Journal Day One and Two, a Trip to the Northeast

Tuesday, July 30

BOSTON – It was an early day today as Leroy Coffman and I were up before the crack of dawn at 2:45 in the morning. This is even early for an early bird like me.

We are going for an eight-day trip to visit Boston and then make a big circle up through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and then Rhode Island. It will be a great trip before my Ph.D. starts in a few weeks.

We landed on Tuesday in Boston, Massachusetts which this will be a new state for me. By the time this trip is over I will have visited 39 states.

When we Ubered from the airport to our hotel at the Fairmont at Copley Plaza and I was enamored by the old buildings in downtown with the brownstone fronts and tiny gardens. No, they are not yards.

Our hotel is beautiful and hopefully worth the high price tag. Make sure to book early since last-minute planning often costs more. However, everything is more expensive in Boston.

After being up since 2:45 a.m. we decided we needed to keep going and visited Copley square, a small park outside of our hotel, and had an overpriced lemonade and hot dog from a food cart at the farmers market. While sitting, my eye caught the Boston Library.

Being an avid reader, I had to visit, and I was glad I did. The building was built in 1895 and is stunning. Whether it is the Puvis de Chavannes Gallery, Abbey Room or the Bates Reading Hall, I was in book heaven.

While not the Library of Congress, it was right there alongside it when it comes to the beauty of the building. They do not keep many books there anymore, instead keep them on the new wing located on the west-side of the building.

Afterward, we did a hop on hop off tour of the city which is always a good idea. I like them because you can see everything quickly and then can go back and visit the things you want to dig deeper into.

Outside of a lady falling up the stairs and it looking like she had a broken leg, it was a nice tour. I got to see everything from the USS Constitution, Bunker Hill and the sight of the Boston Massacre.

It was rather hot out and I was glad to get back to the hotel before Leroy and I went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in the famous Italian immigrant North End.

It was a nice modern restaurant called Trattoria Il Panino. I had some tasty gnocchi while Leroy had his lobster ravioli. Our waitress, who was from Italy, told us of a great dessert place just down the block called Modern Pastry.

I thought I ate a lot at dinner but could not resist a cannoli and fig cookie with a coffee. By this time I could barely stay awake so we headed back to the hotel for an early bedtime.

Wednesday, July 30

It was not an early morning today, but I was still up by 6 a.m. Oklahoma time. I had a bit of a headache from dehydration while on the bus tour but it quickly went away with a lot of water and coffee at breakfast.

Eating at a hotel can be expensive and today our bill of nearly $71 threw me out of my chair. I guess French toast and an omelet are expensive to make here. Our cups of coffee cost $8.50 as well.

Luckily, we had a $50 food/drink credit since we had a AAA card, which made the breakfast bill a little more digestible.

Massachusetts State House

This morning we headed off to see the Massachusetts State House, which was very busy for not being in session but a beautiful capitol with murals and statues depicting the history of the people of the state.

Whether it was a mural on the invasion of Puerto Rico, the well-kept senate and house chambers or statues honoring the Civil War. I enjoyed roaming the halls, which are open to anybody.

Senate Chamber at the Massachusetts State House

Afterward, we walked down to the King’s Chapel, then headed off to the Bostonian Society Museum Shop, where they had some small tourist shops. However, I found a man working a Gutenberg printing press.

Alter at King’s Chapel

I was fascinated by him fixing some type that need some changes. I began talking to him about the printing process and the history of the machine. We talked for nearly half an hour and I was able to get a few of the prints.

It is not every day you can get something that has been printed on the Gutenberg printing press, especially a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Printing press which is still in use

It was getting hot so we had lunch at Cheers, which I had no clue about the show, though the food was not very good. We headed back to the hotel so Leroy could get a nap and I went off to the Isabella Gardner Museum.

Julie Hovis from my Rotary Club suggested that I visit this off the beaten path museum. It was worth it.

Isabella was an art collector and went all over the world to collect Italian Renaissance pieces which she placed in a building she had built to showcase her art. The building was as beautiful as some of the art.

It was about to rain so I headed back to the hotel, got a workout in and then we headed to an excellent fish restaurant.

Atlantic Fish is an excellent restaurant with great service. I had some tasty crab cakes and then a Boston cream pie. What else does a person have in Boston?

Tomorrow we hope to visit Old South Church and then the Boston Fine Arts Museum, then off to Bangor, Maine.


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