Monday, May 14, 2012

Our 4th and 5th Day in Boston

This morning we slept in a bit and awoke to another rainy day. Veronica and I grabbed our rain jackets and cameras and headed out for a morning walk through Boston.
We weren't sure where we were going to but knew that we would have to be back before 1pm in order to check out and head to our next hotel.
We had some breakfast at Panera Bread, which was close by to our hotel and then we headed to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market area and ended up going from there to other areas in Boston. We ended up walking all over the place, with no particular destination in mind.
We stopped by one of the several historical graveyards that are in the Boston area along with a photo stop at the Old City Hall building, which just happens to be where Ruths Chris is located...on School Street.
We ended up walking almost to the Chinatown section of Boston.
We headed back to the Boston Harbor Hotel in order to check out and we got a cab to take us to our next hotel, which was the Residence Inn on Tudor Wharf in the Charlestown area, which was about a 10 minute cab ride away.
After arriving and checking in at the hotel and unpacking a bit, Veronica and I headed out to go back to Bostons North End...Little Italy. This area was one that Veronica and I probably enjoyed visiting the most in our walks throughout the Boston area.
In order for us to get back into the city, we had to walk over an old style bridge which had the open grates where you can see through the metal down to the water and land below. The bridge seemed to move a little each time vehicles were driving over it, which was non stop and the bridge made many loud noises as the cars and trucks drove over it. It was as little unsettling for us to walk on this old bridge with its movements and loud clacking and banging sounds.
There were even several people fishing from this bridge and we actually got to see one guy catch a good size fish..i think it was a Striper, from this bridge, which must have been at least 50 feet above the water below. In order for these fishermen to get the fish from the water up to where there were fishing on the bridge, they had to drop this net like contraption down into the water and then maneuver the fish into these square fish nets and then bring up both the net and the fish in the net. If they tried to bring the fish up directly to the bridge, their line would have broke and the fish would have got away.
From this bridge, we got a great view of the locks below and a great views of the Boston Garden..now called the TD Garden I believe.
After getting off the bridge, we were entering the city near the North End. Before walking around the  North End, we walked around the Financial District and Theater District in Boston.
When we did reach the North End area, we stopped at a pizza restaurant called Regina Pizzeria, which has been serving the North End brick oven pizza since 1926.
This restaurant was rather small but had all of the appearances of a 1926 style pizzeria with many old photos on the wall and probably looks much like it did back in its early years. The inside of this pizzaria was filled with the local neighborhood atmosphere and the pizza was really great.
After enjoying our pie, Veronica and I walked around the North End until it was time to walk back to our new hotel.
After relaxing in our hotel for a while, we walked over to look at the old Charleston Navy Yard, which is now part of a National Historical Park and we also view the USS Constitution, which is also know as Old Ironsides and is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
Since it was in the evening by the time we got to the area, we weren't able to get on the ship but we took many closeup photos of the ship and of the Boston skyline lit up as night time swept over the city.
We ended our long day gazing upon those glowing city lights.

Below are a couple photos taken after the awards night ceremonies had concluded. We had taken many more photos while we were out this night but something happened and they are now gone. So frustrating and disheartening to take photos to preserve those precious memories, only to have them lost. We must have lost around 100 photos. We still have them saved on our "minds eye" but it isn't the same. As a result, Veronica will be getting a new point and shoot camera.  

Thursday morning we went walking again to see what sights we could find. Below is one of several historical cemeteries that were in the Boston area.





This photo was taken from the cemetery and looks down onto a patio courtyard that is part of the Old City Hall, which is where Ruth's Chris is located.














Below are photos of the front area of the Old City Hall


Below are engraved plates that were embedded within these monuments/statues





I am not exactly sure what the mule statue is supposed to signify but I think it has to do with the Freedom Trail



Below are various photos of restaurants, architecture and some other sights that we found interesting enough to take a picture of them





The old Filenes Basement store which has been closed down. I would have loved to take Veronica in there. 
We found a long pedestrian only street which had many street vendors and a few performers out. It really got crowded and busy once the rain cleared out, which wasn't really until our last day in Boston. Our first day in Boston was sunny and our last day was sunny. The rest of the time it was rainy and dreary out but we did not let that minor issue get in the way of us going out to see the sights and have 
fun

Click on the panoramic photo to enlarge it

I found quite a bit of interesting architecture to take photos of


Below are photos taken of various buildings in the Theater District of Boston





More interesting architecture


Below is a view of the Residence Inn on Tudor Wharf in Charlestown. The Bunker Hill obelisk can be seen in the background. Here is information about the Bunker Hill Monument and surrounding area. 

Here are some photos of our room at the Residence Inn. It was a rather nice suite...not the Boston Harbor Hotel but it sure was nice to have that little kitchenette with a full sized fridge and one of the induction stove tops. At the Bar Harbor Hotel, we had no mini fridge or anything like that. There were no ice machines to be found. If you wanted ice or a drink, you had to order room service and you could get "free ice" that way but you were expected to tip the room service attendant. When the room attendant performed turn down service in your room, she would fill up the ice bucket but that wasn't until the evening hours. 





