Sunday, September 30, 2012
The weather is pretty iffy today, mid 50s, overcast, and raining
steadily, but I'm hopeful it will change to just intermittent
showers. It better, or it's going to really screw up our day of
sightseeing in Boston.
Boston: The U.S.S. Constitution
At 9:30 we went to the complimentary breakfast downstairs. It was
fantastic! They had all the bacon you could possibly eat. There was
quite a bit of other stuff too, but who cares? Don't misunderstand.
It wasn't just a lot of bacon. It was ALL YOU COULD POSSIBLY EAT.
And believe me, Tom and I ate all the bacon we could.
Eventually, the rain turned to sprinkles, and we drove over to the
Wonderland Station of the MBTA (the “T”) Blue-Line train/subway.
Remember that cracked rear-view mirror I mentioned on Day 1 of this
journal? When Tom closed the car's passenger door at the train
station, the glass part of the mirror fell completely off the car,
and it spiderweb cracked the whole thing. Now I'm sure we'll be
paying for it! Plus, we're going to really miss that mirror when
we're driving through the traffic and roundabouts this evening and
to the airport in a couple of days. Argh!
Anyway, on to Boston. With a little effort, we managed to buy a
couple of Link Passes out of machine at the station for $18 each
that entitled us to unlimited rides on the subways, buses, and
commuter ferries of the MBTA system for the next week. We only need
them for two days, but it's still the best deal.
We took the Blue Line to State Station. Right in front of us as we
stepped out of the subway station was the Old State House, built in
1713. It was from the balcony of this building that the Declaration
of Independence was read to the people of Boston in 1776.
Old State House, Boston,
Next we checked out Faneuil Hall. Once the scene of tumultuous
gatherings held to protest England's tightening control over the
Colonies, Faneuil Hall is now full of stalls selling touristy
bric-a-brac. Yikes. At least there's a cool statue of Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams, maltster
Across from Faneuil Hall is Quincy Market, historically a retail
and wholesale distribution center for meat and produce. Now it's a
super-mega food court. The food looked and smelled delicious, but
we were still full of bacon, so we just walked through and
Quincy food court and
It stopped raining long enough for us to walk over to Long Wharf
and catch a little commuter ferry to Charlestown. We were the only
passengers. I thought Boston would be crowded. I guess there's
worse times to visit than a rainy Sunday in very late September.
The views of the city from Boston Harbor were great!
Boston from the
It's just a short walk to the U.S.S. Constitution from the ferry
landing at Pier 3. Most of our Boston exploring will have to wait
till tomorrow, when we're expecting better weather, but the U.S.S.
Constitution is closed on Mondays, so that must be toured today
U.S.S. Constituion from
Launched in 1797, the wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate U.S.S.
Constitution gained the nickname “Old Ironsides” during battles
with the British during the War of 1812 due to the resiliency of
the ship's heavily planked sides. The Constitution served in the
Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, and today is the
world's oldest commissioned warship. Normally stationed at the
Charlestown Naval Yard and open for tours, she's been at sail as
recently as August of this year, to commemorate the 200th
anniversary of her victory over the HMS Guerriere in the War of
To board the Constitution, visitors must present a valid federal or
state photo ID, get their hand stamped, go through a metal
detector, and send any personal items through x-ray. But you're
allowed to keep your shoes on – This is the Navy, not the
ridiculous TSA. After security, we watched a 10-minute film about
the Naval Yard, toured a small museum, then boarded and wandered
Old Ironsides to our hearts' content. This is a must-see if you're
Cannons of the
The Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill,
the first major battle of the American Revolution, fought on June
17, 1775. This is the battle in which Colonel William Prescott gave
the famous order "Don’t fire until you see the whites of their
eyes," demonstrating the conviction and determination of the
ill-equipped American colonists facing the more powerful British
The monument, a 221-foot granite obelisk, is a dead-ringer for the
Washington Monument. Of course, we climbed the 294 steps to the
top! The view was pretty good, but the windows are all scratched up
and terribly dirty, so the photos aren't that great.
Charlestown and Boston
from Bunker Hill
After returning to Boston via the ferry, we had a late lunch at
Cheers. The TV show “Cheers” was inspired by an actual bar in
Boston originally named the Bull & Finch Pub, which later
changed its name to Cheers, after the TV show, and which is now
called Cheers The Original, because they've now built a second one.
The second Cheers bar is named Cheers The Replica and is a
recreation of the “Cheers” TV show Hollywood set. Got it? Good.
The one we went to was Cheers The Replica, by Faneuil Hall. Tom had
a reuben and I had clam chowder, with a Sam Adams Octoberfest again
for me and a Fisherman's Brew for Tom. Good pub grub. The New
England Patriots v. Buffalo Bills game was on, and the crowd was
stoked. The waiter had a wicked awesome accent, the best local
dialect of the trip!
Nobody knew our names,
but they were glad we came
We rode the Blue-Line T back to Wonderland Station in Revere, where
I was able to gingerly reattach the glass of our rear-view mirror
into its housing. From now on, we will close the passenger door
ever so gently. I'm resigned to paying for the mirror at this point
– I just want to be able to use it for the rest of our trip.
By now, the rain had stopped for good, and the sun finally came
out. Tom drove us out to Nahant Island, another
not-really-an-island locale, but, rather, situated on a peninsula.
It's a cute little waterfront town and we enjoyed it, but there is
no parking in the town that we could find, even at the city parks,
unless you're a resident, so we couldn't linger.
Around 6:00 we returned to the hotel, and a little later we went
down to the Landing Cafe Lounge and shared a gigantic plate of
nachos with chili. Some locals at the bar were talking smack about
Peyton Manning versus their guy Eli. Unnecessary, but we didn't
Sign our guestbook