Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boston Memorial. Boston Tour. 10 Best. 21 Free. Cheers. Paper House. Sputnik. HDTV.

 For "Travel Tuesday": Some places around Boston.
Boston 9/11 Memorial
"It’s a glass and steel cube. Next to a thruway.  A memorial at New England's largest airport, Logan international."
"It is a memorial commemorating the awful events of that ironically sunny morning in September of 2001. This is a place designed to be for reflection and remembrance dedicated to all of those affected by the events of September 11, 2001. The seriousness of purpose cannot be more underscored. 
The 9/11 Memorial honors the passengers and crews of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, which departed Logan Airport that morning for Los Angeles."

Colonial Boston and the American Revolution.
October 25-29, 2011
Old North Church
"NPCA is pleased to announce a new tour this fall, co-hosted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. From Paul Revere's famous ride, warning of the British army's advances, to the Siege of Boston by the fledgling Continental Army under General George Washington, colonial Boston is the most important destination to explore the early years of the American Revolution.
Guided by experts in the field, participants will explore Boston's historic churches, cemeteries, and houses, examine historic documents and artifacts, make excursions to the battlefields of Lexington and Concord, explore the rich maritime history of Salem, and visit the home of John Adams in Quincy.
To reserve your space, call us at 800.628.7275, email us at mailto:travel@npca.org?subject=Colonial Boston and the American Revolution, or go online.
For more information, visit http://www.npca.org/revolution.

Top 10 Must-See Sights in Boston

"Boston is a one-of-a-kind American city that offers visitors opportunities to relive history, immerse themselves in the arts, cheer for hometown sports teams, explore museums, discover "hidden" harbor islands and imbibe at a famous brewery or an even more famous bar. If you're visiting Boston for the first time or if you've never spent an extended period in Massachusetts' capital city, here are my picks for Boston's must-see sights and attractions.
1. The Freedom Trail
Park Street Church - Boston Freedom Trail
A walk along the two-and-a-half-mile Freedom Trail is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Boston and to efficiently visit the city's bounty of historic landmarks. If you're in a hurry and in pretty good shape, you can cover the length of the trail in as little as an hour, but that won't really allow you the time to stop and visit any of the sites along the way. Your best bet is to allow three hours or more to walk the trail at a leisurely pace and see all of its Revolutionary landmarks.

2. Boston Public Garden
Boston Swan Boats
Boston Public Garden, located along Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common, is the nation's oldest botanical garden. The famous Swan Boats have returned to Boston Public Garden each spring since they were first invented in 1877 by Robert Paget. The business, which operates from mid-April through mid-September, is still operated by descendants of the boats' inventor. When winter arrives, the pond is open to ice skaters.

3. Quincy Market
Quincy Market Boston
Most people know it as Quincy Market, although its official name is the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Whatever you call it, this indoor-outdoor market is a great place for both shopping and dining.

4. Fenway Park
Fenway Park
On a sunshine-filled summer afternoon, there is perhaps no better place to be in all of New England than Fenway Park, historic home of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox. Baseball fans have been energized and agonized by the exploits of some of baseball's greatest players at Fenway since 1912. If you can't score tickets to a Red Sox game, look into behind the scenes tours of Fenway Park.

5. Museum of Science
Boston Museum of Science - Dinosaur Photo
Boston's museums are as good as any you'll find in the world, and the most visited one is the Museum of Science at Science Park. It has more than 400 interactive exhibits including my favorite--the Virtual Fish Tank, an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Take the kids!

6. Sam Adams Brewery
Sam Adams Brewery Tours in Boston
These days, Samuel Adams is known as much for being a brewer as a Patriot. Tour the Sam Adams Brewery in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston for a glimpse at the microbrewery's beer-making process and a sample of the finished product. The brewery is also home to the Boston Beer Museum.

7. New England Aquarium
Sea Lion at New England Aquarium
Want to see sea lions smile and penguins play? Head to the New England Aquarium, one of Boston's perpetually popular family attractions. Once inside, you'll find yourself immersed in a watery world, where you can wave your flippers at cavorting sea lions and press your nose right up against the glass of the poisonous fish tank--if you dare!

