Friday, July 28, 2017

Boston


So Ella and I flew using buddy passes.  Patty could tell the flight from Boston to SLC was too full for us to get on so she got us tickets to go from Buffalo to Boston, Boston to Orlando and Orlando to SLC.  We got to the airport early in Buffalo, and they recommended we catch an earlier flight than the one we were on standby for...so we did.


Eating lunch at the Boston airport

We got to Buffalo and had several hours to wait until the flight to Orlando.  I bought a book because I'd finished reading the book I'd brought with me and we sat to wait.  Unfortunately, the flight from Boston to Orlando was too full and we didn't get on.  So we were going to take a lighter flight to Orlando (which meant we would miss our flight to SLC).  So we sat in the airport, waiting for that 7 PM flight (we'd arrived at the Boston airport around 10 AM).  The flight got delayed, then delayed even later, and finally cancelled.  It was a long day in the airport...thank goodness I had a book to read (I read about 300 pages) and Ella played on my phone.  Alfredo found us a rental car in Boston and a hotel and we headed to the hotel to sleep.  But that meant that we would be in Boston until 7 PM the following day.  We were tired and a bit disappointed to not be getting home...we'd had a great trip but we were anxious to be home again.  But I've ALWAYS wanted to go to Boston, so we tried to make the best of it and see as much as we could while we were there.  Ella wasn't super excited about it...but I loved it.  Boston has so much history, all right there in the city center...and what's really cool is that it's all marked and pretty close together.  So we spent a few hours wandering around to see as much as we could.  I bought a little guidebook that gave information about each site and I read bits of it as we went around and read most of the rest when I got back home.  Some day I hope I can go back and spend more time...we didn't go in and tour most of the sites and we didn't make it to all of them.
For you sports lovers out there, our hotel was just up the street from the stadium where the New England Patriots play!


Can't believe it!! I'm standing in the Boston Common.  Ella was less excited about this...but ultimately she ended up being a great sport and going to the sites I wanted to see!


I loved that the park had these statutes of important leaders.  






This is the Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial.  Many black residents wanted to fight in the Civil War.  Army policy prevented them from joining.  But the War Department gave in and let them serve but not as officers.  Robert Gould Shaw was colonel of the regiment.  Shaw and 32 of his men died in the assault on Fort Wagner.  This monument took sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens 14 years to complete.  



Boston Common is the oldest public park in the nation.  It was originally land that belonged to William Blackstone.  He sold it to the townspeople for 30 pounds.  It was used as a training field for the military and a pasture for cattle.  It also held the gallows where witches, pirates, and heretics were put to death.  It's also been used as a place for public celebration.  When the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, people gathered to celebrate.  Other celebrations and gatherings have taken place in the Common throughout our nation's history.  One thing I thought was interesting was that people were standing in the Common, holding signs that said "Free listening".  Apparently, it's a movement happening around the nation and they are willing to listen to whatever you have to say.


The Park Street Church:   Early on, this church was given the nickname "Brimstone Corner"...because gunpowder was stored in the crypt here during the War of 1812.  This beautiful church was designed by Peter Banner.  In this church was founded the first Sunday School in America, the first prison aid society and one of the earliest temperance societies.  William Lloyd Garrison gave his first anti slavery speech here on July 4, 1829.  

The Massachusetts State House...still referred to as the "new" state house, built to replace the original state house...despite the fact that this state house was built from 1795-1798.  The red brick part of the building is original...everything else was added after 1895.  The beautiful dome was originally covered with leaking shingles.  In 1802, it was covered in copper which was painted gray.  It was not until after the Civil War that it was guilded.


Next to the Park Street Church stands the Granary Burying Ground.  Several famous people are buried in this cemetary.  Benjamin Franklin's parents are buried there.  The cenotaph contains an inscription written by Benjamin.


John Hancock monument

Phyllis Wheatley is buried in this cemetary.  So are "Mother Goose" (Elizabeth Goose), Peter Faneuil, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and the 5 victims of the Boston Massacre.  

