Friday, 8/22/08 My b-day = 2 days
Today we saw a lot of history. We walked along the water to Plymouth Rock. It is supposedly where the Pilgrims laded. Carved in its side are the numbers 1620. That is the year they landed.
Then we walked to the Mayflower II. It is a replica of the real Mayflower. Some people acted as if we were in 1620. We talked with the captain a lot. He pretended to be the real captain of the Mayflower in 16 20. He pretended like it wasn't 2008 and he didn't know anything about 2008. For him, it was 1620. The captain noticed that Christopher was wearing glasses and said that he was very lucky and his parents must be wealthy. (We heard some other children talking to another actress and mention computers and she said "I don't know what that is.") The captain explained to us that sailing the Mayflower over was just a job and he was going right back to England. He did not like this place. He didn't know why anyone wanted to come here. He said it was as hot as South Africa in the summer and as cold as Antarctica in the winter.
We also went to the Plymouth Plantation. It was broken into 3 sections. The Wampanoag Homesite was my favorite stop. They were the native people that were here when the Pilgrims came. They had winter houses and summer houses. The winter houses were made of bark, and the summer houses of reeds. I liked the winter houses. They had reed mats on the inside to help force cold air into the fire to be heated up. The Homesite was run by non-role playing Wampanoag people. It was so awesome.
The next section was the English Settlement. It was the pilgrims' settlement in 1627. The people there were role playing which means that they were acting like it was still 1627. Mom asked a lady, "What did you bring from England?" She replied, "If it looks like you would want to keep it, we brought it with us." The town was surrounded by a big fence.
The third section was the Crafts Center. The people here were not role playing. Almost everything in the settlement was made in the Crafts Center in the same way it would have been made in 1627 in England.
That is it. I am happy.©
Saturday, 8/23/08 My b-day = tomorrow
This morning we sailed to Boston. We sailed a little out of our way to sail over Stellwagon Bank to see whales. We did see Humpback Whales like we hoped! One came very close to our boat. He was huge! One time, his blow spray went into our faces. It smelled like he needed to brush his baleen! He also dove right under the boat. It was cool.
Once we got to Boston, we took a mooring ball. There is not a launch here. I am J. ©
Today is my birthday! The day started out great with biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Then I opened my presents. I got a Garfield book and some Revolutionary War soldiers. They are both awesome and I've wanted British, Hessian, and Patriot soldiers for a long time.
Then we went to a church service at the Old North Church. That is where Robert Newman lit the two lanterns to signal that the British were coming by sea. It was a very good service. Paul Revere and his family went to this church too.
After church we had pastries at Mike's Pastries. It is a famous bakery in Boston. I had a delicious, huge Boston Cream Puff.
We walked around the Public Gardens. We rode the Swan Boats. It was a calm and peaceful ride. If you have read Make Way for Ducklings, you will now that the ducks went to the Public Gardens and the people threw them peanuts from the Swan Boats. There is a statue of the ducks! It is cute.
Then we came home and watched Bambi in the evening.
Dad left on a 24 hr. trip to Vegas.
This was a good birthday. I am happy.©
Chris and I played with my new toy soldiers for the whole morning. Then we did school while we did laundry (boring!).
I am happy. ©
Today Dad came home. We went to the USS Constitution. We had a good tour. The USS Constitution is the oldest US Navy vessel afloat that is still in service. (There is one Navy vessel older than it, but it doesn't float anymore.) It fought in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. It has 4 decks. Our tour guide made a lot of jokes. It was cool to visit. It was free too (works well with our budget)!
From there we walked to the Bunker Hill Monument, then walked up the 244 steps to get to the top! I learned that there were a few tea parties, besides the Boston Tea Party that we all learn about, that the battle took place on Breed's Hill, not Bunker Hill, and that there were 3 attacks all in one afternoon! The first and second were won by the Patriots. In the third, British General Howe and his army charged with bayonets, and the Patriots ran out of gunpowder, so they retreated and the British won. We ran out of powder, but the British lost more men. The battle served to really boost the morale of the Patriots and make them fight more for independence. I am happy. ©
Today we walked the Freedom Trail. It's a three mile trail of red bricks that stops at placed linked to the Revolutionary War. One of my favorite stops was the Granary Burying Ground. I saw the graves of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin's parents, Samuel Adams, and the victims of the Boston Massacre, including Crispus Attucks, the first African American killed in the war.
