March 31, 2011

Boston Getaway - Part 5 - On The Freedom Trail to the North End

Now, even though we are heading south on "The Freedom Trail", we will actually be in what's called the "North End" area of Boston.  Also, known as "Little Italy".  This area is full of historic sites and alot of the streets are still cobblestone.
As we cross over the Charlestown bridge, Stijn spots the "Boston TD Garden".  Formally known as "Boston Garden".  Read here for a little history.  So of course we must go in and get him a Bruins hat.

As we continue following the 2.5 mile red line that marks the Freedom Trail, we come to our next stop.  The second oldest cemetery in Boston, "Copp's Hill Burying Ground". 

I don't know about you, but the old headstones amaze me and I do enjoy walking through old cemeteries and taking pictures.

During the Revolution, the burying ground's prominent location overlooking the harbor gave it a strategic military importance and the British used it to aim thir cannons on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill.  The British soldiers also used the gravestones for target practice and you can see the bullet holes on some of the gravestones. 

Only about 2,200 gravestones remain.  In 1838 new walking paths were installed and the gravestones were moved and arranged in rows. Consequently, many of the gravestones no longer mark the location of their owner’s grave.

We make our way now to the "Old North Church".  You know, the church where Sexton, Robert Newman displayed lanterns to warn Paul Revere and others of British troop movements.  "One if by land, two if by sea".

Built in 1723, Old North Church is the oldest church building in Boston.  It also contains the oldest American church bells which were cast in Gloucester, England and installed in 1745.

Arriving at the address of 19 North Square, we see the oldest building in downtown Boston.  Built around 1680, this house was the home of "Paul Revere", who lived here from 1770 to 1800.

I love the neighborhood in this area.  Looks like a couple of places I've been in Europe.

Well, it's time for some lunch before continuing on our trek.  We decided to go ahead and be total tourists and eat at "ye olde Union Oyster House". 

The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in Boston and the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S. — the doors have always been open to diners since 1826.

Did you know that the toothpick was first used in the United States at the Union Oyster House. Enterprising Charles Forster of Maine first imported the picks from South America. To promote his new business he hired Harvard boys to dine at the Union Oyster House and ask for toothpicks.

I do love raw oysters, but today was a kind of hot bowl of clam chowder day!

Next stop, is to the middle of it all, "Faneuil Market Place".

March 30, 2011

Watery Wednesday - Lake Tahoe

If there is one thing I like more then waterfalls, it's hiking to the top of waterfalls!

Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
I love going here and this was one of my trips back in 2006. 
Time sure does fly when you're having fun!

I am participating in "Watery Wednesday"

March 28, 2011

Boston Getaway - Part 4 - Bunker Hill

After visiting "Old Ironsides", our next stop along the "Freedom Trail" is "Bunker Hill".  The narrow streets of Charlestown all seem to lead to this historic square boardered by some beautiful colonial homes.
And looking over it all is the 221 foot (67m) obelisk at the center, dedicated in 1843 to commemorate the battle.

"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."  This legendary order has come to immortalize the determination of the American Colonists who united to take on the might of the British Army on June 17, 1775 at this famous battle of Bunker Hill.  However, did you know that the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought atop Breed's Hill and that it was technically a British victory?

And let me tell you, I am so glad that I walked up the 294 stairs to the top in the year 2000 during my first visit to Boston.  Because there was no way, after my surgery's this past July that I was going to make it to the top again.  Besides, it was closed today.  You can see from the picture above that the monument is under some maintenance, so it was hard to get a great picture.

Our walk took us through the City Square where we took a little break before making our way back over the Charlestown Bridge.

Next stop, the area referred to as the "North End"

See more pictures of our day by clicking here "Where's Debbie".  Then click on the album "Bunker Hill"

March 25, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Sunset in Fiji

I took this while visiting Fiji in December 2006.
The tide is out and the sun is setting.....does it get any better then this?