8. Boston Harbor Islands
Boston Harbor Islands - Photo
Want to swim, hike, explore the ruins of an old fort and camp out under the stars at a national park? Believe it or not, you can do all of these things without leaving the city of Boston. The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area consists of 34 narrow isles scattered in New England's most historic harbor, and you can visit these "hidden" outdoor spaces by boarding seasonal ferries from Quincy and Boston's Long Wharf.

9. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Fine Arts Boston Photo
The MFA is New England's largest art museum. It is known for its collection of works by Claude Monet--the largest assemblage of paintings by the French Impressionist outside of France, as well as for its enthralling Art of the Americas Wing, which opened in 2010. It is also home to spectacular changing exhibitions that never fail to attract attention.

10. Cheers Boston (formerly the Bull & Finch Pub)
the original
Famous as the inspiration for the television show Cheers, the former Bull & Finch Pub, now officially known as Cheers Boston, is located in Boston's Beacon Hill District. It's definitely a tourist trap with souvenirs galore for sale and overpriced pub food, but it's still one of those places that fans of the show make a beeline for when they're in Boston."  http://www.cheersboston.com/pub/main_locations.html
From: http://gonewengland.about.com/od/bostonattractions/tp/aabostonmustsee.htm


The Duck Tour

Take a Duck Tour while in Boston!
"This is the absolute best tourist attraction in Boston. The "DUCK"in question is a World War II amphibious vehicle and it tours you all around Boston seeing some of the most famous sights of the city. There's a tour guide aboard, who will give you a great narration of Boston history then, towards the end, the DUCK will actually leave land and head into the Charles River. Really cool - literally. "
Please visit their website at: http://www.bostonducktours.com

21 Free Things to Do in Boston

"This is a list and guide of Free Things to do in Boston while visiting - the list includes museums, tours, events, entertainment, places to eat and lots more.
And all with one low entrance price - $0."

Historic Beacon Hill

19th Century cobbled streets and alleys with original gas lights are just minutes from office blocks and busy roads and included in this list of things to do in Boston.

USS Constitution - Charlestown Navy Yard
"USS Constitution is the oldest ship in the American Fleet and is ready for you to board and inspect at the Charlestown Navy Yard. 
Built in Boston and launched in 1797 to provide protection for American ships sailing the North African coast, "Old Ironsides" saw it's most memorable action in the War of 1812 when it defeated HMS Guerriere in a 35-minute battle that in one event projected the United States into a super naval power. Today this historical ship is permanently docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard and offers free tours of the ship every 30 minutes. More >>>"

A Free Lunch at Quincy Market - Haymarket
"Quincy Market is the place to eat at lunchtime in Boston. Don't argue just go there. You can book a table at your favorite Italian restaurant in the North End in the evening - but at Noon - Quincy Market is where it's at. In one long building are hundreds and hundreds of food stalls ranging from... ah forget it, just go. But wait a minute you say - food is not free, right? Well, every Wednesday Quincy Market has their International Food Festival where you can sample foods at stalls bearing "The Taste of Quincy Market" sign for... can you guess?... free. Sure they're not going to feed you a heaped plate of food, but sample enough from the variety on offer and it'll keep you going until snack time. More >>>"

Boston Common and Public Gardens - Beacon Hill/Downtown

Boston Common puts on a stunning display of fall foliage every October.
Boston Common is the oldest park in America and where once a colonist's sheep grazed. Today Frog Pond, sculptures, free summer theater performances, park benches shaded by maples, provide an oasis in the surrounding concrete and red brick structures of Massachusetts' capital city. The Public Gardens are a short walk across Charles Street that separates these two sections of Boston's major park. The Gardens have a more formal layout and the popular Lagoon was added in 1871, and the famous Swan Boats have been operating since 1877. The formal displays of flowers in spring and summer are splendid, but there's also plenty of deciduous trees to ensure a showy fall foliage. If you're around at lunchtime, do like everyone else, and purchase something from a vendor and spread out on the grass and catch some inner city peace - sorry, don't know where that one came from! More >>>