Paul Revere's grave

Ella with King's Chapel behind...The Puritans came to Boston to escape the corruption of the Anglican Church.  About 50 years later, King James II ordered that an Anglican Church be built in Boston.  The people would not sell the Anglicans any land. So they just seized part of the burying ground and began to build around the earlier chapel on the burying ground.  They built the church, took apart the old church within and tossed the pieces out the window!  


Isn't this mosaic beautiful?  This is the site of the first public school in Boston...Boston Latin School.  It was unique because children, whether rich or poor, could attend without paying tuition. Unfortunately, most poor children didn't attend because they did have to pay for firewood and they often needed to work.  Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams all studied here.  The school was later rebuilt in a different spot in the city.  Students must perform well on a competitive exam to enter and they are required to study Latin for four years in order to graduate.

Statue of Benjamin Franklin...I got emotional looking at the acoomplishments of Franklin, especially signing the Declaration of Independence.  I'm so grateful to live in this country!


Boston's Old City Hall...now has offices and a restaurant

In the courtyard of Boston's Old City Hall, along with the statue of Benjamin Franklin and a statue of Boston's first mayor Josiah Quincy, there was a statue of a donkey. I don't know the story of the donkey, but we snapped a picture because a friend's son LOVES donkeys.

In the courtyard, this little band was playing Jazz music.

Old South Meeting House... Boston's citizens used this church to demand their rights from the British.  On the day after the Boston Massacre, thousands of people marched from Faneuil Hall to the Meeting House.  They demanded that all troops be removed from Boston. When the Tea Act was passed, the ship Dartmouth anchored in the Boston Harbor.  People came to Old South to ask Lt. Governor Hutchinson to send the ship back to Great Britain with the tea on board.  Lt. Governor Hutchinson refused.  So on December 16, they sent a group to speak with Hutchinson again.  Hutchinson refused.  Samuel Adams said, "Gentlemen, this meeting can do nothing more to save the country."  Shortly after, men dressed as Mohawk Indians went to the Harbor and dumped the tea.  During the siege of Boston, the British used the church as a stable and destroyed much of the interior of the church.  It was later restored and now is a museum.



Old State House...This is the oldest public building still standing in the eastern U.S.  In 1761 James Otis gave a stirring, fiery speech against the "writs of assistance".  


Faneuil Hall (pronounced fannel or funnel..some say fanyel)...this is one of the few buildings that we did take the time to walk through.   This was where Boston colonists first spoke out against British rule.  It was only a fraction of its current size when built.  Peter Faneuil wanted to build it as a market.  This was controversial in the 1700's so he decided to place a town meeting hall on the second floor and the market on the first floor.  It's been that way ever since.  (There was yummy ice cream on the first floor  and lots of souvenirs and such!)   Park rangers were there to tell us a little about the building when we went upstairs.  And it's such a beautiful meeting space.



These paintings and sculptures in such a historic location brought tears to my eyes.



Standing in front of Paul Revere's house...I would have liked to tour the inside...but Ella was getting really tired and our time was limited.


Hard to see but I shot this picture to show the tour guide...you can get walking tours starting at the Visitor Center in Boston Common where a tour guide, dressed in period dress walks you around and explains all the sites.  We decided not to go with a tour guide...I wasn't sure Ella would make it through a 90 minute walking tour (although we spent about that amount of time after we left Boston Common anyway).  But it might be fun to do some day.  I do hope to go back someday!

Not a good picture but I just love how there are rivers running right through the middle of the city...Back east is just so pretty.

We didn't get out and walk up to Bunker Hill...but here is the monument to the battle that took place on this ground.  Much of the land where the battle occurred was sold to pay for the monument.  The cornerstone was laid on the 50th anniversary of the battle by Lafayette.  

Ella and I thought this bridge was pretty cool!

At the airport, about to leave Boston

Fortunately, there was plenty of room on the flight that night.  We got home around 11:30 P.M.  It was so nice to finally be home and see Alfredo, Michelle and Gabby again. I had missed them.  But I so enjoyed spending this time with Ella.