Academic Reflection

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” – Edith Wharton

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One of the beautiful buildings surrounding Harvard Yard is reflected in a window of the Harvard Memorial Church.  The church stands at one end of the Yard, opposite the Widener Library – to dramatic effect.

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Photos were taken in 2014 as I wandered the grounds. I felt smarter just standing there!  And looking at these photos makes me feel it’s time for another visit.

WPC – Mirror

Road Trip Fun


Let’s take a road trip – just for the FUN of it!! Boston to Burlington. 

One the highlights of summer has to be the “road trip”. When I was a kid, all our vacations were road trips – usually while hauling a camper trailer. 

This week, I’m off with hubby on one of his business trips. And we decided, much to my delight, to make it into a little road adventure, by adding a road component to the commute. This road trip begins with plane ride (… Well, actually we did drive from home to the airport, so …).


Landing in Boston.


Picking up rental car. This was our second choice – the car assigned to us was sopping wet inside. Ewww!  Someone must have left the window down during  the car wash, or something. It was squishy!


Through the tunnel, and …

… Over the bridge.


Enduring an 8-lane highway into New Hampshire. Note the white knuckles!


This was a little easier. North through New Hampshire via I89 to Lebanon.  


We stopped at an information centre in White River Jct to pick up a road map. Road maps are old school, I know.  But I like them! Here, we saw a railway museum display. 


We carried on along the #4 Highway, west to the very pretty town of Woodstock. We stretched our legs and had a little look around.  This place might require another visit!


And found one of New England’s famous covered bridges in Woodstock. 


The #4 Highway took us to Killington (major ski resort) at the southern tip of the Green Mountain National Forest and then to Rutland, where we turned north along the #7 Highway . We had intended to drive through the Green Mountains, but somehow we missed that turn off. My driver does not like to retrace steps. 


That’s okay. The mountain views were pretty.


There were loads and loads (and loads!) of antique shops along the route.


It’s farm country.

Including many solar farms – large and small.  You can’t see it in this photo, but there were hundreds of solar panels at the solar farm. The photo was snapped while we whizzed by.  My driver doesn’t care to stop, either, apparently. 


But the sky brightened from time to time and I convinced said driver to take a wee break from the highway and skirt the shores of Lake Champlain.


We were rewarded with our own little covered bridge which we got to drive through.

All that “no stopping” and “no retracing” paid off. We arrived in Burlington in plenty of time to have walk (that was a long drive!!), and sit on a patio for dinner as the setting sun warmed the bricks of this lovely building across the street.

I see a glass of wine in our future … Or maybe a local cider. Yup!  Cider it is!

Cheers!

Waiting…

Winter is on my head,
But eternal spring is in my heart – Victor Hugo

20150116-110250-39770805.jpg The Victory Gardens in the Back Bay Fens is one of my favorite places to visit any time of year.

20150116-110543-39943512.jpgIn wintertime, it almost feels as though the ghosts of last summer are tending the little garden rooms ……. –

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20150116-110950-40190519.jpg. ……Until busy Spring starts hand out her list of chores.

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A Walk Around Boston in January

And this is good old Boston;
The home of the bean and the cod;
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots;
And the Cabots talk only to God
– John Collins Bossidy

Arriving at Logan Airport around 9am, we were happy to see no snow on the ground – clear, dry sidewalks are just the thing when planning a day of walking. Thanks to the incredible tunnels under the city (The Big Dig) the taxi ride from airport to our hotel near Fenway Park took a mere 13 minutes – we arrived in time for breakfast (!!) before bundling up (it was SO cold!) and starting out.

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On the Boston Commons, this cheeky little squirrel climbed up my leg and made a swipe at my phone!

Through the theatre and business districts, we made our way to the waterfront. After walking for about three hours, we were very cold – too cold to think about take photos, apparently. We hardly saw another soul along the Waterfront Walk – the very opposite of summertime, when throngs of tourists rule.

The bartender at the Union Oyster House correctly pointed out that although it might be chilly, 20F is better than 19F. (That -7C ish, but it was the wind chill that was doing us in!).

Even though we have passed by the restaurant many times before, today we stopped into the famous Union Oyster House for a beer, and oh yeah, a little calamari. Mmmm! That helped to warm us up!

20150115-185744-68264400.jpg The UOH lays claim to being the oldest restaurant in America, dating from 1826 (the building from 1704), and to being a favorite haunt of J.F. Kennedy. In January, the tourists were replaced by locals, and we loved listening to the lively banter between customers and the wait staff.

Nicely warmed up and with full bellies, we wandered out again and into the TD Centre in search of a Bruins jersey for my father who is a life long fan. Success! A birthday gift for his 75th. Perfect!

I ask you, what is a visit to Boston, without a ramble through Beacon Hill? A wasted visit, I’d say.

20150115-192156-69716730.jpg This neighborhood is just soooo charming – a credit to built heritage preservation.

Next, it was a wander through the Public Gardens. The stunning architecture of winter trees take centre stage, where green planting hold court in summer. And where …

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20150115-193255-70375196.jpg … We saw the sculpture dedicated to the 1941 children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. The teacher in me loved that a kid’s book is honoured in this way :).

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Then back to Fenway, along Commonwealth Avenue. Strolling along this gracious avenue, a girl could be forgiven if she was reminded of the boulevards of Paris.

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(If it wasn’t so cold, that is! Did I mention that it was cold?)
The architecture lining both sides of the avenue is very French. I adore walking through neighborhoods at dusk, basking in the welcoming glow from lit windows, inventing narritives. my head was constantly on a swivel.

From here it was back to our own cozy (warm) hotel room and a glass of chianti.

In spite of occasionally complaining of the cold (our faces were absolutely ruddy when we returned to the room), I recommend visiting Boston in January. Winter offers a completely different perspective on this city. I loved it. After all, I am Canadian – I really should be more comfortable in the cold.

A Tale of Two Cities

Most Christmas stories don’t begin with a tragic explosion, but the tale of the Boston Christmas Tree does.
During WW1, the port city of Halifax, NS (my hometown) was an important naval point of departure for both men and supplies enroute to Europe. On Dec. 6, 1917 a fully loaded French munitions ship broke its mooring, and drifted, colliding with another ship at the narrowest point in the harbour. The resulting explosion, the largest man-made explosion to that time, flattened the north end of the city, killing 2000 and injuring 9000. Halifax was devastated.
The people of Boston received the news immediately via telegraph, and quickly dispatched medical personnel and supplies as well as food and water. A train arrived just 2 days later.
This generous effort has remained a part of the fabric of Nova Scotia’s history. And every year the people of our province send a Christmas Tree to the people of Boston in recognition and thanks.
This year my family & I are in Boston for a few days before Christmas, so the first thing we all wanted to see was The Boston Christmas Tree.
A gift that recognizes goodness in the human spirit.
Wishing you all the very Happiest of Holidays!!

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Photography 101 – Highlights

One photo, every day!  This was such an interesting exercise.  It’s one thing to point a click when I see something I like and want to record, but the challenge came in focusing on a specific theme every day.

Like “Swarm”.

When I read the assignment, the first thing that came to mind was, of course, bees…..or atleast some insects.  But this is November and all those guys are tucked away.  I certainly did not expect to find a “swarm” in an art gallery exhibit.  But, voila!  There it was.

And that is what I have taken from this workshop.  It’s all about keeping my eyes (and my mind) OPEN. 🙂

I’ve gathered a few of my favourite photos here, taken this month.  But I am very happy to report that I did manage to rise to the challenge every day….even the weekends. It was fun!

Thanks for coming along with me.