We woke up Sunday morning after a fitful sleep at the W and headed out on an overcast day to explore. We wandered through Boston Common - originally donated to the city in 1634 as a place to practice military maneuvers and raise cattle. It was absolutely glorious with enormous Weeping Willows, Elm Trees, picturesque ponds, gardens and chic young couples pushing strollers.
There was a man dressed up as Benjamin Franklin standing outside the gates of an old cemetery (Franklin was born on in Boston in 1706, doing only two years of formal schooling there as a boy because it's all his family could afford). Beyond the gates of the graveyard stood a cluster of people in the spot where Paul Revere was buried - Revere was also born in Boston (the town is a who's who of important Americans) in 1734.
Then we hiked through Beacon Hill - a neighborhood of hilly cobblestone streets and ancient red brick walkups all very tony and well-kept. The streets were dotted with young families and dog walkers. Everyone was very slim - Boston itself is a city of slim people I noticed. Everyone seems to walk everywhere and you can't go a block without seeing at least one jogger.
One of the highlights of the day was early on ... Cheers! The bar that was used as the inspiration for the 80s sitcom. Both the hubs and I are big fans (we still throw in a 'Cheers' DVD now and again) so we squeezed past the other tourists and went downstairs. That wooden Chief cigar-store statue is there, right next to a big friendly bouncer who asked if we wanted a table. But Sam, Norm and the gang were replaced by middle-aged tourists eating burgers and fries.
There was another bar upstairs - one decorated to look more like the set. It was busy but not packed, so we grabbed a seat at the bar. The clock was barely striking noon when we ordered our first drink of the day - from a pretty blonde waitress. I looked down at the polished wood counter in front of me and there was a small brass plaque that read simply: "NORM" I was sitting in Norm's seat. Awesome.
When our drinks came we held up our glasses. "Cheers!" we said, grinning at each other. I don't think we ever meant it more. :)
Day 9 ... almost 1/3 done ...