One of the days we were in Boston, Les took the big boys to see the U.S.S. Constitution while I did some shopping with my sister-in-law for the baptism.  When we were living in Boston, one of the places my dad took guests was to the Constitution (Old Ironsides).  I had seen it plenty of times as a teenager so I told Les to go and enjoy it without me.

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Les came back beaming.  He was so proud of our boys.

He took the boys to the U.S.S. Constitution museum (free admission but they suggest a donation), followed by boarding Old Ironsides, and then walked around on the U.S.S. Cassin Young, a World War II Destroyer.

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In the museum, the boys learned all about the war of 1812 and the countries involved.  Here they are playing a game where they are learning the reasons the countries went to war.

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Here, the boys were learning how to furl a mainsail.  They were balanced on a rope just a few inches off the ground and had to lean over the yard arm to gather up the sails and tie them up with lashings. On the real boat, sailors would do this 100-150 feet in the air.

In the museum, there was a small demonstration dedicated to teaching people about the sailors’ diet. Les came home ecstatic to tell me about it.

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The lady had laid out a wide variety of foods and a bowl of mixed spices in their natural forms – not ground up.  When the boys came over, she asked them if they knew what the bowl of spices was and they named each of them off without any hesitation what so ever.  “That’s pepper, nutmeg, all spice, clove……..”  Les said he enjoyed it immensely because it was obvious on the lady’s face and reaction that she was not used to this.  There was only one food that stumped the boys – and that was because it was not in it’s natural form – candied ginger.  When the lady told my boys it was ginger, they told her, “It doesn’t look like ginger.  Ginger looks like a root.”

The lady tried again to stump them, “But do you know why the sailors used ginger?”

“Yes!  To help with sea sickness.”

Foiled again!

One more try, “Do you know what caused scurvy?”

My boys, “A lack of vitamin C and they ate fruits to cure it.”

Les was so proud of them and told me it was quite obvious that including the boys in so much of my cooking had a profound influence on them.  I have to admit…I was very proud of them too and wished I had seen that.  Les reminded me, once again, “That’s all you.  Your influence on them.”

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We went back to Boston Proper later that week to explore some more.  This time, we went to the Boston Tea Party museum.  I had never been to this museum before – probably because it cost money and my parents were extremely poor while my dad was attending seminary.  Now I understand why we saw the U.S.S. Constitution so many times.

We quickly learned that this was not the museum for Gabriel.  We entered a town meeting room where the two actors are working everyone up for the next part of the tour where we throw tea into the Boston Harbor.  They asked us to cry out – “Booooo!”  “Huzzah!”  “Here! Here!”  Um…it scared Gabriel….to the point we had to take him out of the room.

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The next part of the guided tour, we went on a replica of the ship where the tea was thrown overboard.  The boys took turns throwing tea overboard as well – and loved it!

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There was one more part to the tour with a movie and more loud noises…but I went up to the tea room instead and sampled Colonial tea while Gabriel took a nap on my lap instead of risking drowning out the movie for everyone else with a crying baby.  Les and the boys enjoyed it though.

I’ve learned from other trips that I tend to pack too much into one day.  I get so excited to see as many places as possible that I tend to rush everything.  I didn’t want to do that this trip.  (I still wanted to see everything on my long list but I slowed down and just enjoyed one thing at a time instead.)  Our one goal that day was the Boston Tea Party museum.  After that, we just explored and went wherever our interests led us.  It was a fantastic day!

On the way over to the museum, we saw a big group of food trucks.  The boys wanted to go to them so badly and we told them maybe on the way back.  I’ll admit it right now, that’s my influence too.  Food Network.  It’s our family time when we watch tv together.  Enough said.   All but one of the food trucks had left by the time we got back there.  The cookie truck was still there though.  (No complaints from my boys.)  We got a cookie for the three boys and one to take back to Niki.  (We knew she’d be just as thrilled that it came from a food truck as the boys – and we were right.)

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Then we went down to the Boston Commons.  My grandma took me there when I was a teenager.  She told me how her grandma took her on the swan boats and took us on them as well.  I was hoping to take the boys on them – but they were closed when we arrived.

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Gabriel’s nouna gave the boys some children’s books relating to Boston as a gift.  One of the books was Make Way for Ducklings.  Chris begged to go find the statues of the mama duck and her ducklings in the Commons.  We went on a hunt for them and my detective husband found them using a picture he found on the Internet by looking at the buildings around the statues in the picture as clues.  Genius!

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On the way, we found a swan fine tuning her nest.

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We found them!

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We stopped by this city market to buy a few things for dinner.  Soooo cool!

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Overall, just a really fun time together.