Barbecue Party Fun

Boston 034 copy

In spite of the annoying trek into Boston and the difficulty getting into the event, the Phantom Gourmet’s Barbecue Party was  a lot of fun. The entrance fee at the door was only $10.00 This did not include food or drink. That would have been too much to ask.

Boston 033 copy

The crowds were manageable and I didn’t see anyone intoxicated. The Beer Garden was a great place to grab a seat and watch the crowds. A DJ had the music rockin’ and the weather was perfect.

Boston 038 copy

What seemed to be a high point was a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. The winner gets to move on to the big contest at Coney island. Why would anyone want to do that to themselves? I couldn’t watch!

Boston 041 copy

In fact, I found that my 4 ribs from the Chicago Barbecue had me filled up completely. I wanted to try the Tennessee Barbecue.

Boston 032 copy

I’d really liked it when I was in Tennessee and I’d promised a taste of Barbecue from down under, The Aussie tent. Didn’t make that either.

Boston 028 copy

But sitting in the shade in the beer garden, listening to the music and watching the crowds was a great afternoon.

Boston 030 copy

About these ads
Posted in Boston, Boston, Food, Massachusetts, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Photo of the week ~ 25

This week’s Photo of the week had a real nautical theme. That crazy Humpback , Hancock had 3 photos in the running and his antics carried the day. Weighing in with a total of 25 points Tail Waving is the photo of the day.

Tail Waving

Whales 065a copy

To order prints click here:

Don’t forget to visit my companion photo blog to have your vote counted.

See you there!

Posted in animals, attraction, Cruises, Massachusetts, Photo of the Week, Travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Phantom Gourmet’s Barbecue Beach Party

As I came down the steps and made a left on Congress St I spotted the first check point. It was a place to check your bags. Boston has become very paranoid since the Marathon Bombing, not than anyone can blame them, but I hadn’t thought of that when I packed the camera bag for my trek into the city.

Now as I stood in front of the kiosk collecting bags I was stumped. No way was I leaving my camera bag with the spare lens, batteries and filters. I decided to try to talk my way in.

The first spot told me no but they pointed to another person in a red shirt. (Star Trek fans all know what it means to wear a red shirt).

red shirt

He also said no but I argued that it was just a camera and he could look at it. I had nothing to hide. He sent me to his supervisor. Now I began to get somewhere. He said there was an exception for cameras.

I purchased my ticket and went back to the gate where I was once again turned away. By now my journey from Taunton with the Red line issues and all the walking  was taking it’s toll. I could feel my irritation starting to grow.  I reminded myself that you get more flies with honey, took a deep breath and tried again. This time I pointed out the person who had told me I could take the camera bag in. He must have been important because the attitude changed immediately.

I still had a security line to go through. As soon as I stepped up I was treated with much more respect. In fact the security guy checking my bags said he saw me when I first approached and was surprised when I was turned away. He saw the monopod and knew I had a camera. He apologized and said some people just let power go to their heads! He told me to go on in and enjoy myself!

Boston 024 copy

More stairs loomed ahead. I saw kiosks for Ice Cream , fried dough, soft drinks and popcorn but where was the barbecue?Boston 023 copy

Just then my way was blocked by a vision from the past. Some kind of Raptor blocked my way. The smell of roasting meat must have called him back from the past.

Boston 022a copy

Taking a deep breath I tackled these cement steps. At the top I found the barbecue!

Boston 029 copy

Wonderful smells drifted on smoke across the plaza.

Boston 037 copy

A beer garden was set up along one side where there was lots of seating whether you were drinking or not.

Boston 025 copy

I got in line for the first Barbecue I saw, Chicago Ribs. I got a small rib sampler and  bottled water. Very filling, Very good! Dry rub , sauce on the side. But there’s 5 more kinds to try, even one from Australia!

