Saturday, 11th June
We are now happily settled into our red brick terrace in Monument Avenue, Charlestown. It is spacious and elegantly decorated with a large bedroom, lounge with flat screen TV, cosy eat in kitchen and adequate bathroom. There is even an outside terrace should the weather warm up.
This morning we wandered around the top decks of the ship to get a good view of Boston. I had elected to debark at 9.15 so we could have a leisurely breakfast. Our colour and number was called and we were soon off the ship. Our luggage pickup was easy but the queue for taxis was the worst part. However we chatted to people around us until our turn came and then drove under the city through tunnels until we reached the river which we crossed. Finally in Charlestown we were dropped off and greeted at the door by the host, Cindy. She showed us around and informed that there would be a concert tonight at the Bunker Memorial and a parade past the house tomorrow around one. We could sit on the stoop and watch it.
At first we enjoyed using the Internet to download papers and mail. Then we walked a couple of blocks to buy groceries and wine. It was quite enjoyable to prepare our own food again.
After a rest we walked up to Bunker Hill where a band was playing New York New York and families with young children were enjoying the mild evening.
Sunday, 12th June
We didn’t venture too far away because we wanted to see the parade. The morning was spent at the Constitution Museum and shipyard. We learnt all about Old Ironsides which was built in 1797. To think that it was still in the water until recently is incredible. It is currently in dry dock undergoing major repair work but is still open to the public. The museum is very well done and has a lot if interactive activities which would interest older children. Both museum and ship are free with an option to make a donation. More of that later.
The various bands and marching groups were milling about getting ready for the parade so their was an air of excitement. We decided to follow the recommendation of a young naval officer and go to Sorrelle’s for coffee. Once we asked for a macchiato with a bit more milk they were happy to oblige. The rest of the day was spent on the stoop waiting for and watching the parade. The street was lined with chairs and families, dogs, a lemonade stand and lots of red, white and blue bunting. The Americans know how to do a parade. Every time we thought it had finished along came a Scottish band or a truckload of musicians or a group of penny farthings.
Eventually we had a late lunch followed by a shopping expedition to buy food for dinner and a six pack of beer. John was in the kitchen about to take a mouthful of beer when he suddenly realised his passport was missing.
We thought about the places he could have lost it and retraced our steps for the day with no luck. It wasn’t far to the nearest police station so we called in hoping that a passport had been handed in. If it went missing when John made the donation to the museum then we have a problem as it is closed tomorrow. Our one hope is the Sorrelle cafe which we will visit at 7 am tomorrow.
So what happens if we don’t find it? At this stage it looks like a phone call to the Australian Embassy in Washington and maybe we will even have to fly there on Tuesday.
John is bearing up. After all losing a passport is insignificant compared to what happened in Orlando.
Monday, 13th June
We were up early after a restless night thinking about what lay ahead. Shortly after 7.00 am we walked down to Sorrelle’s Coffee Shop. We thought we would continue to the shipyard in the hope that someone would be there even though it was closed on Monday. John walked into the coffee shop and asked about his lost passport. The woman behind the counter reached up to a shelf and there it was. John’s passport! It is a sight that we both will never forget. John wanted to kiss all the women behind the counter but they were happy to just hand over the passport and make us a coffee. John gave a good tip and then went over and tipped some more. We couldn’t believe our luck.
The other problem was the lens had fallen out of John’s glasses. We decided to get a trolley bus ticket which would give us unlimited hop on hop off transport around Boston. We bought a two day ticket at the Constitution Museum stop and set off in a breezy trolley and a wisecracking driver to Stop 6, Old State House.
The market was mainly a food hall including a bar called “Cheers” with cardboard cutouts of the characters from the TV show that you could pose with. It is not the original Cheers (the Bull and Finch) but is an “authentic replica”. The real Cheers is on Beacon Hill as our second wisecracking driver told us after we hopped back on. We stayed on the trolley bus and passed the Holocaust Memorial (tall glass rectangular prisms), Boston Common, Beacon Hill where many famous people lived including Louisa May Alcock (Little Women etc), Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau and Henry James. A quote I keep hearing is “In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?” Written by none other than Mark Twain.
We continued on past the Boston Tea Party Museum and Paul Revere’s House, staying on board until we got back to Constitution Museum. After all we have another day tomorrow. We had lunch back at the apartment before taking our washing to the laundromat in our street. Slight problem. They had just pulled all the machines out. So we googled another one which was over the other side of the Bunker Hill memorial. The area was more rundown than where we are living and we got to know it pretty well while we waited for our washing.
Back home we celebrated John’s good luck with a glass of champagne. Dinner was chicken cacciatore with veg cooked in our own kitchen. The news was full of Orlando and the Trump versus Clinton reactions. One good thing CNN is doing is a fact check on everything they say. That is something the ABC in Australia is/was doing but I heard it was to be discontinued.