Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It Ain't No Tea Party

Boston is exhausting. Everything seems within walking distance, but by the time you've hit all the "within walking distance" sites, you've traveled pretty far!

The first thing on today's agenda, I walked to the Information Center in the Boston Commons, grabbed one of their iPods, and took a self-guided tour along the Freedom Trail. That's a 2.5 mile red-brick path leading to some of the most historic places in the founding of our country.

Every time one of these squares appeared within the trail, I knew something important was nearby.

Along with famous churches, ships, houses, and battlegrounds, there were also plenty of famous names etched in stone.

I eventually got up the nerve to ask people to take photos of me in front of the historic places. But this was the first photo with me in it. That's me and a bell made by Mr. Revere (while he was still alive).

The very last stop on the Freedom Trail is a memorial at Bunker Hill. A sign at the base of the obelisk warns that some people shouldn't attempt to climb the stairs all the way to the top. But I don't have a heart condition. I'm not pregnant. "249 steps? Bring it!"

Oops. I somehow swapped the last two digits before I headed up. And the difference between 249 steps and 294 steps feels like much more than my calculator claims. But the view was worth it.

At the Museum of Fine Arts, I discovered some paintings I'd never seen before but absolutely fell in love with. Such as Painter's Honeymoon...

There was also some very weird but fun art. Every person on each of these screens is singing "Material Girl" by Madonna. But there's no music. It's just a bunch of voices singing at once. And anyone who walked by the screens couldn't help smiling!

Of course, I had to visit the sculptures inspired by the Caldecott-winning Make Way for Ducklings. It seemed like every kid who walked by was unable to resist touching the ducklings or climbing onto Mrs. Mallard's back.

Every kid.

I knew the TV show Cheers was inspired by a real place in Boston. But I was a little sad that they changed the original name just to lure in the tourists. It used to be called the Bull & Finch Pub. Now it's just...

I dunno. Maybe the marketing works on certain types of people.

So that's Day One in Massachusetts. Three more to go. And I think I'm destined to have a great experience because of something that happened on my way out here. As you may know, I write books for teens. There's an old superstition that if a YA writer gets on an airplane, and if the librarian from his old high school happens to be on the same flight, the trip is going to be a success.

Say hello to Ms. Grant! (We snuck in a breakfast between flights, which apparently helps the good luck.)



BJW said...

really cool looking trip. you don't know me all that way, mostly lurking. But I'm jealous. Always wanted to go check out Boston, Philly and a bunch of other stuff on the "right" coast. have fun.

Steph Bowe said...

That duck is awesome.

Brittany said...

make way for ducklings= you being silly. Awesome!

Jennie Englund said...

What??? No Legal Seafood?

Robby said...

Salem's right near me!
actually...just a town away.
that means you were close to me!
which is exciting.
i hope it's not creepy.
it probably is....


Cynthea Liu said...

My old haunt, Jay! Aw, thanks for bringing back memories from my college days (boy, do I sound friggin' old now!)

So glad Boston was a success!