I am participating in my first "Skywatch Friday"

March 23, 2011

Watery Wednesday - Tervuren Belgium

Just a few days ago, my dear friend, Birgit and I spent the day in Tervuren enjoying "The Royal Museum for Central Africa". (story coming soon!)  The museum is a first-class centre for scientific research on Africa and one of the most visited museums in Belgium.

This is a "Watery" glimpse of our day.

Be sure to stop by "Water Wednesday" to see other's "Watery" Days!


March 22, 2011

Boston Getaway - Part 3 - The Freedom Trail

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Boston is such a great city.  Not only rich in American History but one of the "easiest" cities to get around in while your visiting.  During our visit this past November we took a peek into the past while riding one of the many "Hop On Hop Off" tours.  They're a bit expensive maybe at about $76.00 for two people, but the live narration from the bus driver was fantastic!  I'm sure you have to be lucky enough to get a good driver, and we enjoyed ours so much, we never got off of the bus until the tour was complete!

But I think what I love the most about Boston is that you can walk all over this historic city.  Which for me is the best.....I can stop and take pictures when ever I want!

We started at the Charlestown Navy Yard and here is where we begin with our walk along the "Freedom Trail" .  I will break this up into several posts because there is so much to share with you along this historic route.

Today's post will be about our first stop, The USS Constitution, or as it's lovingly referred to "Old Ironsides".

It was nicknamed this because cannonballs could not penetrate her tough oak sides.  Being one of the first of the original six frigates that made up the U.S. Navy, she was an A 44-gun frigate built at the Edmond Hartt Shipyard, Boston, MA, in 1797. Her dimensions are 53,34x13,26x6,0 (d) m [175'0x43'6"x16'7"] and with a displacement of 2000 tons, the ship carried a crew of more than 450. The ship served in the undeclared naval war with France (1798-1800) Was the Flagship in the Mediterranean squadron, in the Tripolitan War (1801-05). In the War of 1812 the Constitution won battles with the British frigates Guerriere and Java; the former battle took place about 1,200 km (750 mi) east of Boston on Aug. 19, 1812, and the latter off the coast of Brazil on Dec. 29, 1812. The Constitution made its last combat tour in 1814-15. The ship was scheduled to be scrapped in 1830, but Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem "Old Ironsides" inspired a public movement to save it.

September 16, 1830
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;--
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;--
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered bulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

 The USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and is still in service today as an icon of America's proud naval heritage and maitime traditions.  Restored in 1925, the Constitution is now The oldest commissioned vessel in the US Navy. Presently serving as a museum ship at the Charleston Navy Yard, was closed on this day.  So twice now, I have missed the opportunity to get a glimps of the inside of this magnificent vessel. 

One of the many historic buildings at the Charlestown Navy Yard, and my personal favorite, the Commandant's House (Quarters G).

Since 1805 the most elegant structure on the Waterfront has been the residence of the United States Navy commanders. “The house on the hill” overlooks the USS Constitution, Boston Harbor, and the city skyline.

Well, it's time to continue our walk along the Freedom Trail.  I hope you come back soon and read about our next stop!

Just a few more pictures if you would like to see them.  Click here "Where's Debbie" then on the album "Old Ironsides"

March 18, 2011

Boston Getaway - Part 2 - Acorn Street

On Beacon Hill, located on the North side of Boston Common, is a small lane called "Acorn Street"

This adorable, very European, cobblestone thoroughfare was built in the late1820's.

We found mention of this picturesque little street in our Boston guidebook and decided that we needed to see this!  While walking the streets on Beacon Hill, I felt like I was in Ireland again, it's crazy!  But then as most of you know, many Irish immigrants came to this area.

Acorn Street is also often mentioned as the most frequently photographed street in the United States.  I was only able to snap a couple of pictures as the sun set and the moon rose.

There are a few more pictures at "Where's Debbie" in the album "Boston Getaway-Acorn Street"

March 14, 2011

Blue Monday - Venice Beach California

I was going through some old files of my pictures to maybe try a post for "Blue Monday".  I came across these pictures that I took while visiting Venice Beach, California in April 2008.  It seems that "Blue" is  everywhere you look!

A street entertainer on Venice's Ocean Front Walk decked out in "Blue"

Some great little shops with just a touch of blue.  But look at that "Blue" sky!

