Boston and July 4th celebration! 6/29/14 – 7/5/14

USS Constitution, Boston

USS Constitution, Boston

We made our way up from Cape Cod to the Boston area, specifically the Boston Minuteman Campground in Littleton, MA, about 40 miles NW of downtown Boston. (There are no RV parks near the city of Boston – what a chance for someone to invest and open one if they could find a lot big enough within 12-15 miles of town.) The park was nice, very much more of a campground feel, lots of tall trees (blocking our satellite) and hilly with dirt and gravel roadways. They put us into the biggest site in the park, a huge corner location with lots of privacy. A very nice park, with super friendly staff, all really helpful. We stayed in that night and planned our week, knowing it was going to be a busy one.

Hanging out at the Campground

Hanging out at the Campground

Monday we headed north to the Cape Ann area (the other Cape), about 30-40 miles north of Boston on the coast. I wanted to make sure we got to Gloucester, I had heard of it many times, and have been watching a TV show lately based out of there; Wicked Tuna. We did many of the back roads around the north side of the cape and arrived at our first stop on the journey, Rockport. This was a small town, right on the coast, and in my opinion, one of the neatest little gems we have found on our adventure so far. Maybe I had no expectations, but this town had a beautiful harbor, small little main street and a touristy area called Bearskin Neck with lots of shops, galleries and restaurants. The key here was the smallness, and it was not so over crowded that you could actually get a parking place and see the sites. Traci found a little jewelry store and finally was able to get her Cape Cod bracelet she has been eyeing for a few days. We had a nice lunch, and it was a great stop, not soon forgotten. Next we made our way down the coast to Gloucester. One of the oldest and deepest natural ports in the NE, it was a big little city, and lacked a lot of character because of its size. We wandered around the marina, I was looking for one of the Tuna boats from the TV show, and we actually were able to see one, the harpoon boat Lily. We grabbed a beer at a dockside restaurant and that was about it, sort of a letdown for me as I had higher expectations of this place. We then made our way further down the coast through Manchester and Salem, then back to the MoHo after a long day of driving.

Rockport, Cape Ann

Rockport, Cape Ann

Rockport, Cape Ann

Rockport, Cape Ann

Tuesday it was time to head to the big city. We decided to take the subway, so we headed to the nearest stop, a 50-minute drive from the RV park. Then, it took another 45 minutes to get into the city, and all of a sudden, we had spent the better part of two hours just getting into town! We started our day in Boston Commons, the main park like area in town. We headed out on the Freedom Trail, a route through the city showing off many of the significant historical sites along the way. It was a cooker, temps in the low 80’s and humidity in the 60’s. We found our way to Faneuil Square in the center of town that had an actual replicated bar of the TV series Cheers. There is another location in town that was the actual location, but it is not the same look as what you viewed on the TV show. We walked in and had an icy cold one, and then made it back out to the trail. We wandered through the city hall area where the town had erected a huge outdoor TV for watching the world cup games, exciting. Next we returned to the subway and made our way to the Fenway area, a baseball game was on the schedule for the night for us. But first, we found a local bar next to the stadium and bellied up to watch the US vs. Belgium. When we arrived at 3:00PM local time, the bar was very quiet, maybe 20-25 people. By the time the game started, it was a huge party and there must have been 300 people, all rooting for the USA. We all suffered through the agonizing match, and everyone left disappointed with the result, but many were still upbeat with the success of the team. I was most proud of Deandre Yedlin of the hometown Seattle Sounders and his excellent performance for the squad. We then headed to the ballgame, the Cubs vs. Red Sox. We entered the stadium and immediately there was the reason for everyone coming to Fenway Park, the Green Monster in left field. We made our way all around the park, taking lots of pictures and eventually got to our seats. The day was sweltering, and the warm beers did not help, with our poor seats, we only lasted 5-6 innings and it was time to get out ahead of the crowds as we still had at least a 90 minute trip home. Super glad we were able to see the old stadium, but I do not think I need to make a return trip, just was not one of my favorite ballparks.

Outside of Fenway Park

Outside of Fenway Park

Our 'not so great' seats at Fenway

Our ‘not so great’ seats at Fenway, Section 9

The Green Monster, Fenway

The Green Monster, Fenway

Wednesday we decided to make it to town via a different route, taking the commuter train this time. The station was a lot closer, but also cost $40 round trip for us to both go downtown, making our commute time only about an hour this time – worth it! Again another very warm and humid day, we decided to walk the north side of the Freedom Trail with our main destination the USS Constitution. This mighty sailing vessel was built in the late 1700’s and is still floating, amazing testimony to the designers and builders. We were treated to a talk by a 20-year old US Navy sailor, who was very entertaining, and delivered a great account of the old grandma’s battle history and accomplishments. Next, we walked our way back to town, and completed the rest of the Freedom Trail before grabbing a bite to eat at a great spot in Little Italy and calling it a day. The heat was taking its toll on us and we headed home, luckily catching an express train that only made 2-3 stops instead of the normal 10-12. The weather was changing, and we wanted to get the MoHo ready for the rain.

