Sunday, July 8, 2018

Pilgrim Memorial Monument & Museum in Provincetown

Bottom of the monument looking up
I've written about Provincetown before, but this was the first time I actually visited the Pilgrim Monument & Museum, and it was well worth it.

The rain was coming down pretty hard so I knew I wouldn't be able to see much, but I also knew it would be worth the trek up.

Some monument facts:

  • Building began in 1907 ended in 1910
  • Tower is 252 feet and is 350 feet above sea level
  • 116 steps to the top (oh yea, I walked it)
  • The Pilgrim Monument is the tallest all-granite structure in the U.S.
  • There are many stones inside detailing the different cities in Massachusetts
  • President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1907 and President Taft dedicated it in 1910

The museum houses the Mayflower Compact written by the original pilgrims who first landed in Provincetown before heading off to Plymouth where they started their settlement in 1620.

They stayed in Provincetown for almost two months before sailing to Plymouth. Many did die in Provincetown due to the strenuous trip from Europe, where they thought they were heading to Virginia. After falling well off course, they landed in Provincetown.

The museum also documents Provincetown originals such as the first theatre players; Susan Glaspell (novelist, actor, and founder of the Provincetown players), and Eugene O'Neill.  Loved this quote from Susan Glaspell; "We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same things. It's all just a different kind of same thing." Seems pretty timely doesn't it.

I also enjoy lobster when I go to Provincetown. It is so fresh and tasty. Even in the pouring rain, it is a great place to walk around and enjoy the welcoming community of Provincetown.

What a great way to spend a summer day!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Washington D.C. The City of Trees

Recently I visited Washington D.C. for my nieces graduation from George Washington University. In between graduation ceremonies (there were two) and party dinners and brunches, I took my sister on a Hop On Hop Off bus tour around D.C. 

The tour guide started the audio program with the statement, Washington D.C. is known as the city of trees. And, I know why, D.C. receives more rainfall per year than Seattle. The city is covered with tree-lined streets (of course, it had been raining for days), so the name fits.  

Unfortunately it did rain most of the time I was there so my pics are not all that good. But I did get a few.


We started at the "Mall" where the Vietnam Memorial and Lincoln Memorial start at one end and finish with the Washington Monument (elevators still not working so I could ride to the top)

Lincoln Memorial

I saw the memorial in the day and at night. Night is definitely the better time to see this masterpiece. It will give you goosebumps to be in his presence.

Vietnam Memorial

Definitely not what I expected.  I thought is was a very tall wall but actually it is in a V shape, starting low to the ground and then building to a wall whereby you can touch the top of it and then slowly works its way down to the ground again on the other side. 

I'm not sure what the significance is to the 1959 at the top of the wall at its peak, but I think it was the beginning of the Vietnam "conflict".

Bronze statues at start of Vietnam Memorial

Across the street from the Lincoln Memorial on Constitution Avenue is the Einstein Memorial and the Science Technology Building.
If you rub his nose it brings you luck!

White House


After the tour of monuments the bus stops by the White House. My sister and I had lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill. It was yummy! Not sure if the president was in residence.


And then there were the museums...for this trip, just one exhibit at the Smithsonian is all I could get in, the Freely Exhibit and the Buddha's. Namaste!

Next time, more of the Smithsonian.

It was a lovely trip and I have to end this post with a pic of my beautiful, talented niece with two undergrad degrees. Congrats Sarah, we will all be working for you someday!

And still more D.C.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Charleston, the Best of the Low Country

St. Philips Church
When my friend Kathleen and I decided to take a trip together, I was excited to see how I would do traveling with someone else. All my trips have been solo. We decided on Charleston, mainly because of I've never been, and Kathleen was excited to get back to the South. She had visited Charleston several times because he first husband (who unfortunately passed away many years ago) was from South Carolina. Both he and her son, attended the Citadel so she was very familiar with the area.

The winter in New England has been particularly harsh this year and the warm weather as well as the charming hospitality of Charleston was a treat!

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Charleston has a rich history (good and bad). 

Magnolia Plantation
Kathleen wanted to go to the largest plantation in the area, Magnolia. At first I wasn't sure because seeing a house and gardens, however beautiful, built by slaves, really wasn't something I wanted to support.

It was however, amazingly beautiful and the historical tour was very informative.  The gardens are spectacular and I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to see them. Without Kathleen, I probably wouldn't have seen something like this. 

Another unexpected site that normally would not be on my list, was the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. Kathleen had made a donation to the alumni association for a brick in the new alumni center in honor of her husband, Richard. We couldn't see it at the time we were there, but she was able to see it on her way out of town. I'm very happy she had the opportunity. 

The grounds are very impressive. We weren't able to see the parade which takes place every Friday. But if I go back again I will definitely stop to see it. The Citadel is only a few miles outside of Charleston so it was worth the visit.

