Boston

Last stop on our East Coast Road Trip for summer ’18 was Boston Mass. However, before getting there we stopped by New Haven Connecticut to visit Yale. Some pix from our self-guided tour. Can you find the Skull & Bones Society building?

After checking into our Airbnb in Charlestown we went to Boston Common to meet one of ML’s old friends, David, brother of Mary Bashara. Couldn’t help but do a drive by at MIT on the way…

After dinner with David at the Back Deck, we strolled around the Common and took in a part of the Freedom Trail. In addition to some interesting and quite old cemetery’s, there’s a monument to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th regiment made famous in the film Glory. After awhile I drove the crew back to our Airbnb, then drove back close to where we’d been to drop off our rental car. (The parking guy saved the day with a tunnel tip because there was an overflow of cars going back to Hertz.) Then, I walked all the way back taking some pix again in the dark and going over the Charles River (in case you’re noticing the time of day).

Next day, after a long sleep and the slow start, we made it to Harvard for a free historical tour of the campus led by a nice Econ major named Raven (however at Harvard, they refer to a “concentration” rather than a major). Here are pix inside and out of buildings on campus, including the statue of John Harvard (which is not of him, has the wrong date, and has a book face down on the “Veritas” symbol – what does that mean?!)…

Here’s a lil’ set of pix from the display of historical science instruments in the main Science building (and the freshman dining hall)…

After the Harvard tour, we Lyfted to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. I’d heard about the museum from more than one source, and it was all that. Her story, the theft story, her collection, her “palace,” the new wing, and the vibe were all great. Wikipedia link to Isabella Steward Gardner. BTW, you get in free if your name is Isabella (or if it’s your birthday). Enjoy…

By the time we’d walked through the museum and had some treats in the cafe, we Lyfted back to Charlestown. While the others rested I explored the Battle of Bunker Hill (“don’t fire ’til you see the whites of their eyes”) monument and the USS Constitution (the first commissioned ship of the US Navy) and it’s related museum. There was also a modern ship, the Cassin Young.

For our last night out on the road we went to North Boston, saw another cemetery, the Old North Church, lots of acknowledgement of Paul Revere, and had a wonderful Italian dinner at the Florentine Cafe on Hanover Street – perhaps the coolest neighborhood in town…

So, I’m posting from Logan Airport in Boston. We’ll be back in La Honda tonight, soon to hit the pool, the hiking trails, and getting ready for the upcoming school year. Thanks for coming along on our trip!

NYC2

After having gone uptown yesterday, today we went downtown to Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and a return to Battery Park where we visited three years ago before jumping on the QM2. This first batch includes Washington Square Park, bits of NYU, art from a gallery there, and some public mosiacs…

From NYU we walked through the East Village to lunch. Katz’s Deli (another Dan pick) was packed so we went to a friendly Italian spot (on accounta bein’ right next to Lil’ Itly). Then walked through Chinatown enjoying park sports and arguing men. Eventually we hopped on a bus down to the tip of Manhattan Island and walked through the Battery for a view of the Statue of Liberty. Just like three years ago, we played on the musical steps and watched these guys do flips over tourists. Lots o’ miscellany here, click on individual images if they’re too small…

We went back to the hotel early to get ready for Hamilton, so I walked down to 2 Bros for some pizza slices. It seems our neighborhood features auctioneers, antique stores, and whacky flea market in the lot next to the spooky church. Here’s a set of pix on that theme…

That evening we went to see the musical sensation: Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway. Of course, no photo/video of the actual show – which was great!!! – but here’s the stage and inside the theater. Before and after, we strolled around the theater district adn Times Square. Super fun!

 

NYC1

We arrived in the vertical valleys of Skyscraper National Park as the sun was falling into New Jersey. We checked into our little Heritage hotel on the Flatiron end of Chelsea on West 25th Street, not far from the Empire State Building. Then I went off to find the Hertz drop off right near Madison Square Garden (but its not a square, what gives?). Success & a stroll.

