After five days at sea we docked in Boston at was once a Navy facility, and is now being converted into office space.
Five days at sea may seem like quite a long stretch, but they are great opportunities to rest, relax and recharge. Also, the ship changes its menu of on board of entertainment to include lectures on a variety of topics such as a question and answer session with the Captain, a presentation by the chief engineer, a session on anger management, several sessions on the history of medicine, navigation at sea, etc. Between attending these and getting caught up on the blog, the time flew by. Our avoidance of all things “Titanic” in Ireland paid off – we sailed across the Atlantic with nary an iceberg in sight and without incident.
In Boston, before we could get off of the ship we had to have a face to face Passport inspection. There was one line for US citizens and one for foreign nationals, and I had not realized what a minority we Americans were on this voyage – I would say it is 80% foreign nationals. This probably accounts for the variety of food in the buffets – baked beans for breakfast, etc.
It is always a shock when we get back to the US and suddenly our phones come alive with voice mails, messages and calls.
All three of us having been to Boston several times before, we elected to do a circuit on the hop a bus (big surprise), have lunch and come back early in the afternoon.
Boston’s version of the hop a bus The Old Town trolley, picked us up at the ship.
A very short distance from the dock, we passed the Boston Convention center.
As we crossed the bridge into Boston, we passed the “Tea Party” experience commemorating the Boston Tea Party where the colonists refused to purchase tea arriving from Great Britain because of the excessive tax on the tea, and threw 2 tons of it into the harbor.
Boston’s historic North End is Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood. in revolutionary times – the home of Paul Revere, the Old North Church, and many other significant sites.
In Charleston can be found the USS Constitution, which is now in dry dock for repairs, and the Bunker Hill Monument – patterned after the Washington Monument.
Coming back into Boston, we crossed the Charleston Bridge with a good view of the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge.
And the Garden – Home of the Boston Bruins Hockey Team.
We next headed on Beacon Street to the back bay area. This area, a former swamp was filled in in the 1800s and became one of the premier neighborhoods in the city.
It is the home to the bar that was used for the outside “location” of “Cheers”, although all of the interior scenes were shot on a sound stage in Los Angeles.
Here is some typical Back Bay architecture.
At the western end of the Back Bay is the famous Fenway Park – home of the Boston Red Sox. This ball park was built before auto traffic was an issue, so there is no parking in the area. Some businesses, on game day, make several thousand dollars, charging up to $75 to park a car.
This neighborhood, across from Boston Commons, on Beacon Hill, contains the most expensive real estate in Boston – some dating from the 1700s.
The Massachusetts State House – across from the Commons.
The Old South Meeting House, was a gathering point during revolutionary times.
We completed the circuit and hopped off – making our way up to The Old State House, which was the site many events during the revolutionary period. Prior to independence, it was headquarters of the British Commander. It was the site of the Boston “Massacre”, and after the war, the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston for the first time from this balcony.
This marks the spot where 5 colonists were shot by British Soldiers in 1770 – known as the “Boston Massacre”. As a side note, John Adams was the Attorney defending the British soldiers and he got three of the five exonerated.
We headed into Quincy Market and discovered a “Cheers” replica, where we enjoyed lunch.
We hopped back on, for the brief ride to the ship – and spent the afternoon resting.
We got a great sail away picture of Boston as we left the harbor.
Headed to New York, and then home.
I enjoyed the tour of the Boston area and learning the history. It reminded me of Philly in the importance the city played in our early history. That Sam Adams, John Adams and Paul Revere were quite the instigators back in the day. I did enjoy getting a Yuengling which is impossible to get in Texas. YUM! Got some Lobster Sleeping pants and talked to the Roomies and then was ready to get back on the ship. During our cruise through the Atlantic, I finally settled down into a non-internet relaxation state and became very enamored with the “afternoon” nap. When I got home from Boston, I enjoyed my nap and was ready for my next day at sea!