Tuesday, August 17, 2010


As I said in the previous post, we arrived in Boston on Tuesday, the 3rd.  What I had not told you about was the fact that we brought Patricia's computer desk with us.  Patricia needed the desk in their new apartment and Greg and Tina did not have room for it in either of the two cars they were driving from Rochester to Boston, so we agreed to take it for them.  It was very heavy but separated into the desk part and the hutch part.  Greg and I managed to get it loaded into the trailer (there was no way it would fit inside the truck) and we were still just able to get the slides in.

Greg and Tina arrived on Wednesday and like most everyone else, stayed in hotels in downtown Boston or Cambridge.  After making a few phone calls we learned that Tina's parents, who are also RV'ers, were staying in the same campground we were, and arriving that afternoon.   Tina's Dad Arnie came over and helped me get the desk out of the trailer and onto the back of the truck.  We then set off on the 25 mile trip to MIT where Patricia and David's apartment is located.

Since I did not know how to get there, I followed my GPS's directions.  Wrong!  It took me directly into downtown Cambridge and onto Memorial Drive, the street that runs along the Charles River.  It is clearly marked as "No Trucks", but what was I going to do?  The only real issues were heavy traffic and the height restrictions.  I feel like I should send the City of Cambridge a bill for tree trimming as I certainly trimmed more than a few.  We soon came to a place where an overpass was too low for us to continue so we detoured on some nearby residential streets until we could get back on Memorial Drive and eventually to our destination.   The 25 mile trip took an hour an a half.  The trip back to our campground took even longer due to heavier traffic and construction detours that started at 8 PM.  Fortunately I was able to learn of a route with more height clearance from some moving van drivers who were unloading furniture in the same apartment.

Thursday we started our sightseeing.  Dianna, Dom and I drove to the nearest subway station where we could park the truck for the day ($11.50) and took the subway to downtown Boston and then out to Cambridge for a tour of Harvard University.  There we met up with Carrie, Julie, Marie, Michele and Kelli (Michele's friend).  After the tour and some lunch we all took the subway down Mass Avenue a couple miles to MIT where Patricia met us and gave us all a behind the scenes tour.  Both universities have a lot of history and interesting architecture.

After the tour it began to rain -- no, make that pour.  We all got soaked but that did not stop us from walking to a nearby ice cream shop for some sustenance that would keep us going on our way home.  We left MIT at 4 PM for our journey back to the campground, 25 miles away.  Carrie was with us as she was staying with us for the week.  It took almost 2 hours to get to the subway station where we had parked our truck, and another hour of driving to get back to the trailer.  Someone needs to explain to me how great public transportation is, and why anyone in their right mind would live in the Boston area.  Three hours to go 25 miles.

Friday Dianna, Carrie, Dom and I visited nearby Minuteman National Historic Park in Concord and Lexington.  We stood on the North Bridge where the "Shot heard round the world" was fired and watched a very good movie about what happened there.  On the road between Concord and Lexington we stopped at a couple places including the spot where Paul Revere was captured on his midnight ride.  We learned that much of what we know of his ride warning the patriots has been "spun", to put it mildly.  He was only one of many riders that night, although he was probably the best known in the leadership of the movement.  He did not make it to Concord since he was captured but Dr. Samuel Prescott, who was returning from Lexington to Concord and met up with Revere, did.

In fact, after spending some time here I am convinced that much of what we celebrate and teach about the Revolutionary War, and all other wars for that matter, is romanticized and embellished by writers and those who want to put the proper spin on things after the fact.   No one really knows what was said that is often quoted and enshrined on statues.  At that point in history the idea of breaking away from England was only held by a very few.  Many were unhappy about paying high taxes but the idea of independence was still a ways away.

Sorry about the editorial comments.

After visiting the Minuteman Park we drove to Walden Pond and did some hiking.  We visited the spot where Henry David Thoreau built and lived in his cabin in the woods, and then hiked all the way around the pond.  It was about a two hour hike and just what we all needed -- more walking.

Saturday was the wedding for which we all traveled to this side of the continent.  Being Saturday, we were able to drive the truck to a parking lot near the church in Cambridge where we could park for free on weekends.  Traffic was much lighter and it only took us 45 minutes to go the 25 miles.  The wedding was very nice. Patricia was a beautiful bride and she and David are off in Vermont on their honeymoon.  Tina decorated their gorgeous cake and the reception was catered by Boston Market.  We all helped clean up afterward and by the time that was done we were all ready to eat again.  We all took the subway to downtown Boston (across the Charles River) where we did a little sight seeing and then had dinner just off Boston Common.  We were quite a large group by then as Marie's husband Adam and Michele's boyfriend Robert had joined us.

