Friday, May 29, 2015

While we were away - Molly Danced

 I was really sad when I figured out that I would miss Molly's dance recital. I was able to see the dress rehearsal before I left but missed the actual performance. I gave her dad specific instructions about what she was supposed to wear and how her hair was supposed to be done. It looks like he did a fine job. She looked cute sitting with all the other girls.

 She even got flowers! What a cutie.

 Her dance teacher is a lady in our ward and many of the girls in her class are girls she already knew from church so it was a really fun class for Molly to attend each week.  We look forward to more classes in the Fall.

Day 3 - Salem

Keeping with our more relaxing day we spent the afternoon in Salem, Massachusetts.

We knew very little about this town except that the Salem Witch Trials were here and that Nathaniel Hawthorn wrote a book called House of Seven Gables and that house was supposed to be here.

Just driving through the town we could tell this was not what we were expecting. When we went to the visitor's center to get a map it showed about 10 or more museums dedicated to witches, witchcraft and horrors of all sorts. 

We went to see the House of Seven Gables. When we got there Sophie was not feeling well and we thought she might be sick. The wait for the next tour was about half an hour so we walked through the gift shop for awhile. From the things in the gift shop and the brochure they gave us we could tell they were playing this house up as a sort of spook house. They said it got more than half it's visitors in the month of October.  I think it is sort of the Winchester Mystery House of the East.

In the end we decided not to tour the house and take Sophie to the harbor. But in that gift shop we noticed a small section dedicated to  Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. Since we all loved that book it caught my eye and I flipped it open to one of the illustrations and it was captioned Salem and gave the year. Finally we found something that wasn't linked to the supernatural to enjoy at Salem.
At the harbor we could look out over all the boats in the marina and there was even a tall ship there that must take people out on the bay. They play up the pirates here too so it may be a pirate ship for all we could tell. 

Here is the House of Seven Gables peeking out of the trees. It is very close to the ocean.

 The sea breeze was lovely and Sophie was feeling a bit better

We figured we would try to find a museum or something we could tour to find out more about the Salem Witch Trials but they all seemed more geared toward celebrating the witches and witchcraft and such rather than the history and why these people were accused of being witches.
In the end we just stopped by the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. 

 It was just an open courtyard with 16 stone slabs sticking out of the wall to represent the 16 people accused of being witches.

 Salem was a bit of a disappointment. They seemed to focus on the sinister aspect and not the history. It also didn't help that Sophie was sick and really not excited about doing much of anything.
 But as we drove out of town we notice that The Doctor must be in Salem for some reason. Perhaps he can put things to rights!

Day 3 - Boston Temple

After having two busy days of walking and traveling we decided to have a milder day. We took the girls to the Boston Temple. They were able to go and do Baptisms for the dead.

I must have been off kilter this day. All my pictures are slightly tilted. I will have to go edit them!

The Temple certainly looks like it fits into the New England landscape. Although, while driving home from Boston the night before, we were driving up the turnpike to our hotel and Sophie pointed out the Angel Moroni. We had no idea we were driving by the Temple until she got so excited seeing that familiar statue on top of the spire.

 Beautiful stained glass windows.

 The flowers on the grounds were lovely.

Great way to spend the morning.

Still Day 2 - Freedom Trail

You come to Boston as a tourist to go on the Freedom Trail. It starts in Boston Common and ends at Bunker Hill in Charlestown. We were told you could do it in about 2 hours. We left at noon and were still not finished at 6:00 that night. But we stopped and went through a few museums and houses along the way.

 In Boston Common you can join a tour group lead by someone in Colonial clothes that will walk along the trail and point out all the places of interest. We knew we wanted to take it slow and make some stops along the way so we quickly downloaded an app for my ipad mini and began our journey following the red brick path.

 Boston Common is really the first stop on the trail but since we had spent the morning there we jumped into list of things to see a little further down.

Here is the Massachusetts State House. This is currently where the state Government is run.

 Here is the Granary Burying Ground where John Handcock is burried.
 The Handcock Crest is a Hand with three roosters above it.

