Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adventures in New England

Chris and I had a blast this past week in Boston and other parts of New England! Since we had such a great time, I thought maybe you all would like to hear about it as well. Oh, and this post should win an award for the longest ever. Ooops.
After flying into Boston Tuesday evening, we started out early Wednesday morning by hopping a commuter train into downtown where we used Boston's MBTA (public transportation) system to get around. That is always an adventure!

We began our sight-seeing at Boston's famous Freedom Trail. This is a walking trail around Boston that takes you to about 16 points of interest around the city. It took us most of the day to walk it all.

The trail begins in Boston Common, the nation's oldest public park. Right across the street from Boston Common is the Massachusetts State House (Capitol Building). The outside of it is fairly plain compared to some of the others that we've seen, but the inside was gorgeous! There was so must history painted on the walls in the form of murals that we could have spent hours in there. Many of you may not know that seeing state capitol buildings is our "thing"... our goal is to eventually visit all 50! I think we've seen about 25. As we continued on the trail, we were able to see The Old South Meeting House (where the conception of the Boston Tea Party took place, as well as many other important meetings),the cemetery where Paul Revere, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin's parents, and Robert Treat Paine are buried,

the original Massachusetts State House,

Paul Revere's house,

another cemetery of famous people,

the monument of Bunker Hill,

and Old Ironsides.

Downtown Boston was strange because while it's a very hustling and bustling city, there are areas of complete calm. Amidst the high-rise buildings, hurried people, and honking horns (SO many honking horns... more than I've ever heard... and I've been to Times Square!) were these quiet, calm sites of significant historical events and cemeteries. I've never experienced anything quite like it.

After we finished the Freedom Trail, we jumped commuter ferry to the subway station where we rode to the Boston Public Library (America's first).

It was big and beautiful and smelled of old books. I loved it.

Below: the courtyard at the library... so beautiful and serene.

Fenway Park was also a must-see (especially for Chris). Notice that one of the banners says World Series Champs 1903. Wow! The Sox were winning the World Series before Oklahoma was even a state!

My must-see was Harvard. Seeing Harvard was the original reason that I wanted to visit Boston in the first place. It did not disappoint! Below: Me just hanging out at Harvard... pretending to be a student :-)

Harvard has 80 libraries, and this is the main one in Harvard Yard. It was an absolutely massive structure! Four stories of books above ground and six underground, for a total of 5 miles of books! Our tour guide said students get lost in it all the time.

Every building on campus had a great story and was incredibly beautiful. This building houses the Freshman dining hall (among other things).

The John Harvard statue is supposedly the 3rd most photographed statue in the US, behind the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial and the Statue of Liberty. This week was "Green Week" at Harvard, so John was dressed for the occasion (complete with a windmill on his shoulder). Of course, I had to take Chris-the-Enrvironmentalist's photo with greened-up John. You are supposed to rub his shoe for good luck.

Every bit of campus was beautiful!

After touring the city for a couple of days, we hopped in a car and headed to Maine. Maine was gorgeous and cool and smelled like the sea. Just like Sarah-Plain-and-Tall always said.

We had a nice lobster dinner on a floating restaurant. Not my favorite, but a fun experience.

Didn't anyone teach this man not to play with his food?

The next morning, we drove to the Maine State House in Augusta. The foliage was so bright and beautiful!

There was a big sign on the side of the road that said "Homemade Apple Pie", so we decided to stop and get some. They were fresh out of pie, but we did get some fun pictures.

After Maine, we continued down into New Hampshire, which was by far the most beautiful state that we visited. It was so picturesque.

The New Hampshire State House was pretty plain-jane on the inside. But, it's really really old, so we'll let it slide. Pretty on the outside though.

We toured a Shaker Villiage while in New Hampshire. The pictures don't do it justice... it was so gorgeous!

Could you imagine living in this house?

After New Hampshire, it was on to Connecticut for a quick visit to the Capitol Building in Hartford. This was the most ornate capitol building we've ever seen... AND HUGE!!! We couldn't go in because it was a Saturday, but oh I wish we could have. It was amazing!

Our last stop before heading back to Boston to catch our flight home was the Rhode Island State House in Providence. We planned on getting there during the daylight, but there was small problem with me driving in rush hour traffic in Hartford and construction and getting lost. So, we didn't make it to Rhode Island before dark. The capitol building was beautiful at night though.

It was such a great trip! We were able to see and do so much... and we can't wait to go back!


Angie said...

You seriously could not have pick a better time of year to go...those fall trees are BEAUTIFUL!!!

Elana Kahn said... were in Boston and didn't even see the best part--ME! :-) Your pictures are great. I think you've been places even I haven't, but isn't that always the way it goes when you live somewhere? I'm glad you had a good trip!

Earl Gearl said...

Sounds like you guys had a great time! Mmmmmm....Apple pie....

Holley said...

Sounds (and looks!) like you had a blast. I am SO jealous...but in a good way, of course:)

Looking forward to our trip!