me.  Interestingly, the house was bought by Revere descendants in 1902 to insure the history was not lost.

This is a great hands-on museum for children.  For adults, not so much, although Sid enjoyed it.

Old Ironsides
The USS Constitution was in dry dock when we visited, so no one was allowed aboard.  Interestingly, the dry dock she is currently in is actually a National Historic Landmark, having been built in 1833.  Before this was built, ships had to be laid on their sides for repairs.

We ran out of time, so didn't get to go inside this state capitol building.  We did learn, however, that the gilded dome, originally copper laid by Paul Revere, had been painted several different colors before the state settled on the gold leaf.  During World War II, the gold was painted over once again to make it less of a target for potential bombers.

Arguably, the most visited historic site in the country.
Old cemeteries
These are found throughout the city.  We walked through a couple and I think one of the earliest tombstones we saw was from the late 1600s.

The oldest park in Major League baseball.

Home of the Boston Celtics basketball team.

Not a great picture, but this park is so large it's impossible to take a good picture.  The park was created in 1634, making it the old park in the country.  Used for many things over the years, such as cow grazing, public hangings and protests, the park is still owned by the citizens of Boston and hosts a wide variety of events for the public.  

Street performer on the Common

Sid and his fishing buddy at the Frog Pond in the Boston Common

I wanted  to walk on Bunker Hill, but we ran out of time.  Did you know the Battle of Bunker Hill actually took place on Breed's Hill?  Bunker Hill lies behind the monument.

The Freedom Trail is a walking tour of historical sites denoted by this line of bricks embedded in the sidewalk.  We walked about a mile of the 2.5 mile trail.

And, finally, it was imperative that we get some fresh seafood while in the city.  The restaurant has any type you could wish for and is delicious.  The crab cakes are to die for!

Although we saw and did a lot in our two days in the city, there is so, so much more to Boston.  The Museum of Art, the Trinity Church, Bunker Hill, the Boston Public Library, the Christian Science complex and just too many things to list.  I know that I hope to come back some day and discover all that Boston has to offer.

Oh, and the Beantown nickname?  Well, there's no definite answer, but Massachusetts has long been known for its baked beans, dating back to its Native American roots.  For other possible stories, check out this website and make your own decision!

Until next time...

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