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Unread 20 Oct 18, 02:35 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Expedition East Coast: Day 18 Boston Freedom Trail & Fenway Park

5 August

We had another leisurely breakfast and morning today as we knew it was going to be a late night due to the baseball. The rest of us were enjoying Kenji's apartment, even if Evan was still finding the whole experience somewhat traumatic due to the Wifi situation.



The decor was somewhat eclectic, with the bathroom being covered in tiny mirrors Fortunately, they steamed up when you had a shower so we were confronted with hundreds of reflections as we got out!

There was creativity everywhere and we really liked how Kenji used everyday objects to make art. This was a sea creature made out of little paper cups and bird like sculptures made out of aerials.



The weather was due to be much hotter today so we stocked up with suncream and hats before we set off to walk the Freedom Trail. The trains still weren't running from our local stations so we got the shuttle and then the T to Copley Square.

Copley Square is where the Boston Marathon finishes and features in the movie Patriots' Day which is about the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. There was a lovely looking church, Trinity Church and we went over to have a look. Hannah and I also went to use the loo, leaving Evan and Paul. When we came out, Evan was deep in conversation with an elderly lady who had started chatting to him. He was somewhat taken aback but coped well with having to speak to a total stranger and we did take pity and rescue him. Eventually.



From Copley Square, we walked to Boston Public Gardens. I had read about the Swan Boats and really fancied a ride on one but when we got there, we were really disappointed to see that they weren't actually swan shaped. There was a model swan at the back but this, coupled with the huge queue, meant that we decided not to bother with them.

We did want to find the iconic bench from Good Will Hunting though and managed to locate it - even though it isn't marked. Then we took a photo of Evan and Paul recreating the scene with Matt Damon and Robin Williams.



We were really pleased about finding the bench and completely forgot to find the Ducklings statue, not even remembering about it until much later on. Ah well.

Then it was time for the Freedom Trail which follows the history of the American Revolution. It starts with the monument to the Boston Massacre and you follow a red brick trail past various significant sites, including the Massachusetts State House, the old State House, Paul Revere's house etc, finishing off at Bunker Hill.





It was extremely hot, so we called to Dunkin Donuts (obvs) for drinks before carrying on with the trail. We were quite excited about the statue of Benjamin Franklin and this view of the steeple of Park Street Church.





Paul also got excited about this sign. Can't think why.



As we got to the old State House, there were some redcoats doing a short re-enactment. By this point, we had decided that we'd had enough of this American Revolution and were going to re-take Boston. We thought it might be a bit of a stretch for just the four of us, so planned to enlist these guys as well. Unfortunately, they disappeared before we could get our plan together. Dang it.



Continued below . . .

Edited at 03:17 PM.
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Unread 20 Oct 18, 03:16 PM  
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CrispyA
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With our counter-revolutionary plans put on hold, we headed to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. We couldn't come to Boston and not have clam chowder, so we bought a cup in the market and stood outside to share it, while watching Pogo Fred who holds several world records for death-defying pogo stunts, including flips and ridiculously tall pogo stick jumping.

After the chowder, we needed something more substantial for lunch. The market was heaving and nobody wanted to go back in there for food, so we decided to go elsewhere. Reluctant to double back, Paul made a suggestion to "keep going and see what we found" but we were quick to remind him of our vow never to do that again and indeed, a perusal of google maps showed that there weren't any great options along the trail nearby. So, to avoid hangriness and general grumpage, we retraced our steps to the old State House and the Potbelly Deli. There we had some sandwiches and all agreed that this had been a much better idea than just "seeing what we found".

The trail then continues to the North End and Italian quarter. Hannah had done some research and found that, while the tourists all flock to Mike's and Modern pastry (who are known for their fierce rivalry), the best cannoli is actually at Maria's the fairly unassuming bakery just off the main street. We called in and bought some and had a chat with the serving ladies, both of whom had thick Boston Italian accents and who told us that they had no ideera who St Agrippina was that was being currently celebrated and they had to google her! Then they found out she was Sicilian, so that's why they hadn't heard of her.

The cannoli was delicious and quite messy, and then we walked up the main street into the Italian quarter again, past Paul Revere's house. Paul Revere is famed for his midnight ride to warn of the arrival of the British soldiers.



There was a parade beginning, with some jolly Italian gentlemen waiting to lead the police band. We hung around a bit to watch as people pinned money onto the statue of the saint but realised it wasn't going to get going any time soon and moved on.



We also found the statue of Paul Revere.



The trail goes over the Charles River and we crossed the bridge before walking up to the Bunker Hill monument. By this point, we were really flagging as it was so hot. We decided to give the USS Constitution a miss and went straight to the monument.



