July - August, 2013
July 11 - Weather: Warm, muggy, temp in hi 80s
We stayed at the Westin Waterfront in Boston for 2 nights prior to our cruise. The highlight of our first day was dinner at the Atlantic Fish Company on Boylston, right near the site of the Marathon bombing. The New England lobster dinner we enjoyed included steamed lobster, clams, mussels, red potatoes and corn on the cob. We had taken a cab to the Back Bay area but used the subway to go back to our hotel. The Charlie tickets are named for the fellow in the Kingston Trio's song about the man who didn't have a nickel to get off the subway. "He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston, he's the man who never returned…"
July 12 - Weather: Overcast and cool - perfect for sightseeing
Today we took the Hop On Hop Off Trolley for our one full day in Boston. The route has 18 stops and while some sights are close to the trolley stops many require a lot of walking. Boston has countless historical sights and we saw many of them and also walked part of the Freedom Trail. Locals were incredibly friendly and asked if they could give us directions when they saw us studying our map. The trolley went by Fenway Park and also through the MIT campus in Cambridge. We had great pastrami sandwiches for lunch at Sam LaGrassa's deli near the Boston Common. Our last stop was at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Actors reenact the Tea Party and fire up all of the patriots (tourists) and then invite them to board the ship and toss the tea overboard. It was an educational and entertaining experience with a combination of talks, videos and some Disney-like talking portraits and other visual magic. We were on the trolley tour from 9 to 5 and walked almost 8 miles in addition to riding many miles on the Old Town Trolley. Every joint ached by the time we got back to the hotel.
July 13 - Weather: Light showers early, then cool and cloudy
The JFK Presidential Library was our destination for today, so we got an early start and took the subway south. The library, located on the water near the UMass campus, was most interesting and educational. The visiting exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis was especially fascinating. A film about Kennedy at the start of the visit was very touching--we heard a lot about him that we had either forgotten or never knew. Lunch today was a yummy lobster roll (all lobster and no filler) at James Hook Lobster on the water at Seaport and Atlantic Avenues (we may mention food frequently in this blog). There were almost no lines when we embarked the Veendam around 2:00. The first security person we saw in the terminal said "please smile at me--I've dealt with so many rude people today!" Hope we can avoid them. It's good to be on the ship, unpacked and settled in for this 35 day cruise.
July 14 - Weather: Foggy, cool, hi temp in upper 60s (turned clocks ahead 1 hour last night)
Today was a fun sea day. We played trivia and have a nice team of six. Candee is from IL, Judy from Virginia, and Dahlia and Ilan live in CA but are from Haifa, Israel. We did pretty well--the bonus question was to name the 7 deadly sins. We got 6 of them right but missed lust. After lunch we went to a complimentary wine tasting and sat with an interesting couple from Montreal. Tonight was a formal night and we had dinner with 2 ladies from FL. The day was so foggy that we didn't take a single picture. The temp is comfortable for us, but a couple from Las Vegas, where it's 115°, have been complaining about the humidity. Except for them, we've been enjoying the company of everyone we've met.
July 15 - Weather: Sunny, temp in upper 60s (set clocks ahead 30 minutes last night--really!)
Another game of trivia, but a second place finish! There must be 50 people playing and they're a pretty competitive bunch. We're enjoying the rewards of being 4 star mariners with Holland America. This is the first cruise where we've had complimentary laundry, so we didn't spend a couple hours in the launderette-- just sent our dirty clothes off to be washed, dried and pressed. We also get a 50% discount on the wine packages and specialty restaurants, so will be taking advantage of that. The seas have been calm and smooth. This photo of the sea and sky was taken about 9 pm.
Back Bay Neighborhood
Atlantic Fish Company
Paul Revere's Grave
Swan Boats - Public Garden
The Boston Tea Party
JFK Presidential Library
1960 Democratic Convention
Sunset near Bonne Bay
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