Boston, Salem, and Plymouth

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North America » United States » Massachusetts » Boston
October 17th 2008
Published: November 24th 2008
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After my younger sister Kimberly was accepted into graduate school at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro Vermont, I realized that I would probably be making several trips over to the East coast during the duration of her schooling. My sister and I have grown to become very close, and it was difficult for me to imagine being away from her for over a year! The first trip we planned was an extended weekend away in Boston, Salem, and Plymouth Massachusetts. She would rent a car in Brattleboro, Vermont and drive down to meet me in Boston. We planned the trip to occur during the third weekend in October to coincide with the Halloween festivities in Salem and the beautiful changing of fall leaves in Massachusetts. I was so excited to visit this region of Massachusetts as I have always been extremely interested in the history of the area and the many historical offerings it has for visitors. Although it’s a small state, Massachusetts offers a wide range of activities and sights to choose from that you would normally expect from a much larger state.

Day 1 (Friday, October 17th, 2008)

I took an overnight flight via JetBlue that left Seattle on Thursday around 23:00, arriving 4.5 hours later in Boston at 7:30. Unfortunately, although I had planned to sleep on the entire duration of my flight, I only ended up with an hour of two of sleep. Needless to say, I was in quite a daze when we landed in Boston and ready to find a bed ASAP!

Fortunately, Boston has an efficient public transportation system, known as the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority). From the airport, I took the silver line bus to South Station, located in downtown Boston. Next, I traveled via train on the red line to Braintree. The entire journey took about one hour and only cost me $2! That was the cheapest public transportation I have ever taken from an airport into a large city; I was quite impressed!

Kimberly and I had decided to stay in a hotel outside of downtown Boston, as hotel prices in the city center were astronomical. Since we were only spending 1 of our 3 days together in the city, we figured it was more efficient to find a cheaper place out of Boston that would allow us to park her car for free and make for easy access for the day-trips we had planned. While I was traveling in Eastern Europe with Mike, Kimberly reserved a room at the Motel 6 in Braintree. We are not picky hotel travelers and just wanted a place that was clean and close to public transportation. The room only cost $90 per night and was literally right across the street from the T station.

When I arrived at the motel, there were no rooms available for me to check-into, so I had to wait in the lobby for about 45 minutes until one was ready. This did not make my very happy as I was extremely exhausted and ready to collapse. I finally got to the room and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw; the room had been recently renovated and was actually much nicer than any of the Motel 6 “type” hotels I have stayed in. After surveying the room, I literally collapsed in bed with exhaustion.

Kimberly was scheduled to arrive about 90 minutes later, so I knew I had to get some shut-eye before she came. However, my precious sleeping time was soon interrupted about 15 minutes later by several phone calls. Apparently, one of the maintenance workers had knocked on my door (didn’t hear him due to the ear plugs) and since I hadn’t answered, he decided to call me instead. He stated that he had to replace the cover for the heating and air conditioner unit, so I begrudgingly got out of bed to open the door. As soon as he put on the stupid cover, I got right back in bed and feel asleep immediately. About one hour later, I was again interrupted by the room phone ringing. In my dazed state, I didn’t answer the first time, but managed to the second time when it rang again. When I answered the phone, a woman responded and mentioned something about a car, but I couldn’t quite understand or hear her, due to the earplugs. I remember saying to her “sorry, I can’t hear you” and then she mentioned something about coming up to my room. I hung up and began to collect myself to head down to the lobby. I was so confused and irritated at this point, but finally remembered that Kimberly was on her way. I called and she instantly said “why didn’t you answer your phone? I’ve been trying to call you for 15 minutes!” In my sleep deprived state, I had not realized nor heard my cell phone ring. I somehow managed to wake myself up and walk down the stairs to meet her. Once back inside the motel room, she told me that she was the one who called from the front desk. Kimberly had wanted to save money on the reservation so she only booked the room in one name (mine). As a result, when she arrived, she was unable to tell the front desk that she was here for her reservation as they would have charged us additional money for an additional person. Instead, she pretended to be from the local car rental agency and informed them she was here to drop off my car. The man at the front desk told her I was probably sleeping and then attempted to call, although I didn’t answer (that was the first phone call). He then gave her my room number and had her call herself. Apparently, her words to me were “this is Kimberly from Enterprise car rental and I am here with your car rental. Never during our short conversation had I realized that it was her! Quite a funny story now but not so much in that moment to Kimberly!

