Wednesday, February 18, 2009

STAY-cation #3--benefits

After spending an entire day in museums, walking city streets and navigating the subway system, we are very glad that we'll be sleeping in our very own beds tonight. In fact, at this point I can hardly wait to fall into mine. That is a huge benefit of our STAY-cation plan.

We started this morning out the door at 8:30 and arrived at Boston's Museum of Science just after 9:00--right when they opened. We hit Cliff the triceratops first (okay, we didn't really hit him) so we could get some good looks at him without a large crowd.
Then we wandered aimlessly for a little before ending up in the Frog exhibit. It was at this point that I realized what a difference the hour made. In just one hour we went from freely roaming the exhibits to fighting our way through crowds to catch a glimpse of a bullfrog.

By 11 o'clock the crowds were growing exponentially, so we decided to go to the next part of our plan for the day. We headed out of the museum and walked a couple of blocks to the nearest T station (that's Boston's subway). After we figured out how to purchase tickets we proceeded to the platform to wait. Cory was super excited. He's been asking us when he would be able to take a train for a few days now. We took the T to the North End--where Paul Revere's home and the Old North Church are. We detoured a bit to Quincy Market for a quick lunch, and then walked to the North End. Paul Revere's home is pretty small and not a hugely impressive site, but we figured it was something that would appropriate for our kids' interest levels, and we could hit it at an off-peak time. From there we walked to the Old North Church, following the Freedom Trail path. Freedom Trail is one of the coolest things in Boston.

Since we were already in the North End, a stop at Mike's was an absolute must--don't tell the neighborhood we went without bringing home a box of canolis to share. Yum. Yum. Yum. Must exercise tomorrow.

At this point, I get it in my little brain that since we've seen Revere's home and the church that set up his famous ride, we ought to also walk to the Granary Burying Ground to see Revere's burial site. Thank goodness for that Freedom's like following the yellow brick road, only it's red. The kids were amazing troopers at this point. The two big girls were pretty entertained by following the Trail. Lucy managed to finally catch a little shuteye in the stroller, and Cory alternated walking and being carried by Daddy.

After the Granary it was back to a T station. We took it back to the Science Museum and arrived there around 3. This couldn't have worked out better. The crowds had thinned out incredibly, and we were able to really enjoy and learn from several more exhibits. Plus, Lucy's 40 winks were all she needed to be merry and bright again. We all enjoyed an optical illusion exhibit. We saw straight lines bend, black and white pictures turn into color and old women become young ladies. Cory explained to me how this window was turning.

We left the museum around 5:30 completely worn out, but happy. We had an absolutely fabulous day--we generally don't get to stay out all day long like that because we still have a napper. This morning Cory requested that we stay in the city until dark today--he got his wish. We drove home in the dark with snow falling. He also got his wish to ride a train. He told us later that now that he's gotten to ride a train, he's going to start wishing to go on a boat. Whale watching anyone?

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