We were too tired to go up it and decided that although the Freedom Trail had been a good way to explore Boston, the bits over the bridge could be easily missed out!

Then we had a rest while feeling quite hot and bothered.



After a bit of a sit down, we walked back along the river and over a different bridge, seeing the Duck boats as they go into the water.

Back on the other side of the water, we caught the T to Kenmore to get some food before the ballgame. We found a lovely Thai place, Pho Basil, and had a really nice meal there. It made a nice change from grills and burgers and we all felt as though we really needed lighter and fresher food.

It wasn't a long walk to Fenway Park and we were really excited about being there. Red Sox vs Yankees is a real rivalry, all stemming back from when Babe Ruth left the Red Sox for the Yankees and the Sox didn't win a championship for 86 years.

We had struggled to get tickets for such a popular game but when I spotted some, I snapped them up, despite this being the most expensive set of ballpark cheap seats that I have ever bought!

Evan loves baseball and was so excited to be somewhere as iconic as Fenway Park.



There was a great atmosphere, with bands outside and almost every seat full. We were sat next to a guy from Texas who had lost his original tickets and had to buy three more at very overinflated prices. That's real dedication to the sport!

Although these were the "cheap seats", we still had a pretty good view.





The first pitch was very moving - featuring a survivor of the Florida school shooting and the widow and children of a Boston cop who had been killed on duty a few weeks ago. The crowd were very respectful and it was a very moving few moments.

The game itself wasn't great. Mookie Betts got a home run but the Yankees came back in the 7th. Also, the concession stand had run out of ice cream served in little hats which I was disproportionately disappointed about!

By 11.30, we were ready to, especially as it looked like the Yankees were going to win and we were concerned about getting back if we left it too late. Unfortunately, while we were on the way home, we found out that the Red Sox had come back in the 9th and won the game. Whoops.

Evan was, unsurprisingly, pretty annoyed that we had missed this, especially as he'd been the only one who wanted to stay. I completely understand his frustration and even though getting home could have been a complete pain that late at night, I think in hindsight we made the wrong call to leave. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and we couldn't go back and change it.

Still, it gave him something else to be annoyed about, other than the Wifi! And he has forgiven us now, so all is well!
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Unread 20 Oct 18, 03:39 PM  
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Melbatb
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We only got as far as Paul Reveres house - philistines that we are As you say, a good way to see Boston!

It is always tricky to know when to leave games - oh well! At least you are forgiven
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Unread 20 Oct 18, 03:49 PM  
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Fuellady
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The Freedom Trail looks interesting, if a little long. Busy day, with fitting in the game as well. Oh dear, to leaving a little early. Like you say, hindsight is a great thing. Glad you all enjoyed it though.
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Unread 20 Oct 18, 04:42 PM  
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The trail looked a great way to see Boston and the food alon the way sounded yummy - you managed to fit it a number of meals! Shame about the baseball but late at night it is hard to know when to leave. Glad Ev has forgiven you now!
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Unread 21 Oct 18, 06:41 PM  
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i love jack
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Aah what a shame you left the game!
A busy day, the park looks really pretty
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Unread 4 Nov 18, 05:25 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Really interesting day with all the sightseeing, loved reading about it all. What a shame about missing the end of the game. Poor Evan. Its all conspiring against him. Sounded like a busy but good day.
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Unread 4 Nov 18, 08:26 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
We only got as far as Paul Reveres house - philistines that we are As you say, a good way to see Boston!

It is always tricky to know when to leave games - oh well! At least you are forgiven
We are forgiven now - took a while though. Dont blame you for missing out the end of the trail - the start was much more interesting.

Originally Posted by Fuellady View Post
The Freedom Trail looks interesting, if a little long. Busy day, with fitting in the game as well. Oh dear, to leaving a little early. Like you say, hindsight is a great thing. Glad you all enjoyed it though.
It looked so much like the Yankees were going to win, but never mind, cant change it now.

Originally Posted by katiebaz View Post
The trail looked a great way to see Boston and the food alon the way sounded yummy - you managed to fit it a number of meals! Shame about the baseball but late at night it is hard to know when to leave. Glad Ev has forgiven you now!
I know . We were thoroughly chastised for our foolishness but apart from that, it was a good day.

Originally Posted by i love jack View Post
Aah what a shame you left the game!
A busy day, the park looks really pretty
It was a really good day, even with the game drama!

Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Really interesting day with all the sightseeing, loved reading about it all. What a shame about missing the end of the game. Poor Evan. Its all conspiring against him. Sounded like a busy but good day.
I know, Boston just had it in for Evan!
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