"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vacation Part 2: The Real Vacation

After the rest of the family had left on Sunday, my aunt and I both felt we needed to go somewhere peaceful and outdoors, so we drove out to Walden Pond and walked around for a while. Interestingly, the area is more heavily forested now than it was when Thoreau was living there; in his day, most of the trees had been harvested for the railroads. OTOH, it's probably not quite as peaceful now, being a tourist attraction and all. Nonetheless, it is still a lovely place to be to relax and catch your breath.

On Monday, I wanted to go out to the Boston Harbor Islands, but it turned out the ferry wouldn't start running until the following week. In a way, this was probably for the best. I only had two days left, and the islands would have taken up a whole day, thus forcing me to give up two other half-day activities. Just a reason to go back some other time.

Being unable to go to the islands, I instead went to the Museum of Fine Arts. I didn't spend a whole lot of time there because, to tell the truth, there's only so much time I can spend looking at paintings, no matter how beautiful they are. What I did spend time on was an exhibition of colonial era embroideries, and the musical instruments collection. Some of the embroideries were quite spectacular in terms of both size and detail. Embroidery was considered an essential skill for upper-class young ladies in colonial times, because it showed that you had artistic inclinations and, more importantly, the leisure time to spend hours creating something purely for display rather than for any practical purpose. The instrument collection was fascinating to me. There were instruments from all sorts of historical eras and many cultures. They have a fairly significant collection of harps, and it was all I could do to keep my hands off of them.

Monday afternoon I spent at the Public Garden.

This was something I really wanted to do, because the Public Garden and swan boats are important features in two of the best books ever written, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey and The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. (The latter book is way better than White's better known works Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, by the way.) And here are Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, as seen from the swan boat:

I sat by the pond for a while and tatted. I worked on a bookmark, but got frustrated because the thread kept breaking. I still haven't finished that bookmark.

That finishes up Monday. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Tuesday.


  1. Oh its looks lovely and very interesting piece I have never been to the USA, it looks so lovely in the spring sunshine, I am glad you had a lovely visit, look forward to the next instalmeent.

  2. Boston is one of the places i would love to visit - I just love visiting places that have historical features. Thank you for sharing your holiday in such details.