Tuesday, December 4, 2012

52nd Floor, please

Whew! It's been a busy day.

Not that you could tell from the following photos, but yes, I really did attend my conference session today. Our group skipped the afternoon session to go on a tour of Boston. I might have felt guilty about that, except that it was my boss who arranged for the tour. Who was I to say "no"?

But first of all, I had another wonderful morning walk. This time Detta and I walked about half of the Freedom Trail, filled with historic sites.

Of course we had to snap some photos with the amorous fishing frog statue near Frog Pond. (Correction to yesterday's post. The duck island is not in Frog Pond. The duck island is in an unnamed pond [at least I didn't see a name for it on any of the tourist maps, or on the pond itself] in Boston Commons. Frog Pond is also in Boston Commons. It is now a cement-lined "pond" where the only frogs are made of brass. It is a wading pool in the summer and a skating rink in the winter. We saw people ice skating on it.)

Sorry, Mark. Please don't be jealous of the frog.

 I forget which church this is. There are so many. This one is also near Boston Commons.

 And it has amazing architecture. Just like all of the other old, amazing churches. Loved all of them.

 This is the church where the Boston Tea Party originated from. Really? They had 5,000 people in there? That's what the guide book said. Not sure how they all fit in. The harbor is just 4-5 blocks from here.

 Just a random little alley way. I liked the fire escapes and the church window in the background. This is the last of the photos from our morning walk.

 Most of the afternoon photos from the bus tour had this problem - window reflection. So I'm not going to torture you with lots of amateur-tourist-grandma-camera photos. But it is fun to see the brownstones.

 This s the Charles River. When our handsome Italian waiter was talking to us about the river the other night, we all thought he was saying the "Chiles River." Or maybe "Childs River." Love the Boston accent. Actually, it hasn't been very thick on most of the locals I've talked with (not that I've talked with all that many locals), but he really had the classic Boston accent without any "r"s.

 The entrance to Harvard.

 The gate on the way into Harvard. I enlarged it so you can read the words. The older part of the campus is so much smaller than you would expect. A large green lawn in the middle with about 10 brick buildings grouped around the 4 sides. There are newer buildings off in the distance. We were hungry by this time, so we didn't explore very much of the campus. Rumblings in our tummies demanded that we keep our priorities straight.

 The five of us with the statue of John Harvard. He is commonly credited with founding the university, but actually it was founded by the town - 2 years before Harvard donated his estate and the school was renamed in his honor. His left shoe is all shiny from being rubbed by the tourists (and students?). We saw other tourists rubbing the shoe, so we all made sure to do it, too. We hope that it means good luck, and not that something bad will happen to us.

A funny note from the tour. The trolley drives had so many interesting facts to share. At one point as we drove past one of the original subway entrances from the late 1890s, the tour driver mentioned the old folk song about "Charlie," who got stuck beneath the streets of Boston because he couldn't find his way out of the subway system. He was "the man who never returned." Today the subway tickets are called "Charlies" in his honor.

I remember listening (many times) to the song on a Kingston Trio record my parents owned when I was a child. So when the trolley driver played a clip from the chorus of the song, and invited us to sing along, I belted out the chorus along with the recording. Haha! I think I was the only one on the trolley singing it. One of the younger TOSAs looked over at me and said, "Kathy, I think this means you're old." Yup, she is soooo right.

 On the way home from the tour, we got off the bus at the site of the Cheers restaurant.

 No, we didn't go inside. We were just being tourists, taking photos out on the sidewalk. Actually what was really fascinating here was that a school bus pulled up and a bunch of kids got off the bus. Mostly boys, but a few girls. All in school uniforms. Ages about 8 to a few teenagers. Several of them had GIANT bags with hockey gear inside. A bunch of them got off the bus holding hockey sticks. Were they a team? Or they just play hockey at school for PE? There were a bunch of moms waiting to meet the younger kids as they got off the bus. They all live in apartments nearby? I wish I'd taken a photo...

Then, this evening...
Carol took all of us out for dessert on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower. Very swanky.

We had a view of the whole city. (Sorry - grandma camera - but you get the idea.)

 I was good all week for the Healthy Challenge, so I used this as my treat day. Of course I ordered Boston Cream Pie. I had no idea it would look like this! I was imagining something like a slice of coconut cream pie with some chocolate on top. Mmmmmm...

 It didn't last long!
 Good to the very last bite. Now I need to go face my Weight Watchers food log...

 We wrapped up the evening with chatting at our table, enjoying the lingering glow of our yummy desserts, and the relaxed music of a jazz ensemble.

One more conference session tomorrow morning, and then we'll head to the airport. Portland, here I come!


Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Looks like a busy, full day of memories. It will be fun to see the Grandma pictures once you are home. Maybe you can come over and catch up on grading papers. ;-)

Have a safe flight!

Dorothy said...

Wow, what a day! I may or may not be a little jealous. :)