Saturday, April 23, 2011

Little More DC

I thought I had added these on my last post but I guess they got lost somehow. These trees are near Melissa's office and I thought they were really pretty.
This is Tom in Lafayette Park. One of his favorite books, Hell's Corner by David Baldacci, is based here so it was fun to go look through the park and remember the different scenes from the book. We wished there was a Lost Symbols tour because that is another favorite :)
Lafayette Park is right across the street from the White House and the pictures below are of the tulip gardens in the park. The were tulips and daffodils all over DC. It was a beautiful time of year to visit. Can't wait to go back.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BOSTON and DC


We started out on the Freedom Trail first thing in the morning and walked and walked all day. We loved seeing all of the history and it is a beautiful city to explore.
The Freedom Trail is marked by a brick path and winds through the city to take you past a lot of historical landmarks.
The clock tower behind me is actually our hotel. It is the Marriott Custom House and it was actually used as the Custom House in the 1800's. Ships bringing in imports had to bring them here to declare and pay taxes. It is a beautiful building on the inside and our view every morning when we woke up was amazing. It is also located on the Freedom Trail and is right by Fanuiel Hall and the Quincy Market which is a really fun place to shop and has some great restaurants. One of my favorite desserts is Boston Cream Pie so I made it my goal to try as many as possible. The original recipe came from the Parker House so we tried that one as well as the one at restaurant at Quincy Market. We also tried it at the Chart House and the famous Flour Bakery. I have to say my favorite was in the Quincy Market.
Fanuiel Hall - the original public meeting hall in Boston Town.

We took a tour through Paul Revere's house. It is very close to the North Church where he hung 2 lanterns so that the rebels would know that the British were attacking from the water. It is in the center of Boston and he had to ride 20-30 miles that night to reach Lexington and Concord.
Tom at Boston Gardens. Of course we had to go in the check out the team stores :)
Another view of our hotel, the Custom House, from the city. It is also bordered by the wharf on the other side.
A view of Boston Harbor. They have ferries that take you to all different parts of the city.
Tom shooting off the cannons on the US Constitution, the oldest floating ship in the US Navy
A view of our hotel from the Boston Harbor.

Tom at the Boston Harbor
This is the North Bridge in Concord MA where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought.
Tom on Lexington Green where the first shot of the Revolutionary War was fired.
One day we drove up to Salem, Concord and Lexington and then up to Porstmouth NH and Kittery Maine. It was a beautiful area and we followed the American History trail. Here I am in Salem in front of the house of 7 gables. Nathaniel Hawethorne lived near here and wrote a mystery based on the house. We took a tour and went up the secret stair case...very cool. I didn't realize how many writers lived in the area. We also saw the homes of Longfellow, Emerson and Louisa May Alcott. Along with Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond. We thought we would see a lot about the witch trials but all of that was really cheesy so we moved on. And I am glad we did or we wouldn't have seen these beautiful sights in Maine.

This is an old fort in Maine that was closed when we got there but the groundkeeper saw us and asked us if we would like a tour. It was so nice of him and a great tour. He also showed us a small lake on the property where the town's kids like to ice skate in the winter. It really did look like a post card.
My Maine lobster dinner...delicious!

Here we are at Hah-vahd...Harvard University. Kind of fun to tour around Cambridge.

This is the spot where the Boston Massacre took place.

Bunker Hill monument. It has 294 steps straight up to the top where you can look out and see all of Boston. I'm proud to say we went up it and survived.


That is the Old North Church in the background where Paul Revere began his famous ride.

Fenway...finally. This is what Tom had been waiting for. Tom and I took a tour of the park earlier in the week and then on Sat. Tom and Taylor went to the game. Yankees won but I know they had a good time and the weather was perfect. One item scratched off the bucket list :)

The boys at Fenway. Judging by the crowds you can see that they got there early. Tom was in heaven.



I loved the Public Gardens and Boston Commons. They are beautiful parks with a duck pond, swan boats and a cool bridge. I didn't get any pictures of it but Beacon Hill is nearby and Tom took me to a really great french bistro that he found online. It was so cute and the food was de-lish.
Melissa and Taylor at Max Brenner's. We were walking by this restaurant and some unions were picketing it so naturally we decided to go in and buy something there. We had no idea it is one of only a few restaurant's in this chain. Their specialty is chocolate,perfect..right? We had sandwiches and fries with cocoa dusted on them, hot toffee chocolate and finally a fondue where you roast marshmellows at your table and then dip them in 3 different chocolates. They also brought cookies, brownies, bananas and strawberries to dip in. The food menu was one page but the dessert menu was an entire book. It was amazing. Thank you unions, we would have never noticed this place if you weren't picketing it.
Bridge in Boston Commons..the Swan boats weren't out yet but an award winning children's book was written about this duck pond.
Walking home one night we were stopped by some rebels. These guys were hilarious. Who else would wear ruffled shirts?
The Boston Temple - before coming to the temple we attended the Harvard Single Adult ward. It's always interesting to see how other YSA wards do things.



This was in the parking lot of the Boston Temple. Tom and Taylor thought it was appropriate that engineers have designated parking.
While we were driving from Boston to DC we went through Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. I loved seeing so many things that I haven't seen before. While driving, Melissa said she was hungry and so we started looking for somewhere to eat lunch. Right at that moment we see that the next exit is for Mystic, Connecticut and of course we wanted to eat at Mystic Pizza which was also the location for Julia Roberts first film. Amazingly, Tom and Taylor didn't know that :)

Here we are in DC. This is the George Washington Harbor in Georgetown. Cool fountains, restaurants, boardwalk and a water taxi. Unfortunately, a few days ago it was flooded and water was reported to be at the top of the blue umbrellas that are in the background.
Here we are at the White House visitor's center. We really wanted a tour of the real thing but apparently you have to write for tickets a year in advance...who knew?

This is where Taylor and Melissa live. We had fun riding the metro in with them and then touring around until we met them for lunch. Then we were off for more sight-seeing. It was great getting to see where Melissa works and meet some of her co-workers. Taylor also took us on a tour of GW Law school between classes. Their work and school were only a few blocks apart and very near the White House. There is a great deli and a little park right between Melissa's office and Taylor's school so we would meet there at lunch.
These are Melissa and Taylor's good friends Michael and Liz. We all had dinner together at an Indian restaurant one night and we fell in love with their little Henry.

We spent nearly a whole day at the Holocaust Museum. It is so well done but the information there was so horrible we felt exhausted when we left. It is unbelievable that those events were allowed to happen.


Catching the last of the Japanese Cherry blossoms


Tom at the Smithsonian of Architecture. My favorite was the American History Museum where they had a full mock up of Julia Robert's kitchen and all of the first ladies inaugural ball gowns.
On our last night we went to see the Nationals play at their new ballpark. It is the prettiest and most family friendly park I've been to.