Most of this first set of pix is from my walk back to the hotel. Note the selfie with Amish farmers in NYC?, the super-angry dude getting bounced by the NYPD, the spooky old church being renovated right across from the Heritage, and the looming ESB…

On our first full day in NYC there was a discussion about what to do, where to start, travel philosophy, and tourist priorities. So, while the rest of ’em when to an Escape Room experience, I took a walk up 5th Avenue to Central Park and beyond. This set features the NY Public Library and a display there on the 60’s, a random fancy gem & mineral shop, and the Rockefeller Center which had the World Cup (Brazil v. Belgium) on big screens out in front…

Then I went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas’ Church and walked by Trump Tower in the Park which I explored, meandering to the Tavern on the Green for some frosty refreshment. Then, I went up to the Dakota building and had a great conversation with Vincent, a lawyer from Alabama, on the site of the murder of John Lennon. Next, I went down West 72nd to Gray’s Papaya (the first of several recommendations from my buddy Dan on where to eat) for a dog & juice. Enjoy too, some random buildings, window displays, and Times Square which I hit on what turned out to be a long walk back to the hotel. Feet only!

The kids loved the Escape Room and also made it to Central Park. Random shots and another Dan Leanse tip, we went to Keen’s Chophouse for dinner (the painting was there) before hitting the sack…

 

Perrydell Farm

It’s taken a few decades, but this was my 4th trip to Perrydell Farm to visit the relatives on my maternal grandmother’s side of the family.

In 1982, my brother Ron and I drove across the country and we visited several sets of relatives, some rather obscure, and some probably befuddled at a couple guys from California in a ’68 Dodge van showing up and claiming to be kin. However, the Perrys of York, Pennsylvania were closer as Aunt Lourene and Nancy Perry kept the connections going. On that trip we stayed with Uncle Enos and were able to talk with Uncle Howard (both brothers of our grandma, Harriet Vail). Howard was the father of George and Roger who started the farm, and George’s kids now run the farm. (Did ya follow all that?)

In 1989, my sister Nancy and I drove across the country and not only did we visit the Perrys, but there was a pretty big family reunion. As I recall, Enos (who wrote a book on the artificial insemination of farm animals) and Howard (who believed we didn’t need to fight in any wars and would’ve been just fine) had passed away, but lots of folks were there and it was a good time.

!n 1999, Mary Lynn & I visited as a part of our honeymoon extravaganza (which included a stay at Chautauqua with some other relatives and my folks). Like that visit, this time was rather brief but it was great. We didn’t get to see everyone, but George (still spry at 96!) and Nancy Perry still live in a nice house overlooking the farm. Tom and Greg still seem up to their necks in milk & manure. And their sister Judy teaches kids in China online (gotta ask her some more questions about that!). We got to meet one of Greg’s kids, Andrew, and Judy’s daughter Samra – who hit it off with Charlie and Veronica talking about their common interests out on the internet. Nancy prepared a lovely lunch under a big tree next to the house overlooking the 170 acre farm…

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Then we were treated to ice cream at the farm store. Tom gave us a tour of their new feed barn and milking facility, and we got to meet a few cows. Here are some more pix of our short but sweet visit…

Next, from York to New York…

Washington DC, Part 3

On our third full day in DC, we first took a free trolley to Union Station, then a metro to Takoma Park, then a bus to ML’s old college, formerly Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University), from whence she went to Kenya. Only pic here: the gym. Then we went to Georgetown, specifically the waterfront where we had lunch. The heatwave is intense (in fact it probably caused the tropical downpour we avoided in the restaurant), and after lunch it was hard to walk very far (altho’ we made down the waterfront, then up along a main drag. Charming, but hot. So we jumped in a cab for home (our Airbnb), but first went by the Watergate Building down in the “Foggy Bottom” section between Georgetown & Washington (it seems)…

I kind of like the heat, and I can walk all day, so I took a stroll around the neighborhood. In fact, H Street has little history and a lot of culture. Some pix from the hood…

4th of July, 2018. After a late start, we made it to the parade on time! Found a spot in front of the National Archive, right at the beginning of the mile-long parade route. Lots of HS bands, interesting groups like Falun Dafa and Sikhs of America, and military stuff. Included here: morning grumpies and a coupla Trumpies…

We went back to the Smithsonian Castle for lunch, then to the Hirshhorn for some modern art (according to Veronica, a bunch of “blue dots”). Still, some ideas…

Then we went to the vast Museum of Natural History. Included here: mammals, origins of life, ocean life, gems & minerals (and the Hope Diamond), mummies, bugs & butterflies, great photography, and some compelling miscellany. To my children (who I hope will check this out someday), here’s what you might not have seen while you were doing something else! Perhaps I should explain that I’m a vigorous museum goer. While I do not stop to read every interpretive bit of signage, I take in a lot quickly, scanning, stopping, reviewing & revisiting. It’s hard on the feet, and perhaps on the brain, but I enjoy the flow. However, those with me might not enjoy it the same way. It’s a big world and these are some of the world’s greatest museums, and I love them. Partly because I’ve come to learn that I am not so much a teacher as a curator, and I like to know what curators do. Here’s but a glimpse…

We took a break, going back to the flat for naps, R&R, and a spot of Popeye’s! Then we headed out again to catch the 4th of July fireworks show on the national mall. There was a concert at the Capitol, but we went further east toward the Washington Monument. Here ya go with the “bombs bursting in air.” Catch the finale video at the end…

Tomorrow we’re off to New York City, but first stopping at Perrydell Farm in York, PA.

