Thursday, June 14, 2018

Boston and Bellingham, MA

Clock Tower in Boston, MA

Good friends recommended a family-owned private RV park in Bellingham, MA, a suburb of Boston. The park was adorable and well established. Because we booked so close to the Memorial Day weekend they put us in one of the last available spots, close to the front gate in the middle of all the action. The best part was watching the petting zoo animals frolic all day, the worst part was feeling like I was living in a fish bowl, since my office window is the front of the bus and everyone had to parade past me to get into/out of the park. That's the price we pay for waiting until the last minute to book a reservation on a holiday weekend.

Halfway through our stay I got an up-close inspection of a neighbor's MagneShade system and decided to break out the sewing machine and make a similar one myself. I'll order the parts to arrive at the next stop. This will reduce the heat/light/prying eyes coming in but not reduce our view out by much, if any. This is a worthy project that will greatly improve temperature control and give us some privacy when we are in full sun or tight quarters.

Host Pets at the RV Park

The majority of the park was covered in thick shade trees, with a pond and beautiful flowers. We hit the weather sweet spot, still mostly Spring with some rainy days which coincidentally landed on the days we'd carved out for sight seeing (see earlier blogs about embracing flexibility), and a few days which revealed some shocking heat, just enough to give a peek at what summer has in store for the region. We were grateful for our 50amp hookup and the park pool on those hot days.

The pond is home to a variety of frogs, and their beautiful harmony is incessant

We booked a foodie tour in Boston early into our stay here. We intended to go back and follow up on some of our favorites, but lost some time to cold/rainy weather and opted to stay close and explore Bellingham's bicycle pathways when we could take advantage of the short weather windows on those days instead. On one of these  local exploring days we came across the Franklin end of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. This is a Rails to Trails project; the train originally ran in the mid-1800s. You can still sort of make out where the little villages along the railway used to be, nowadays the path goes through peaceful suburbia and small farms.

Bicycling on the Franklin Trail

The traffic getting into and out of Boston was fairly frightening. The on/off ramps are so short it's about impossible for anyone to merge on or off at freeway speed, and the result is a slinky-type slow-n-go which tends to jam up across all the traffic lanes. The closer you get to Boston the more intense things get, like any big city, and most of the driving in Boston is actually through a tunnel system UNDER the city; we took a big breath and got comfortable with it but many were not and there was some resulting drama. The T train does branch out into the suburbs rather nicely, I think if we come back we'll look into getting a commuter pass and skipping the freeway altogether next time.

The shops in the Boston Public Market source their food locally

As seen from the Boston Foodie Tour

The streets in the oldest parts of Boston are made of stone that was originally ship ballast, some dating back to almost 400 years ago. And it is still holding up nicely, all things considered.

The prevailing architecture is starting to change, as we go North we noticed a trend towards wood and less brick.  Next up, Maine.

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