Friday, July 12, 2013

The Cliff Walk

While my dad was in town we also went to Newport, Rhode Island to walk along their famous Cliff Walk. It is an amazing 2-3 mile walk along the coast with huge mansions along the way. It was a gorgeous day and I loved being close to the beach again and enjoy the sun! Although this trip did not go without a little adventure. Most of the Cliff Walk was closed off due to "hazardous areas" (we think there was some damage done during Hurricane Sandy and that's why it was closed off), but that did not stop us. We found an older couple near the "closed" sign who said we could still get in and we would be able to handle it. There were definitely some rocky points to our walk...or should I say hike, but it was so worth it! A day well spent!

Here are some of our pictures:
The nice part of the walk (that was still open to the public)
This walk had the most amazing view!
My dad and one of the mansions
This was my favorite mansion!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Fun Adventures with my Dad on the 4th of July!

So my dad came to visit me while Devin is in Argentina and boy did I cram a lot in during the 5 days he was here! I wanted to make sure he could experience all of New England and I think we just about did!

My dad flew into Boston on Wednesday night and since I wasn't about to drive in the craziness of Boston he met me just outside the city where we then went to a hotel to spend the night. We also were able to meet up with my Aunt Cindy and her family which was such a treat to see them since they were just visiting from Utah! 
The reading the Declaration of Independence
So the reason why we stayed the night in Boston was so we could spend the Fourth of July there and wow was it a good choice! There was so much to do and see! We started the day feeling very patriotic as we listened to the Declaration of Independence be read just outside the Old State House where the Boston Massacre was. There was a little parade that marched in and played some of America's famous music, such as Yankee Doodle Dandy, and a few gunmen that would shoot their rifles every so often. It was such a fun atmosphere to be in. After they were done reading the Declaration a man got up there and sang the Star Spangled Banner and at the very end they shot off red, white, and blue confetti everywhere! Here are a few pictures from that event:

The parade coming in before the reading
The confetti 
The gunmen shooting their guns
My dad and I outside the Old State House after the reading

I then took my  dad to the Holocaust Memorial which is just down the street from the Old State House. This memorial is one of my favorite things to visit in Boston even though it always brings tears to my eyes  as I read the journal entries of those who were in the concentration camps. The memorial is made up of several of these structures that are labeled with numbers on the glass representing the numbers that were assigned to those in the camps. The side walk and inside the structures are journal entries of those  who suffered and what they experienced while imprisoned. It's very sad, but makes me so grateful that it is over and we are all able to enjoy our freedom!

I also took my dad through the famous Quincy Market and of course he wanted a picture next to Cheers!

My dad at the Granary Burial Grounds
Next we decided to take a tour group on the Freedom Trail. Our tour guide was an African American who did such a great job and also was able to shed a little more light on us regarding black history, he gave an interesting perspective. It was very informative and we learned a lot about American History. The tour was about 90 minutes and with the heat of the day, the humidity, and walking around Boston my dad was ready for an afternoon nap. So as we were sitting near the harbor eating our lunch he thought he would follow the example of the homeless man next to us and take a little nap on the bench. I don't blame him, I was pretty tired myself and it was good to give my feet a break from walking.
Once nap time was over we decided we wanted to finish walking the Freedom Trail since the tour guide only took us on about half of it and we still had plenty of time to kill before fireworks that night. So we continued walking!

Here is what we ran into on the rest of the Freedom Trail:

The Paul Revere House
An old Catholic Church which looked amazing inside!
A Statue of Paul Revere
Mike's Pastry, a really famous pastry place in
Little Italy know for their Cannoli
Of course we took a little break to eat our Cannoli. Umm!
The North Church

The USS Constitution

Inside the USS  Constitution. It was fun to explore this old ship.
This is what I found in the stall while I
was going to the bathroom in the
 USS Constitution Muesum,
I couldn't help  snap a picture of it!

The Bunker Hill Memorial

My dad being King of Bunker Hill!

Just me Jumping, didn't make it up as
high compared to the memorial

The Harvard Campus Library
After we finished up the Freedom Trail we decided to go check out the Harvard Campus, which was absolutely gorgeous! They have a saying on a stone arch when you walk in that says "Enter to grow in wisdom" and on the other side when you are walking out it says "Depart to serve better thy country and thy kind." I thought that was pretty neat.

We then ended our day with a spectacular firework show on the Charles River. What a great way to spend the 4th of July and celebrate our Independence!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Poets Seat Tower

Most people don't know about this cool little place in the town of Greenfield, MA but my amazing husband found out about it somehow so we decided to head up there one day after church. It is called Poets Seat Tower. It is a 1912 sandstone observation tower which was named to honor a long tradition of poets who would come up here to think and write their poems. The tower was so cool and had an amazing view of Greenfield. It was also very peaceful up there so I can understand why poets would come here. 

Us at the top of the tower
Over looking the town

Climbing up to the top!

The second level in the tower, Devin showing off his cool moves!

Sitting on one of the benches 

What a great Sunday afternoon activity! We really enjoyed this little spot that is tucked away.

Memorial Day

This year for Memorial day it was our Stake Temple trip. The Elders got permission to go so we gave them a ride and decided afterwords we would take them around Boston since it was their p-day. The temple was amazing that morning and the afternoon was great too as it was filled with adventure!

We started out in Chinatown. Since the Elders had never tried  real Chinese food we thought what better place to try it than in Boston , MA in Chinatown! Well, maybe China would have been better but nonetheless we took them to a authentic Chinese restaurant for lunch. And yes we made them only use the chopsticks to eat there food! We got an array of food for them to try and I think they only liked 1 out of the 5 dishes we got, but it was still worth the trip there just to see their faces as they ate some of the food and now they can say they have had real Chinese food! I would have to agree with the Elders though, I'm not a fan of real Chinese food, I can do Panda Express though!

Our next stop was the Commons since we wanted to take them around the Freedom Trail. When we got there we found they had planted thousands of American Flags into the ground representing the thousands of people who had died in war since the Civil War. It amazed me too see all those flags and pay tribute to those who had died for our country. What a great thing to see on Memorial day!

From the Commons we took the Elders around Boston using the Freedom Trail to show them all the historical places. It was a very patriotic day and fun to see all the American Flags they had around and experience the history of this country. Here is a picture of me with a huge American Flag!  You can't see it very well but it was amazing! On the left is a picture of Devin with a Donkey, I forget why we took this picture but I thought I would include in here :)

Just a picture of us at the Harbor in Boston! 
The elder's falling asleep on the train, I think we
wore them out walking around  Boston

Before we headed home we decided to make one more stop by visiting Plymouth Rock which is only 30 minutes south of Boston. We didn't spend too much time here but we got to see the most important thing...the rock! And we happened to find time to explore their little gift shops and try on a few pilgrim hats, very stylish!
Plymouth Rock 1620
Trying on the Pilgrim bonnet 
Don't we look so  good, we totally could have pulled off being pilgrims. 

Devin and the Elders standing above Plymouth Rock
Just us in front of the ocean
Devin looking through the binoculars and having the time of his life!
Us with the Plymouth Rock Monument in the background
Hanging on to an Indian!
All in all it was a great Memorial day!