Nice views from our Residence Inn Suite windows. In the background we could see the mast of the USS Constitution. The Charlestown Navy Shipyard was next door to our hotel also...about a 3 minute walk to the shipyard where they have a Navy destroyer and the USS Constitution on display. Every morning at 8 am you would here them fire off a cannon and then again at 8 pm they would fire the cannon off again.


The tall unusual looking structure in the right side background is the air traffic control tower for Logan Airport


After taking a cab from the Boston Harbor Hotel to the Residence Inn on Tudor Wharf in Charlestown, we unpacked some of our suitcases and then headed back out again. We had to cross the old steel bridge that I had mentioned earlier.

In the background, from the bridge you can see the Boston Garden, which is now know as the TD Garden. While we were there, the Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks to move onto the next round of the NBA Playoffs

Below are some working locks that are used

Here is the fish caught by one of the several fishermen that fish from the bridge. The fish put up a good fight. We stood and watched from the time the fisherman hooked the fish until it was lifted onto this bridge by a specially made net that is hooked to a rope and dropped approximately 50-75 into the water below.


Another view of the Boston Garden/TD Garden

There was this old building complex that really looked to be in pretty bad shape but when you get to the other side of the building, it looked a little better and actually had many cars parked outside of some businesses that must have still been in this building. Veronica and I saw few lights on within the building. 




After crossing the bridge you could cross a major street and head into the Historic North End..Little Italy. Veronica and I had a great time exploring the main and sides streets of this area. We took many photos of the architecture and stores in this area.















This is the popular and fairly well known Mike's Pastry in the North End. Veronica and I went here twice to get some goodies for our night time snack. We also went to another bakery called 
Bova's Bakery. We spoke to one of the owners and were told that they stay open 24 hours a day. 

Below is a monument of Paul Revere






While walking around the North End, Veronica and I saw this van pull up to the curb and a young lady stepped out, opened the side panel of the van and brought out 3 leashed dogs. We talked briefly with her as she was returning the dogs to their owners. She explained the she took care of dogs in the area and that her business was called The Dogfather..a amusing play on words especially for the area that she was working in. 

Another historic cemetery in the North End...Copp's Hill








Photos below are of the historical Old North Church



Veronica and I had dinner again at the Cantina Italiana and once again Veronica loved the Cesare salad and we had another great meal there. Below are views on our way back to the hotel...the marina adjacent to our hotel.



After relaxing a bit, Veronica and I walked over to the Charlestown Navy Shipyard. Although we could not get on the USS Constitution, we were able to walk around and take some photos. Below are some dusk and silhouette photos of the USS Constitution


Night time photos of Bostons skyline from across the river



The next morning and our last full day in Boston, we woke up to something we had not seen much of during our time in Boston...sunshine and blue skies. We decided that today we would walk to Chinatown. Below is a view of the The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, part of The Big Dig Project in Boston, is one of the widest cable-stayed bridges in the world. For more information about this bridge and surrounding sites, please click Here

Another view of the Boston/TD Garden

During today's walk we came across a rather large open air market that had everything from fresh fish, clams, oysters along with fruits and vegetables. Due to the nice weather, which has been a rarity over the last week or so, there were lots of people out. In some area we walked in, it was really crowded.









Below you will find various architectural photos.

I would not want to be the person going up or down his stairways

A rather thin building that I found to look interesting





Strange name for a business


Veronica and I took a break at a Starbucks that was right across the street from this square and statue

We were able to find Chinatown without much problem. Unfortunately many of the Chinatown photos were amongst those lost





While Veronica took a brief break  and took some photos, I walked over to watch a couple of different groups of men sitting at various benches playing some sort of game. It looked like a cross between checkers and chess. It did not look like Majong because of the board they were using and the round shaped game pieces that various writings on them.


After visiting Chinatown, we headed over to Ruth's Chris and had a late lunch there. Food was great as expected from a Ruth's Chris. We each had a burger and fries. Veronica had a Caesar salad too. Veronica said that her burger was one of the best that she has ever had. After lunch, we slowly headed  in the direction of our hotel. We walked from Chinatown, through the Theater District, the Financial District and finally got back into the North End for one last little visit.











After our last visit to the North End, we headed back to our hotel to pack up our suitcases for our return flight back into the Norfolk Airport. We slept in a little later the next morning and got up in time to have a little breakfast at the hotel. Since checkout was at 1PM, we hung around for a bit and then got a taxi to Logan Airport. Thus our mini vacation in Boston came to an end. Veronica and I had a great time together. We found plenty to do and see in Boston. We found Boston to be really easy to get around on foot and found no need to utilize any other form of transportation that Boston has to offer. If you ever find yourself going to Boston, bring a good pair of walking shoes..mine were waterproof Merrells, grab yourself one of the many available maps of the Boston area, copy down the names of the restaurants and bakeries mentioned in my blog and go out and have a blast. Make yourself some nice memories in "Beantown". Veronica and I shared many a good times in Boston and made some really nice memories for ourselves. Memories that will last a lifetime. 

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