Charlestown and Bunker Hill Monument

December 14, 2014 – This winter has been strange in the Boston area; fairly cold and damp, but rainy and grey instead of snowy.  So when we had a perfect sunny weekend day we decided to (finally) head out and climb the Bunker Hill Monument.  First up, though, was lunch at Ironside Grill.  We were originally planning on a nearby Italian restaurant, but opted for this cool little sports bar instead.  The sound was a bit loud at first (there was football pre-game on, in preparation for the Patriots game), but once the game started the sound from the tv’s leveled out.

Be prepared for a lot of stairs if you want to climb the monument.
Be prepared for a lot of stairs if you want to climb the monument.

The food is very good, particularly the steak fries (double-fried), sweet potato fries, club sandwich, and burger.  I’d probably recommend getting a burger and steak fries overall, but if you wanted something different the quesadilla also looked like a good possibility.

The view from Bunker Hill was worth the climb.
The view from Bunker Hill made the climb worth it.

After lunch we headed over a few blocks to the Bunker Hill Monument.  First we stopped in the museum across the street to see if we needed tickets (we didn’t… but you will if you go at the same time a school group is climbing up).  Speaking of climbing up, don’t let the short height of the monument fool you, it’s a climb with lots of fairly high stairs.  But it’s a climb that rewards you and the 10 other people with a sweeping panoramic (and slightly crowded) view over the Charlestown area.

Ireland 2014 Photo Gallery

I lied about the Dublin to Boston article being our last for the trip. Here is one last post highlighting the images that we posted for Ireland. This is a new post format that we are trying out, so feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Dublin to Boston

December 1, 2014 – Today was our last day in Dublin, so we had to pack as much into the morning hours as possible. After grabbing breakfast at the hotel, we schlepped our bags on the bus and made our way to city center. Same rules apply… hold on to any handrails you can find and make your way to a seat. Bonus points if you make it to the upper deck.

The tourism center is in an old church building.
The tourism center is in an old church building.

Once at the tourism center, we found a bag drop across the street at a small newsstand. We were surprised that they had space to store the bags, since there was literally only space for 2 people to stand inside the shop.  I’m thinking that they forged the luggage storage bin with time lord technology, since that’s clearly the only explanation here. (Or, they just pass it down into the basement where someone else is manning the bags.)

We didn't have to wait for the museum to see some artwork.
We didn’t have to wait for a museum to see some artwork.

With our bags safely stored outside of time and space (or, in a basement), we ventured to the National Gallery of Ireland for a quick walkthrough of the exhibits. We enjoyed their masterpiece collection in the Beit Wing the most out of all their exhibits, and recommend viewing that if you are on a time crunch. While we would normally pick up some tea at the museum cafe, it was completely packed with school groups and there were no tables available. Instead, we used our remaining time to walk to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a perusal.

All cathedral, all the time.
All cathedral, all the time.

When we got to the cathedral, we had great lighting to admire the stained glass windows and the architecture of the building itself. One highlight was seeing the war memorials and learning about the history of the the area during times of war. After we finished viewing the memorials, it was time to catch a bus to pick up our bags (no sonic screwdriver required), and then catch another bus back to the airport.

This may be the most awake that we've been all trip.
This may be the most awake that we’ve been all trip.

The remainder of our day was spent navigating EU airport security, which was fairly pleasant. Well, pleasant until we got the TSA-inspired checkpoint that all people going to the US have to pass through. It wasn’t THAT bad really, except for some long lines and a few moody passengers (agents were fine) that were probably having a bad day. Those passengers did not deal well with the long lines mixing into each other. One advantage to this setup is that we clear customs in Ireland, and can go straight to the car once arriving in Boston.

Look kids, it's Tux!
Look kids, it’s Tux!

The flight itself was uneventful, and before we knew it we were back in Boston. The one fun event that occurred during the flight was that the VOD system had to be rebooted early in the flight due to content not loading. My guess was that the system was still referencing November content instead of the new content for December. After the reboot, it was smooth sailing… err, flying, for the rest of the trip.

Happy Mo...cember? It's close enough to November.
Happy Mo…cember? It’s close enough to November.

Well, thanks for reading my first travel series for the site! I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing. It will probably be back to Louisa for most future travel posts, but I might make an appearance from time to time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!