Friday, April 5, 2013

Boston - Day 3, and photo dump!

The End is Near....

Today was my last day in Boston, and I had plenty of fun. My mom and I tried to get an earlier start than we did yesterday, but due to full buses and bus delays, we weren't much better off. Nevertheless, we still got around and did some fun things. I went to the Boston Tea Party museum and did the Harbor Cruise, and I went back to the USS Constitution with my dad. After all that, we walked from the harbor all through the city back to our hotel. I learned that I'm NOT wearing the same shoes to London next month!

Fenway Park! If I was a bigger baseball fan, this would be so much cooler! 

Mom and I below deck at the Boston Tea Party reenactment ship.

Mom and I at the helm! Look out for icebergs! And other boats!

There are kids throwing tea overboard! Turns out tea floats just like Styrofoam...

Walking up Atlantic Ave. I'm getting better at self-shots! (I credit my Korean years.)

Mini-Hogwarts in front, Custom House Tower in the back.

Remember that captain's cabin I sorta sneaked into yesterday? Today it was open! 

I got to go down another level today! This is were all the stinky gross sailors slept. I would've wanted a spot closer to the portholes.

Popsicle and the USS Constitution.

I took this picture from the Harbor Cruise. Frame-able photo indeed!

Today was MUCH warmer, but it was still really windy out on the water.

Mom riding a donkey. Yee-haw!

This thing, on the USS Constitution, is what they use to summon the Kraken.

The leader at the Boston Tea Party was funny and disguised with coal dust, a feather, and a tomahawk . He looks just like a Native American to me!

Dad and me in front of some architecturally amazing old church.

Houses on either Commonwealth or the street above it...I forgot.

Pretty ironwork above the gates at another church.

Exterior of the Parrish House at Trinity Church. The deep maroon color didn't show in this picture :(

A tower on Trinity Church. I love gargoyles!

Again, the Sauron-lamps outside the Boston Public Library, which I love.
So, thus ends my third and final day in Boston, Mass. It's been great. I truly think that any student who thinks history is boring should visit this place. I'll never look at the history of my country the same, and I'm just hungry for more! The American Revolution is fascinating and I think that I'll look more into the details of it, to the chagrin of my high-school self, but hopefully to the proud smiles of my history teachers. This city is rich with history and full of talented, smart young people. I saw an orchestra premier a piece by their own classmate, I walked the halls of the Massachusetts State house, I even had clam "chowda!" I burned the fuzz outa my tongue, but it was so good!
My friends who have been here and lived here have all said the same thing: Boston's a place you won't want to leave. Well, they are right. I think there is enough here to keep a person entertained forever!
I've loved my visit here, and I would love to come back someday!
Is there a better plug for a place than that? I think not!
Goodbye Boston! I'll miss you!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I write more about my upcoming adventures!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Boston, Day 2

My second day in this great city was way fun and a lot warmer than yesterday. I only clutched my hood around my face this morning while waiting for the bus. 
Anyway, the day was fun and this is what I did.
My mom and I waited in the warm lobby of the hotel for our trolley/bus for way too long, but when it finally came we hopped aboard and listened to the driver tell us all about the sights along the way. He told us about MIT and Harvard and the bridges we were on. It was all informative and I probably forgot most of the info.
We stopped at the State House, and I'm so glad we did! It was free, which is always a plus, and our tour guide, who looked about 20, did a really good job. The group seemed to grow as the tour went on, but at least there were no crying kids! There was some press conference going on, so we didn't get to see the actual governor's office. So sad.
This is the State House! That dome is covered in 23 karat gold leaf, and it gleams mightily!
This entrance, on the left side of the State House, had a name that probably makes everyone who ever sees it wonder "what were they thinking?"

This was a model of the State House. That's me standing next to it. Both points are obvious.

This is the Senate Room (I think) and it was grand and very neat. I didn't get a picture of the giant golden cod hanging from the ceiling, but it was there.

