Oktoberfest in Addison, TX - September 2010

We met up with old college friends at Oktoberfest in Addison on Saturday, September 19, 2010. 

It was good times with barrel rolling, amusement ride riding, German food eating, and some dancing to the German musicians.  We met a man who has a collection of utility kilts and saw a lot of lederhosen.









Boston & Salem, MA - July 2010

Boston in the Summer of 2010

Kris and I decided that our "just us" trip for the summer would be to Boston and Salem in Massachusetts. 

Day 1 - Saturday, July 17, 2010 

Kris and I were really tired from our last trip, and we had to wake up at 6am for our flight to Boston.  Due to this, we decided not to overdo ourselves the first day.  We checked in at our incredible hotel ( The Copley Square Hotel), ate a nice Italian meal at Piattini, walked around Copley Square (one of the local malls), checked out some local grocery stores (like Trader Joe's) for some local flavor, and had ice cream cones as big as our heads at J.P. Lick's before calling it a night.



Day 2 - Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today we really walked.  We also got a hop on/hop off bus tour around the city, but we still walked.   We saw the Back Bay, MIT, Beacon Street USS Constitution, Boston Harbor, Quincy Market, Long Wharf, the Paul Revere Statue, the first public school, Boston Commons, Cheers, and more.  Skitler, of course, joined us for the fun.  We walked a bit of the Freedom Trail, and saw some old gravestones and cool architecture. 










We later used public transport to take us to Eagle's Deli & Restaurant, a restaurant featured on Man vs. Food on the Food Network.  Kris tried the Nick Lachey challenge.  1.5 pounds of beef with 6 pieces of Swiss cheese and 6 pieces of bacon on a bun with half a pound of fries and a soda.  It hurt me to watch him try to eat it.  We still got more J.P. Lick's before bedtime.




Day 3 - Monday, July 19, 2010

We continued our hop on and hop off tour today and saw Fenway Park, first U.S. Post Office, some red gas lanterns from back in the day, and then stopped to see some amazing marine life at the Boston Aquarium.






There were assorted penguins, eels, a really cool octopus, and other great sea mammals and life.  We stopped to see the crazy stairs (featured in the movie The Departed ) before having some lunch.






I must add, while I was eating in Boston, I got a call offering me the job as a technology facilitator.  I was super excited and accepted.  While walking to the Boston Museum of Science, I got a call from my principal congratulating me on my new position.  While on the phone thanking him, a cop car passed with sirens blaring.  He says on the phone, "Ooo - better let you go.  Sounds like you're getting arrested."  Can't believe I got the job!!!

We spent a lot of time at the Boston Museum of Science, and then headed over the Harvard Yard.



There are quite a few activists at Harvard, as well as some ridiculous signage.  Regardless, it's a beautiful campus and we saw it on a lovely day.







I must admit...I might have been the most excited about seeing the old IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator they have on display.  Walking back, we got to see the Wadsworth House. 

It was another great day in Boston.


Day 4 -Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today Kris and I opted to take the train to Salem to explore the old witch trials.  The town is quite kitschy, but it's also rather quaint.  I very much enjoyed the day.



We started with seeing some interesting museums.  The best acted out the history of the witch trials when they were in full force and gave us quite a performance.  They also dispelled a lot of misinformation.  They also made it very clear that the only real remaining historical documentation of the Witch Trials are the papers left behind.  The location of Gallow's Hill and the burial ground is unknown, the artifacts have mostly been destroyed, and many things don't remain.  Judge Hawthorne's house still stands (as they were quite wealthy) and so does the pillar from the old jail (which has been relocated).


We learned about the pressing of Giles Corey (who refused to admit to guilt so that his property would remain with his family) and learned more about the girls and the trials.  We learned the main accuser went to the judge and admitted to making up the story about Sara Goode to no avail.  We also learned that they actually loaned the girls out to other towns to make accusations.  It was really quite fascinating.
I find it quite amazing that we don't have artifacts from 1692 when Europe has the remains of Pompeii and the Roman Coliseum.  It just blows my mind.


We ate a wonderful lunch on the Salem waterfront and shopped in some of the little town shops.  Many of the shops focus on witchcraft, but there are a lot of just really nice gift shops.  We also saw the Bewitched statue of Elizabeth Montgomery.


We visited the Pirate Museum and cemetery, learned that Nathaniel Hawthorne (famous author) was related to Judge Hawthorne of the Salem Witch Trials, and visited an old fashioned candy maker.


Then it was off to the House of Seven Gables  built in 1668.  (This house inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables.)



After a quick stop at The Bunghole (so Kris could pretend to be Beavis and/or Butthead), it was back to the train to head back to Boston. 


Did I mention we got some more J.P. Lick's tonight.  Yummy!  I also got a bit of a sunburn.


Day 5 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our last day in Boston had a few treasures in store.  We had lunch at the famous Jasper White's Summer Shack before heading to the Boston Public Library (the first free lending library). 




I'd been told to go to the library but I had no idea of the gorgeousness that would await my eyes.  Marble foyer, gorgeous chandeliers, multiple marble fireplaces, and artwork galore.  Kris and I wound up spending over 2 hours inside. 










After leaving the library, we headed to the Mapparium.  While it's held in a fundamentally interesting religious building, it was fascinating enough to see.   No photos were allowed, but I bought a postcard and then photographed it. 



The flight home was, thankfully, uneventful.