Washington DC, Part 2

A heat wave is rolling over this part of the east coast, so we were up relatively early this morning. First stop: Anna Eshoo’s office in the Cannon House Office Building. She’s our Congresswoman for the 18th district, and I’ve learned that our Representatives are also guides for trips to Washington. I started too late, but with advance notice they can help get you in certain places. Of course, one can get into most of them by just showing up at the visitor’s centers equipped with some patience. However, the House & Senate galleries do require a pass from your congress person, and the White House requires time in advance. In any case, here’s her office. Note the bills she has authored or co-authored that were passed & signed into law on the wall!

Equipped with gallery passes, we went to the Capitol Building and took a tour. Then used the passes to check out the galleries. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in either, so no pix of empty galleries as bother houses seem to be taking Independence Day Week off. Douglas (who you can see in the red coat) gave us a great tour, and this is just a sampling. (The exterior pix are mostly in my previous post.)  Capitolism…?

We beat the heat by taking the underground tunnel from the Capitol to the Library of Congress. We toured on our own, checked out the displays, and viewed the Reading Room from above. Read this…

After a spot of lunch, we made our way to the adjacent Supreme Court building. In addition to a movie, we listened to a lecture, both about the court, the building, and the process & procedures of the Judiciary branch of the US Govt. I was pleased to learn that Confucius is depicted on friezes, both on the eastern exterior and in the actual courtroom interior. Can you identify some of the justices depicted here…

After the Supreme Court, we took a cab to the Lincoln Memorial. After Charlie read to me his Second Inaugural Address (engraved on the right side wall facing Lincoln’s statue), I gave him a five dollar bill (strangely appropriate, no?). Then, we walked to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. Daddy Bob had mentioned a friend of his, Fred Moore, so we found his name at 3E 19 (third panel on the east wing, line 19). It was interesting to watch the visitors – including what looked like some Vietnamese people. War, huh, good God ya’ll…

The heat and a long day of sightseeing wore out the troops, so we found another cab and headed home to our Airbnb. Nice dinner, R&R, and we’re off to bed in preparation for another adventure tomorrow…

Washington DC, Part 1

Washington DC, five nights in an Airbnb, super-awesome as you will see…

Before we checked into Brian’s house at 1209 I St. NE, we drove around the mall and went to Arlington National Cemetery. Please know from the start that the weather has bee HOT! So walking a little is about all you can do. We checked out the visitors’ center, then walked up to the Kennedy Memorial. These pix show just a fraction of the vast cemetery, the visitor’s center, and Jack & Jackie’s gravestones. A theme for this visit will be that you cannot see it all (unless you have much much more time), so here’s just a bit…

I’ll try to include more interior shots of our deluxe accommodations at 1209 I Street NE, but for now here’s a night time shot of our row house, a pano from the back porch, and an inspiring poster in the kitchen. Oh yeah, one from the metro of the Reagan airport…

On our first morning in DC we took the bus to Lafayette Square (adjacent to the White House where the family protest had started the day before), then walked by the White House to the Washington Monument and the US Treasury Building. Also in this set, some cops, protesters, and food trucks…

We then popped into the Smithsonian Museum of American History. All Smithsonians are vast, and we dashed through. I took many more pix, but these are a few shots of cars, trains, engines, Bill (the Science Guy) Nye’s lab coat, the Batmobile, etc…

Before going to the Smithsonian Castle (slightly represented here) we went to the Smithsonian Folk Festival featuring Armenia and Catalonia and walked by some other spots…

Ooops, some of those “other spots” would up in this set (the Native American Museum and the Capitol Building). Mostly however, this set is of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum (which included an exhibit on “Soldier Artists”). Again, this is just a small sample and doesn’t include the movie “Dark Matter” which we saw there, nor some of the smaller displays which I try to show. The larger displays of whole airplanes and spacecraft are so dramatic, I have focused on those…

As per usual, I reserve the right to add sets of pix to this post (took bunches more), but that’s enough for now. On to tomorrow, which was today, and soon will be yesterday…