We finally left the motel about 30 minutes later, in my groggy and incoherent state. We took the T into central Boston from Braintree, arriving at Park Street Station about 20 minutes later. I was happy to see the beautiful sun and blue skies as we walked out of the train station. Although it was October, the temperature was warm and pleasant, in the low 60’s. We were both starving, so we stopped in for lunch at a place called Finagle A Bagel , which was a local Boston chain eatery. I had a grilled Panini sandwich with chicken, cheese, and pesto while Kimberly had a vegetarian bagel.

We ate our lunch quickly, so that we could arrive on time for our tour of the Freedom Trail put on by the Boston Common Visitor Information Center. The tour cost $12 per person, was supposed to last 90 minutes, and was led by an 18th century costumed guide. The Freedom Trail is a red path that leads through downtown Boston along 16 significantly historical sights of the city and is definitely one of the “must see” sights while visiting Boston. Although some people complete the 2.5 mile walk on their own, I thought that the tour would make a more meaningful visit, as we would hear commentary on the history of the city and stories of its many inhabitants along the way. I truly feel that guided tours help make landmarks, museums, churches, etc come to life in a way not possible when touring on your own, and this was definitely the case with our tour. Along the tour, we saw many of the famous historical sights of Boston including the large and beautiful public park of Boston Common, the Granary Burying Ground (where many of the notable Bostonians have been laid to rest), and the Old State House, the oldest surviving public building in Boston. Our guide was extremely informative and provided good insight on the history of Boston. However, because our tour group was so large, we had difficulty hearing her at times. She was also the fastest walking woman I’ve ever encountered, so she was always far ahead of the group!

The tour finally ended 15 minutes late in front of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which was home to the famous Quincy Market, built between 1824-1826. Kimberly and I decided to continue walking along the Freedom Trail ourselves, first stopping inside Quincy Market. She bought a drink at Starbucks and we both wandered the long hall, looking at all of the many food vendors. Originally, the venue was used as rental space for grocers, but today, most of the space is taken up by fast-food restaurants.

Afterward, we meandered alongside the street next to the market, browsing through a few of the retail stores where I made some Christmas ornament purchases.

We eventually made our way to the New England Holocaust Memorial, which was erected in 1995. The monument consists of six tall, glass towers on which six million random numbers are inscribed, one for each Jew who died during the Holocaust. I thought it was a beautiful and moving memorial.

From here, we made our way to the North End, which is also sometimes referred as “Little Italy” by tourists. The neighborhood was filled with a ridiculous number of Italian eateries and was also one of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston. We stopped in at a place called Mike’s Pastry, which was an Italian bakery that sold an unimaginable amount of pastries, cakes, and other sweet delicacies. Kimberly requested a slice of Boston cream pie while I opted for the chocolate cream cannoli. The Boston cream pie was slightly frozen and not so good; my cannoli however was quite delicious.

Next, we walked to the Paul Revere House, which happens to be the oldest house in downtown Boston, built around 1680. Paul Revere was married twice, and had 16 children (yes, you read that correctly!) although there was usually never more than 5-9 children living in the small house at a time due to marriage or not yet being born. The old home has been immaculately preserved and the entrance fee was quite reasonable (only $3 per person).

We continued walking through the North End, until we reached the Old North Church which was the oldest church in Boston, having been built in 1723. Entrance to the church was free, so we popped in for a visit but didn’t stay long as there wasn’t much too see. It had a spacious interior and was light and bright, but just wasn't that impressive.

We also stopped in at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground which was established in 1659 and was the second oldest cemetery in Boston. We arrived just before closing time, so we were only able to spend a few minutes on the beautiful grounds which had views of the harbor.

From here, we walked towards Charlestown Bridge, and began to walk across, but decided to turn around as the continuation of the Freedom Trail was probably at least another 1-2 hours. As we had already been walking for four hours, we had had enough and the sun was beginning to set, so we figured it was a good point to turn around.

We walked back to Quincy Market to grab a bite to eat for dinner. We both ended up ordering pizza, which was cheap and delicious.

Before heading back to Braintree, Kimberly wanted to stop in at H & M Clothing store. They now have locations all over the US (including Seattle), but just a few years ago, they were mostly in Europe. The clothing prices were reasonable and the selection quite large. I purchased a few shirts, two knit hats, and one scarf. Aside from my jacket, I hadn’t brought any other cold winter weather clothing with me, and in the coming days, I would be very happy that I had made the decision to purchase the hats and scarf.