Boston 036 copy



Posted in Boston, Massachusetts, special occasion, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Not So Easy Trip to Boston

I bet you want to know what I did on Saturday that left me practically crippled on Sunday.

I went to a barbecue but not just any barbecue . I went to the Phantom Gourmet’s Barbecue Beach Party at City Hall Plaza in Boston.

Boston 017 copy

To get there I drove to John Quincy Adam station in Quincy to park and take the Red Line. When we got to North Quincy everyone had to get off the train and walk what seemed like a mile to the shuttle buses. They took us to JFK station where another 100 stairs or a long curving handicap ramp awaited until we could make it back to the train. Once back on the Red line I rode to Park St Station in downtown Boston.

I was going to change to the Green line here to go one stop to Government Center. But that was not to be. The Government Center station is closed for repairs and the escalator to ground level in Park street was torn apart. Another steep set of stairs stood between me and the the exit. Ugh! It really makes one sympathetic to the plight of the truly handicapped.

Once on the street I had to take a picture of the Spire on the Park St Church.

Boston 007a copy

I love spires and blue sky. If you follow along with me for long you’ll probably see many of them.

Boston 010 copy

There were a lot of people in Boston today. Tourists were out in droves. I stopped at the Old Granary Burial Ground but there was a waiting line to get in! Gives new meaning to the phrase “They were just dying to get in”. I’ll have to tell you some facts about this cemetery which was founded in 1660. Maybe that would make a good post one day.

Boston 011 copy

Anyway just a little past the cemetery is 3 Center Plaza, a rounded building that lies across from City Hall Plaza. ( I worked there in a previous day and time)  As I crossed the street I snapped a picture of the Old State House, now a museum. It’s so tiny surrounded by modern skyscrapers.

Boston 015 copy

From there I skirted the construction fences. I figured there must be someplace to get through  but nope. I walked past the coffee shop formerly known as the Steaming Kettle. The large kettle was still there but no longer steaming and the coffee shop is now a Starbucks.

Boston 016 copy

I followed the fence and the arrows as it took me up another set of stairs and back down the other side. Urban mountain climbing.  I had a nice view of Faneuil Hall, the birthplace of American Freedom.

Boston 020 copy

Then I was at the first check point.

To Be continued……..

Posted in architecture, Boston, Boston, Churches, Massachusetts, Travel | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Morning Thoughts

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. I had big plans but am I out there “getting it done”? No I just dragged my sorry butt out of bed. It’s not that I wasn’t awake early. I was awake at my normal time and even if I hadn’t been within 15 minutes of my “normal time” my fuzzy back-up alarm arrived.


No, I spent half the morning in bed because I guess I over-did it yesterday. My left hip and my lower back are dictating my activities today.


So Rocky’s persistence and 3 extra strength Aleve got me moving a little. After a hot shower I felt a little better or maybe it’s the pain killer kicking in. Buddy arrived right on schedule to get his morning blow dry. One of these days I’ll have to set the camera up on the tripod and take a picture of this. I’ve never had a cat that liked a blow dryer so much. Even when I had a Persian who was blow-dried every six weeks all his life, he merely tolerated it.


So then I log onto Facebook  and what do I see…a whale breaching on the Captain  John FB page….from the 9 am trip yesterday. I can’t seem to pick the right trip at all!


With such a late start I think I’ll concentrate on some housework while I work out a plan B. So I’m doing laundry and pretty proud of that. There is a painful obstacle between me and the laundry room. Stairs. I remember being able to run up and down them with no problem. That was before this “Hip thing” which only seems to be getting worse. Oh well, there are many people who are worse off than me so I’ll just limp my way through it.

Then I plan to mop the kitchen floor. Actually I scrub it on my knees so with the hip acting up, that should be interesting. Once that’s all done I’ll make a quick trip to the grocery store and then I’ll be free to go looking for something interesting to share with you.

You see I’m always thinking of what might interest you. I’m still trying to keep up these pages in spite of work getting in the way.



