Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beautiful Boston

Stately Boston.  We love it, we spent barely a day there..... and we are going back.

                                           Beacon Hill, Boston

Unfortunately, I had motion sickness on the train ride from NYC to Boston (always an enjoyable time).  We woke up really early that morning at 5am NYC time (which was actually 3am our time), as the train left Penn Station around 6:30am or so ... you know those days when you wake up early, not feeling the greatest and you know you're in trouble already?  Yah, that was me.  Once we were on the train, something triggered something and I visited the restroom a few times.  Good thing there weren't many people in our train car witnessing my parade back and forth to the restroom!  Blech. 

my hand there by the window, trying desperately to stay stationary and focused while the world whips by after being told by the train steward "Oh there's at least another 2 hours to go!"  UGH.....

However, I did take my most favorite photo of our entire vacation at a brief stop....isn't this setting beautiful?  Perfect autumn colours.  No editing at all, aside from the camera zoom.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you where this house is, since it was taken in between restroom trips (or as Hubs so eloquently (and hilariously) put it :  "oh yes, that photo was taken in between barfs!")  I wasn't really paying attention to the train stops since, well, I had my mind focused on other matters requiring my full and undivided attention.  Is anyone familiar with the Amtrak route from NYC to Boston (Acela Express) and know where this house is?  I'm guessing somewhere in Connecticut.   Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thankfully to Hubs's relief (and mine), I rallied and by the time we pulled into Boston South Station, I somehow got my equilibrium back.  I'm sure the train trip was enjoyable for everyone else, and I'm told by Hubs that the scenery was wonderful.  Maybe next time I'll be able to take in the views.   Good thing the weather was on the cooler side that day in Boston, I actually enjoyed walking around and getting the fresh air.  I kinda needed it after the train trip.

Then I proceeded to have the best day ever!  See, I recover fast.  (I've had almost 31 years experience now with motion sickness so I know the routine.)  Hubs, being the history buff he is, was in his absolute glory that day.  He LOVES exploring historical sites.  I do too.

We strolled around and saw the site of the Boston Massacre:

Faneuil Hall and the Marketplace:

Went to Quincy Market for lunch.

I had even recovered enough by this time to have a Starbucks mocha and a bowl of Boston clam chowder.  There was no way I would visit Boston and not have clam chowder.  As if! 

Hi Norm!

Walked around Boston's North End, the cobblestone streets and older buildings reminded me of being in Europe:

Paul Revere House:

It is the oldest building in downtown Boston

A Boston Red Sox fan:

Old North Church:

Massachusetts State House:

Boston Common, oldest park in the USA:

Public Garden:

Beacon Hill -- love this area!  Love the rowhouses, gaslamps, uneven cobblestone sidewalks, the front doors of the buildings, all those little quaint details ....

Cheers Bar:

Then, our favorite stop of all, JFK Library.

To our immense relief, the JFK Library re-opened one week before our vacation, at the end of the government shutdown.

If you ever get a chance to go to the JFK Library, please go and see it and allow yourself at least two hours to look around and take in all the exhibits.  Had we not had to cram all of our sightseeing in barely 8 hours, we could have easily spent the entire afternoon at the museum. 

We took a cab to JFK Library from the North End.  On our way back to downtown, we took the free JFK shuttle bus to JFK/UMass station, where we took the Red Line subway back to downtown.  Very simple and very efficient. 

Some of the exhibits:

Life in sister-in-law (who would have been 4 years old in 1960) saw this photo and exclaimed "there's my childhood right there!"

Campaign Poster

Photo from cellist Pablo Casals's performance at the White House on November 13, 1961....what an event that must have been...

Love the displays and chandeliers

Evelyn Lincoln's diary during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Oct 23-24, 1962

   Stern report card for Jackie's conduct in Form during her school days.... hilarious!

Instructions to Pam from Jackie ....I chuckled at this too.

Bobby Kennedy's desk

    President Kennedy's desk and rocking chair

We saw the Cuban Missile Crisis exhibit, which was on display at the museum until December 1, 2013:

Original speech

             Marked missile sites in JFK's handwriting

President Kennedy's doodle notes during meetings

Hubs bought me this Jackie replica gold clutch.  Love it.

I have always loved this green Cassini dress Jackie wore:

                                        both photos via

 photo taken at the museum - JFK chatting with Pearl Buck, JBK chatting with Robert Frost

So I bought the little painting of it. 

At the end of our tour:

view from inside the museum

"For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed."    --  from JFK's undelivered speech which would have been given in Austin, TX on November 22, 1963.  Source

I love the above quote, especially "neither conformity nor complacency will do"... I completely agree.     

Following our brilliant day in Boston, I was a bit concerned about the train ride back to NYC, but this time I felt completely fine on the train and enjoyed it.  Of course, right?

