Day 2 – Boston, MA

“Turned out nice again!”

So the day has indeed turned out to be a very lovely one, sunny and very hot. It was an early start because we were awake at 4.30 am, not being acclimatised yet to the time difference!

We decided to have breakfast away from the hotel so sought advice from one of the ladies on Reception. She directed us to The Paramount Cafe on Beacon Hill. It’s a small cafe that’s been in business since 1937. All the food is cooked to order in front of you and it was excellent. I’m sure some of you would like to know what we had for breakfast! We had omelettes, Si the Western consisting of ham, onion pepper and American cheese and for me the tomato, mozzarella and basil.

We first visited Boston about 25 years ago and it’s now a lot busier with many more tourists but it’s still a lovely place to visit.

Here comes the history ‘bit’ ……….

The history of Boston, the capital of Massachusetts plays a central role in American history. In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded Boston and helped it become the way it is today. Boston quickly became the political, commercial, financial, religious and educational center of the New England region. The American Revolution erupted in Boston, as the British retaliated harshly for the Boston Tea Party and the patriots fought back. They besieged the British in the city, with a famous battle at Bunker Hill in Charlestown on June 17, 1775 (which was lost by the colonists, but inflicted great damage against the British) and won the Siege of Boston, forcing the British to evacuate the city on March 17, 1776. However, the combination of American and British blockades of the town and port during the conflict seriously damaged the economy, and the population fell by two thirds in the 1770s. The city recovered after 1800, re-establishing its role as the transportation hub for the New England region with its network of railroads, and even more important, the intellectual, educational and medical center of the nation.

We walked the city today stopping off at the Old Granary Burial Ground. It is Boston’s third-oldest cemetery, founded in 1660. It is the final resting place for many notable Revolutionary War-era patriots including Paul Revere, the five victims of the Boston Massacre, and three signers of the Declaration of Independence: Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine. The cemetery has 2,345 grave-markers, but historians estimate that as many as 5,000 people are buried in it.

One of the most popular places to visit is Quincy Market. Built between 1824 and 1826 it is now a food court serving just about anything you could wish for.

Quincy Market Boston 2

Faneuil Hall has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1743 and is today’s Government Centre in Boston. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain. You can see from these two images that not a lot has changed.

Other images from today are The Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the citizens of Boston from the front balcony on 18th July 1776 and the Massachusetts State House which is the State Capital and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

We came across some very friendly locals on our walk. This one was very interested in what we were up to. I think he was worried that we would be watching where he was going to hide that nut!!

Boston Squirell 2

Then on to the seafront and thought it only fair that we show you a photo of our yacht that is tied up in the harbour!!!!!!! Compared with the other yachts ours is just a little rowing boat but it was all we could afford at the time!! 😉

Small Yacht

Here’s one of me telling Si that he needs to get himself a job so that we can buy one of those other yachts!!

San Boston Seafront 2

We are off to see the Boston Red Sox tonight, lovely evening for it, so decided we should eat early. I know, I know, all we seem to do is eat! We decided on a place called Joe’s right on the harbour. It was very hot so decided we would take shelter indoors where Si tried the one cider they serve called Angry Orchard. He was impressed. It went well with his half-rack of ribs. As for me, as we were sat overlooking the ocean, I decided on the fish and chips washed down with a Ginger and Lime Rickey. I’ve heard of a Rickey but have often wondered why it’s called a Rickey. Well, I know have the answer ……. I think!

IMG_1908

Si at Joe’s with his ribs!

The name Rickey is an English baby name. In English the meaning of the name Rickey is an abbreviation of Richard ‘powerful; strong ruler’.

I think I’ll start a book entitled, ‘Simon’s Eating Habits’, could be a best seller!!

A report on our visit to Fenway Park will follow tomorrow. I bet you’re all really excited to read it!!! 😱

See you tomorrow!

 

Day 1 – London Heathrow to Boston, MA

Welcome back blog followers, lovely to see you all again!

Well what a day!!

So, the day dawned, the chauffeur in his Jaguar was on time, the same driver as last year and we headed off to Heathrow Terminal 3. The weather was a bit iffy, heavy rain, wind and sunshine.

As we had checked in on-line on Sunday, it was a simple job of just dropping the bags off and on to Security. No queues at all so we were both through in a jiffy. No need to worry about anyone seeing my lumps and bumps, we didn’t have to go through the body scanner!

Next it was off to Duty Free for the perfume purchase of the year and it was a lovely surprise when the lady at the checkout told me I had £15.00 on my Heathrow Rewards card!! I had no idea as I never check my account. Wonder if that bodes well for the visit to Atlantic City!! Fingers crossed.

