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Old 15 Jul 16, 11:40 AM  
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GopherLass
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Boston and Washington Spring 2016 - Boys, Blades and Balls! - Day 5 (Fenway, Skating, Freedom Trail)

This is my first trippie (please be gentle)...

Trippie Index Here

Day 4 Here



What:


Boston, Washington D.C. and Baltimore


When:


Spring 2016


Who:


Me (April) Out of Breath

DH (R.C.) Feigning Interest

DM (Judybat) Wearing her Texas Tuxedo

DS (Pooter) Yep, Him Too



Day 5 - World Figure Skating Championships, Fenway Park and Boston’s North End (The Freedom Trail)


Up at 4:05 again - it always takes me AGES to adapt to a different time zone . Today I was feeling lazy, and instead of working I took my novel (A Dying Light in Corduba - does anybody else read Lindsey Davis?) into the bathroom, and sat reading it on the bathmat until it was time to get ready and walk to the Loews.

Love these novels:




I had to wait a bit for R.C.’s tea as the lobby machine was out of order. Before I could even fully explain to the woman at the front desk, she was apologising and walking over to sort it out. Honestly the staff here were fab, they just couldn’t do enough for us.


I had hunted up a new possibility for breakfast this morning. We headed for the Back Bay location of Flour, a (small) Boston chain.



Flour was started by a Harvard-educated management consultant who chucked it all in to start a bakery. Her story is interesting:


flourbakery/team/joanne-chang


The Back Bay Flour is on Clarendon Street, just down from Back Bay Station. It was a good choice, the food was outstanding.




R.C. had traditional breakfast-y breads/pastries.



With all the skating, I had been eating strange things at strange times, so I didn’t want a lot of sugar first thing this morning. They were happy to make me a roast beef and horseradish sandwich (on fresh-baked bread. Yum-o!).



Poot wanted a Greek salad, which was delicious (but HUGE - we should have shared this).



There was also a giant dispenser filled with iced water and lemon slices, from which people could help themselves. I really dislike the trend to push people towards purchasing bottled water, so yay!


I recommend Flour, highly. Great story, local business, wonderful food.


We went to the Westin to collect DM, who had Starbucked herself and was now ready to go.


Because there were (relatively) few pairs teams competing at this year’s Worlds, we didn’t need to be at the Garden today until 1:30 PM or so. Which meant we could do something NOT RELATED to skating for the first time!

---------------------------

So off we all went to our (pre-booked) tour of Fenway Park. This tour is NOT cheap ($18 for adults, and it’s only an hour long). We booked the tour since the Sox were starting the 2016 season away from home and we wouldn’t be able to catch a game (bummer).


This morning was THE ONLY time we had any trouble with the trains (never fails, when you have a set time to be somewhere). There was a breakdown somewhere, and we were fifteen minutes late getting our train…


As I think I mentioned, DH has rheumatoid arthritis, so he is not exactly speedy. Poot and I went running ahead of R.C. and my mother - off the train and towards Fenway Park. R.C. has a great sense of direction - I knew he would find us even if we disappeared from view.


I eventually saw Fenway, then the tour entrance - and I noticed that people were already going in...panic! We still had to go to the window and collect our tickets…




Now we weren’t *exactly* running, but we were walking briskly. A kind man at the tour entrance told me not to hurry, as people were still getting searched inside...OK, then.


We signed for the tickets (I needed photo ID for this, but not my credit card) and walked back to the tour entrance. As I knew he would, R.C. had found us and he and DM were approaching. We were the last people to be searched. I’ve toured a few different stadia/parks around the world. This was the first one to feature full airport-style security. O Tempora!


I’ll get my one negative out of the way now. They booked too many people on the tour. There must have been thirty of us.




Now I get it - more people = more money, but many of us struggled to hear the guide, even though he was miked. Highlights of the tour were sitting in the Green Monster seats (and the original seats - they were tiny!), seeing “the red seat” (we love Ted Williams ‘round ours), walking into the visitors clubhouse - and just hearing good baseball stories.

Green Monster Seats from a distance:



Poot on the Monster:



The "Red Seat":



The Visitors' Clubhouse:



The head groundskeeper brings his German Shepherd to work every day. It was funny to see him patrolling the field.



The tour finishes in a little baseball museum. The day we toured, the central heating was on the blink - it had to be 95 degrees in the museum. So we didn’t stay as long as Poot would have liked.


