|Grounds of the Kennedy Library|
Back in the planning stages we talked about a contingency plan for rainy days. Good thing we did, as our first day in Boston we woke to rain, rain, and more rain. Mixed, of course, with fog. But there are many things to see in this historic area so we just changed things around and visited the JFK Library. Don’t turn up your nose at this… The presidential libraries are anything but boring. They are little glimpses into history during the period of the president. The Kennedy library was filled with memorabilia from the 60’s. Transistor radios, the first electric typewriters, giant television cameras (like the stuff in your attic). There were also rooms dedicated to different parts of JFK’s life. We liked the PT109 room and learned that had it not been for a trustworthy native carrying a message carved onto a coconut that JFK and his shipmates might not have been rescued after their boat was sunk. (I know, you history buffs probably already knew this but I didn’t.) We also watched the end of Kennedy’s life and the funeral. Can’t imagine the pain of the country during that time.
The important thing to take from our morning is that if you have a chance to visit a presidential library you should go. Use those brain cells.
|USS Constitution (remember it’s nickname? you learned this in 5th grade… Old Ironsides!)|
Since it was still raining we visited the USS Constitution, the oldest continuous active duty military ship in the US. Because it’s still part of the Fleet it is kept in pristine shape and taken out to see annually. It must be beautiful to see sailing. We were amazed that it took 150 men to man the sails and nearly as many to operate the 50 canons on board. All fed by 2 cooks. One for the captain and one for the crew. Some things don’t change.
Even though the rain hadn’t stopped we could see the Bunker Hill monument from the shipyard. The raincoats I’d packed were left in the car but we braved the elements and hiked up hill and to the monument. Matthew was fine because he had his new sailor hat and held the umbrella close to his head. Bob and Rebecca fought over the other umbrella. The good news is, we didn’t melt. The view from Bunker Hill was not as it was during the Revolution. Lots of high rises and modern stuff made it a challenge to imagine. But maybe it wasn’t as rural as I expected. One two story brick building across the street from the monument had a 1781 established sign.
|At the TOP of the Bunker Hill Monument. Yes, that is sweat pouring off us.|
So if you go to Bunker Hill, pray for a cool rainy day. Because you’ll want to climb up the stairs to the top of the monument. All 294 stairs. I counted every one. All inside a skinny block circular building. All steep. And when you get to the very tip top there is a grate over the hole that goes all the way down to the ground. Trust me, it’s very scary. But just tell yourself, if Teresa managed to drag herself all the way up then surely you can. I put it on my list of accomplishments. Though, I’m not sure I actually looked out the windows once there.
By then we had used up nearly the whole day and so we headed out of town. Our goal was to get as far as possible because we Day 3 is going to be 8 hours of driving. More fun tomorrow.
Au revoir. (Practicing my French for Canada)
PS I almost forgot to share the most funny thing. At the JFK Library we were in a representation of the Oval Office and suddenly Matthew stopped. He was very intent and I couldn’t figure out why until I actually looked at what he was looking at. Here’s a picture.
Did you guess? It’s the famous Resolute Desk, gift from England. And of course, you saw it on National Treasure. So, sure now you can guess what Matthew bought in the gift shop. Yep, his own copy of the Declaration of Independence. He’s ready for a treasure hunt.