Tuesday, 7 October 2014

America/Canada Adventure Part 1......

Well we're back!   What a whirlwind of a holiday, we are exhausted but it was so worth it.   We got to meet up with three bloggers - Linda (Are We There Yet) in Boston, Ann in Montreal and Daryl (Out And About In New York City) in NYC, which I'll tell you about as and when they occur in the installments of the holiday.   We were hoping to meet up with Ron (Being Ron) in NYC but unfortunately he couldn't get the time off work.   We were also able to meet up with my oldest school friend who has lived in Toronto for over 30 years.

We flew from Manchester to Heathrow then onto Boston but as we didn't arrive until evening there really wasn't time to do anything on the first day apart from unpack what we needed for our 3 night stay, get something to eat and sleep. 

The view from our room at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
Our first full day in Boston didn't start off very well, when we could only have a cold shower at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel because the boiler had broken down!   After the shock we had breakfast then met up with our fellow travellers for the included orientation tour of the city, our first stop being Cambridge, the home of Harvard.

Harvard was formed in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  It was initially called "New College" or "the college at New Towne". In 1638, the college became home for North America's first known printing press, carried by the ship John of London. In 1639, the college was renamed Harvard College after English deceased clergyman John Harvard, who was an alumnus of the University of Cambridge. He had left the school £779 pounds sterling and his library of some 400 books though he never actually visited Harvard. There is a statue of John Harvard in the grounds.

You will notice John Harvard's shiny shoe - the story goes it is tradition for students at Harvard to touch his shoe for luck but our guide told us a different take on the story, she suggested there is a competition between male students after a night's drinking to see who can hit the shoe - I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Leaving Harvard we walked a small part of the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) red path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the USS Constitution in Charlestown. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate.
 The first statue we came across on the trail was of Paul Revere
most famous for arranging the signal lanterns to be shown from the tower of The Old North Church, alerting the Colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord.
We were able to enter the church, which is perfectly preserved and quite beautiful.

I loved the personal stalls inside the church, which families purchased for their sole use and decorated to their own taste.   The church also has a memorial garden hung with dog tags, which is dedicated to fallen members of US Military from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Leaving the church behind we walked up the hill to to Copp's Hill Burying Ground. If you look closely at the next photo you will see the brick Freedom Trail on the pavement.

Skinny House, Boston, is opposite the burying ground and was built as a "spite house" shortly after the American Civil War.
According to local legend: "two brothers inherited land from their deceased father.  While one brother was away serving in the military, the other built a large home, leaving the soldier only a shred of property that he felt certain was too tiny to build on.  When the solder returned, he found his inheritance depleted and built the narrow house to spite his brother by blocking the sunlight and ruining his view".

After a really interesting tour it was time for lunch and our tour guide arranged to take us to Quincy Market, a historic market complex near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston.

The market was constructed 1824–1826 and named in honor of Mayor Josiah Quincy, who organized its construction without any tax or debt. The market was designated a National Historic Landmark, recognizing its significance as one of the largest market complexes built in the United States in the first half of the 19th century.

Above is Faneuill Hall, around which the market is built, where we were finally, after knowing each other online for approx 7 years, able to meet up with fellow blogger Linda for lunch!
Linda had business in Plymouth so had driven up the day before and stayed overnight, then driven to Boston for our meet up.   MWM and I spent a lovely couple of hours over lunch chatting with Linda about absolutely everything, it was lovely to find she is just as nice in person as she is online!  Unfortunately we had to get back to our coach and Linda had to drive all the way home and go to work, so we had to say our goodbyes.  Linda is hoping to come to the UK some time next year, hopefully very near to where we live as her ancestors are from Oldham, fingers crossed we will be able to meet up again then as we have promised to take her for a pint in our local.

After a long day sightseeing we got back to the hotel with a little time for a short rest before grabbing something to eat in a local restaurant and retiring for the night.   We had another exciting excursion to look forward to the following day - to Cape Cod - I hope you'll join me for that in Part 2. 


Daryl said...

i love Boston .. its so filled with history … xo

Beach Bum said...

Looks like it was a great trip!

Cloudia said...

But did they fix the boiler??!!!

I enjoyed revisiting Boston with you

ALOHA from Honolulu
=^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

Banker Chick said...

I love your trip so far...Boston is top on our list for this trip. Mr BC has been and longs to take me there. Maybe next year.

Ron said...

Yaaaaaaaaaay...welcome back, m'dear!

WOW...incredible photographs of Boston! I have never been there, however, looking at these images, it resembles Philadelphia a lot, with its architecture and rich history.

Love the shots inside the church.

Again, I am so sorry I was unable to meet up with you and MWM in NYC. But hopefully, if you ever come to Philly, I will make up for it.

Great post. And I'm looking forward to seeing more!


Akelamalu said...

It is indeed Daryl! X

Oh yes it was Beach. Xx

Yes they did Cloudia, thankfully. X

Hope you get there Bankerchick, it's a great city. X

Such a shame you couldn't make it Ron, but if we make it to Philly it's a date. Xx

Flowerpot said...

I haven;'t been to Boston for years but loved it - amazing restaurant in a bookshop and I sat lout on the pavement at night eating - wonderful!

Akelamalu said...

It is a lovely place FP. X

MorningAJ said...

Boston's one of my favourite US cities. And I'm looking forward to the Cape Cod installment.

Valerie said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you ... for reviving the memories. Loved your photographs of Boston. By the way, at the time we visited Harvard Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was there inventing Facebook.

mrsnesbitt said...

Wow fantastic Pearl!

Jenny Woolf said...

I've only been to Boston once but it was such an interesting place. I got some beautiful coasters in a craft shop which I use every day and I think of the trip when I do.

Akelamalu said...

We loved Cape Cod AJ. X

Glad it brought back good memories for you Valerie. X

The whole trip was fantastic Denise. X

It iis a lovely city Jenny. X

Anonymous said...

Crikey, you've done some travelling recently!

Akelamalu said...

We have indeed Brac! X

Maggie May said...

You always go on some lovely trips and have lots of informative descriptions and photos to match.
Looks a lovely place to go.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

Thanks Maggie, it was a nice place.

Pam J. said...

i wish i could travel as you do...your trips look like so much fun. maybe one day *sigh* lol oh, and i think i'm gonna try getting back into's good to see you're still a constant in my blogging universe :)