Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hitting the Tourist Traps

George Washington
Mature Beech Tree at Boston Common
We have a house guest this week from Oklahoma and an excuse to run around to the tourist traps. I was "Off Cape" for the first time in months this weekend trying to hit every possible tourist attraction. Usually when Shana and I go to Boston we have two or three things we want to see or do and wander around casually for the rest of the weekend but since our guest will not have the luxury of returning soon we tried to see as much as possible. She had a list and we had some ideas.  Major museums were out because of time constraints, so we did some tours and a lot of walking to get her out and enjoying the flavor of the city.

After a fortifying breakfast at the wonderful Moonakis Cafe and a quick stop at the Christmas Tree Store at the Sagamore Bridge to test the limits of tackiness we went to Boston Commons and the Public Gardens, checked out Beacon Hill and the "Cheers" bar, slipped into a designer store and a nice bar on Newbury Street, went to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, ate a sumptuous dinner at Villa Francesca  and bought cannolis at Mike's Pastry on the North End. Then we rode the T out to Cambridge to see the campus of Harvard (inaccessible because of security forces trying to prevent OWS from coming on campus) and Harvard Book Store. We finished our first day off Cape with drinks in the bar at our hotel.

Night view from Quincy Market
The next day after breakfast at the hotel we went out for a Duck Tour, then shopped a bit at Prudential Center. We thought we might like to check out the observation lounge on the 50th floor, but admission was more than $10.00 per person and we did not want to pay that much for a quick look around,  so after a (free!) peek past the gatekeepers we checked out Julia Child's recipe for Boston Baked Beans on display in the lobby and returned to earth. Then we retrieved the car and our luggage from the hotel and set out for Salem. In Salem we had a giant lunch at Red's Sandwich Shop (home style cooking with a varied menu and everything is fabulous) followed by a visit to the Salem Witch Museum. After that we met our guide for an entertaining (and cold) walking tour of the town before heading back to the Cape. Today we are sticking close to home for errands and to let our guest's tired legs recover. We often (like everybody) get a little turned around in unfamiliar places and it's MUCH more tiring to back track on foot! While Boston and Salem are pretty compact and suitable for walking two days of constant action can be a lot for someone who does not walk much in daily life.  I've been working retail for the past five months so I have had time to build up endurance - an unfair advantage!

Gratuitous Roxy Picture
We are lucky in our weather this week. Our first day in Boston it was unseasonably warm, and although temperatures fell all day yesterday the sky was brilliantly clear. Today for errands and Thursday for the ceremonial frying of the turkey will be clear, with our only wet day being one already planned for indoor activities.

1 comment:

zippiknits...sometimes said...

Thanks for the lovely walking tour (with links) of two great spots; thanks for the Roxie piccie,too, and the amazing shot of Quincy Marketplace at night. lovely!

OWS seems to be running into trouble at campuses. UC Berkeley, of all places, let the police come in and do the brutal thing. How things have changed.