Yes, you heard that last part right - woke up this a.m. to snow. Seriously, there is no water in California and we have snow on May 23rd. Have decided to dedicate the rest of my life to fighting global warming.
However, in the meantime, I'll tell you about my trip.
Boston, was, as always, perfection. I love Boston so much and I am reminded of that every time I return. Many of my ancestors were American (have lots of distant cousins to prove it!) and my great-grandfather lived there all of his life and we used to go visit him regularly and then my great aunt Gladys after he passed. The city has changed a lot since the 1960s in many ways, but the people have not; they are as friendly as can be.
So we could walk easily to our reading by David McCullough, we stayed at the Harvard Square Hotel, a teeny little boutique hotel in the heart of Harvard.
The rooms were small, but well appointed and conveniently located across from the subway. There is no restaurant in the hotel, but there are lots of little cafes nearby, as well as the Charles Hotel, which is the larger and nicer hotel, but with a larger and nicer rate to prove it!
It was a bit of a flying trip. We didn't arrive until Sunday afternoon. The weather was glorious, so we changed quickly and had a great walk around Beacon Hill and the Boston Esplanade.
Our restaurant that evening was in the heart of Beacon Hill, 75 Chestnut, and I highly recommend it - it was charming and the food was delightful.
The next morning, these Canucks were first in line for the tour of the three John Adams' houses located in Quincy/Braintree, a quick 30 minute subway ride away. We were the only ones for the 9:15 tour, which meant we basically had the whole tour to ourselves, and well, you can imagine what THAT was like for me.... I believe I may have been described as the most interested tourist they'd had in weeks. Yes - I was that much of a geek!
The trolley you road from the birthplace houses out to Peacefield House was quite lovely:
|I love a good trolley... Makes you feel all Judy Garland-ish...|
But the reality is that there is a bank across the street and the plot of land the two birthplaces sit on are half the size of my own acreage.
But Peacefield.... That was wonderful! The last house where Adams lived (and where he and Abigail died) was a beauty:
Peacefield was home to four generations of Adam, including the two presidents, and was given to the Federal Government in the late 1920s.
The antiques and memorabilia were astounding and inspiring.
Below is the stone library built by John Quincy's son, housing over 10,000 books! It was exquisite, though sadly, you can't take pictures in any of the buildings...
This is well worth the visit, considering that the two hours of the tour cost each of us five bucks!
|Barry and his McCullough background....|
He meant it as a joke for me and then fell quite in love himself...
We were early in line and sat 3 rows back, almost across from his wife and children. Mr. McCullough did not disappoint. He spoke about the Wright Brothers for 30 minutes, took questions for 30 minutes (I asked none since all I could think to ask was "how can one man be so brilliant and charming?) and then signed books. We waited in line for 30 minutes and it was worth it! The only issue was that Barry gave my camera to one of the staff and the pictures were all fuzzy. Some were downright impossible to make out!
|Sorry for the blur - cellphone pics don't enlarge well!|
He was charming and friendly. When we told him we had driven 7 hours to see him he was tickled pink and said he was very fond of Canadians. Since I am so fond of him, it was a happy meeting!
The next morning we headed home, stopping for a visit with our Lane en route. We had a great time with her and Mr. Lane, whom we both thought was extraordinarily smart and witty and felt like we were old friends meeting again, rather than new friends meeting for the first time. I took no pictures out of respect for their privacy, but suffice to say, when I get to heaven, I kind of expect it to look like that...We were kindred spirits on all things and isn't that a wonderful thing?
I found a couple of goodies on the way during my travels, but mostly this was about seeing The Great Man (or perhaps I should say men, considering the Presidents Adams) and friends.
We are fortunate in life if we meet our heroes and they meet our expectation. In fact, David McCullough exceeded mine!
Come to think of it, so did Lane! So, to quote the poet laureate Charlie Sheen: "winning!"
More stories this week, but now I must get out into the garden. The sun has actually re-emerged and while it is still freezing, I have a garden to weed!