A week in the Boston area - 10/29 - 11/01/2012

Published at 9:56 PM in , ,

This week was quite a week.  Monday the weather started picking up a lot: wind and rain, and lots of it!  We had to get out in it to run to CVS and pick up Jim's medicine, and that was scary.  It was a quick trip, though, so we weren't gone long.  When we got back, we were staying put for a while.  The wind and rain continued to pick up and blow pretty hard, but I know it was nothing compared to what happened in New York and New Jersey.

Ready to Trick-or-Treat

Wednesday was Halloween, and it was a lot of fun.  Chrissy was dressed as a rainbow bug, Rachael was Bat Girl, and Michael was the character from 'Scream.'  We headed over to the base housing area on the Air Force base to go Trick-or-Treating.  There were easily 250 - 300 houses in the neighborhood.  Of course we couldn't hit them all, but we sure had fun trying!  The kids each got enough candy to fill up half a brown paper bag.  It was a great night - we are so glad we decided to stay!

At Family Housing


Today is Thursday, and we spent most of the day finishing up school work and getting ready to leave Boston.  Tomorrow we will zip through the capitols in Rhode Island and Connecticut and head on into Delaware.

More pictures in the Photo Gallery!


Concord, MA - 10/28/2012

Published at 3:31 PM in ,

North Bridge Visitor Center

Today we started out with a church service on base at Hanscom Chapel.  Their Protestant church service was at 9 AM and was followed by a time of fellowship.  We enjoyed the service and met some very nice people.  Several families also homeschool their children and we had good conversations about that as well.

On the Old North Bridge

After church, we went back to the Minuteman National Historical Park, but this time we went to the part in Concord where the North Bridge is located.  The North Bridge was the site where the first shot of the Revolution was ordered - otherwise known as "the shot heard 'round the world".   The American minutemen met the British army on the North Bridge and began this first battle.  We heard details of the battle during a Park Ranger talk.

Being silly in the leaves

When we finished at the park, we headed to the commissary to stock up on food and water.  Hurricane Sandy is headed to the New England area, and while Boston should be spared a direct hit, we want to be prepared.  We aren't sure what conditions will be like.  After the commissary, we had to return the rental car.  We did that and settled in for the night. 

We aren't sure what the rest of this week will hold, so we are planning on remaining in Boston until probably Thursday or Friday.  Wednesday is Halloween, so the base housing is the perfect place to take the kids Trick-or-Treating.  Should be an interesting week.

More pictures in the Photo Gallery.


Plymouth, MA - 10/27/2012

Published at 7:41 PM in ,

Aboard the Mayflower II

This morning we drove about an hour down to Plymouth, MA, to see how the Pilgrims lived back in the 1600s.  Plymouth is a cute little town with lots of tourist attractions related to the Pilgrims.

The Mayflower II in Plymouth Bay

The first thing we did was tour the Mayflower II.  This ship is a reproduction of a ship like the Pilgrims would have used in 1620.  It was hand crafted in England in the 1950s and crossed the Atlantic under its own sail power.  There are 'crew' members aboard that share all kinds of knowledge about the ship and the passengers.

There were also 'cast' members; these people were dressed like Pilgrims or crew from the 1600s and totally played the part.  They were happy to answer any questions from their viewpoint.  We asked to take a picture and their response was that they didn't know what that was and would it hurt.  It is unbelievable that 102 Pilgrims, plus the ship's crew, fit on a boat of that size.  There really wasn't that much room.  Plus, when you factor in having to use chamber pots and that there were three pregnant women on board....yikes! 

This is a perfect example of what our trips are all about.  What the kids learned about the Pilgrims and their travels can't really be learned in a book. We don't think they will ever look at Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims in the same way again.

After the boat tour, we walked the few blocks to see the actual Plymouth Rock.  There is a long story about how people came to believe that this was the actual rock where the Pilgrims set foot on land, but I truly can't remember the details.  However, more information can be found HERE.  Anyway, there is a very nice portico built over the rock, which is etched with the year 1620, the year the Pilgrims landed.  There was a state park ranger that gave a little ten minute talk about the rock and the Pilgrims.  The rock is in the smallest state park in the state of Massachusetts.  Pretty neat, even if it wasn't as impressive as some might imagine.

Peter Brown's Tankard

After the rock, we went to the Pilgrim Hall Museum.  This museum chronicles the life of the Pilgrims in the new world, as well as housing some artifacts from the actual Pilgrims themselves.  We were curious as to how the items were preserved for so long before they wound up in the museum.  The docent said that most of them had been passed down through the families for generations.  We have a friend that is an ancestor of one of the original Pilgrims, Peter Brown.  The museum had a tankard, basically a mug, that belonged to Brown, and I was able to sneak a picture of it - with no flash! - for our friend.  The museum also had a neat scavenger hunt in it, with different hunts for different ages.  The kids always like doing those, and it gets them a little more involved in the museum, plus it really got them thinking about not only the trip across the Atlantic, but also about that first, harsh winter.

Mamma Mia's Restaurant

By the time we finished at the museum, it was time for dinner.  We have another friend, that's from Massachusetts, and recommended a restaurant in Plymouth for us to try.  It is called Mamma Mia's and they serve pizza, so it was a go for us.  We all had different things, and it was all really good.

The original Dunkin Donuts

On the way back to Boston and the RV, we stopped in Quincy, MA, at the very first Dunkin Donuts.  It was remodeled last year to look like it did originally in 1950.  We enjoyed our donuts and hot chocolate.

Tomorrow is church and more touring historical sites around Lexington and Concord.

More picture in the Photo Gallery.