Thursday, September 3, 2015

Boston and Environs

From Portsmouth we visited our niece Karen, hubby Taylor and their 4 year-old daughters in Dover NH. We talked about their likely move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the job opportunities are better and they have some good friends. It’s nice to have actually have been to Sioux Falls and to be able to imagine their life there. To entertain the twins (and the adults) we headed to the Dover Children’s Museum, a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon. The museum has quite an impressive collection of culture and technology for kids to enjoy.
Photo of video of Callista & Fiona seemingly hanging in air in front of a waterfall was shot in front of a blue screen.
We returned to our B&B and made plans for dinner at Cava, a tapas bar in downtown Portsmouth. Potatoes Brava (potatoes with a tomato sauce), Sauteed Artichokes, Hummus with lamb, baked dates, and pineapple with a bottle of Spanish Granache. Excellent.

We wandered around Portsmouth on Monday, visiting a few shops and identifying the British Beer Company for lunch. The caesar salad and beers were quite satisfying.
With all due respect to Bill, Pat found this sign amusing.
After lunch we decided to fill our larder for Boston with one more stop at When Pigs Fly. Pat was particularly in getting chocolate bread to have with peanut butter. To satisfy the shopping urge we paused at the Kittery Trading Post. Before heading back to the B&B we restocked the traveling wine cellar at the NH liquor store.

In the evening we met with one of Pat’s former co-workers and her husband at a wine bar. After a few glasses and some appetizers we called it an evening and headed back to the B&B. We later opened a bottle of Ice Cider from Canada and had assorted chocolates for dessert…celebrating our 47th anniversary

Next morning we were off to Boston / Cambridge.  We stopped briefly to see our friends at their office and tour their operation and then went on our way, stopping in Sudbury MA for lunch with Ruth, our former neighbor who still lives there…we had had that chance encounter with her daughter in Freeport on a couple days ago.

After lunch we stopped at Whole Foods for a few supplies and Post Road Liquors in Wayland for old times sake. We still have a fondness for this place where we grew to know the staff quite well when we were first learning about wines.

Our house is in a Cambridge neighborhood. We took an evening orientation walk around the neighborhood through Porter and Harvard Squares. 
Street sign in our Cambridge neighborhood
Wednesday lunch was at Toscana in Cambridge where we shared Grilled Calamari, Tri-Color Salad (radicchio, arugula, and endive), and Orecchiette Vitello (veal sauce), and  three glasses of wine, Nero D’Avola, Sangiovese, and Nebiolo. Add a white chocolate and blueberry dessert and we hit 1000, all very yummy.

In the afternoon we visited the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum. It is a great collection of European Art collected by and presented exactly as originally planned by Isabella...except for several stolen pieces which are commemorated with their empty frames. No photos allowed on the upper floors... 
Courtyard at Isabella Stuart Gardner museum
Next day we are off to Harvard!! The Museum of Natural History to see the glass plants - yes they are made of glass down to the last fiber. Quite amazing since they were done in the late 19th century. There are also many birds, insects and animals displayed in more traditional ways. Quite a good teaching museum.
Glass reproduction of a Potato plant
There are also glass versions of sealife
Next door is the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology where we extended our knowledge of the early natives and their interaction with the European interlopers. Their displays summarizing the natives around the US provide succinct summaries of the cultures by area.  
After a stroll through Quincy Market and along the water front we spent several hours with Evelina over lunch at the Daily Catch. We initially met her and Alex in our early days in San Miguel but they haven’t been back in recent years, being distracted with building a house in Falmouth, grandchildren and now with a major condo renovation. We enjoyed exploring their condo which has been stripped to the bones. The view over the waterfront is perfect and we look forward to seeing the final results on our next trip.

Friday turned out to be the perfect day for boating in the Boston Harbor with Ken & Pat Andrews (Ken started work at RCA in June 1969 on the same day we did.) and Marci Sindell, a friend from Stanford GSB. First we motored along the waterfront enjoying some snacks and then adjourned to the islands for lunch and an afternoon of conversation. Gary, Marci’s husband, joined us for the evening meal at Captain Fishbones. A near perfect day on and around the water.
Miss Fortune a 42' Sabre
Captain & Crew (Marci, Pat A, Bill & Ken)

Saturday we were joined in Cambridge for lunch by Linn and Rich Olsen, other friends from our RCA days. Lin and Pat were the “two women engineers” working on the life-systems automation for Walt Disney World in the early 70’s. We hadn’t seen Linn in roughly 30 years… We had lunch at Legal Seafood and spent the time talking about happenings with them, their daughters and us. After lunch we visited the MIT Museum and had a good time looking at the “toys” that had been invented at MIT. 

Kismet, a robot with a very expressive face...designed with the thought that
robots will be more acceptable if they are more "human"

Sunday we returned to Sudbury to see Ruth again. We enjoyed a walk through the nearby Garden in the Woods (sponsored by the New England Wildflower Society) and then lunched on burgers followed by cake with strawberries and whipped cream. After lunch we visited briefly with the Trails, who bought our old house in 1984. It was interesting to see what they had and had not changed. Still the same: the kitchen (except for an upgrade to granite counters), the pool, an old shed and even the picnic table. Gone: our lovely vegetable garden and berry bushes.
Pat & Ruth at Garden in the Woods
Garden shed with planted roof at Garden in the Woods
On our way to Rhode Island and stopped in New Bedford to see the Whaling Museum, a detailed history of the Whaling (including a half scale model of the Lagoda whaling ship with sails unfurled) and the story of the Portuguese whalers who brought their families to the New Bedford area. Very informative. We pictured New Bedford as a run down old fishing town. Despite living in Massachusetts for 15 years, we had never considered going their…and maybe justly so then (although it seems to have had a successful manufacturing history throughout the years). In any event, it is now it is the picture of a redeveloped old city and is working to attract environmentally conscious energy production.

The Lagoda Whaler - 1/2 scale
Putting the size of whales in perspective.
From top down whales are: Blue, Sperm, Right, Humpback
Repairing cobblestones in New Bedford.
 So different from the 100% manual approach in San Miguel.
Lunch at Cork Wine & Tapas Bar in New Bedford: 
Fried calamari tossed with garlic and cherry peppers in basil-Sriracha butter, 
truffle fries and garlic roasted brussels sprouts. The calamari were spectacular.

No comments:

Post a Comment