Our stay in Boston has been at a much more leisurely pace than our time in New York, so I definitely don’t have enough to do a post per day since they would be very short and possibly a little dull. The day after we collected the car we had planned as a shopping day, but I managed maybe a couple of hours shopping before heading back to the hotel feeling ill… oh the joys of food poisoning! (See… if this had been a post in its own right it would have been soooo boring!) On Saturday Hannah decided that she really needed to get her knee checked out, so while she headed to the local hospital, Lizzie and I took the opportunity to visit the JFK Museum. From the moment we were handed our tickets (stickers based on JFK’s original campaign badges) and told that we could hang our coats up round the corner – for free! – we liked this museum. We picked up our complimentary map and headed straight into the theatre for the introductory film. I won’t bore you too much with the details, but it was seriously one of the best laid out and genuinely interesting museums I have been to, arranged so that you walked through the exhibits detailing his life and career in chronological order, with areas mocked up to look like TV studios, campaign rallies, the oval office etc. it was really cool. We were also both impressed that the museum mostly focused on his life and achievements rather than his death. All that covered his death was a short dark corridor with 4 small TV screens showing news footage from the day itself. We then headed back home to see how Hannah had got on and to have a quiet evening in with Dominoes pizzas. (If you were wondering, Hannah has a bandage, crutches, 2 different types of painkillers and another appointment on Tuesday for a more thorough examination.)

Not quite used to the slower pace (and amazingly for me missing the fresh air and exercise of extreme tourism) Liz and I were quite keen to get up and walk the Freedom Trail around Boston on Sunday (unfortunately this was not a crutches friendly activity as it involved a 3 mile walk, but Hannah wasn’t overly bothered anyway and enjoyed a lie in instead). We started at Boston Common and were both quite excited by the idea of the Freedom Trail tours on offer by a guide in period costume, unfortunately the $14 per person price tag for these meant that we set off on our mission clutching the cheaper version of the tour, a $3 map with brief descriptions of each site. Nevertheless we both posed at the start of the red line that marks the trail and began walking along it. Since it was Sunday most of the buildings on the trail with free admission were closed, but in hindsight this was probably a good thing since it took us somewhat longer than we had planned anyway. My camera decided to run out of batteries on the trip so my photos stop abruptly at the Old North Church but Liz took plenty for both of us (as well as any that I requested – thanks Liz!). We had great fun in the USS Constitution museum, particularly enjoying the hands on (for kids) section where we interviewed each other for positions on a ship, and thoroughly embarrassed ourselves trying out the hammocks. After we had each climbed into the lower ones a man who had watched us said that we were in the bad hammocks for being stepped on, and showed us how to get into them… he was a bit taller than us… when we tried I fell out the other side on my first attempt but eventually managed it, once Lizzie had stopped laughing at my attempts she managed it fine too. On leaving the museum we realised that going around the ship was free too, and as we walked towards it someone called out to us that the guided tour had just started and that we could make it if we were quick. This was ultimately a bad plan as it led to the final demise of the Lego bag… Lizzie’s lego bag has been gradually dying, and the extra strain on the strap as she was running was its undoing, literally the strap came right off. Sad face. Anyway, the tour was really interesting and I have discovered one advantage to being so short, I was the right height for all the ceilings on the ship – WIN! The final stop on the tour was the Bunker Hill Monument, looking at it it just looks like a really tall obelisk, which I guess it is, but you can climb it. Ignoring the sign at the bottom warning people with respiratory conditions not to attempt the 294 stairs to the top (I posed next to it on the way down clutching my inhaler) we started climbing, and climbing and climbing. The view from the top was worth it, but the view down the hole in the middle of the monument was terrifying, especially as it was seen through a somewhat rickety looking metal grate. On the way down we heard from Hannah that she was on her way into town so we headed to meet her, not so easy on legs that have climbed up and down lots of steps and just want to shake, lots! After meeting Hannah we went to Little Italy to visit Mike’s Pastry to try the (apparently) world famous cannoli. I’m not going to lie, they were nice and all but I wasn’t that impressed, I think it was too sickly for me. We were all far too full after that so after a short wander we went home for a bit before returning to Little Italy for dinner. Our evening meal was lovely, and made completely from scratch (as we discovered on questioning the onion content of the dishes) and afterwards we found a bar with a live band and had some drinks while listening to them. As has happened a few times now, our accents attracted some attention and ‘Bill’ came to join us, and spent quite some time recommending places to visit on our trip. (After a slightly creepy start, he actually turned out to be quite a nice guy.)

Monday for me was a pretty quiet day, not being a beer drinker, I enjoyed a lie in and a few hours to myself while the others went on the Sam Adams brewery tour. I headed into Boston to meet them and to test out the Paramount Cafe that had been recommended to us. Unfortunately, they were a little tipsy and very lost, so were late to meet me, but I had a wander around Boston Common while I was waiting.

Tuesday was Lizzie’s first driving experience, as she drove Hannah to the hospital for her follow up appointment. She did very well, better than me (but I would like to think that this was because we were on quieter roads and not on the Interstate – it might not be true, but it makes me feel less useless!). One major problem was that the Sat Nav died on the way there (we had left the cable in the box), resulting in asking twice for directions, but we managed it eventually. Liz and I had hoped to do the Harvard tour, but after getting very lost, we were too late, so decided to do some shopping and visit Trinity Church. We wandered across Boston Common and took some photos and then FINALLY found Filene’s Bargain Basement that all of the travel books had told us about. To be honest, we weren’t that impressed, particularly as Liz was on the hunt for a replacement for the Lego bag and the array of bags with gold tassels and weird fringes were not quite what she had in mind. We found Trinity Church, and had a brief look at the outside, but were a little put off by the entry fee, so decided to leave it at that. On the way home we stopped off at Quincy Market and Lizzie bought a bag made entirely of zips and I bought a (possibly completely ridiculous) knitted headband thing to keep my ears warm (photos to follow).

The predicted snowstorm caused us to extend our stay another night, since all the locals had told us not to try driving in it. This turned out to be very good advice, and after a quiet day in the hotel on Wednesday, we dug the car out of the snow this morning (literally) and headed north towards Salem.