We finally headed back to Braintree around 20:00. By this point, I was completely exhausted and actually fell asleep on the subway train; that’s unheard of for me! We arrived back at the motel, I took a shower, and then collapsed. It had been a long and tiring day with little sleep from the night before.

Day 2 (Saturday, October 18th, 2008)

Initially, we had planned to spend all day Saturday in Salem. However, Kimberly had mentioned at the last minute that she wanted to visit Louisa May Alcott’s home, which was located in Concord, about 18 miles NW of Boston, so we decided to stop there first. The drive up to Concord took about 45 minutes but we were greeted with beautiful views of the fall foliage along the freeway. I’ve seen the leaves changing color in Seattle, but never anything like this before. We saw every imaginable color possible of oranges, reds, and yellows. These leaves contrasted so vibrantly against some of the other leaves which were still green. I was able to take a few photos of the trees, but vowed to myself then and there that one day I would return to New England in October to see more of the leaves throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

When we finally arrived in Concord, we were greeted with dozens of gorgeously restored 18th century colonial homes. Considering I’m from the Pacific Northwest, any home of at least 100 years is ancient to me, so to see so many 300 year old homes in such amazing condition was truly remarkable. Kimberly and I oohed and ahhed as we drove through the streets, pointing out the ones we thought were most beautiful.

We arrived at Orchard House, which was located on the famous Lexington Road, and was one of the former homes of the famous American author Louisa May Alcott. As many of you know, she is best known for her novel “Little Women” which happens to be one of Kimberly’s favorite books. As we walked towards the house, she squealed with delight and excitement; this was the event she was most looking forward to visiting on our trip. We purchased tickets for the guided tour, which was the only way to view the interior of the home. The tickets cost $9 and also included a short video presentation prior to the start of the 45 minute tour. I’m a sucker for old Colonial homes, so I was also looking forward to the tour. The video presentation provided a wonderful background on Louisa and her life. I’ll admit that I did not know much about the author prior to our visit, with the exception of her many famous novels. I learned that Little Women, while fictional, was loosely based on stories from her own life. She also had three sisters, one of which died of sickness, one of which whom was married at the house, and the youngest who traveled to Europe to study painting. After the video, the guide took us around the house, which has recently undergone extensive renovation. Luckily, nearly 75% of the furnishings in the home belonged to the Alcott family. After they lived there for approximately 20 years (1858 to 1877), the house was lived in by only a few more people, until being converted into the museum in the early 1900’s.

After visiting Orchard House, we drove back through a residential street in Concord, and snapped a few photos of some homes we thought were beautiful.

From Concord, we headed east to Salem. Although I had received nine hours of sleep the night before, I was still quite exhausted and slept for much of the drive. We arrived to the freeway exit of Salem in good time, but it ended up taking over 30 minutes from the freeway exit to reach the center of town due to the insane number of cars on the road. The entire month of October is Salem’s busiest time of year, so the tourists head here in droves to partake in all of the Halloween related events and activities. As a result, the main arteries leading into town are completely clogged full of cars. I’m sure the locals just adore this time of year!

When we finally reached the center part of town, we found a parking garage that still had spots available, although the fee was $20 per car! Expensive, but we didn't really have any other options.

After leaving the parking garage, we entered the city streets through a small mall that was located beneath the garage. The first thing we noticed was the insane number of people we saw in every single direction; it seemed as though there was no end in sight!

Our first sightseeing stop was at the Salem Witch Museum. The museum was located in an old church and presented the story of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. We had not realized that this museum was one of the most popular sights in all of Salem so we were greeted with a massive line of people. At first, we figured we would come back a few hours later when the line decreased, but then we realized that the line we saw was just to purchase tickets for entry times later in the day. So, we stood in line for a good 30 minutes and bought tickets to an evening show at 18:45.

From here, we walked through the town in order to reach the Corwin House, which is better known by it's other name; the Witch House.

I'm not quite sure what I expected Salem to appear like, but I was slightly disappointed with the town itself. Most of the buildings were made of brick and appeared to be from the 19th and 20th century. I guess I had expected many 17th and 18th century homes and buildings,
Corwin HouseCorwin HouseCorwin House

AKA "the Witch House"
of which we only saw a few. To the town's defense, it was extremely clean and well taken care of. It's just not what I envisioned the city to look like.