I even followed along where we were on the train route on my iphone GPS map:

The TAPS Ghosthunters crew are based in Warwick, RI (Jason, Tango, Steve, Amy and former crew member Grant)

In Connecticut, north of the Hamptons

Also interesting to note where the fictional characters of Mad Men live.....

Trudy Campbell lives here in Cos Cob, CT:

Betty (Draper) Francis lives in Rye, NY (not too far from the Westchester Country Club, I see!):

What a fantastic day -- Hubs and I were very inspired by Boston -- the vibe, the history, the architectural details, the scenery.  We would love to go there again and explore some more, we would also like to visit Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard (oh yes and Nantucket, Hyannisport .... )

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great photos! It is so funny - I have been there so many times, but never to the JFK museum! The house is definitely Connecticut - we go by train from boston to NYC a lot though I have not had made GPS on so I can't tell you exactly!

    1. I think the house is in Connecticut too. You definitely have to go to JFK Library next time! You do have to plan to go there though as it is a bit out of the way from the Downtown/North End/Beacon Hill sightseeing, but easily doable - especially when you take the subway.

  2. I'll take Boston over NYC any day, folk there are so friendly and approachable, it always reminded of home when I lived in the US.

  3. Wow, great photos - thank you for sharing! Glad to hear you bounced back so quickly from the motion sickness and it didn't ruin your day. It's been many years since I was in the area, but I love Boston! Must visit the JFK Museum some day - all those little details, like the handwritten notes by JBK, are fascinating.

    1. I find all those little details fascinating too -- the handwritten notes, E. Lincoln's day planner during the Missile Crisis, the actual trinkets JFK and RFK had in their offices, etc. I am sure the Library changes the exhibits often. I'd like to go again when we have more time.

  4. You know I could see that green dress in the painting on you, absolutely. The photo with the gorgeous home amidst the fall leaves trees is just postcard perfect. No change of leaves here and I miss it, truth be told. have never been to Boston, now feel I have!

    1. I adore the Cassini green dress, hmmn, maybe I can have a reproduction made. We loved Boston and will definitely go again!

  5. You sure pack a lot in when you travel. I like to sit in a sidewalk cafe and watch people pass by. Boston is a beautiful city. When I was there this summer I kept thinking that I don't get there often enough. Thanks for sharing the visit.

    1. We sure do! When you're dealing with -32C weather (-44C with the windchill), those vacation memories help sustain you big-time! ha ha

    2. ps. today is a bit better, -22C and only -32C with the windchill! lol

  6. Sorry to hear of your motion sickness. I've only ever been sea sick once, in a big storm, never on a train. That must be very difficult. You know more than I do about Boston - I'll be bookmarking this page as Bill wants to see Boston. I love the painting of the dress - great idea! I was also 4 in 1960. I remember wearing a Nixon button, but thinking that I would 'vote' for that handsome man (obviously NOT Nixon!). I always find it a bit disturbing to find my life in a museum... Bill and I hope to do some travel by Amtrak on our next visit to the US. That's not an experience I ever had when I lived there!

    1. Definitely! I would travel by train again (and I continue to travel by plane), I never let motion sickness ruin my trip. You just deal with it and move on as quickly as you can! :)

      The history of Boston is so fascinating, Hubs looked up everything he wanted to see and we saw almost everything on the list, we didn't have time to visit Harvard, but we'll go there next time. I admit that the JFK Library was the only item on my list, but I was quite fascinated by the other historical sites we ended up visiting.

  7. Fab photos! I LOVE LOVE Boston too, have been a few times. I have a photo outside Paul Revere house that looks exactly like yours, except I was there in the middle of summer and was getting about in VERY UNATTRACTIVE shorts and walking shoes. The horror.

  8. That photo is my childhood also! Wonderful photos.
    Boston is indeed a wonderful place. I love Massachusetts in general and spent some happy times there at my uncles home in Framingham.
    I am so glad you had a good time and shared it.

  9. Lacey, such a crazy December, I am so late on reading this! What a great post. I'd love to get to Boston. You guys did a lot. I especially would love to get to the Kennedy museum. Love that you got a dress painting and love the clutch. So cool! Sorry I missed this. Glad you had a good time! xx Kim

  10. By the way, so sorry to hear about your motion sickness! It's the worst isn't it. Glad it got better. Being sick on a moving vehicle is not fun.

  11. What a fabulous post. Thank you for the photos and the detail. Boston is one of my top places in the US to visit one day! Your motion sickness sounds just awful :( I used to always get carsick, right up until my twenties and still do if I read, even for a few minutes. I never used to travel without 'Seabands' which activate accupressure points in your wrists. They worked for me.

    1. @ Kim - we found a Federal style mirror for our office a month ago, I will do a post on it soon. Totally inspired by our trip to Boston!

      @ Fiona - I will have to try those seabands. It's the weirdest thing, motion sickness. Most times I am fine when travelling, and then there's the one time that something will just trigger it! Very annoying. :)