The gorgous "Blue" Pacific Ocean

And of course a great "Blue" bikini while enjoying it all!

Click "Blue Monday" to see some more "Blue" from some "Blue" photographers

March 8, 2011

Watery Wednesday - Copenhagen Denmark

I took these pictures while visiting Frederiksberg Castle in Copenhagen in July 2008.

Take a look at some other great "Watery" pictures over at "Watery Wednesday"

March 5, 2011

Boston Getaway - Part 1 - Boston Common and Public Park

This post is a little out of place as it relates to a trip we took over 4 months ago.  But, we've taken so many little trips, I'm having a hard time keeping up!  So forgive me if this post is going to confuse you as to where I am now.  Take note, I am in Belgium currently with lots of stories still to come, but I feel the need to let you know about our Boston Getaway this past November! And attempt to "Get Caught Up"!

Why Boston?  Well, we had some airline tickets we needed to use before coming to Europe.  Stijn suggested Boston knowing that I had been once before and I loved it!  He had never been, and I knew he would love it!

We left November 20 for a two night/3 day stay in Boston's South End.  This was a great area to be with the Boston Rapid Transit just a short walk away from our hotel.  You see, Boston is a great city to visit on foot!  No need for a rental car, besides you would make yourself crazy trying to find a place to park.

The "T" as locals refer to it, takes you to all the tourist areas.  We decide to start with the "Public Garden" and "Boston Common."

The oldest public park in the history of the USA, Boston Common's history goes back as far as 1634, when the area was designated a common pasture.  Now, it's a place for walking, weddings, events, some volleyball or simply sitting and enjoying the wildlife while you browse through your tourist guide book.

Boston Common is littered with historical monuments. Here are a few you may have heard about and quite possibly some you haven't.

Do you know the story of Mrs. Mallard and her eight babies?  "Make Way For Ducklings" was written in 1941 by Robert McCloskey and is about a Mallard family searching for a new place to live.

This bronze sculpture was unveiled in 1987, the 150th anniversary of the Public Garden.

This is one of the smallest suspension bridges in the world and sits at the heart of the Public Garden.

The "Brewer Fountain", donated by Gardner Brewer in 1868, is an exact copy of a fountain which was designed by French artist LiƩnard for the World Exposition of 1855 in Paris.

The Boston Common Frog Pond is nestled in the heart of America's oldest public park and in Colonial times, real frogs lived in the pond.  In the winter months from mid-November to mid-March  "Frog Pond" transforms into a place to ice skate.

A Classical Revival bandstand "Parkman Bandstand" sits at the center of a particularly lovely network of paths surrounded by stately trees.  It's used for concerts and other events.  The bandstand was named for George Francis Parkman, who died in 1908, leaving the city $5.5 million to be used for the maintenance of the Common.

Well, I think you know who this is......

......and maybe even this guy.

Located on a rise called "Flag Staff Hill", the "Soldiers and Sailors Monument" was erected in memory of Massachusetts soldiers and sailors who died in the U.S. Civil War. Construction began in 1874 and the monument was dedicated on September 17, 1877.

Located across from the Boston Common on the top of Beacon Hill, is the Massachusetts State House built in 1798. The land was once owned by Massachusetts first elected governor, John Hancock. Charles Bullfinch, the leading architect of the day, designed the building.

Bullfinch.....does that name ring a bell?

Yes, "Cheers" is the home of the "Bull and Finch Pub"

This center of Boston truely has some wonderful photo opportunities.  Here are few more of my favorites!

Well I could bore you to death with all the pictures I took!  So let's get some lunch!

When in Boston, eat seafood!

I will warn you now, it's going to be a week or so before I can get back on the computer to give you Part 2.  We have company coming from Bulgaria today to see Taylor Swift in concert here in Brussels.  And then, my honey surprised me with a trip to Cologne Germany this week!  Story to follow, eventually.

If you would like to see more pictures of Boston Common, just click here "Where's Debbie" and then on the album "Boston Getaway-Part 1"
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