This was the day we took our walking tour of Boston, following The Freedom Trail. Walt says it's only 2 miles, but I swear we walked nearly 5--and we didn't do it all. We started out at the old cemetery, visiting the remains of such luminaries as John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Ben Franklin's family (Ben's in Philadelphia), as well as the victims of the famous Boston Massacre. I have to admit that one of the things that was the most impressive for me was not any of the historic buildings, but rather the Holocaust Monument.
The six plexiglass towers are each engraved with 1 million numbers, obviously representing the 6 million killed in the Holocaust. On the passages between each tower is printed a brief memory by a survivor. One which particularly moved me was about a little girl who had found a single raspberry in the camp and carried it around all day to give to her friend at night. We had just come from a candy shop, The Chocolate Dipper, where they sell chocolate dipped fruit. Walt purchased some wonderfully sinful thing which was raspberries in a cup of milk chocolate, which we had just finished eating. I thought of that little girl carrying around her one raspberry so she could give it to her friend and it made me so terribly sad.
At the end of the monument is the famous quote by Martin Niemoeller:
and I was reminded of the importance of speaking out for the injustices done to people in this world.
They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up
We next took the T out to Harvard, in search of ivy covered halls, which seem to be in short supply. But our claim to fame is that we have now all peed at Harvard. We then returned to the city center.
We continued to follow the tour past Paul Revere's House (we didn't linger, as there were several dozen school kids behind us!) and as far as the Old North Church, where we had a most interesting lecture on the building, the congregation, and Revere's ride. We then decided to call it quits (since what was left we had visited the day before), and went off in search of food. We had lunch at The Black Rose pub near Quincy Market. Apparently it's a famous restaurant in Boston, but we just chose it because it was a place to sit down. However, my mother pronounced the clam chowder perfect, my bangers and mash was terrific (and it came with Boston baked beans) and Walt loved the sheperd's pie. It was like stepping back into a Dublin pub. Old North Church Tower
After a walk through Boston Commons and the public gardens, and still finding ourselves with time to kill, we went back to Berklee School of Music and settled ourselves with coffee at Starbuck's, while waiting for Jeri. She arrived in due course and told us "a friend" had decided to join us for dinner. The "friend" turned out to be Audra, who had driven 10 hours from Columbus, OH to join us for dinner and had to turn right around and drive back to Columbus to catch her flight the next day back to California. What a delight to see her, and we had a lovely Indian dinner.
Jeri, Grandma, Audra
In the morning, we checked out of the hotel, had our last breakfast at Bickford's, and tried to drop Grandma at Jeri's house. All the guidebooks say don't drive in Boston and assure that even natives get lost. We "went native." We got royally lost and drove around for an interminable period of time, over bridges that came out of nowhere, down streets that all went one way with walls preventing you from getting to the other side, missing onramps, etc., etc. After what seemed like hours (and may well have been), we finally found Jeri's house, left Grandma and tried to find the "free" way again (obviously with all those tolls they are not "free" at all!).
It poured rain for the first hour and then was grey most of the rest of the way to Philadelphia, but the color was so dazzling, who cared? We hit peak color and it was glorious. I didn't even nap, I was so intent on committing to memory the beauty of the trees as we drove by.
We were 3 hours late arriving at the home of Maggie and Herb Heineman, our hosts for the evening, but they didn't seem to mind. We went out to dinner and had a "getting to know you" chat, and then more chatting at home after dinner. We had hoped to see a little of Philadelphia the next morning, but Maggie and I got involved in computers, and in chatting on line with Steve Schalchlin, while Walt and Herb were in the kitchen comiserating with each other about wives with computers.
Ultimately, the only thing we saw of Philadelphia was the freeway as we rushed to return to Baltimore to catch our plane back to California. It was a very long day in transit (more difficult for Walt than for me), but we got home safe and sound and it's nice to be getting back to normal again.
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