The necessary goodies for the flight were purchased. Just wouldn’t be the same without Cheddars, some kind of chocolate for me, soft mints, Starbursts and a bag of  Haribo for Si. We shall eat our way across the Atlantic. 👍

Talking of eating, it just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t start off the 2017 blog without a photo of Si’s first holiday meal ……….. so here it is! It was something healthy for a change! Smashed avacado, poached eggs and tomatoes on toast. I had something healthy too, the Pilot’s salad which consisted of flavoured(?) quinoa, creamed goats cheese and various minuscule vegetables. It was delicious. Probably all down hill from here. We ate in the Pilot’s Lounge (not literally of course, it’s just called that) and very pleasant it was too before heading to the Aspire Lounge to wait for the boarding of our flight. I know, it sounds crazy to eat before going to the Lounge but that’s what we do!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, next stop Boston where the temperature is currently in the low 80’s so if that keeps up we’ll be quite happy. 🌞

Will finish today’s post once we’ve arrived in Boston. See you ‘across the pond’.

Well, here we are ‘across the pond’.

First of all, we flew on a new Virgin Dreamliner 787-9 called Mystery Girl. Lovely plane, food excellent. We were called to the gate at 4.25 pm with take off scheduled for 5.25 pm. The plane wasn’t full and they had us all boarded so quickly that were ready to go at 5.10 pm, fifteen minutes early. The captain came on the intercom and said how good it was that we were all aboard and ready to go but then a minute later he came back on and said that there was a plane jam due to the weather. We had had intermittent heavy rain showers  and we would have to wait twenty minutes before we could push back. Well, we all know what that means! We took off an hour late!!! One good thing was that we were originally told the flight would take 7 hours 5 minutes but now would only take 6 hours 38 minutes. We saw a rainbow just before take-off and that cheered us somewhat. Alas, that was the last piece of good fortune we were going to have for the remainder of the day!

In all of our 30 years of visiting the US our arrrival last night will go down as one of the worst we have ever experienced!! 😱

We landed literally with a very big bang as we hit the runway rather hard. We de-planed very quickly and headed for the Immigration Hall. Well, we couldn’t even get in the hall, we were stopped and separated into red rows and a blue row i.e. US citizens and those who had been here before and non-US citizens.  While most of our travelling companions were whisked off down the red row, because we had to renew our passports and ESTA this year, we were pushed in to the blue row. We had to wait for about twenty minutes before there was even room for us to fit into the hall. When we did manage to get in it was like a scene from Wembley Stadium, thousands of bodies everywhere. What a nightmare! We could see twelve gates of which eight were closed leaving only four to process the whole hall. This is allowing for about 30 automated gates that the red row people were using so you can imagine what it would have been like if they were not there to speed the process! We had passengers from two other flights in front of us and more coming behind. Talk about lack of organisation. If anyone ever hears me say we’ll fly into Boston again, please smack me round the head!!

After 90 minutes of standing, we just got to the head of the queue and they opened up four more gates and we were lucky enough to get moved to one of those and be processed.

Given the amount of time we were held in Immigration we didn’t have to wait long for our bags because the carousel ours was on had by know ‘given up the ghost’ and had stopped so any remaining bags had been dumped in a corner awaiting collection.

After leaving the airport we got a bus very quickly to the Car Rental Center. Now you know what happened next ……………….. all those who were in front of us in Immigration are now in front of us at the Avis rental desk!!!!! I’ve got to say all the other car rental desks (Hertz, National, Budget etc) were empty, it was just Avis that had the huge queue with only three people serving! By now I’m ready to lay down and die!!

The guy who eventually served us was very good and efficient. The car had already been booked and paid for (of course, the car we had ordered wasn’t available so they did the usual and upgraded us, so we are now driving a monster truck, a Chevy Treverse) so all that was left was for us just to ‘do the business’ regarding the sat nav, fuel option and now the EZ-Pass too! Massachusetts has decided to introduce non-cash toll roads and tunnels so we had to have the EZ-Pass. Doesn’t matter that we are only here for a couple of days, we’ve had to pay for the whole time we will have the vehicle, although the guy at the desk did set a maximum charge limit on it for us. Thank you Kenny!

The sat nav (for those who have followed us before on the blog, will know that we call it Margaret) was rather slow to connect but eventually got us slightly out of the airport when we went through the Ted Williams tunnel for about five miles with various exits along the way, but of course Margaret is not speaking to us as we’ve lost the connection so don’t know where we are supposed to be exiting!

Eventually, we rolled into the hotel very late and slightly worse for wear. At least the room’s lovely!

So, that’s why we are rather late posting our first day and only have two photos to show for it. Simon did want to take a photo of the Immigration Hall but decided it probably wasn’t a wise thing to do!

It’s now rather early Tuesday morning and we have a full day planned, including going to a Red Sox baseball game this evening (travelling there by subway!) so hopefully things will improve. The weather’s forecasted to be in the 80’s so can’t complain about that at least! 👍 😀