Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Boston in the fall

"Well, I've never plucked a rooster
And I'm not too good at ping-pong
And I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall
And I've never kissed a chipmunk
And I've never gotten head lice
And I've never been to Boston in the fall"
- "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" from the childrens' series Veggie Tales

Stefanie and I in Boston Commons
The above song quote is absolutely ridiculous but perfectly fitting. Because guess what! I have now officially been to Boston in the fall.

I met up with my dear friend, Stefanie, in the city for the weekend. Stef and I met on a research cruise in the Arctic in 2011, and we've spent the past five years bouncing around the world for our research. We try to meet up whenever we're on the same continent, and it usually works out once a year.

Stefanie's been working with collaborators in Montreal for a few weeks, so we decided to take advantage of our (relative) geographic proximity and meet up in Boston. We spent the weekend in downtown, hitting up all of the historical landmarks and absorbing the city life.

View from the top of the Bunker Hill memorial
Boston is actually very well set-up for tourists, because the historical landmarks are organized along a walking path called the Freedom Trail. You begin in Boston Commons, follow the red tiles on the sidewalk, and read the historical markers along the way. We saw the Old North Church, where lit candles in the bell tower signaled the start of Paul Revere's ride. We passed the site of the Boston Massacre. We climbed the obelisk monument at Bunker Hill, site of the first battle in the Revolutionary War. My favorite spots were actually the cemeteries, with their simple, thin headstones. We found the headstone that had inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Scarlet Letter and passed the flashier, more prominent graves of Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin. Very cool!

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