Thursday, June 18, 2009

Farewell, Boston! Thanks for the times.

Goodbye, Merlin and Charlemagne. Goodbye, daily dog walks.

Goodbye, dolphin sink.

It's been swell, New England. I love your history and your cemeteries, your snows and your brews, your cobblestone streets and your way too expensive, yet undeniably awesome, historic houses. Call me sometime.

On our drive back we stayed in Philadelphia, one of Michael's favorite cities. There we walked through Franklin Court, where we viewed the structure of Benjamin Franklin's house, the Franklin Print Shop, and Franklin's privy pit (below), which is a nice name for an outdoor crapper.

After an unsuccesssful attempt to view the Liberty Bell, we decided to conduct a taste test to see who really has the best Philly Cheesesteak. The two rivals, Geno's and Pat's both claim to have invented the cheesesteak. Pat's has a historical marker. They are right across the street from each other, and you order at a window outside. We got both steaks with Cheese Whiz, and each had their good points. I went back and forth a few times, but after they were both sitting in our stomachs, we agreed that Pat's is the winner.

After leaving Philly, we drove to Point Pleasant, WV, to stay the night. Why stay in West Virginia, you ask? Duh, because it is the site of the Mothman sightings. Point Pleasant, a very small and creepy town right on the Ohio River, has a bizarre history. In the 1960s, a moth-like man was spotted flying all over the town, along with other strange occurences like UFOs and men in black encounters, right before the collapse of the Silver Bridge that killed 46 people.
You've probably seen that Richard Gere movie.

We stayed at the historic Lowe Hotel, built in 1901. Right across the street, is a monument of the mothman. The hotel is the coolest one I've ever stayed in. It's huge! And supposedly haunted. There were hardly any guests. They have a grand ballroom, an old-timey elevator, and one little man at the desk who watches TV in the back and locks the door to the hotel after midnight. Something right out of a horror movie.

The next day, we walked through the town, and alongside the river, where they have a mural in the works that stretches across the floodwall and seems endless. It depicts the Battle of Point Pleasant (1774), which is technically the first battle of the Revolutionary War, though some don't acknowledge it.

Before we headed out from Pt. Pleasant, we went into the Mothman museum (which is strange that they have one) where we watched a video about the incidents and saw movie props from The Mothman Prophecies, like the police outfit Laury Linney wore and similar boring things. Then we struck a pose (below), and said, "See ya, Mothman, we are outta here!"

Last Days in New England (Patriot's Day/Fenway Park)

More sightseeing in Boston. Here is Michael at the Paul Revere monument in front of the Old North Church, where lanterns were hung in the steeple to warn of the British coming. There is so much history in this area.

Copp's Hill Burying Ground (Boston's 2nd oldest) was locked, and we sadly could not go in.

At night, we decided me must eat some seafood before we leave Boston. So we went to a restaurant called the Barking Crab. It was on the water by Boston Harbor and had a really fun atmosphere. Michael doesn't like seafood, but I got a bucket of crab claws and forced him to try them.

We went to Cambridge to the MIT Museum on a free day. Here I am with the robot Kismet!

We also saw many delicate mobiles.

Another early morning! For Patriot's Day, we awoke around 4am and made our way to the Lexington Green, to commemorate the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War. There, I saw my first reenactment. With a rebel yell!

Afterwards, the nearby churches had pancake breakfasts. We found one that served sausage. Mmm.

Our last day in Boston! We found out about a free tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery, so of course we had to go.

The tour was a lot of fun. After showing us the process of beermaking, we got unlimited samples of different Samuel Adams brews!

Afterwards, we felt the urge to go find Sam Adams grave at Granary Burying Ground (Boston's 3rd oldest). And here it is below.

That evening, after finding cheap tickets online, we went to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play the Twins, crossing our fingers that the rain would not cancel the game. Such a cool baseball park. I don't think there are many other stadiums in a city's downtown.

Here we are enjoying hotdogs and waiting for the rain to subside.

Here I am after the rain has not subsided, and the announcer just called the game off. Not to worry, though. The next day as we were leaving Boston, we found out the game had been rescheduled and we managed to swing by and watch a few innings!

Last Days in New England (Bunker Hill/Sleepy Hollow Cemetery)

Michael doing what he does best.

I took a trip over Easter to Disney World with my family. When I returned, Michael and I crammed in as many New England things as we could our last weeks in Boston.

One day, we drove into Boston to walk along the Freedom Trail, a path through downtown that leads to significant historic sites. We began at Bunker Hill Monument. Standing 221 feet tall, the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. We looked at the monument of Colonel William Prescott (above), who uttered the legendary phrase, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

We saw so many lovely apartments along Bunker Hill.

Walking over Charlestown Bridge

Back at home, Michael makes a beard out of Lily the cat.

We saw the Gene Ween Band at Paradise Rock Lounge! We got the bassist (above) to autograph a "Reserved Seat" sign that Michael tore off the wall. Then Michael told him about how he asked him for a slice of pizza once in Oxford, Mississippi, and was denied. He apologized.

Another day, we went into Concord to find the graves of famous authors at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. There were lots of interesting tombstones, many very old.

We raced to see who could find Henry David Thoreau's grave first. I won.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's grave

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Pogues! The Pets!

Shane McGowan of The Pogues

We got last-minute tickets to The Pogues Friday night. They played at the House of Blues, one of only a few stops on their mini tour. Might possibly be the last time they perform. I couldn't understand what Shane McGowan was saying, but he was alive, and they were awesome.

The other night we got some photos while hanging out with the pets (below).

Michael and Snapdragon, the sick cat

Charlemagne, the eldest greyhound

Merlin, the naughty greyhound

Lily, the fat cat