American History, Cape Cod, Second Half and Vacation
While the first half of the season was wrapping up and the league was holding its annual All-Star game, I was taking a vacation with my family around the east coast. We spent time in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Cape Cod and then finished up with a day at Niagara Falls.
I’d like to say I got to see some baseball during the trip, but other than an hour at the Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame and a quick 15 minutes or so each morning checking the box scores, the past two weeks was strictly family and vacation fun. I’m not going to go through every detail of my trip, however I would like to mention a couple of things.
The great thing about the trip was, if it wasn’t going to include a lot of baseball, it was going to include another favorite topic, history.
I’m not exactly a Civil War or Revolutionary War buff (actually if I had to pick one period of time I’m most knowledgeable about it would be WWII), but I do appreciate getting a chance to learn about any U.S. History. The really great thing is that I have kids that are willing to learn as well. So while it’s always good to sprinkle in a day at the beach or a trip to the local park into the schedule, I am lucky not to have kids that are always trying ‘just to get through’ things so that they can get back to the hotel pool.
We started our trip in Philadelphia. I know everyone likes their local fireworks and backyard barbeques, but is there a better place to spend the Fourth of July than in the city that our Constitution and Declaration of Independence was written? We rose early that morning and went to see the Liberty Bell, then got a great spot for the parade just across the street from Independence Hall.
That night we watched the fireworks bursting in air above the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Spectacular! And yes, the next day I did run up the 72 steps and jump around. Just check out that 7 inch vertical.
We then moved on to New York City. The Cubs were in town to play the Mets in the final series before the break. I was planning on going to one of the three games, but it just never worked out. Instead we visited Central Park, Bryant Park, Radio City Music Hall, Intrepid Air and Space Museum, and other iconic NYC landmarks like Times Square. It’s crazy to see all of the video boards lit up and running ads. It’s also just as fun to see yourself with your daughters, and hundreds of others, on a huge screen.
We also went to the 9/11 Memorial. I’d never been to New York before this visit, and so despite having full knowledge of course of what happened that day, it never really fully hits you until you stand there at the footprint of the World Trade Center towers and start reading the names of all the people that were lost that day.
We also saw the Statue of Liberty. I’ve seen every monument and memorial in Washington DC, all amazing in their own right, but to pass by the Statue of Liberty at sunset is something a picture can say a lot better than I can.
(You can click on this or any of the others pictures to see them in full size)
After New York, we went to Boston. I was in Boston last year to see the Cubs play the Red Sox and what I wrote about that trip last year has been my most viewed post.
This year I didn’t see a game, but I did see most of Boston. It is a beautiful city. We walked the Freedom Trail, spent a lot of time in the Public Gardens, and took a duck boat tour. I have a lot of great pictures from historical sites all around the city, but my two favorite are when my youngest daughter actually got to sit in the driver’s seat and “drive” the duck boat while we were on the Charles River.
As great as my daughters are about seeing historical sites and taking tours around different cities, they still need to have fun on vacation. So we went to Cape Cod for three days of Sun, beach and relaxation ( I also squeezed in a little baseball).
There are 10 teams in the Cape Cod league and it has produced many Major League players, enough so that they have their own Hall of Fame in Hyannis. It’s small, basically one room in the basement of the J.F.K. Museum, but it’s worth a stop if you are in that part of the world.
The real highlight of the trip to the Cape was the sunset sand dune tour we took of the National Seashore protected lands off Provincetown. We took the tour with Art’s Dune Tours. They are the best. If you ever want to feel like you are at the “end of the Earth”, take this tour.
And so now I’m back, and so is baseball. The Cubs have started the second half off great with a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks and next up is Ozzie Guillen and the Miami Marlins. Lets Go Cubs!!!