Fountain in French Quarter at the Wharf

Meeting Street Inn
The second day of our trip, we stayed in the old part of town at a lovely inn, Meeting Street. It is pretty much in the center of everything and walking distance to museums, art galleries, the French Quarter and wharf and of course, shopping. We took a "buggy" ride with tour guide around the city. I do love history!!! Also, well worth the time.

Next to history, architecture is my favorite past time in all my travels. A port city, Charleston, next to Boston and New York, is where it was all happening in the beginning before Independence. Mainly Europeans settled the city and due to the religious freedom, there are churches on every street corner, from every denomination.

Now, let's get to the good stuff, food...The Low Country food selection; shrimp and grits (Cajun style of course), she crab soup and hush puppies...yummy!  Our guest host at the Meeting Street Inn told us about the Low Country Bistro and Kathleen's son gave us the next place not to be missed, Hyman's Seafood, only a few blocks down from the hotel. One night we had drinks and apps at the Rooftop at Vendue (meaning vendor) in the French Quarter.  Let's just say we ate and drank well.

Although I don't think I could travel with many people, I loved my vacation to Charleston with my guide, Kathleen. We both had a wonderful time and have lovely memories that will last 'till the end of our days.

Here's some photos to share. Nothing beats Charleston architecture!

Circular Church Original Meeting Place for non-denominational church goers

Oldest house in Charleston

Rainbow Row

Rooftop Bar at Vendue

St. Michaels Church

French Quarter Tree Lined Walkway

Enjoy my swing time video with Kathleen on the Charleston Wharf

Monday, February 19, 2018

Celebrating President's Day at JFK Library and Museum

It had been several years since I visited JFK Library & Museum in South Boston. An easy ride on the T and a ten minute walk (on a beautiful winter day) to one of the most impressive presidential library at Columbia Point on the Boston Harbor.

As I walked through the library I'm reminded what it must have been like to have a statesman as President. Hopefully we will have a president again that will honor the office.

Due to the holiday, there were several activities not normal to the museum; one being several actors portraying president's discussing their presidency. The first was John Adams (I ended up watching the HBO series when I got home), Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

Most of the library is filled with JFK family memorabilia. On July 4, 2017 I visited the JFK Museum in Hyannis Port where they celebrated his 100 year with a timeline. The South Boston library had a similar travel travel through his life in pictures.

After my tour through the library, I walked along the Boston Harbor Walk taking in the city views.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Magic of Universal Studios - Harry Potter

Universal Studios City Walk
I haven't taken a personal vacation for quite a while and so decided I wanted to get out of the cold of the Northeast and take in some sun.

Picking Universal Studios in Orlando was the best choice 1) because it is close, 2) warm, 3) Harry Potter of course!

I Harry Potter. I'm one of those people that has to stop and watch any Potter film as I'm clicking through the romote.

The adventure starts by going through the CityWalk, streaming with restaurants, theaters and shops.


Escaping From Gringotts

Goblin at Gringott's

Once inside the "Cities" park, I starting my journey at Diagon Alley, exacting replicas from the set including Weasley's, Ollivanders, and Knockturn Alley, plus Gringotts. Took the "Escape from Gringotts ride, but what was really impressive, much more than the ride itself (after 1 1/2 wait), was the replication of Gringotts from the final film, complete with Goblins and those beautiful chandeliers.

 I took my time walking through the Harry Potter part, except for paying $50 for the special wand from Ollivanders, traveled to Kings Cross to take the Hogwarts Express to the other park (Island of Adventure) to HogsMeade and the Castle. They really did the Hogwarts Express really well and you see scenes from the movies as you pass through the English countryside on the way to Hogwarts.

Hogsmeade was a perfect replica filled with shops and the various eating places and kiosks. After a shorter wait than "Escaping from Gringotts" was the Castle, walking through various pieces of historic Hogswart Castle pieces venturing to one of the best rides I've experienced in a long time. You actually feel like you are riding a broom through Hogwarts. It was fantastic!!

That evening I witnessed the amazing and memberable Christmas show at the castle. I'm so glad I went around Christmas time because the music, lights, fireworks all converging together was spectacular. I tried to take photos, but nothing really does it justice. It is much better to look at it and take it all in.


Inside Hogwarts

Island Adventure Park

I'm glad I bought a pass to both parks, but if I had to choose one over the other I would buy the Island Adventure Park because the rides were great and of course, the castle to me, was the best time.

Lost Continent

Jurassic Park
Marvel Super Hero Island

Spiderman ride was fun and enjoyable, but the Jurassic Park ride was really fun (prepare to get wet)

The following day, I went back to visit the first park (with Diagon Alley) but went to the other cities; New York, San Francisco, Hollywood. The ride with a virtual Jimmy Fallon through New York was fun, The Mummy ride, not so much. I did go to a Hollywood Horror Makeup session that was interesting, but again not as good as the rides at the Island Adventure Park.

CityWalk and Cities

Okay Ride

Nice Replica

New York Street

And all the rest...