We reached the Witch House, which was built around 1642. It was once the former home of Jonathan Corwin, who was a judge that was involved in the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Although none of the trials were conducted at his home, the house is the only remaining structure in Salem that has direct ties to the witchcraft trials. While it was impressive that the building had survived for such a long period of time, we did not think that the steep entrance fee of $8 was worth the expense as it only took ten minutes to tour the home.

Afterward, we continued to walk through town, stopping at a place called Brother's Deli and Restaurant. The restaurant was described as a family run cafeteria type eatery that served cheap but delicious American food. Unfortunately, this description was not so accurate; the food was horribly bland and quite disgusting. Even the macaroni and cheese was terrible; not quite sure how anyone can screw that up!

From the restaurant, we continued walking down Derby Street until we reached the Old Burying Point Cemetery, which was inundated with many people. We had also read that there was supposed to be some sort of witch memorial in or near the cemetery, but after walking around for a while, we had seen nothing that resembled a memorial, which was very confusing.

We continued walking along the street, which eventually led to Salem Harbor. The sun was just beginning to set, so many of the historic homes were lit up beautifully by the warm sun. We eventually made our way to The House of Seven Gables. Once here, we planned to sign up for one of the guided tours, which was the only way to view the interior of the historic home. Unfortunately, we had to wait about 1.5 hours as that was the soonest tour opening they had available.

While we waited for the tour to begin, Kimberly and I walked around the grounds of the property (which had great views of the waterfront), and toured a few of the exterior buildings, including the gift shop. We both found it interesting that the museum ran tours constantly; I believe they had groups leaving every 5-10 minutes, which I thought was crazy! The tour of the home was interesting and the guide provided interesting commentary on the history of the house, which was originally built in 1668. The house contained six rooms of period furniture and a secret staircase, which we were able to walk up.

After the tour had concluded, we walked through town back to the Salem Witch Museum, where we had tickets for the 18:45 tour. I wasn't sure of what to expect as I had assumed that it was a museum with displays. However, the museum was actually more of a show than a museum. We were guided into a huge room (which was once the chapel of the old church) and asked to sit on the floor and the few chairs they had available. Then, using stage sets with life-size figures, the museum turned on the "show" which used lighting and narration to provide an overview of the Witch Trials of 1692. It was interesting and fascinating, and we both learned much about that time in history. After the show, we were ushered into a small exhibit called "Witches: Evolving Perceptions". A guide from the museum provided about ten minutes of commentary regarding witch stereotypes, aspects of witchcraft in the 17th century, modern witchcraft and the phenomenon of witch hunts. The main message they were trying to get across was tolerance, and that no one should ever be persecuted for their beliefs or religion.

After our visit of the museum had concluded, we quickly left and ran across the street and bought some overly-priced spiced cider and “fried dough” (aka elephant ears), which we had seen at stands throughout the city.

Next, we took a short walk to the next street over in order to find the meeting point for the 20:00 ghost tour we had signed up with Salem Night Tour. I had booked the tickets prior to leaving for Boston, so you can imagine my surprise and confusion when we walked up to the counter and the company did not have our reservation on file. Luckily, I had printed out my confirmation of the purchase, so they believed that I had indeed paid. The tour group was huge; in fact, they had to divide the group into two smaller groups. However, the tour company first tried to tell us that they might not have room in the group. I was quite irritated with this considering it really didn't matter how large or small the group was; the tour walked through the streets of Salem so the size really had no bearing. We ended up sneaking on with one of the groups without any problems. The tour was interesting and entertaining, especially the costumed guide. We didn't see any ghosts of course, but we did manage to learn more about the history of the city and the the location of important buildings and moments in time (such as the location of the trials). The tour was scheduled to last 90 minutes, but we headed out about 30 minutes early as it was getting late out and we had a long drive back to our hotel.

On the drive back into Boston, we came across a toll booth. Unfortunately, we did not have any cash on us, but we assumed they would take credit cards (who wouldn't?). Much to our surprise, we quickly realized that they did not take credit cards; it was either pay up in cash or take a bill with you and mail the money later, which was the option we chose.

Day 3 (Sunday, October 19th, 2008)

Today we headed from the motel South to Plymouth, but not before first stopping at the nearby Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. To put in context, Dunkin Donuts is to Boston what Starbucks is to Seattle; there seems to be a store on every street corner in Boston and there is almost always one located off of every freeway exit. The stores are filled with locals and are quite nice and have a variety of food choices, unlike the Dunkin Donuts in Seattle. We both ordered a bagel breakfast sandwich and I also bought two donuts to eat later.

The drive from Braintree to Plymouth only took about 35 minutes. The formal name of the town is Plymouth, but the plantation uses the original spelling of “Plimoth”. We arrived at Plimoth Plantation around 10:30 and were surprised to see the small number of cars in the parking lot as I had figured that Sunday was a busy and popular day to visit; however I soon realized the most likely answer to my question was the bitter cold wind. The temperate was decent, probably around 50 degrees, but the wind was blowing fiercely and the resulting wind chill was painful.

The tickets to the sight cost $28, which was a combination ticket that included entrance to Plymouth Plantation and also to the Mayflower ship. Purchasing the combination ticket saved $4 versus buying each ticket separately. Kimberly’s ticket only cost $22 as she was able to take advantage of the student discount!

Our first stop at the sight was the viewing of an informational video on the plantation and a quick background on the history of the English settlers and of the local Native Americans of the region (Wampanoag tribe).

After watching the video, we walked outside into the brutally cold wind to the Wampanoag Homesite. A small village has been recreated to look like one from 1627 in which a family of about 10 American Indians would live. There were several wetus (traditional homes), each of which had a large fire burning inside to heat. We watched a man carve a large tree trunk as he was in the process of making a canoe. In one of the wetus we learned from a staff member that the cedar shingles on the side of the structure were replaced approximately every four years and that the actual wood comes from other states. The staff at the Wampanoag Homesite are not characters; that is, they are dressed in traditional clothing but speak to visitors as a regular person, which is completely the opposite that occurs in the English Village. Both Kimberly and I felt that it was quite strange and uncomfortable to talk to the staff; not all of them were approachable and we felt slightly stupid to ask them questions like “what are you doing, or what is this” when we knew they weren’t in character. I think the experience in this part of the plantation would be so much more gratifying for guests if the Wampanoag were characters from 1627.

From the Wampanoag Homesite, we walked to the English Village. As we approached the settlement, I became very excited as the views of the weathered gray buildings came into my sight. When I was eight years old, I had watched a slide show in my third grade classroom from my teacher’s visit to the Plimoth Plantation the summer before. This was my first concrete memory of intrigue and interest of history. I remember watching the slide show and being completely mesmerized by the characters in the photos. I thought it was fascinating that people were able to dress up like our ancestors and live life temporarily like so many did hundreds of years before them. It was incredible and amazing to me that a place like this existed in the United States, and I specifically remember vowing to myself that I would would one day visit Plimoth Plantation.

The 1627 English Village was filled with staff who were costumed role players that portrayed actual residents from the first few years of the colonial settlement of Plymouth. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the staff in order to make the most of their visit. The first house we stopped in had an older man in his 50’s sitting at the table in the corner of the home. As it was our first interaction experience, we were a little uncomfortable and only asked a few questions as it felt quite silly to be speaking with someone who appeared in every way to come from 1627. However, these feelings soon subsided once we visited the second home. There was a young woman in her 20’s who was in the process of cooking supper. The food, which was goose giblets and neck, cooked in a broth that was a medley of spices actually smelled delicious! She made everyone feel very comfortable and talked quite extensively about her life at Plimoth Plantation. It was incredibly fascinating to watch her cook and tend the fire and she spoke to all of us in her English dialect. Questions from the group ranged from “what are you cooking?” and “how many people live in this house” to “where do you go to the bathroom?” She also spoke extensively about the area in Holland where they were formally living prior to her life in Plimoth.

The vast amount of knowledge the staff must retain is very impressive and mind-boggling. They have to know much of the life story of their own character and so much more about life in general during the time period. We toured the rest of the village, stopped in at a few more of the homes, speaking with the other staff members. The only disappointment we felt during our visit to the English Village was the fact that only about half of the homes were open, and only 1/3 of the homes had a role player inside. I’m sure that most of the homes are open with guides inside on the summer weekends, but not so much on a cold Sunday in October.

We spent a few hours at the English Village before finally leaving and walking to the Crafts Center. We watched and listened to a man who was in the process of carving wood furniture. The staff members in the Crafts Center are not costumed guides, but are instead artisans who work and create most of the items that can be found in both the English Village and the Wampanoag Homesite. They also build furniture and other works of art for customers that have made special requests. Prior to leaving, we walked through a small exhibit on the foods and seasonal changes that occurred at Plymouth Plantation.

Before leaving the Plantation, we stopped in at the gift shop, where I bought a few food-related souvenirs for Mike, including Nantucket cranberry tea and chocolate covered cranberries.

From the Plantation, we left and drove through the charming and beautiful seaside town of Plymouth, spending most of the drive drooling over the gorgeous Cape-Cod style homes. In fact, we spent so much time ogling over the houses that we missed our turn for the Mayflower ship and had to turn around!

The Mayflower II was a full-scale reproduction of the famous ship that sailed from England to Plymouth in 1620. We were both surprised at the size of the ship; it was much smaller than either of us had anticipated and it was difficult to imagine that approximately 102 passengers, their personal belongings, plus crew and a few farm animals rode on the long two month voyage to Plymouth. On the ship we encountered a few crew members, who helped to explain the history of the ship and one costumed guide who provided great insight to life on the ship in 1620.

After visiting the Mayflower, we drove back to Braintree, first stopping at the Burger King for an early dinner so Kimberly could eat her much loved veggie burger. Once at the hotel, Kimberly quickly gathered the rest of her items so that she could leave. She had class the next morning at 8:30, so she wasn’t able to stay with me for the final night. I was sad to see her leave, but luckily for us, our departure would be short as Mike and I had plans to meet her about one month later in New York City over Thanksgiving.

Day 4 (Monday, October 20th, 2008)

On my last day in Boston, I was by myself as Kimberly had left the night before to go back to school. After packing my bags and leaving them with the staff at the front desk, I took the train into downtown Boston.

From here, I walked through Boston Common up to Beacon Hill, where I walked around, exploring the neighborhood for about one hour. Beacon Hill is one of many neighborhoods found in Boston, and comprises one square mile, and is home to about 10,000 people. Many of the homes in this area are Federal-style brick townhouses that have been lovingly restored. I had a great time, just simply walking through the cobbled-lined streets as I took many pictures of the well-maintained homes and buildings. If I were able to live in Boston, this is definitely the neighborhood I would like to live in, especially considering it's close proximity to Boston Common.

Afterward, I walked back through Boston Common, and enjoyed the vast open space that the park encompasses. Along the way, I ran into a dog walker, who happened to have three Golden Retrievers with him. Having Golden Retrievers myself, I absolutely had to stop and pet the doggies; they weren't too interested in me but appeared to be having a ton of fun running around the grass.

After visiting with the dogs, I finished walking through the park, eventually taking the JFK/UMass stop. From here, I walked to a nearby bus stop, where I took a local bus to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The bus looped through part of the University of Massachusetts campus, which was interesting to see. When we arrived at the museum about 10 minutes later, I was blown away with the architecture of the building. It was a huge geometric structure with a large glass pavilion that provided amazing views of the Boston waterfront. The first floor of the museum contained family photographs, stories from JFK's youth, and an awesome film narrated by President Kennedy that acted as an orientation to the museum. Watching the film gave me chills and I immediately thought of our current political race and the similarities between JFK and Barack Obama. Next, I walked downstairs where the main portion of the museum was located. There was tons of different exhibits on display, including a recreation of the Oval Office and an interesting section devoted to the First Lady. The exhibits were highly informative, yet easy to understand and read. There was lots of interactive media throughout the museum, including a ton of footage from his presidency. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time so I was unable to thoroughly enjoy all of the museum. For those that are truly interested in JFK, I recommend to block out at least four to six hours to properly visit the museum.

From the museum, I took the train back to the hotel, grabbed my luggage, and then took the train to the airport.

I had an amazing time on my short four day visit to Massachusetts. The New England region of the United States is an area I have always had a huge intrigue in and have thought about visiting for a long time. Instead of planning vacations to different areas in the US, Mike and I tend to travel to Europe more frequently, so it was nice to be able to experience a different slice of America. Given my prior interest in the area, I figured I would enjoy myself, but I was surprised at just how much I liked Boston and the surrounding area. As is usually the case, I began planning my next trip back during our visit, hoping to someday visit other areas in Massachusetts such as Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. I would also love to further explore Lexington and Concord, and more historical towns in the western part of the state. In addition, I would love to be able to combine the trip with a visit to the other New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I never thought that Boston would be a doable long weekend trip from Seattle, but with the help of a direct overnight flight, it's definitely possible, and a trip I would recommend to anyone.

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