Blue Hills Reservation- Milton
Just a 30-minute drive from the crowded waterfront attractions of downtown Boston is one of the best-kept secrets of this city - Blue Hills Reservation. The park consists of 22 hills and 125 miles of trails covering an area of 7,000 acres. Blue Hills Reservation is open year round from dawn to dusk, and activities include: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, ice skating, mountain biking, picnicking, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, softball, and swimming at Houghton Pond. The Summit of Great Blue Hill is the reservation's high point at 635 feet, and has an observation tower offering views of the Boston Skyline and surrounding countryside. Use of all the trails is free. More >>>
Rest of the free things at: http://addison.hubpages.com/hub/21-free-things-to-do-in-boston

Historic sites and national parks

Paul Revere House

Historic Paper House, just north of Boston

"In 1922, Ellis Stenman, a Swedish immigrant, started building a two-room summer cottage almost entirely out of newspaper.
The house, began as a hobby, has a wood, floors and roof, the walls however, consists of 215 layers of newspaper. Stenman mixed up his own glue, basically out of flour, water and "a little sticky stuff like apple peels."
The furniture and curtains are also made from newspaper. Stenman, a mechanical engineer, painstakingly wrapped paper around wire to form chairs, desks, lamps and curtains.

In all, it is said he used about 100,000 newspapers. Visitors can pause to read the walls and find historic headlines from the 20s and 30s.
Paper House
Address: 52 Pigeon Hill St., Rockport – Pigeon Cove, MA
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. –5 p.m., spring through fall.
Admission: $2 adults, $1 children, 6-14
Phone: (978) 546-2629
URL: www.paperhouserockport.com
Photos of Paper House exterior and the (mostly) newspaper fireplace by Mister Bisson."

Whew, that is a lot of places to see!

Oct 4, 1957: Sputnik launched

The Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" with its launch of Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for "satellite," was launched at 10:29 p.m. Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. Sputnik had a diameter of 22 inches and weighed 184 pounds and circled Earth once every hour and 36 minutes. Traveling at 18,000 miles an hour, its elliptical orbit had an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 584 miles and a perigee (nearest point) of 143 miles. Visible with binoculars before sunrise or after sunset, Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to Earth strong enough to be picked up by amateur radio operators. Those in the United States with access to such equipment tuned in and listened in awe as the beeping Soviet spacecraft passed over America several times a day. In January 1958, Sputnik's orbit deteriorated, as expected, and the spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere."



Now that the cargo doors had been paid for, it was time to pack them up, and ship them.  Jay wanted to go to town with me as usual, as he doesn't have a car.  Misty had a good walk-about near his house when I went to pick him up.
Then Jay helped me cut down a big box, so I could wrap the cargo doors in bubble wrap, and secure them safely in the box.  It was sent from our local Post Office, as the one in Conroe is always so busy with long queue.

Jay and I went into Conroe mainly to get the special converter box for Ray's HDTV from the cable company.   After all the messing around checking the coax, I found out that even an HDTV has to have a special box.   I didn't know the thing was going to add $5.50 to the monthly bill. 
So now you get penalized for having a newer TV, whereas the boxes for the old non-HD TVs are issued free, and there is no monthly charge.  What a crock!

But while we were in town, we picked up a few more things, of course.  We looked around in Walmart, Petco, Big Lots, HEB, Krogers, Petsmart and found a few bargains.  Gassed up at $3.06 gallon, at Krogers.  As we had left later, there was no stopping at thrift shops, but still didn't get back until 3.00 PM.

The weather had started out a little chilly, but by the time noon came we were hunting for parking under trees for the shade, even if it meant walking a way to the stores.

I am pretty sure I got in my 10,000 steps yesterday.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I still have old square TV's that have those big old picture tubes in them. Works for me but sometimes I can't see what is out past the edges.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi Dick, thanks for your comment.

That's what I have, the big old clunky TVs. They all had to have boxes installed on them by the cable company, FREE.

If I had to pay $5.42 per month for each TV in this house, that would be $32.52 a month if I went to all HDTVs.($390.24 a year) But that is not likely to happen.

I know that I am on a different cable company from you, so maybe your charges would be different.

At least I have a flat screen computer monitor now!

Happy Tails, and Happy Trails, Penny.

Anonymous said...

Can’t say enough about this website – its alot better than mine.