Yesterday we were able to get about half of the Freedom Trail completed, so today we were targeting the 2nd half. We knew what we were doing this time so before we left home I dismounted the truck’s antenna and we cruised on out to the Braintree station. We go in to pay for parking but this time I’ll do it myself. I insert the ticket and it says I owe $7. I insert my credit card, it sucks it in then spits it out saying it can’t read it. I try it again…sucks in, spits out, no read. I carefully look at the diagram and realize that I had the stripe pointing the wrong direction. I insert the card the correct way and after a bit it says “Rejected”. It is then that I notice a separate card reader that is probably where I should have slid my card to make the payment. Oh crud, I think I just jammed my credit card into the ticket slot instead of the credit card slot and now its eaten my card!!
I go to find an employee to help and there she is. The same kind woman who helped us yesterday recognizes us and says “oh hi! You’re back…can I help you?” I explain to her that I put my credit card in the wrong slot but then she assures me I did it correct. She presses the “Need assistance?” button on the machine and a crackly voice comes on “yeeees”. She explains that the machine ate a card. It takes several calls to get someone to arrive and during our wait Carol asks about our day yesterday, and our trip and she talks to the kids. Eventually someone comes and opens the machine to find….no card. She says “are you sure you don’t have your card?” Come on, do you think I’m that dumb? I humor her by pulling out my wallet (a rubberband around my cards) to prove that my Discover card is….hey…wait a minute….how did my Discover card get in my wallet? Am I really that dumb? My brother is a magician….I have never had the skills to do any slight of hand until this moment. I’m so good in fact that my hand was even quicker than my own eye!! Seriously, I have no idea how that all went down. But here is the cool part. Carol was awesome!! She was so much help both days. She was so kind and genuine and interested in us that we just had to get a photo with her. Thank you Carol for all your help!!
After my little touron move we boarded the T for a ride into the city. This time, instead of getting off at Park Street we transferred to the green line to get us a little closer to where we left off yesterday near the Old North Church. The unique thing about this church (at least unique from my experience) is the box pews. They are like office cubicles in church. Maybe Dilbert would like it. But I don’t think I would like it…really seems like it would take away from the community part of worship. In the old days you had to PAY for a box in order to be able to worship!! Crazy!! Now though, it is an open congregation and you need not pay for the privilege to worship God in His house….whew! A tour group came in and we were able to hear a guide give some information on the church which we otherwise would not have heard so that was nice.
We had our picnic lunch down in the little courtyard behind the church then checked out the printing press and the chocolate maker who gave out free samples of sipping chocolate! Next we walked across the bridge to Bunker Hill. We went into the visitor center and got our free tickets to walk up the stairs to the top of the memorial. We also asked about ranger programs and learned there was to be one about the time we’d finish going up and back down the monument, BUT it was for a school group. We were welcome to listen in if we wanted. So, we hiked up the 249 stairs to the top and enjoyed the awesome view from the top. When we came back down we did not see a school group and Ranger Eric said they didn’t show so he’d give the program to us! We was an amazing story teller. He was excited about the history of Bunker Hill and painted a picture in our minds as he walked us around the hill to show us different views and such. Kudos to Ranger Eric!
Next we made our way down to the USS Constitution. There were tour guides/storytellers on board who did a great job providing information as well as being entertaining. The kids got their Jr Ranger badges and then we headed back to the T station once again right at rush hour. Somebody had to go to the bathroom and when we asked at the station they said they didn’t have one but that there was one at Park Street. When we transferred at Park Street we asked about the bathroom and the guy said, “NO BATHROOMS”. We found a different employee, a woman, and asked her. She almost said no but when she saw the kids she said, “follow me”. Bless her heart, she took us to what I think was the employee bathroom. It was way off in the corner and was locked but she let us in. She asked if we could find our way back to our train or if we wanted her to wait. I told her we could find it. And we did. So I have to say, I think Boston’s transit system gets an A+. It is affordable, it’s clean and the employees (at least that we dealt with) were super nice and helpful (except I guess the NO BATHROOMS grouch we encountered).
Ava’s leg had arrived at the UPS store near our campground. It was NOT looking good for us to make it by 6:00 when they closed. Once we got back to Braintree and in the truck I called to ask if I could pay the $5 over the phone and have them leave it outside for me. They said they could not. I confirmed that they closed at 6:00, but the guy said they actually close at 6:30! “Ok, I can make it by 6:30 to pick up my package….I’ll see you then”.
“Well,” the guy on the phone said, “you have to be here by 6:15 to pick up the package.”
“But you are open until 6:30 right?”
“I can walk in the store at 6:29 correct?”
“Will I be able to see the package in the store”
“Yes sir, its sitting right here”
“So I would even be able to touch it?”
“But if I give you the $5 you will not let me take my package even though it is only 6:29 and you are still open”
“That is correct sir”
Well, we put the hammer down to try to make it by 6:15. We rolled up to the store about 6:17. Steph told Dacen to go in with me and if the guy wouldn’t give it to us directed him to start crying. Well, it was a non-issue. I handed over the $5 and the guy gave me the package.
On the way back home we spotted a filling station that had diesel and pulled in. It was full service! Whoa, we don’t have these in CO. I tell the guy to put in 10 gallons. Steph whispers “I think you are supposed to tip him”. I decide to chat with him and make sure he knows we’re not from here and not used to full service stations. I give him my card, he runs it and when he comes back to the window Brielle says “are you going to tip him Papa?” Jeepers!! Luckily I don’t think he heard and there was no spot for a tip on the credit card ticket.
What a day. So many people contributed to making our day great. We had fun and got some errands taken care of and are ready for our move to New Hampshire in the morning.
Wompatuk site K001
Ava and the Beast
Riding the T
Granary burial ground
Old North Church
Listening in church
Time for lunch
At Bunker Hill
View from the top
Checking out the view
Bunker Hill Monument
Checking out USS Cassin