Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: Boston

Boston and Homewards

Wednesday 12  and Thursday 13 October 2016

As is common on returning from the USA our flight home is an overnight trip so we have much of the day free in Boston until late afternoon.

We decide to head out once we have to check out of the hotel, but they will store the cases and we will go and find some lunch and then return to the hotel in plenty of time to be collected for the journey to Boston Logan airport.

We did make one mistake – I had suggested we go and see the Boston Tea Party Museum but in the light of our experiences in Salem decided it would probably be overdone so we agree we would not go there.  We later heard that we had missed a treat from fellow travellers – so if we ever get to Boston again we must do it (although that seems unlikely).  So if you are in Boston do not miss the Tea Party!

Jackie had previously identified the best place for a proper American burger, which happens to be in the old area of North Boston we visited yesterday, so we know where we are going.  We then go back to Quincy Market for a wander around running into some of our fellow travellers before returning to the hotel.  This time we walk it in both directions and again the weather is pleasant and conducive to a gentle walk through the City.

Summarising some of the distances we have travelled:
London – Boston is 3272 – so 6544 miles.
Boston – Falmouth return is 154 miles.
Boston – Portland is 106 miles.
Portland – North Conway is 63 miles.
North Conway – Salem is 121 miles.
Salem – Boston only 16 miles.
So known distances total a little over 7000 miles plus the mileage on the trips across to and around Martha’s Vineyard, to the two railways and around the White Mountains.  All without difficulties or problems.

Unlike our return from Australia our journey home is relatively smooth and we are back from another long promised holiday.  Still many more to go!

Really enjoyed all of this trip.  There were more trains than some of our holidays which was welcome – but they were digested alongside some of the parts of the USA which have more history being the first settlers and more recently the Boston powerhouse which drove the Kennedy family to prominence.  And our prime aim was to see the famous autumn colours which we may not have captured – but we certainly saw.  The whale watching was a bonus after the problem at the end of the Canadian trip!  And by and large we enjoyed some excellent weather – warm sunny days throughout most of the trip which always adds to the enjoyment.  The tour was well organised and it operated very smoothly.



Tuesday 11 October 2016

A busy day as we set off initially on a coach and then walking to see the City.  The first walk is around some of the more prosperous parts of the City to show us how the wealthy and influential citizens live – very nicely too I rather think.  This area is adjacent to Boston Common which between 1634 and 1830 was the home cows (only 70 after 1646 due to overgrazing) which provided milk for the city; effectively the development from the dock areas had reached this by 1634.  Bearing in mind the first settlers came in 1630 development was rapid as more came.  Boston is one of the longest established settlements in USA and therefore has many other firsts to its name – and of course Harvard University.

We then move onto a location near the quays and wander into the older part of town, North Boston, and indeed past the birthplace of Rose Kennedy.  She may have ended her days as a Countess of the Holy See but she certainly came from much humbler origins.  This area in general has seen much redevelopment and reconstruction but the churches and some other older properties remain.

On this part of the walk we also see the Paul Revere statue and the church from where he commenced his famous ride.  The ride itself is best known through the Longfellow poem.

Photos from the morning excursions are here.

We have time (just) to pick up some snacks at Quincy Market and then we head to catch a boat to take us whale watching.  The good weather continues but the outward ride is on some pretty choppy water and sadly Jackie is finding it all a little uncomfortable to say the least.  When we reach our first stopping point the whales seem a little reluctant to come and see us, but they appear eventually and I get some photos (some better than others to be sure!).

The whale photos are here.

The return trip is considerably smoother and by the time we disembark Jackie is feeling back to normal.

This evening we head across the road to Flemings, a steak restaurant chain, where we have the most expensive meal of this holiday – and I would say it is worth it.  Trainee waitress but she does not get much wrong, she is watched very closely by another member of staff.  Pretty good steaks to end our holiday and the best restaurants were right on our doorstep here.

To Salem and Boston

Monday 10 October 2016

We leave behind the hills and return to the coast, this time to Salem which is infamous for the Witch Trials.  The sun is out but it is not overly warm.  We wander around and the place is completely mad in the American way of overdoing things!  The coach shows us around the town before we stop.

Our first stop is “The Burying Point” where a number of alleged witches were buried following their “trials” and “convictions”.  I note that among the “hangings” are also those “pressed to death” which sounds even less attractive.

Just a few photos of the buses and the Burying Point.

We do not fancy visiting any of the attractions but instead find Murphy’s restaurant where we can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and for once just order a main course.  We also have a look at some of the smaller shops looking for anything which might be of interest.  Being close to Halloween the pumpkins and ghosts and such like are much in evidence.

This photo from Jackie Whitbread is part of the local witchiness:

Once everyone is re-assembled we head onwards into Boston where we are staying for a few nights at the Revere Hotel, Boston Common – so we are very central.

Dinner tonight is in the very wonderful Legal Seafoods which is conveniently just across the road!  Highly recommended for sea food.

New England in the Fall

Tuesday 4 October 2016

We are on our third Great Rail Journeys holiday (India [Palace on Wheels] and Canada [Rocky Mountaineer] were the previous trips); this time we are going to visit New England in the Fall.  We are on what I think is an “extra” trip as it is not a normal departure day for GRJ and unusually is a BA flight, so adding air miles for our future holidays!

Our flight destination from Heathrow is Boston but we return to visit the City at the end of our holiday and we are soon on a coach down to the coast staying at ShoreWay Acres Inn, Falmouth.  The coach journey along the US highways is smooth but most of the foliage we can see remains green and although there is some evidence of colour changing it is not significant.  Are we going to be denied the autumn colours which are the entire point of the trip?

Falmouth is south south east from Boston and being an early settler location we pass signs for Braintree, Weymouth, Plymouth and Barnstaple (among others) as we head to our destination which is still on the mainland.  We are however not far from the island of Martha’s Vineyard which we shall visit in a couple of days and we are right on the coast.

The hotel is perhaps a little old fashioned but reminds me very much of the TVs view of the world in the nature of ‘Murder She Wrote’.  We wander out to the small Main Street which has an interesting variety of shops, including a bookshop.  We had previously identified a restaurant (the Quarterdeck) which is packed with customers.  We order a starter and main course each, forgetting we are in America.  The starter is large and the main course larger still; not surprisingly many customers seem to order only a main course.  Jackie hears another customer order a martini and regrets not being able to follow her example!  Jackie then orders a white Zinfandel.  This of course turns out to be slightly pink and we all know how much Jackie enjoys a rosé!  We stagger back to the hotel feeling somewhat bloated to say the least.