 Paul Revere is buried here.
 Mother Goose or at least the woman to whom the rhymes are attributed to is buried here.
 This tour guide is standing on Ben Franklin's parents burial spot. Franklin of course is buried in Philidelphia but Boston is where he was born and his family lived. I just really loved the dress this tour guide was wearing.
 Here is Sam Adams spot.
 And William Dawes. The other rider who rode through the night to tell the people the red coats were coming. He isn't remembered as well as Paul Revere but he did the same thing. He just didn't have a poem written about his ride.

I did say Ben Franklin was born in Boston. Here is the building that stands on where he was born. I really don't think this building was there at the time.

This is the site of the first public school. They have a statue of Ben Franklin in the courtyard. Which is funny since he was a school drop out.

 The statue had pictures of him inventions on each side of it. Here is the kite and key that led to the discovery of electricity.
 These foot prints were also in the courtyard. They have elephants on the footprints and it says Stand in Opposition. These prints are in front of a statue of a Donkey.
 There were several churches along the trail. Each was used as a meeting house for the colonists. I believe this is the church, The Old South Meeting House, where the meeting was held where Sam Adams gave the famous line "This meeting can do no more....." which was the signal for the patriots to go dump the tea into the harbor.

 Here is the Old State House. It is a little dwarfed by the many big building around it now. But back in the day it was a grand building.
 We stopped here to visit the museum inside. It told the story of what lead up to the Tea Party and eventually war with Britain. They actually had a vial of tea that was removed from the boots of one of the men who took part in the Tea Party. Outside here in the square is where the Boston Massacre happened.

 Here is Sam Adams standing in front of Faneuil Hall. It was a marketplace back in the day and today it was all full of shops selling souvenirs and snacks.

We wound through many streets that looked old following those red bricks.

 I didn't even get a picture of Paul Revere's house.  We took to tour of the house but were rather disappointed. It was only a few rooms sparsely furnished. There was a cabinet that held Revere Silver that he had made. That was the most interesting thing we saw there. The house itself was under construction/renovation so the outside wasn't even very visible.

Our next stop was the Old North Church. Outside was a large Statue of Paul Revere.

 Before getting to the church we stopped at a little shop that taught us about chocolate in colonial times. She showed us how to grind up the choco beans with spices to make a paste. This paste was then mixed with water to make a drink or left to harden into a rock which they stored for later grating and mixing. After a sample taste, I of course had to bring some home.
 Here is the inside of the Old North Church.

 We weren't able to go up to the bell tower where the lanterns were hung but the inside was beautiful.
 Sophie too picked up some chocolate in the chocolate shop. She quickly gobbled up her large chocolate coin.
 This was a little side observation. But look how thin this house is.

 We crossed over to Charlestown to see the US Constitution in the Navy Yard.
 We weren't able to take a tour of the war ship. It was in dry dock for maintenance.
 Here is a Model of it that was in the Museum next door.

 We had a good time in this museum. It was a great hands on exhibit about the life of a sailor.
 We even got to try out hammocks. These certainly were more comfortable than seats on the airplane. We could have actually slept if we had traveled in hammocks.

 Sophie tried walking the ropes on the arms of the mast. It was hard! And she was only a few inches off the floor I can't imagine doing it several stories up in the air on a moving sailing ship.

The last stop on the trail is Bunker Hill.

Here is the view from the top of the hill. We were too late to climb to the top of the obelisk.  It is somewhat hard to imagine what the scene would have been back in colonial times. With all these buildings and such built up on the hill it is hard to imagine the soldiers and battle that happened here.

 See that red squiggly line on the map. That is the trail. We walked the whole thing! And then even walked back to the common to get our train back  out of the city.

 There happened to be a film crew here at Bunker Hill. They were filming a t.v. show for ABC or NBC. I can't remember and the show wasn't familiar.  We tried not to get in their way but still wanted to see the monument.

A few more shots of Charlestown

 Then we headed back over the bridge to Boston.

 It was a lot of walking and we were all tired by the end. The two hour walking tour lasted us about 7 hours. We didn't make it back to the train until about 9:00 that night.

After a whole day outside walking around we were really ready to sleep that night!