We went into Boston, having saved the trip for a weekend, when the kids wouldn't be in school. My brother's family had been waiting for a reason to take the "Duck Tour," and we provided that reason.
We took the Massachusetts Turnpike ("Mass Pike"), and after forking over some cash, we got caught in a really long line of cars all wanting to be in the same lane we were in. The traffic couldn't be explained by the Red Sox playoff game, unless the tailgate parties for the night game started really early. But while we waited for our turn to get into Boston, my mom spotted these pastel-colored chemical storage tanks. If your company has to have ugly tanks to present to the world, the least you can do is make them look pretty. Hats off to the chemical company. You know who you are (and I don't).
As we were making our way to the parking area for the Duck Tour, we drove along the Charles River, where a special event, the Head of the Charles, was being held. Sculls and sailboats graced the waters.
At the Duck Tour, we were assigned to Tour #66, and this was our "duck," Longfellow Bridgett. The ducks were amphibious vehicles built for the Army during World War II. Now, they see happier duty.
Our captain/driver/tour guide was Sgt. Meatball (seen here explaining to the people right behind his seat that his chair will smash their feet if they get too close), who trained us to quack twice on command. "I say, 'Luau," and you say..." "Quack, quack!" we said. Sgt. Meatball had us quack at the people we passed on the street. He chose people who waved at us, and also people who looked like they could use a quack.
Part of our drive around the city took us past the cemetary where Samuel Adams and other founding fathers are buried. Sgt. Meatball pointed out that the bar across the street is the only place where you can drink a cold Samuel Adams while looking at a cold Samuel Adams.
There were parts of downtown Boston, like this one, which are Quack-Free Zones, out of respect for the folks along the route. I suppose the people who shop in these districts are above goofiness and things like quacking. Their loss...
Then we went into the water. Sgt. Meatball disengaged the transmission, engaged the propeller, and we coasted down the boat ramp and into the Charles River with a rooster tail of a splash. In the middle of the river, with no other vehicles around us, he invited any children who wanted to to come up and drive the duck. Four kids so chose, including my nephew and niece. And then he let adults have a try, and my sister-in-law volunteered. So now my brother is the only one in their immediate family who hasn't driven a duck.
This is part of the view from the river. The Citgo sign is a landmark people use for finding Fenway Park, which is to the left of the sign.
After our Duck Tour, we decided not to look at any of the landmarks up close, partly because of the parking challenges and the other part because we had a long drive back up the Pike to get home. On our way into Boston, my brother and his wife had worked diligently to avoid taking any tunnels that were part of the Big Dig. Just in case. But on the way back to the Pike, the best directions the girl at the information booth could give us took us squarely into Big Dig territory and multiple tunnels. Out of fairness, we didn't see any leakage (though there was one spot where the wall covering had been removed and you could see concrete or something in the gap, but it was gone too fast to get much detail), and the tunnels didn't fall in on us.
We were relieved to get back to the safety of the Pike, and then home.
At home, Scooter was so happy to see us that he jumped out of the motorhome (where he had napped while we were gone), jumped against my mom's leg for joy, ran over to me and jumped against my leg for joy, then ran back to the motorhome and jumped in and stood over his leash, and waited for me to put it on him, then he jumped back outside and watered the tree. Silly boy.