After the State House, my mom and I walked on down to the Old Granary Cemetery. It was small, but really packed! The Franklin family, sans Ben, are buried here with a giant memorial. Basically all the other graves were marked with thin gray headstones, with skulls and crossbones on them and usually an inscription along the lines of "Here Lyeth Thomas Smith, aged about 20 years, died March 12, 1775." The letters that could be combined to save space, like attaching an H to the letter E, were combined on most of the markers. Maybe it was cheaper for fewer characters?
Smile! You're in a graveyard!
 After the Graveyard, we got back on the bus/trolley and rode on over to the harbors and went to see the USS Constitution. It is a fantastic old ship that's been around for a REALLY long time. The cool part is that its still usable (according to tour-guide Seaman Baker). They were painting one of the lower levels so we only got to go down one level to the gun deck. I sorta went snooping [accidentally] into the cool captain's cabin (or is it called the gallery quarters? I don't know much about boats) but one of the guides yelled at everybody to get above deck for the next tour, so I followed. Anyway, when we went down a few minutes later, the doors to that part were closed with a restricted access sign...hmmm. I'm glad I accidentally went in there when I did!
The masts and rigging of the USS Constitution.

The Gun Deck. There were dozens of these huge cannons, and they weighed something like 6,300 pounds each!
After the USS Constitution, My momsie and I finished out the trolley tour on our way back to the hotel, and went to a reception where I met all the friends of my parents whom they always see on these business trips. My parents must have told them about their kids because a few of the others at the conference knew who I was already. Everyone was really nice, so it was nice to meet them too.
It was time to eat dinner after all that, so after mapping out all the places we thought about going, we decided on UNO, which I've only been to in Korea. Turns out I like their menu lots more in the States! My mom and dad and I all got the same thing, and we all loved it. It was a good choice and I was stuffed afterwards. 
Our evening was less busy than last night, but that was okay. Tomorrow we have more stuff planned, and I charged my camera and cleaned up the SD card, so more pictures are coming!
Come back tomorrow for more!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Boston, Mass. Day 1!

I'm in Boston! After a day full of traveling to get here (I swear, taxi drivers any/everywhere know just how to keep me anxious), we got to our hotel a little after midnight and slept like logs.
But then today happened! My dad had meetings in the afternoon, so we took advantage of our morning together and walked on over to the Boston Public Library. We happened to stumble into a guy who asked us if we arrived for the tour of the library, and we decided to attend. The tour was fun and quite informative. I learned that the Boston Public Library was the first library that was free to the public in America, among many other things. The building is beautiful with art and murals and stunning architecture. I know where I'd like to work someday!
After the library we went to a fast food place for lunch before my dad had to go to meetings, so then it was just Mom and me off to have adventures.
These Sauron-lights were outside the library and I must have them.

Me, Momsie, and Popsicle in the courtyard in the library.

This was the large study area in the library. I expected to see Indiana Jones or the Ghostbusters, but they were out on business.

The would't let me up the spiral stairs. :-(

This is the view from the front steps of the library. That's Trinity Church - we went in but the tour didn't work with our schedule...maybe later!
 After lunch, we went for a long walk exploring the area. We walked through the park, but didn't see any swan boats. The lake was also empty, except for a narrow puddle of collected water. There were ducks in that inch-deep water though. I guess they were just making-do with what they had.
The most haunted-looking tree I have probably ever seen.

This is a sculpture inspired by the ducks that always crossed the road or something. My mom says we have a book about it; I guess I'll have to read it when I get home. 
 After the park, we walked around the area some more, but didn't really stop anywhere besides a fancy-looking old church. I took pictures, but they were too dark to post.
The architecture was really fun and diverse. We didn't wander as long as we would have liked because it was really cold.
A fun blue antiques shop amid a bunch of red-bricked buildings.

Did I mention it was COLD?!
 In the evening we went to dinner at the always delicious Cheesecake Factory, and right after that we went to the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall to see a concert by the Berklee Orchestra. It was SO fun! They opened the night with the premier of a symphonic poem written by one of their own students! The guy was born in 1991! What have I done with my life?! The piece was astonishingly good, and I hope that the piece is someday released on recording so I can hear it again.
The second piece they played was Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. I always love hearing the first section called "Montagues and Capulets" and if you're not familiar with it, look it up on Youtube and imagine stomping down the halls of your castle.
The Berklee Contemporary Orchestra. They were so fun!
The rest of the night's pieces were jazz, and I really liked most of the pieces. There was one piece with a really bizarre, experimental opening. It sounded more like a nightmare of noise than an orchestra following the written music, but the rest of the piece was nice.
The concert ended later that we expected, so afterwards we just all went back to the hotel. There is some international figure skating tournament this weekend and it seems like everyone involved is staying here. The lobby is PACKED with girls on their laptops and phones, all using the free wifi down there.
My mom and I are going to do some major sight-seeing tomorrow, so I'll take lots more pictures and write about it tomorrow.
Stay tuned!