Aboard the USS Constitution

Aboard the USS Constitution

Traci and Paul Revere

Traci and Paul Revere

Thursday morning was a busy one. When we made our reservations at the campground a few months back, they didn’t have a site for the whole time we were there, so we knew we were going to have to move the MoHo half way through because others hard already reserved our specific site for that time. We packed everything up and drove the 80 feet to another site and got everything set up again. Looking back, I actually enjoyed the second site a lot more anyway. Next we headed back into Boston, this time driving in. We had reservations in town at a hotel to be able to stay there for the nights of the 3rd and 4th, so as to not have to commute during the 4th and late night fireworks. All was good, until hurricane Arthur decided to move up the east coast and everyone started to adjust plans. On top of it, our great friend Bill was coming to stay with us for awhile and he was enroute to meet us for the fireworks scheduled for the 4th. We got to the hotel and checked in, and it was nice to have so much space, and super high-speed internet for a change. We decided to relax, as now the fireworks show had been moved up to the 3rd in anticipation of Arthur’s arrival, and we knew it was to be a late night. We had a boring meal at the hotel, and then headed out about 7:00PM with our chairs to find a spot on the river to watch the show. We got to the viewing area about 7:45PM, along with the rest of Massachusetts, and finally got through the security line by about 8:45PM and set our chairs up. The Boston Pops and Beach Boys were playing at the Hatch Shell and it was nice that they had speakers set up so all spectators could hear without having to be right at the stage. The fireworks show started at 10:10PM, 20 minutes earlier than planned, I thought I heard them say the weather was coming in? The show was great, about 30 minutes, but it was a lot of standing and waiting, again in the heat and humidity, and then it was over. We headed to the subway to return to the hotel, and 50 yards from the station entrance we felt our first raindrops, they were right on with the forecast. About 5 seconds later, the heavens opened up and in the time it took for us to run to the station entrance we were completely soaked! Traci said “it was like someone just dumped several buckets of water right on us” and it was true, amazing how fast it just drenched us and everyone else. Well, that made for a very sticky, chaotic, and exciting train ride, everyone just literally stuck to each other, about half dry and half of us soaked, very entertaining to say the least. We made it back to the hotel, and Bill was set to arrive in about 1:00AM, so we had already made a plan to meet him in the lobby the next morning.

Awaiting the Fireworks at the Esplanade along the Charles River

Awaiting the Fireworks at the Esplanade along the Charles River

 

We got up and met Billy in the lobby Friday at 9:00AM – so great to see him! (Earlier, we canceled our 2nd night reservation at the hotel since the fireworks were moved up, no reason to spend the extra money). We decided to drive around downtown for a while and go find a breakfast place near Harvard. We ended up at a great little place and devoured our meals, I think we were all a bit hungry. Next, a walking tour of the Harvard Square area, despite the raindrops, it was very neat little part of town. We then made our way back across town to the Harpoon Brewery in “southy” (South Boston) and got there just before the masses. When we left there 45 minutes later there was a 30 minute line to just get in the doors! The real rains of Arthur had now arrived and we could no longer do any outdoor activities. With World Cup games playing, we decided to meet a good friend of Bill’s son, Brian, at a local watering hole and had a nice visit with him. We stopped off for some taco makings and kenneled in back at the MoHo, and watched the Super Bowl all over again – what a way to complete the day!

One of the many, many brick buildings at Harvard

One of the many, many,many brick buildings at Harvard

The campus area was surrounded by gateways into the campus area

The perimeter was surrounded by gateways into the campus area

Saturday we headed north in the car with Bill, he had seen a town on the coast to go explore, Salisbury Beach. We drove in, and it was a typical little East coast beach town, a few restaurants, tourist shops, arcades, etc. We walked a bit, and then landed on the Upper Deck bar, overlooking the ocean with a nice cool breeze. What a spot, perfect little deck, and ice cold ones for us, we never wanted to leave. We all got hungry eventually, so we walked about 50 yards up the beach to the Surf Side restaurant and sat down overlooking the ocean, and ordered some lunch. They had a very good solo musician playing some great tunes and we were in full relaxation mode now, full bellies and great tunes, life was perfect. We returned to the MoHo, made a fire and polished off some vino with Billy, another great day! Sunday brought our end to Boston, and we made our way up to Portland, ME.

Our perfect spot overlooking the beach

Our perfect spot overlooking the beach at the Upper Deck Bar

p.s.  We have many more pics to share, but can’t seem to get strong enough wifi to upload them to a photo stream.  Will try again from the next location.

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