Monday, July 15, 2013

New England Trip: Day 8 - Boston

The final day of our trip was spent in Boston. We didn't fly out til that evening so we wanted to get some sight seeing in. It was a beautiful day and ended up getting pretty hot in the afternoon. We got up and packed our bags good and tight, took one to the car in the parking ramp, left the other in the luggage storage with the hotel and checked out. We stopped at a little cafe and got coffee and some muffins for breakfast. Then went to find the tour bus we decided on. We went with Old Town Trolley Tours, due to the positive reviews. They were clearly more popular as we were riding on a fully trolley we saw another company tour next to us with 3 people on their trolley. The fact that they had only a 5 minute wait time at stops was our persuading factor. And the ticket store was right next to our hotel. We bought our tickets and headed to aboard the trolley.
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Our tour guide was Miles, who was funny and entertaining. He kept pulling the trolley bell, which Isaac enjoyed. It first took us out to USS Constitution. It was a hop on hop off trolley tour, but we planned to just write it to Fenway Park, do the ball park tour, then ride it back to where we got on. If we had more time we would have loved to hop off and on at a few places and explore a little bit more... next time maybe.

Isaac was very entertained by all the fun transportation vehicles we saw. Like this concrete truck.
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Here's the USS Constitution
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As you can tell from Isaac's red cheeks we were rather warm
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Here is The New England Holocaust Memorial; inscribed on the glass structures are 6 million random numbers, one for each Jew who died during the Holocaust.
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This is the Christian Science Church, which our tour guide said is an amazing building, architecturally. And recommended exploring it not for the religious side of it but just for the beauty of the building.
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The tall building here is the Prudential Tower. It was made to look like computer punch card from the 70's. It is the second tallest building in Boston.
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We made it to the Fenway stop in time for the 11 o'clock tour. We bought our tickets with the tour line so we didn't have to meet the 15 minutes prior to tour time deadline. We got dropped off at 10:55 and hurried over to the gate to join the 11 crown. Perfect timing.
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They hung this jersey, which says "Boston Strong" after the marathon bombing.
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And here's the park.
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It was a guided tour, which having a little guy I couldn't pay too much attention to what the guide was saying. But it was still fun to just see the park from all different angles. Like from the top of the green monstah:
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Isaac again not wanting to be in one place. He was getting rather tired at this point, way over due for a nap. He managed to stay happy when we walked him.
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The only way to access the top of 'The Green Monster' and get home run balls, was to bring a ladder out to reach the 14 foot ladder you see to the left in this picture. Today, there is no use for that ladder. This score board is the only one still in circulation that has men behind the board manually changing out the tiles for the stats. The At Bat, Ball, Strike, Out, Hit, & Error are the only things electric, everything else is manual. Even the League scores. The men behind the board do have free wi-fi which helps them to keep the league scores updated. A series of dashes and dots run vertically down the two center divider columns, under the N, in American League and between the E and P. They symbolize the initials of former team owners Thomas Austin Yawkey (TAY) and Jean Remington Yawkey (JRY) written in morse code. Mr. Yawkey's initials are on the left. 
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Not so happy here....
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There's our trolley stop
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We thought it was a 60 minute tour but it was actually 90 minutes.  Still looking at the ball park....
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Ahhh air conditioning at last...
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These baseballs had been signed by people who have won world series.
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World Series rings from 2004 and 2007
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And we had to get a souvenir. We got Isaac a Red Sox baseball.
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Standing outside the gate, we watched this car (the one on the left) back up into the one behind it. She was an official of some sort, stopping to eat her lunch. She didn't even realized she had bumped it.
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We went to a local little restaurant and had lunch then made our way to the trolley waiting area. We didn't have to wait long, but boy was it hot.
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Once we got back on the trolley Isaac was struggling to keep his eyes open. It was rather hot, but we were getting a nice breeze from the window. He did manage to close his eyes for a while and get a few minutes of sleep.

Here we are crossing the Harvard Bridge.
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There in the distance you can see the Longfellow Bridge and The Zakim bridge in the distance. The barge there in the water is filled with explosives ready for the fireworks celebration the next day.
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We crossed over into to Cambridge for one stop, saw a little of MIT, then headed back to Boston. Here is the home of the famous 'Boston Creme Pie'
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Oh and the tour guide happen to be the SAME one we had earlier. Good thing we enjoyed him. He was on a new trolley now.
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Getting closer to our destination, we are back on Atlantic Ave.
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Once we got back we wanted to get the car out of the ramp as we didn't want it there over the 24 hour time period. We decided we'd drive the '18 minute' to Cambridge and maybe visit the Curious George store.... but we got stuck in traffic. Since Storrow Dr was closed for the 4th celebration the next day it was a bit nuts. But we did get to see parts of Boston close up for a long time as we sat still in the car. Oh and Isaac was getting a good nap in so we really weren't bothered with it.
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After 2 hours in the car (to go gps 10 mintues) we decided to abandon the idea of going to the Curious George store and seeing Harvard. (even though we were 4 blocks away). Who knew how long it would take us to get the car returned and to the airport. So we made a right and headed toward the airport. Went a ways without traffic then as we needed to get through Boston again to the other side where the airport was we hit some again. Luckily the tunnel exit for the airport wasn't the main attraction and we got away from the traffic by heading toward the airport.

It took us almost no time at all to return the car and take the shuttle to the airport. It was so fast in fact that we were THREE hours early.... and in-case you were wondering, SunCountry doesn't have anyone to check you in that early. So we waited..... an hour.... at least we weren't alone. One gal was there before us, then we started to see the crowd for as we all waited to check into our flight.
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Once we got checked in and through security we grabbed some food... which Isaac shredded his muffin all over the place since they really had no kid friendly food. After that stress ball of greatness, we took turns chasing Isaac around. Well he found some friends that chased him around, we just stayed close.
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After being at the airport ENTIRELY too long, we finally boarded our 8:55pm flight. We all got seated, they told us to turn off our electronic devices and buckle up. Then the captain came on (here it is, we thought we might get away with no airport drama) there was something wrong with the balance software, even though the plane is secure and balance the software thinks otherwise, they were waiting for it to get fixed in order to start the plane.
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Then the sweat began, an hour and a half later, after we were all practically melted and Isaac was probably the most patient on the plane, we were ready for take off.
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Isaac did great on the plane again, we didn't even have to break out the iPad. He was so tired he was asleep as soon as we were in the air and the plane cabin had airflow back.

This obviously delayed our landing a bit. My friend was keeping Harpo and luckily she works the evening shift like me so she's not one that is early to bed. We picked up Harpo about 1am or so and headed home straight for bed.

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