Sunday we again drove in to Cambridge and parked at the school.  We then took the subway to Boston Common where everyone except Robert, Michele and Kelli met to do the Freedom Trail.  It is a two and a half mile walk through downtown Boston that takes you to many of the historic places in the city.  If you are interested in all the stops you can Google it.  Of course it included the Old North Church, Paul Revere's home and several meeting houses.  The last stop on the trail is the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides".  We took the tour and everyone enjoyed seeing the ship.  It is undergoing maintenance again, an almost continuous process, so we did not get to see the height of the masts nor the cross arms, but it is still an impressive ship.  They still sail it about six times a year.  We took the ferry from the Charleston Navy Yard where the Constitution is moored, back to downtown Boston where we all said our goodbyes and hopped on the subway for the ride back to the truck again.

Monday was spent mostly in the Concord area again, except for an early morning motorcycle ride I took to West Kingston, NH and back.  I went to make arrangements to have a new braking system installed on our trailer.  More about that later.

When I returned from NH I took Dianna, Carrie and Dom to Concord where they rented a canoe for a couple hours and paddled from the South Bridge to the Old North Bridge on the Concord River and back.  Along with swimming in the pool and making 'smores that evening, that pretty much filled our last day in the campground.

Tuesday we packed everything up, towed the trailer to a nearby truck stop where we could leave it for a couple hours, and drove Carrie to the subway station so she could make her way back to the airport and home.  We returned to get the trailer and then drove up to New Hampshire where we parked the trailer behind one of the building in the industrial park where we will have the brake work done.  We then drove the 20 miles or so to Rye Beach, New Hampshire so Dom and Nana could go for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.  Unfortunately, since we are above Cape Cod the Gulf Stream does not reach this coast and neither went in farther than their waist.  Oh well.  He's now been in both the Atlantic and Pacific, and of course Dianna has been in the Arctic as well.

Wednesday was Dom's last day with us this year.  The wife of the owner of the place we are having the brake work done offered to take us to the airport.  It is about a 40 mile trip each way and Dom's plane left at 5:30 so it was heavy commute traffic time.  She knew the best way to go to miss as much of it as possible, and all it cost was a tank of gas and dinner.

We had a good time with Dom this year.  He saw lots of the country, including eight new states, and was a joy to have along.  We look forward to having his spend time with us again next summer if he is so inclined.

So now you can see that we have been busy.  And, it's not over yet.  We're now trying to relax for a few days and get our sanity back. Come back soon for another installment of "The Summer of 2010 with Richard and Dianna".


  1. Glenda and I walked the Freedom Trail in Boston too, when were there in 2005. We got lost near Tufts University our first night, and that was when we bought the compass. We had no GPS on that trip.

    I bet we also saw several other places in New England that you have or will tour. If you get a chance, go to the Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire. It was quite fascinating.

    Will you post a picture of the bride and groom?

  2. We have an intern who is a student at MIT. Smart people go there I understand.

    Did you make it to Faneuil Hall? That's about the only place in Boston I've been. I've also been up to Salem several times. That's an interesting place. Have you been there before?

    All in all it sounds like you folks are having a great time and I'm glad Dom has been able to experience so much. He will treasure that always.

  3. The Freedom Trail starts at Faneuil Hall.

  4. Donna, the Freedom Trail starts at the visitor center on Boston Common. It eventually gets to Faneuil Hall but takes you to many things before there.

    We have not been to Salem. No idea why not.

    The transportation issue is going to dictate some of our route and stops. As I've said repeatedly, this is not an RV or truck friendly part of the country. The scooter is sure going to get a workout as long as the weather cooperates.

  5. You get the feeling that everything is cramped and crowded in the East, but in the West, you can spread your wings and breathe. It is amazing why people kept huddling together until the brave started spreading out into the open West.

    But, I love the East, where so much of our history has been made. Your ancestors helped develop that area, and it makes fascinating reading. Don't disillusion me about the Revolutionary War! I love making it more romantic than it assuredly was. Oh, well.

  6. There is a statue of Anne Marbury Hutchinson in the State House in Boston. Stop by and say "Hello!".

  7. PS. She is your eighth great grandmother.