Another stop I enjoyed was the King's Chapel and Burying Ground. The chapel was designed by Peter Harrison for King James IV. It was a nice church and the Reveres owned a pew there. At the burying ground, I learned what some of the symbols on the graves meant. For example, on some headstones, Father Time was holding an hour glass and fighting with Death.
The last thing I will tell you about is the First School site. It is the site of the first school in the colonies. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Ben Franklin went to school there. There was a hopscotch board laid into the sidewalk and Chris and I tried to play like they did back then, but it was too hard. Practice might help.
Back at el barco, I opened my birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa. It was a rocks and minerals identification book! I really like rocks. It is a really good and cool present.
I am happy.©
In the morning, I got another package from Grandma and Grandpa. It was a geologist's hammer, chisel, sheath for the hammer, lox magnifying glass, and a safety mask! It is awesome.
Then we took the subway to Harvard University. It is the oldest college in America. We walked all around. The buildings are mostly all named "Something" Hall (example = Matthew's Hall). They also had coal chutes where coal used to be put into the hall for heat. Dad wanted to see the law school, so we found that. It is a big building with four Corinthian columns. We saw a plaque that said Skadden donated a lot of money to the school.
We saw an Israeli house from 700 B.C. at the Semitic Museum. A lady showed us around. The house was made of straw and mud. It was two stories! The top part was for the family, and the bottom for the animals and stuff.
My favorite place was the Geology Museum (it's obvious). I saw every rock in there. My favorite one was stignite. It is a pointy mineral, basically made up of spikes. It was so cool.
Then we took the subway to North End, where we walked through the Holocaust Memorial and then went to Lucia's for dinner.
I am happy.©
Today we went to the New England Aquarium. There are talks, feedings, or something like that about every 15 minutes. There are also a lot of animals. My favorites were the Little Blue Penguins. There are three types of penguins at this aquarium: Little Blue, African, and Rockhopper. Rockhoppers are the only penguins in the world that jump into the water feet first. I think Little Blues are the cutest things in the world. They are less than a foot tall and are the world's smallest penguins!
One of the main exhibits is the Giant Ocean Tank (G.O.T). It is meant to be a Bahamian reef. There are a lot of fish, including barracuda, tarpon, snapper, grunts, sand, tiger and nurse sharks, pufferfish and an eel. There is a spiral ramp that goes around the G.O.T., so you see it on every level.
The last awesome thing was the Sharks and Rays Touch Tank. It is the first time ever that they have used that area as an exhibit. This tank is only here for the summer, so we were lucky to see it. It has Coral Catsharks, Bamboo Sharks, Atlantic Guitarfish, Yellow Stingrays and Cownose Rays. I touched every type of shark or ray, except for a Guitarfish. They stayed in a corner that you can't reach. They barely ever moved. You were very luck if you got to touch one. Chris touched me twice, I think. It was one of the best aquariums I've been to.
Yesterday, we bought 3 geodes at the Geology Museum (yes, I forgot to tell you). Two are for me (I am the future geologist, maybe) and one is for Chris (it seems like he would be a good apprentice, he actually know something for once.) We both cracked one open today. I got really frustrated at the last one because I worked on it for an hour, but it wouldn't crack! We will continue tomorrow. I am happy.©
This afternoon, Cousin Heather came to visit us. She wants to see the boat and sleep on board. She will sleep her tonight and maybe tomorrow night if she likes it.
After lunch, we walked to a place called the Haymarket. It is only on Fridays and Saturdays. Everything is so cheap. Like, you can get a box of blackberries for 50¢! Way better than a grocery store, eh? We bought figs, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peppers, eggplant, onions, garlic, nectarines, celery and tomatoes. It was cheap. I am happy! ©
This morning, we sailed with Heather to the USS Constitution. It took 15 minutes to get there and 15 minutes to get back. It was a nice sail.
Then we went to church at the Old North Church again. We met up with the Daileys there. Mr. Dailey is Dad's friend from work. We talked a lot after the service. Once again, it was a nice service.
Then we went to Paul Revere's house. He had 16 children! Five died in infancy. Because of that, and that they were growing up and moving out, there were only 5 -9 children in the house at a time. I learned some other stuff too. It was cool.
After that, we had lunch. We sat on a table set up on the street with bands going by for a big festival. It was a good Italian lunch.
Chris and I played in some fountains and got soaked. I dried off by running around and then jumping over Mom, Dad and Heather. It was fun.
On the way back to the boat, we watched a street performer at Fanueil Hall. It was a good show. I am J. ©