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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Patriots Place

The kids had school vacation this week so we headed south to Patriots Place on Tuesday.  Snow was in the forcast and MA had school vacation the week before so it wasn't very crowded.

First we stopped at Bass Pro.  The kids split up and had a good time looking at the fish and turtles.  My migration ended in the hunting section.

They were replacing the field turf at Gillette Stadium.  There isn't much time because the New England Revolution (soccer) play their first home game here in April.  We watched for a few minutes then went inside Patriots Hall. 

There are lots of exibits and displays of New England Patriots history, Patriots Hall of Fame players, winning footballs, trophys, rings, etc.  Hannah, Grogan, Coates, Tippett, Nelson, Haynes, Cappolletti, etc ... I know I missed some ...  

There was a field goal kicking machine.  Katelyn and Kevin tried to kick a field goal.  Kevin made his attempt.  For his success he got to wear a Patriots Super Bowl Ring. 
They had lifesize players in a huddle. Most were pretty tall.  There is  a locker room area with player equipment you can try on.  Tom Brady's equipment is probably the most popular.  We watched a great movie of Patriots history which included franchise game winning plays, victories, championships, etc. 

After the Hall, more shopping at Patriots Place.  We made it home that afternoon just before the snow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Boston for the Weekend

On Friday we dropped our kids off for snow camp at 5PM. We said our quick goodby's then Pam and I were off for our weekend.

Pam didn't want to know anything about the weekend. Up to this point I had been giving her misleading and deceptive hints of what we were doing. I hinted at things like: 1) A Bed and Breakfast with a common bathroom down the hall. (When she asked if we would have our own bathroom, my face dropped and I told her I would see what I could do.) 2. We would need hiking boots for the woods and ear plugs for shooting. 3) We would be taking the truck 4 wheeling and I was worried about the depth of snow. 4) We would have a good time meeting some of our friends. (She wanted it to be just the two of us for the weekend). Etc ...

When it was time to go I told her we were taking the van and we started driving south into MA. To her, that ruled out 4 wheeling. I brought no guns so shooting was out. No boots so the woods was out. I told her Rt 128 may be faster than Rt495 so that explained heading to Rt 128. At that point she guessed Newport, RI and the mansions as we had done that a few years ago. Wrong.  As we headed south on Rt 128 I veered off onto Rt 2 toward Boston. I parked at Alewife Station and we hopped the Red Line to Park Street. A block or so away was our destination ... the Omni Parker House Hotel.

The Parker House was a great location for walking. A 10 minute walk from Faneuil Hall, 4 minutes from the Boston Common, 10 minutes from Hanover Street, etc. with the subway close by also.

We checked in and headed out for dinner to the Hard Rock Cafe.  After dinner we headed for the Prudential Center to the Top of the Hub. The Top of the Hub is on the 52nd floor of the Pru. It was a clear night so the city lights were pretty. I used to work in downtown Boston so I pointed out many things I recognized.  We don't typically stay up real late but found it easy to do with all the activity in the city.

Saturday morning I was up pretty early and headed out for a walk while Pam slept.  Pam likes her frozen coffee yogurt for breakfast.  I didn't find any coffee yogurt in any of the convenience stores I went to.  No frozen yogurt of any kind.  Must be one of those "Live Free or Die" things. 

Early morning also gave me some time to take pictures. City shots and buildings aren't something i've taken many pictures of so I experimented a bit.  I saw some good shots as it started to get light.  Next time I will bring a tripod.

The King's Chapel burial ground and the Granary burial ground are historic cemeteries right by the Parker House so I investigated.  Some good history.

When I returned Pam was up and ready to go so we headed out for an Old Town Trolley Tour around Boston. It was a lot of fun. We experienced good history lesson from the drivers. 

One place we stopped was at the USS Constitution.  We took the ship tour.  They said there were 500 people aboard the ship so very tight quarters and low ceilings.  Pam in the Captain's Quarters.

We stopped at Cheers for lunch then more trolley.   We also visited the Old North Meeting House and ended up in the Jewelers district a few streets away. Saw a watch I loved but ya know ...

At around 5PM we headed toward Hanover Street for dinner.  Earlier in the week I reached out to Tom B. and asked him his opinion on where to eat Italian in the North End. 

He recommended L'Osteria Ristorante on Salem Street which is one street over from Hanover.  I made dinner reservations for 6PM. 

I wanted to take a picture of the Old North Church before dinner.  One if by land ... Two if by sea ...

The service at L'Osteria was great , the food was outstanding.  Pam had the Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana and I had the Bocconcini Di Vitello Triestini.  Both excellent choices. 

We had to head to Mike's Pastry for desert.  The line was out the door and down the street but moved quickly.  It was well worth the wait.

Sunday morning I was up and out walking at 5:45AM.  The city was asleep.  Dunkin Donuts wasn't open ... what's with that.  I set out across Boston Common toward Charles Street and only saw one other person walking across the common.  I wanted to find Acorn Street and take a couple pictures.  It didn't take me long to find it.  I was early enough so the gas lamps were very pretty.  I could have used the tripod again.  It is very pretty looking up the street or down.

I noticed 1-a Acorn Street is for sale.  It's at the top of the hill and listed as a "sun-filled 6-bedroom, 3 full and 2 1/2 bath house with three exposures, fronts at the corner of Willow Street and quaint Acorn Street. The house has rich architectural detail, and yet retains a 'country' feeling. The main entertaining rooms are all on the same floor and there are two wonderful roof decks. Part of the house is a newly renovated air-conditioned two-bedroom apartment with separate entrance at 10 Willow Street." 3175 sq. ft., 0.02 acres, Built in: 1826.  With housing prices so low you get all this for $2,645,000.  Ok ... I had to run the numbers ... with a $529,000 (20%) down payment and a 30 year fixed at 5.5%, that would be a $12,014.42 monthly payment.  Makes no sense to me since I would do the 15 year fixed at 5.15% for only $16,899 a month.  I'd do it if the property taxes weren't so high ... hehe ... A small piece of history can be expensive.

Once I returned to the hotel we headed to Commercial Street in the North End and had a good breakfast an Anthony's.  We walked to the pier before heading back to the hotel to check out. 

It was a very relaxing and fun weekend.  We will do it again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Forge Pond Ice Fishing Tournament

Rick and Steven entered the ice fishing tournament at Forge Pond this weekend. Steven said the had the holes drilled and was ready to bail the hooks as soon as the tournament started. This is a fun local tournament with lots of families participating. 5 traps per person so there were a lot of traps. There were quite a few people fishing in our area so it must have looked like a buffet with lots of choices to the fish.

I had to drop Megan off in Manchester as she was taking her ACT test. College first ... I guess ... We arrived at Forge Pond arrived a bit after 9AM.

One of Kevin's assignments was foraging for wood so we could built a fire. It wasn't quite as cold as the previous weekend at Winnipesaukee but it was windy. As usual, Steven was the grill master with chili, venison, eggs, hot dogs, etc.

This is a fun local tournament with lots of families participating. 5 traps per person so there were a lot of traps. There were quite a few people fishing in our area so it must have looked like a buffet with lots of choices to the fish.

The ice was 16 inches thick. A few ATV's and snow machines but only one car.

Doug, Dawn, and AJ arrive just before noon. Kevin had fun pulling AJ around on the sled. Early afternoon I made a coffee and soda run.

Steven was our for revenge as last year his fish was 1/4 inch shorter than the winner. As the day progressed it looked like a 4lb bass and a 24 inch pickerel were going to take the prize money. (not sure on the winning perch) Unfortunately, none of the winning fish were caught by us.

Winning fish or not, we had a great time.