Posted in commentary, Pets | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

There Be Whales

Last Sunday was father’s day and it was a perfect day, sunny and warm. It was a perfect day for a whale watch. It would be the first of the year for me. The Captain John website was bragging about amazing sightings from whale calves breaching to pods of whales bubble net feeding. I had to get in on the act.


All of the whale watches seem to go to the same place. The difference is how long it takes to get there. They will tell you you’re going to Stellwagen bank, a marine sanctuary. Located  between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, in the southwest corner of the Gulf of Maine, is Massachusetts Bay. The bay’s most prominent submerged feature is the kidney-shaped plateau called Stellwagen Bank, which lies at the bay’s eastern edge. But in the last 3 whale watches I’ve been on we’ve never made it to Stellwagen Bank. We’ve been just outside the marine sanctuary near the tip of cape cod. Race Point at the tip of the cape has been a recurring landmark on these trips.

Whales 074a copy

The last 2 trips I went on had last year had minimal activity, mainly finback whales. They are interesting but they aren’t the showmen the humpbacks are.

So I had my fingers crossed that we’d see humpbacks this trip.

Whales 045 copy

The trip started off with a minke whale just cruisin’ on past us. Then we got a look at a finback whale named Blue.

Whales 035a copy

She had tangled with a Provincetown Fast Ferry and the scars from that encounter gave her a distinctive look so she could be identified.

Whales 041a copy

Finally we saw a tail off in the distance. The Captain took off after the diving humpback. Once near where it had disappeared we throttled back and drifted and waited. Everyone watched the water.

Whales 053a copy

Finally there was the blow. The humpback did a series of shallow dives and then there it came, the arched back that precedes the beautiful fluke.

Whales 055a copy

Humpbacks are identified by the markings on the tail flukes and this whale was showing off that gorgeous tail. Pretty soon the naturalist announced that the whale was named Hancock.

Whales 048 copy

We spent the rest of our trip following Hancock around and put on a show he did. There were many deep dives with the traditional tail flukes which never fails to please. Each time he did that the crowd on board exploded into applause and cheers.

Whales 066a copy

But the finale was a waving splashing dive that sent rainbow spray flying .

Whales 065a copy

The naturalist said she had never seen anything like that!

Whales 064a copy

The ride  back was quiet. Everyone seemed tired from the sea and sun and excitement of the Hancock the Humpback Show.

Whales 070ab copy

Posted in Cape Cod | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Got Kids?

Got Kids? I don’t but I “borrow” a couple every now and then when the urge to be maternal overtakes me. Well behaved kids are cute, even fun to be around. Sadly I see fewer and fewer well behaved kids when I’m out and about. Must be a sign of old age. I’m sure the same was said of my generations and we’re no worse than any other.

But I digress, I wanted to share a really cute idea. In fact I watched this amuse and entertain a bunch of kids for a whole afternoon.

Tater day 017 copy

Next time your kids complain about not having anything to do don’t plunk them in front of the TV or the computer with a video game. No! Give them a potato.

Tater day 015 copy


Give them some paint, pipe cleaners, paper  and plastic wheels.

Tater day 016 copy

When I was a kid we cut a raw potato in half, then carved a design in the bottom. Once the carving was done we dipped the end in paint and stamped the paper. We made stars and lines and circles and all sorts of things. Tater Art!

tater stamp

Or maybe carving them like a pumpkin? But maybe you don’t want your kids to play with sharp objects. Ok then how about sticking some plastic wheels in your tater car?

Tater day 014 copy

Paint it, decorate it and race it. Oh that kept the kiddie’s occupied for the whole afternoon.

Tater day 013 copy

Tater day 012 copy

But you have to watch out for  Tater thieves. Yup! They will sneak up and make off with your precious raw material.

Tater day 003 copy

Look out he’s got one! (Who said don’t play with your food?)


Posted in Food, humor, Pets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment