Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Colors at Point Park, Lookout Mountain

A friend from Mississippi posted this question on Facebook last week - "Still waiting on my favorite time of year. Autumn, where are you?"

In Southeastern Tennessee, we were having the same summer weather, with temperatures in the 80s. It was hot! Rain finally came last Thursday bringing cooler temperatures with it. We were pleasantly surprised to see some nice fall colors up in Lookout Mountain when we hiked from Cravens House to Point Park (elevation 2,135 feet). The colors were the best we've seen so far this fall.

Fall Colors along the TN River
As we were leaving for our hike, we sighted the Columbus ships Nina and Pinta; they had spent the night at Hales Bar Marina. We saw them again when we were atop Lookout Mountain. They were heading for Knoxville, and will call on Chattanooga November 10-27.

How are the fall colors in your neck of the woods?

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Fall Colors along the Tennessee River Serendipity ... at Foster Falls Fall Foliage in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Port of Call: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of our favorite ports of call. We boated here for three years and had many unforgettable adventures. We loved the boating lifestyle so much we quit our jobs and moved to a bigger boat to cruise full time, and now, we've been cruising/living on the boat for the last sixteen years! You know what they say - time flies when you're having fun!
View of Boston from Marina Bay, our last station
We've been back to Boston many times since then, albeit not by boat. This week, we happily played tour guides to a friend and her sisters who were visiting from Paris. It gave us the opportunity to explore and rediscover our old stomping grounds. The notorious Big Dig megaproject of the 90s had moved the Central Artery (main highway in the heart of the city) underground. With the new space, the city of Boston created an urban park with gardens and walkways connecting many neighborhoods.

So, come along with us as we walked the Rose Kennedy Greenway from Chinatown to Faneuil Hall, stopping to admire artworks and various attractions along the way.

Monkee See by Sante Fe artist Don Kennell in honor of the year of the Monkey 
Farmer's market and 
food truck
The Dewey Square farmer's market near South Station is opened Tuesdays and Thursdays from May to November.
Tour guide in action at Harborwalk (Boston Tea Party ship in the background)
Continuing on Atlantic Avenue, we veered off to Harborwalk (behind the InterContinental Hotel) to catch a glimpse of the Boston Tea Party ships and museum, where reenactment of dumping tea into the waters can be sometimes be seen.
Best place for a lobster roll
Checking out the seafood at James Hook + Co
Yummy lobster roll
We couldn't resist checking out the seafood at James Hook. Too bad we already had dim sum in Chinatown earlier:-(! We had enjoyed a delicious lobster roll the last time we stopped here.

Bronze sculptures "Circle of Animals/Zodiac" by renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei
At the Rings Fountain, we encountered the Circle of Animals/Zodiac exhibit by Ai Weiwei, undoubtedly the most famous contemporary artist in China.The story behind the zodiac heads is quite intriguing. The original zodiac heads were designed by the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione, who served in the Qing Court in the 18th century. They had adorned a water clock-fountain in the Old Summer Palace (YuanMingYuan) before they were looted by European soldiers who ransacked and burned down the palace during the Opium War of 1860. Of the seven zodiac heads that are known to have survived the pillage, five have been repatriated back to China, while ownership of the remaining two is still being contested.
Heading towards Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf
Boston Harbor Hotel
See Boston by land and water via a duck tour (Boston Custom House in the background)
Faneuil Hall, a marketplace and meeting hall since 1743
The Great Hall, where town meeting members discussed issues of the day
Prosperity in Boston resulted in the expansion of  Faneuil Hall - Quincy Market was constructed in 1842
Interested in playing chess outdoors?
Travel and Leisure rated Faneuil Hall Marketplace as the number 8 most-visited tourist attractions in America. Whether it is food, shopping or entertainment, you can find it all here at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. And get a dose of some American history at the same time.
We followed the Freedom Trail back to Chinatown (Old State House on left)
The Granary Burying Ground, where famous patriots like Paul Revere, John Hancock and Sam Adams were buried
The Massachusetts State House, facing the Boston Common
Boston skyline seen from the Boston Common (a park in downtown)
Hope you've enjoyed our tour! This incredible city has so much more to offer. As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston has history and culture to please any discerning visitor. A harbor cruise to nearby islands, Cape Cod or whale watch is highly recommended. While in the Boston area, don't forget to feast on seafood - raw oysters, clam chowda, steamers, fried clams, scallops, and the quintessential lobster and lobster roll.

What's your favorite port of call?

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Gone Cruisin’A walk down memory lane ... in Boston Savoring the last days of summer