Sunday, June 4, 2017


Monday, May 27, 2013

Boston Birthday trip

We had a fine couple days in Boston.  I thought it would be just too short, but it felt just fine, just the right length.  It was to celebrate (again)  Elizabeth's birthday and of course to see Dana and Jen and Dan's new place.
The trip out was a bit boring.  Hard rain obscured most of the good views and made the driving a bit of a drag.  We stopped a lot for bathrooms and McDonald's coffee in order to create the need for more bathrooms. 
We had a fine visit out and arrived as planned at the Kendall Hotel

This was a luxuriant place build in what was once a Firehouse.  It was a museum in itself with plenty of small collections and bits of Firehouse memorabilia.
The suite included full kitchen, living room with fireplace, bathroom with Jacuzzi tub big enough for two, and plenty of interesting antiques.

 Looking over kitchen and living room.

and the kitchen itself


A fine antique desk of bird's eye maple

Every hallway and every corner included interesting antiques and collections

These photos contrast the way women dressed the year my grandfather was born with the way they dressed when he was thirty.

 This particular firehouse was called the Black Sheep of the fire department, so there is this collection and the restaurant is named, Black Sheep

 This in an interesting coffee table made from a piece of firetruck
Here is what my grandfather did for a living, only there were four horses pulling his engine.

We took a walk to the Charles River and a bridge that gave us a fine view of sailboats, rowers in those long thin boats and other craft like


Right across the street from the hotel was this MIT COOP bookstore.

Dana treated us to a birthday dinner at a pretty upscale restaurant called Harvest.

Along with award winning recipes came restaurant practices that included buying local and sustainable.  Jen ate a filet mignon, Elizabeth and Dana had pork tenderloin.  I ate salmon.  And we had some other tastes in appetizers and asparagus.  With some of the meals came a wine pairing and that was interesting too.  I just had tastes of that.  I had a pea soup that was very creamy.
For dessert there were plenty of interesting tastes, but Jen ordered this award winning chocolate concoction that was really wonderful.  I had a taste.

The next day we took the T to the Gardiner museum.  The nearby Museum of Fine Arts was free that day and the T was full of folks for that spot and the lines were hours long.  Out line was not so long and while the museum was crowded due to the holiday, it was still a great experience.

I liked an 18th century guitar made by Jacopo Mosca-Cavelli and very similar to this one;jsessionid=12D9F9FECE152122E4B0502A01E4F566.worker1en/10921852/imageDetails.html

I also liked the large painting of Archangel Michael from 1480   with his foot on the satan, keeping the devil from taking souls.

We all seemed to enjoy this large view of gypsy dancers in Southern Spain.  She is older than the dancers I saw in the 60's, but the rest ring true to my memory including the clay water containers set out on the floor to make the scene

I was drawn to some paintings quite different from most of the collections, Morland Summer and Winter shots.

Also, this large depiction of The Tragedy of Lucretia, a 1500 Botticelli, seemed an odd piece to do for a wedding present.

It was amazingly busy and full of action.  And sad.

But what do I know about art?  Not much.  Take this one that caught my attention.  Naked women and boats do seem to grab my attention easily.

I'm sure that Elizabeth's, Dana's and Jen's experiences were very different from mine, but it was fun to visit this place, in part because the rooms themselves were pretty incredible, built to house the collection of Isabelle after her husband died and she was looking for something to occupy her energy.  She did live in this beautiful place.
In the center was a fine inner courtyard with flowers and sculpture and unlike the rooms, plenty of light.  It was covered with a glass ceiling many floors above the peaceful little place.

Many of the rooms had huge fireplaces.  Still it much have been cold there in the winter. 
Wall decorations of tapestry or tile or in one case an entire wall of leatherwork also added to the experience.

We had lunch in the café built outside the old house.  The food was very good.  I had a baked trout garnished with odd bits I could not identify but wish I could reproduce at home.  And we had some homemade potato chips as well.

And overall we had a fine visit that was full and not rushed.  We caught up on all the new developments in the lives of Dana and Jen, heard about their work and their hopes for future work.  Jen soon moves much closer to her job with Turbine and that should take some of the pressure of long commutes off her daily routine.

They both seemed good.  Dana's place seem pretty comfortable for a single guy and of course included incredible computer equipment including a garbage can with a computer so that the top opened with no touching.

In between then great meals I had a taste of Indian at Dana's and a drink of a milk stout.  It seems Dana keeps milk as his main drink even when he drinks beer.

Our ride home was much easier than our trip out.  For the most part we had sun.  And even the clouds formed to make fine patterns of cloud and sunlight and fields were enveloped in mist.  We stopped at Salmon Run in Lee for a supper of salmon, mine a buffalo wing like taste and Elizabeth's encrusted with potato. They were packed, but the fellow fit us right in the middle at a little table.  It was lively, but a good bit of fun.

Today we just loaf about and for supper Jay and Judy will stop by.

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