R.C. is English, and to be frank I was surprised he even wanted to come on the baseball tour (he doesn’t even like ENGLISH sports, lol). As we walked out of the museum, he said, “Well, that was more interesting than I thought it would be.” High praise, indeed!


I love this photo of Poot and DM walking next to Fenway, both wearing their Texas tuxedos. Poot is 9, and not particularly tall, so you can see how tiny DM is. She was rocking her baseball ponytail today.



We split up once on the train. The chaps were off to walk the Freedom Trail, we ladies to...more skating!

continued in next post
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Edited at 10:49 PM.
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Old 15 Jul 16, 12:36 PM  
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continued from previous post



The Pairs’ Short Program



There were far fewer pairs than dance couples this year (I think only 20 or so). This was a bummer for DM, the pairs are her favourite.

We settled in to our “new” seats, after determining that the bored boy was again absent. His family was very kind, they were Russian - we managed a bit of conversation. I speak Serbian and so can pick out a few words in Russian - and they spoke a little English. The pater familias waved their flag with pride every time a Russian took the ice.


I’ll be honest, Pairs is my least favourite category. As I mentioned, it’s DM’s favourite, but I failed as a daughter and didn’t take as many photos as I should.



English Interest:


None


The Americans:


Not so good, I’m afraid...


The Contenders:


Sui and Han of China won the Short. Their program had a Spanish theme and A LOT of technical content. The theme was somewhat incongruous to this viewer.



Canada’s Duhamel and Radford were second. They skated to “Your Song”. It suited them, I think...




The Russians (Volosozhar and Trankov) finished the Short in third place. They had a Bollywood number...hmm…




An aside…


I have an old friend who thinks that competitors at Worlds/Olympics should be made to wear national dress and skate to music composed by their countrymen. I think I would like that!


Thirty-two year old (! ) Aliona Savchenko and her partner Bruno Massot came fourth - he threw her up in an ENORMOUS twist.



Savchenko and Massot skate for Germany. He is French, she is Ukranian. This is getting complicated!


The Garden was cleared after the Pairs, but again there wasn’t time to go back to the hotel for a rest (I will be REALLY SORRY about this tomorrow).

DM and I wandered down to the Boston Public Market. This is an indoor marketplace for “locally sourced groceries and specialty agricultural products” (so says their website ).




It is interesting, though (really) pricy.




Mushrooms:




DM bought some maple syrup candy. I was tempted by “Apple Cider Mini Doughnuts”, but the stand wasn’t busy, and I don’t like cold doughnuts.




Time to head back to the skating. Men’s Free Program tonight!
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Edited at 10:51 PM.
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Old 15 Jul 16, 03:43 PM  
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Men’s Free Program (Woo Hoo! My Favourite!):


Lots of Yuzuru Hanyu fans in evidence tonight. Great to see the Garden looking so full (though it was STILL not sold out).




English Interest:


Philip Harris made the Free Program, but didn’t skate too terribly well. I forgot to photograph him...sorry!




The Americans:


My favourite American program was that of Grant Hochstein - he skated to a Les Mis medley.




The Americans (Adam Rippon, Max Aaron and Grant Hochstein) skated well in their free programs, but none of them placed in the top five - which means that the United States will only send two men to Worlds next year. Such a shame...but they just didn’t have the technical content.


Gold Medalist Javier Fernandez (of Spain):





He skated great (to music from "Guys and Dolls", loved this!) - defending his title and again beating Yuzuru Hanyu. BUT...




Hanyu lost the medal more than Fernandez won it, which isn’t what anybody wanted. Despite his shaky skate (to “Seimei” (?)), Hanyu still won the silver medal, and received MANY Winnie the Pooh toys from his adoring fans.






An aside:


Is this the first time that Worlds has had “sweeper boys”? How adorable were they, in their little tuxes?


Bronze went to Jin Boyang of China, skating to music from “How to Train Your Dragon”.




Holy cow! He is a jumping machine...hopefully his artistry will come along as he gets older.


Flags were then raised and the Spanish national anthem was sung.





Back to the Westin...hopefully a bit more sleep tonight...

continued in next post
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Edited at 10:08 PM.
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Old 15 Jul 16, 04:18 PM  
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continued from previous post


Meanwhile:


While we watched skating, R.C. and Pooter walked the Freedom Trail and had lunch in the North End. Here is THEIR day, in Poot’s own words and pictures (remember he’s 9, folks). I have inserted some stock photos, but the large photos are courtesy of Pooter.

