Although we are now home, I cannot leave you all wondering what happened to us on the east coast. So, I will post the remaining days over the next two or three. It is just great to be home again. Slept really well last night. Hugs to all my traveling buddies, Lauri
The Adventures of Lauri and Rose on the Road in America
Day 10, June 22, Wednesday
We got up early again, breakfasted on muffins, coffee and juice before starting out for downtown Boston again. Having managed one day successfully more or less, we felt like commuting veterans. We were heading for the bus stop when rain drops started to fall. Quickly, we scurried over to the car to grab rain gear – my Cabela’s jacket and Mother’s fashionable yellow plastic poncho.
The bus was coming as we headed for the corner so we hurried. The driver waited for us. Mother managed to climb the steps and I carried her folding walker. I dropped my 90 cents and a quarter for Mother into the fare box and we were on our way. We got off at Central Square and headed down the elevator to the train station platform. I bought two tokens so I would have one to get through the locked gate when we returned from our day. Mother only has to pay 35 cents to ride the train. This time she went through the large gate for those with walkers and strollers or who cannot manage the narrow turnstile. We waited for the train and hurried to board when it roared into the station. A few minutes later we were in the heart of the downtown area. We got off and walked to the Old State House where we purchased tickets to ride the Old Towne Trolley. Mother had thought about riding the “Ducks,” but the weather did not look good for a ride on the Charles River that is included.
We walked to the other side of the Old State House to wait for the trolley, which arrived in a minute or two. The driver quickly got out and put a stepstool down for mother. One of the male passengers also got out to help her up the stairs. The driver took the walker and handed it to us through the large open windows so we could stow it on the shelf at the back of the vehicle. Someone had a suitcase there and later a baby stroller would be added.
The trolley follows a leisurely route through Boston and the driver points out many of the prominent landmarks. You can get on and off all day, stopping to spend more time at a location if you are interested. We opted to stay put and enjoyed letting someone else navigate the traffic. The tour gave us a good look at many landmarks and some history of the city, both colonial and more contemporary events. It seems like all the Massachusetts political figures are national headline makers.
We had to leave the trolley down near the waterfront where the trip ends and begins. Since it was time for lunch, we headed to a popular restaurant called Legal Seafood. We ate at a small wrought iron table under a canopy and protected from the elements with a plastic wind screen. Since it had drizzled all morning and a chilly breeze blew off the harbor, the protection was welcome. We splurged on more fresh seafood. I had a Maryland-style crab cake sandwich. Mother decided to try a lobster roll. She was happy with her selection, and mine was as good as we had eaten in Annapolis last summer. Our waitress was a young woman named Amanda who was 5-feet 11-inches tall. She asked where we were from. and we told her Minnesota. She said she had had a college roommate from Edina and rolled her eyes at the thought of the other woman. I had to chuckle to myself. It seems people from the well-to-do Minneapolis suburb are a bit different.
After lunch we walked over to the Marriott Hotel on the wharf to see if we could find Massachusetts coffee mugs and Christmas tree ornaments. No luck.
We walked toward the Quincy Market to check out a few more of the vendors’ stalls. We stopped to rest for a few minutes on the way and were offered free ice cream sandwiches courtesy of Citizens Bank. It was a nice dessert that we did not have to pay for. We searched the market stalls, but everything says Boston, not just Massachusetts. In the market square we encountered a man in costume and makeup to look like a statue. For a dollar he gave you a fortune. I dropped a buck in his container and he dripped his hand in and handed me a little scroll.
We returned to the waterfront and boarded a trolley for the remaining portion of out tour. We got off where we got on and then toured the Old State House since the admission was included in out trolley tour ticket price. Of course, there were steps to get inside. The young woman selling trolley tickets helped me get Mother and the walker up the steps. Inside, she took our trolley tickets to the admissions desk. One of the people there brought us stickers to wear to indicate we had paid the admission. We looked at the displays of artifacts and displays from the days leading up to the Revolutionary War. We checked out the gift shop, but came up empty handed again. We were both tired and sore and determined to head back to the motel earlier today. We did not want to be downtown again after it was dark.
We slowly picked our way back to the train station and took the elevator to the lower level. We were behind the locked gate and I was fishing for my token when a voice came over the speaker box that all we had to do was push the gate open. We did and were inside, where we took another elevator down another level to the Red Line outbound train. We waited about 5 minutes for the train. We boarded, slipped into vacant seats before the train lurched forward. In just a few minutes we were at the Central Square stop. We exited the train, took the elevator to the street and crossed the intersection to get to our bus stop at Magazine and Green. We are getting to be old hands at this commuting business. It was not long before the bus came. We repeated our morning boarding ritual and settled back for the ride to Watertown. Happily, it was uneventful. We again told the driver where we needed off and she pulled to the curb for us when we were at the right intersection.
We got off and headed across the street to our motel. It was sure good to be back. We were both so tired and stiff from walking so much. Mother’s arms are sore from pushing her walker. It does not travel well over bricks and cobblestones.
I decided to pick up two cold sandwiches, a dish of fresh fruit and a pint of low fat milk for supper at the 24 Store across the street from the motel. I brought in from the car the potato chips and cherry bars that I brought from home. It made a fine light supper after our sumptuous lunch.
I tried to get on line with the motel’s wireless network and could not get the computer to connect. The motel managers’ 19-year-old son came and helped. He had it working in no time. It figures. I happily spent the next hour or so answering emails, checking on my breast cancer support boards and sending on the road stories to friends and family. We leave the Boston area tomorrow and had for Providence, RI, and then on to Hartford, Conn., where we will spend the night.
"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.