Cruising from Boston to Quebec and Back (September 21-October 2, 2022)

We eight enthusiastic cruisers pre-positioned ourselves in Boston a day or two ahead. We made sure we had time to either rest up a bit (Hettie and Ronnie), walk the well-marked Freedom Trail from end to end and relax over dinner in Little Italy (Cyd and Ricky), relax and pop in and out of favorite spots from previous trips to Boston (Walter and Cleone), or walk part of the Trail to Breeds Hill where the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought in 1775 (Dan and I). Before setting off on our various adventures, six of the eight of us enjoyed lunch at the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S., The Union Oyster House, which is conveniently located right on the Freedom Trail. Surprising historical tidbit: the future king of France, Louis Philippe, lived on the second floor in 1796. Exiled, he earned a living teaching French to young women of substance.

The weather was cool and breezy with hints of rain that never materialized.

Our stroll along the Freedom Trail took us past The Bell in Hand, the oldest pub in the country; Paul Revere’s home which we toured; the Old North Church where we saw a plaque in remembrance of when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip worshiped there, especially poignant since we had all watched news coverage of her burial last week; several cemeteries with graves of the prominent as well as the long forgotten; a new memorial that displays a dog tag for each life lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars; plaques placed in remembrance of the tens of thousands of Irish who risked life and limb to immigrate to Boston in unseaworthy vessels; a cemetery that has medallions next to the gravestones of the men who participated in the Boston Tea Party; and so much more. The Freedom Trail runs right through the old part of the city and made history lessons of days gone by come to life.

After dinner and a good night’s sleep we made our way to the port this morning. After producing our passports, negative covid-19 tests, electronic Canadian entry documents, and a couple other things, we boarded the Celebrity Summit and made a beeline for lunch.

Stuffed to the gills, we spent the afternoon unpacking, exploring our mid-size ship, doing the safety briefing, and sorting out small details like Wi-Fi and room keys. It was time for cocktails (5:00 PM) before we knew it and then dinner and entertainment, NYC3, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Just as we had all followed the somber events surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s death and funeral services last week, we had also watched Hurricane Fiona with interest. She’s already wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and is headed north, but the expectation is that she’ll run out of steam by the time she gets to us. Knowing that severe hurricanes in Canada are rare (something about losing energy once they hit cold water), we’re heading to bed excited for the cruise and our first port tomorrow.

…Bet You Didn’t Know…

The toothpick was first used in the United States at the Union Oyster House.
They were imported from South America.

Before becoming the first public park in the United States, Boston Common
was a place for grazing cattle, public hangings, and a camp for British troops. 

Boston proudly claims the first public school in the country. It counts Ralph Waldo Emerson, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock among its alumni. (Benjamin Franklin dropped out.)

Eight U.S presidents have earned degrees from Harvard University, the first college in the country.

To promote his toothpick business, the importer hired Harvard boys
to dine at the Union Oyster House and ask for toothpicks.

Boston is a city of firsts: the first printing press, newspaper, post office, brothel, lighthouse, chocolate factory, school built specifically for black children, ice export business, school for the blind, municipal library, subway system, World Series, American Hockey League team, in-utero cardiac implant, and full face transplant. Just to name a few. These folks stay busy!

Food firsts are a point of pride here also. For starters Boston is the home of Fig Newtons, fluffernutters, Boston cream pie, chocolate chip cookies, Dunkin Doughnuts, and Boston baked beans.


2 thoughts on “Cruising from Boston to Quebec and Back (September 21-October 2, 2022)

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