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S: Boston Vacation: June 18 to June 25, 2011

1: All aboard the Amtrak train to Boston | June 18, 2011 Departed from Cleveland Amtrak Station. We were scheduled to depart at 5:50 AM but we didn't leave until almost 9:30 AM. Train was delayed leaving Chicago for Cleveland due to some freight trains which had priority on the tracks.

2: Welcome to Fenway Park - home of the Boston Red Sox and the "Green Monster." The "Green Monster" is a popular nickname for the 36-foot, 2-inch high left field wall. Part of the original ballpark construction in 1912, the wall is made of wood, but was covered in tin and concrete in 1934 and then hard plastic in 1976. A manual scoreboard is set into the wall.

3: The Boston Bruins had just won the Stanley Cup prior to our arrival in Boston and were honored just before the start of the baseball game.

4: (above) A marker noting the location of the residence of John Hancock. The residence is gone, but the Massachusetts State House (below) now sits on the spot. | The monument marking the grave sight of Samuel Adams. This was in the cemetery across the street from our hotel - The Omni Parker House.

5: Swan Boat on the lagoon in the Boston Commons. Lisa, Craig and Helena on one of the Swan Boats. | Real swans on the lagoon. Dad patrols the waters while mom guards the nest. | Ducklings also enjoying the lagoon.

7: Grandpap & Helena - a picture that is worth far more than a thousand words!

8: Helena with one of the frogs at the Frog Pond in the Boston Commons - a large wading pool shown in the picture above. | "Make Way for Ducklings" is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey. The book tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks who decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in the Boston Public Garden. The book's popularity led to the construction of a statue in the Public Garden of the mother duck and her 8 ducklings: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack. Here, Helena is sitting on the mother Mallard and probably Quack - presumably the smallest duckling (at least that is my presumption).

9: A trip to Boston isn't complete unless it includes a stop at Cheers! At left is Helena in front a picture of Norm from the "Cheers" TV series. At right is Craig beneath the Cheers sign.

10: B o s t o n H a r b o r

11: Along the Freedom trail.....

12: .....more sights along the Freedom Trail. | The dark circle in the sidewalk marks the spot of the Boston Massacre. | One if by land, two if by sea, and Bob on the opposite corner shall be - taking pictures on a drizzily, overcast day . But we still managed to take in some shopping. | At Court & Tremont Streets hangs the giant tea kettle "sign" of the old Oriental Tea Company. This huge teapot was manufactured in 1873 by a company called Hicks & Badger. The teapot was a famous tourist attraction for many years. The tea kettle's capacity is 227 gallons, 2 quarts, 1 pint and 3 gills. The tea kettle contains an apparatus within it that produces steam, and in winter it resembles a giant steaming pot of tea. The kettle is an excellent advertising tool, having outlived the Oriental Tea Company by many years. Ironically, the shop located beneath the teapot today - is a Starbucks coffee shop.

13: "The Spirit of 76" located in the Selectmen's Room of Abbot Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts, was painted by Archibald M. Willard of Ohio. This painting symbolizing the spirit of the American Revolution, was exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia where it "stirred the heart of the nation." It was sent on tour of several major cities and then was purchased by General John H. Devereux, of Cleveland, OH in memory of the brave men of Marblehead who died in battle, on sea and land, for their Country. April 27, 1880. | Bob, our tour guide, holding open the small compartment door while Helena presses the "magic" button inside to unlock the bus. | Just some pretty flowers in Boston Commons Public Park.

14: The House of the Seven Gables is a 1668 Colonial mansion in Salem, MA. The house is now a non-profit museum. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his novel of the same name before the house actually had seven gables.

15: Castle Rock

16: more.....Castle Rock scenes

17: Above: Witch Dungeon Museum and a scene from the live play depicting the witch trials. Top Right: Salem Witch Museum Center: Helena humoring us for a "Kodak" moment. Bottom Right: Witch statue in the center of town.

18: In January of 1692, the daughter and niece of Rev. Samuel Parris of Salem Village became ill. When they failed to improve, the village doctor, William Griggs, was called in. His diagnosis of bewitchment put into motion the forces that would ultimately result in the death by hanging of nineteen men and women. In addition, one man(Giles Corey) was crushed to death for refusing to cooperate with the courts. | The Burying Point, also known as the Charter Street Cemetery, is the oldest cemetery in Salem, established in 1637, and the second oldest known cemetery in the nation.

19: From the cemetery, you can wonder into the area designated as the witch trials memorial and reflect on the people from the Salem witch trials remembered there. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem who was found guilty and was hanged on June 10. | TV Land spent $75,000 to install a bronze statue of "Samantha" (Elizabeth Montgomery) in Salem, Massachusetts' Lappin Park on June 15, 2005. Elizabeth Montgomery played the role of "Samantha" in the TV series "Bewitched."

20: Whale Watching on the Atlantic Ocean

21: Two of the whale watchers. . . Craig & Joyce | Lisa, Helena, Craig and Bob enjoying a light breakfast at Boston Harbor before leaving for the Whale Watch. | More flowers from the Boston Commons

22: Boston Duck Tour | Helena "quacking" with her duck call. | Three of the many colorful amphibious Duck Boats used for the tours. | Our tour guide... would you believe he is a Boston Celtics Fan? Right down to his green socks & green tennis shoes!

23: B o s t o n D u c k T o u r | These are photos taken while the Duck Boat was in the Charles River.

24: Top: Helena eating breakfast at Thornton's Sunday morning before the Red Sox baseball game. Below: Bob and Craig enjoying a beer at the Pour House. | Photos of the food court inside Quincy Market. | Helena eating some sorbet at Quincy Market's Food Court. | Some good.....

25: Pizza at Regina's Pizza - complete with anchovies, but only for Craig and Bob. That is Craig & Helena on the bench. | Italian night at Mother Anna's | Seafood night at Legal Harborside. | .....eating!

26: THE BEER PRAYER Our Lager, which art in barrels, hallowed be thy drink. Thy will be drunk (I will be drunk) at home as it is in the pub. Give us this day our foamy head and forgive us our spillages as we forgive those who spill against us. And lead us not into incarceration, but deliver us from hangovers. For thine is the beer, the bitter and lager, forever and ever. Amen.

27: Scenes in and around Boston

29: Our tour guide told us that Ben Affleck (the movie actor) has an apartment on the 11th floor of the left high rise building. | Ye Olde Pepper Company of Salem, MA, America's Oldest Candy Company. The company dates back to 1806 | Trinity Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, founded in 1733. Having been built in Boston's Back Bay, which was originally a mud flat, Trinity rests on some 4,500 wooden piles, each driven through 30 feet of gravel fill, silt and clay and constantly wetted by the water table of the Back Bay so they do not rot if exposed to air.

32: The original State House - at the sight of the Boston Massacre.

33: Until we return again......our hearts will always be in Boston!

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