Today we went to Flour.

I had a tart and a Greek salad with Feta. Dad had a tart and a croissant. Mother had a sandwich (weird).

I wasn’t able to finish my Greek salad, so Dad finished it - we call him Papa Poubelle for a reason, ha!


We took a tour of Fenway Park this morning. There is a garden where they grow food they serve at baseball games. I like gardening, so I thought that was cool.




I took lots of pictures in the museum, it wasn’t big but there was a lot to see.




Mother and Grandma went to MORE skating. Dad and I stayed on the train until Park Street. Outside the station, I swung on some MASSIVE swings for about twenty minutes.



They are great, they are like flying benches made of metal!


Then we visited the Paul Revere House.






It cost four Dollars for both of us. Now that is reasonable.


The House has a strict no photography policy - grrr. :angry:

Inside, we took a tour of the house. My favorite thing was the piece of gold Paul Revere had crafted himself. It was a solid gold ladle!


Next was the Old North Church (One if by Land and Two if by Sea).

The steeple has a long history of being blown down by hurricanes. The first time was during "The Great Gale of 1812", the most recent time was in 1954. Hurricane Carol blew down the steeple. A ten year old girl was standing outside at the moment it happened. Amazingly, she took a picture at the exact moment.



The only damage from the steeple falling was three crushed cars and a chip taken off the neighbouring building.



Do you see the chip? It's hard to spot, I only saw it after the guide pointed it out.

The church inside:



We toured the church and then took a tour of the crypts.

The most interesting thing was a tomb marked 1813. It contained the victims of a smallpox epidemic. The tomb had been sealed up to prevent the spread of disease.




All the other tombs were sealed up in 1860. Some of them are now so fragile they are roped off!




After that, we went to the Boston Molasses Flood Memorial. The molasses flood happened in 1919 when a tank of molasses exploded, flooded the North End and killed 21 people. The memorial is only a green sign with a few words on it.




April interrupting here: The molasses flood is a fascinating episode in the history of Boston. If you are visiting Boston with 8-12 year olds (or you YOURSELF like children’s books), there are two really good books about the Boston Molasses Flood you may want to buy.


One is a nonfiction book in the “I Survived” Series:




The other is a novel called Joshua’s Song - about a 13 year old caught up in the Molasses Flood.




After we saw the memorial sign, we went to the Cantina Italiana for lunch.






Dad had:

Fusilli alla Boscaiola

Crumbled sweet sausage, imported wild mixed mushrooms and sweet peas, oven-roasted tomato light cream sauce, served with handmade fusilli, sprinkled with shaved Parmigiano

I had:

Maccheroni alla Boscaiola

Homemade pasta with sautéed mushrooms and Parma ham, tossed in a tomato cream sauce with fresh basil

No pictures of those, sorry. Mine was delicious, but Dad's came with something called broccoli rabe, and that tasted like ROTTEN BROCCOLI. Yuk.

After that, we went to the Park Street Church and gunpowder depot. During the Revolutionary War, the church was really used as a gunpowder depot for the American troops!



We saw the graves of Paul Revere,



Samuel Adams



and John Hancock!


Then we went back to our hotel and had dinner at Wendy’s. It was awful! We had something called "The Baconator".



It had too much grease! Yeuch! Then we went to sleep. End

What did you expect from something called "The Baconator", boyo?


Day 6 Here
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Edited at 11:38 AM.
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Old 16 Jul 16, 11:34 AM  
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Another interesting day had by everyone
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Old 17 Jul 16, 03:26 PM  
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Originally Posted by Mel49 View Post
Another interesting day had by everyone
Thanks for reading!
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Old 21 Jul 16, 05:30 PM  
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Loving the two different perspectives to your trippie.
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Old 22 Jul 16, 02:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by jocat View Post
Loving the two different perspectives to your trippie.
That is kind, thank you.

I was rather surprised when DS wanted to "help" with this...and a little wary, too.

I am not a fan of shoving kids out to "perform" for adults, if you know what I mean......but he really wanted to do it. He's asked if we can print it all out when we're done so that he can make a book for DH. Bless.
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Old 14 Aug 16, 07:28 PM  
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I have to say am loving poots day more lol !
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Old 16 Aug 16, 01:11 PM  
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The baseball tour sounds good - shame you thought it was overbooked.

Poot -I can't see the chip on the building!
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