2013 Road Trip Photos #35: Outtakes, Part 2/3: More Massachusetts

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Part One of a trilogy of outtake selections from this year’s family vacation photos, those that didn’t make final cut for the original 33-part narrative. Some were omitted for specific reasons; some were due to space, pacing, and attention span considerations; some, I have no idea why.

Part Two, then: Massachusetts randomness, photos held back from Day 3 to Day 6 for reasons.

Beginning with our last stop in Massachusetts on Day 6: the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield. In the original entry I opted for a comprehensive head-to-toe shot of Seuss himself and the Cat in the Hat, but I also like how this pleasantly level portrait incorporates the greenery around the museums.

Dr. Seuss, Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss National Sculpture Garden, Springfield, Massachusetts

This way for Massachusetts food, water, and things!

2013 Road Trip Photos #34: Outtakes, Part 1/3: More Freedom Trail

At last it comes to this: the long-running photo series — chronicling our 2013 family road trip to Boston, Cleveland, and other towns along the way — concludes with one more trilogy.

I design our annual travelogues with two rules in mind: (1) each entry should comprise a story, or at least a chapter in a story, not merely a clutch of random pictures drawn from a hat; and (2) for the sake of readers with more limited devices, no entry should be bogged down with megs upon megs upon megs of photos. Sticking to my personal composition targets means a lot of photos don’t make the final lineup. I’m not convinced anyone unrelated to us would want to see all several hundred photos we took this year, but a few more shouldn’t hurt. Besides, I have selfish reasons: a 36-part saga sounds like a much nicer, rounder number than leaving it as a 33-part saga, which would invite curses and fatal feng shui errors in the site decor.

Our first batch of outtakes (plus commentary! as always! like it or not!) is entirely from our walk along Boston’s Freedom Trail and the adjacent areas, as seen in the Day Two entries from our handy, official 2013 Road Trip checklist. Up first: alternate shot of the Benjamin Franklin statue and the building behind it. I went with a head-on shot for the original entry to focus on ol’ Ben himself and make it easier to disregard the building whose name I didn’t write down. Also, it seems wrong to see Ben looking so moody.

moody Benjamin Franklin statue

This way for more deleted photos!

2013 Road Trip Photos #22: Springfield is Grinch Town

Gather near once again for another round of pics
Thus far in our journey, we’re still on Day Six
After walking through Salem we headed straight west
For one final stop in this state for our quest
In Springfield (one of many) was our next fun attraction
Past construction and street mazes, quite the distraction
Did Springfield not want us there? Too bad, ’twas no use
We braved all in the name of a man they call Seuss!

Dr. Seuss, Cat in the Hat, bronze sculpture

About cats in hats and reptiles in piles…

2013 Road Trip Photos #21: Salem, Part 2 of 2: All the Quote-Unquote “Witches”

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Day Six…we drove northeast through a maze of highways and disorganized side streets to world-famous Salem, listed in our American history books as a site known for famous trials of considerable controversy. The town’s official tourism literature swears there’s more to Salem than just witches. During our research I got the impression that certain local parties were sick and tired of the whole “witch” debacle and wanted to put it behind them forever.

And yet, certain other residents don’t shy away from witchery tourism. A few revel in it. It’s kind of everywhere. The most expensive example is this $75,000.00 tribute to Samantha Stevens, the heroine from TV’s Bewitched. It was a gift from the folks at TV Land, the same basic-cable channel that’s responsible for several other TV-based statues nationwide. (Our family has also seen Mary Tyler Moore in downtown Minneapolis, Ralph Kramden at Manhattan’s Port Authority, and Bob Newhart at Chicago’s Navy Pier.)

Samantha Stevens, Bewitched statue, Salem, Massachusetts

Which way for witches? This way!

2013 Road Trip Photos #20: Salem, Part 1 of 2: Besides the Witches

Day Six or our annual road trip would be our final day in Massachusetts. Though we’d run out of exploration time for Boston, we had two more cities to visit before crossing the state border. After checking out from the our roundhouse hotel that morning, we drove northeast through a maze of highways and disorganized side streets to world-famous Salem, listed in our American history books as a site known for famous trials of considerable controversy. The town’s official tourism literature swears there’s more to Salem than just witches. During our research I got the impression that certain local parties were sick and tired of the whole “witch” debacle and wanted to put it behind them forever. Hard to blame them, all things considered.

To their credit, Salem wasn’t a dull place to wander. Their public parking is affordable, a few local establishments are famous for solid non-witch-based reasons, and public art abounds on every other street corner. A fair number of citizens have done their best to evoke anything but witchcraft and needless executions.

Time travel, for example. Witches don’t do that. Not often, anyway. If they made a habit of time travel, one or more witches surely would have irrevocably tampered with Salem’s history by now and we would all find “witch trials” to be a very confusing word pairing.

TARDIS, ArtBox, Salem, Massachusetts

Continue here for more not-witch things…

2013 Road Trip Photos #18: a Monument for Thanksgiving

After spending the first half of Day Five on the Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruise, we headed back west toward our Boston hotel, but with one more stopover in mind along the way: the town of Plymouth, location of the celebrated area where those stalwart adventurers known in American textbooks as the Pilgrims settled in 1620, established a new life apart from the Church of England, and invented the Thanksgiving holiday that large American department stores have all but abolished.

In 1889, as a salute to those religious pioneers and their works, the National Monument to the Forefathers was erected, albeit originally with the simpler name of “Pilgrim Monument”. It was later renamed to avoid conflict with another structure with that same label in Provincetown, the place on the eastern edge of Cape Cod where the Pilgrims first walked ashore but decided not to stick around.

Over eight stories tall, the Monument isn’t hard to spot from a distance, though internet mapping sites threw a fit trying to navigate us to it. We ended up parking several blocks away and walking because both Mapquest and Google Maps swore it was “just right there.” Liars, both.

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Click here and approach the Forefathers!

2013 Road Trip Photos #15: Cape Cod, Gateway to Whales

Day Five of our road trip was our last full day in Massachusetts. Our odds of returning to their important old state anytime soon were remote. We knew we had to make the day count. That meant leaving Boston. For a while it also meant leaving dry land.

From Boston we headed south, then east to Massachusetts famous, upper-class attachment called Cape Cod. It’s a convenient launchpad into the Atlantic Ocean and a popular getaway for boat owners. For some boat owners, it offers lucrative business opportunities, one of which we’d decided months ago might be an interesting half-day adventure.

Venturing into the ocean is a feat in itself, but our objective wasn’t so simple: we sought the great ocean whale.

whale boarding sign, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Fudgie the Whale’s distant wooden cousin bids you welcome!

Preparing for the hunt…

2013 Road Trip Notes, Day 6: Though the Hakken-Kraks Howl

Dr Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, Springfield, Massachusetts

On Day One of our vacation we stopped briefly to view statues in Springfield, Ohio. Today we stopped to view statues in Springfield, Massachusetts. Together they make interesting bookends, particularly since one of today’s attractions was a sculpture of a book.

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2013 Road Trip Notes, Day 5: Cape Cod Cloudburst a-Comin’

whale  watching, Cape Cod, bad weather

Weatherman have been threatening us the last few days with the slight possibility of our vacation enduring some rainfall. Until today nary a drop had affected our plans. Their hedged predictions at long last came true as the showers were unleashed upon us and several other lucky vacationers while we were out to sea. Once again we found ourselves the targets of God’s funny sense of timing.

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