Wolf Island Rd

In an effort to find local places of interest I’d spent last night on the internet. I was amazed at the number of supposedly haunted locations right around me. Apparently Taunton is right smack dab in the middle of the Bridgewater Triangle. More about that in a later post. I don’t want to get off today’s subject.

I’m not real fond of the paranormal, at least experiencing it. I’m happy to watch Ghost Hunters and re-runs of Destination Truth but I am not keen to go ghost hunting myself.

So back to Wolf Island Road. A recent article called it Massachusetts’ most haunted Street! It warned everyone to stay away, especially at night. That’s fine with me but in daylight I might be willing to explore so off I went to find Wolf Island Rd.

I expected a lonely, narrow road winding through a deserted wood. Something to support the “spooky” reputation. What I found instead was an angry 6 ft tall man out to protect his neighborhood.

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I was stopped in front of the Ellis Cemetery (dated 1872.)  I was impressed with how well maintained it was. Nothing spooky here,  when I got a tap on my window. Tom Simpson introduced himself and got straight to the point. What was I taking pictures of and why was I there. I explained about my blog and that I was following upon on a ghost story for lack of a better word.

Tom explained that he has lived in the area all his life and no one has been killed in any car accident. Just like that he debunked the myth of the fatal 1970’s car accident with the phantom car.

The other myth I was aware of concerned the murder of Wampanoag natives and their ghosts. Tom admitted that although he knew the myth it was before his time.  What he did know is that  he has been out there many nights, even on Halloween and has never seen anything supernatural.

He told me about the increased traffic every time a paranormal myth circulates or is resurrected. The beautiful cemetery gets vandalized by “ghost hunters” especially this time of year when the ground is soft.

Wolf Island Rd

So what I found was not a dark and lonely road but a nice place with nice homes; a lady walking her dog and a guardian angel looking out for his neighborhood.

Ghost stories may draw readers but let’s remember that there are people living there now. Would you want strangers traipsing through your back yard searching for ghosts? I wouldn’t either. Between you and me I don’t think there’s anything paranormal going on there but you might not want to run into Tom Simpson on a dark night either! My advice, look for someplace else to search for the paranormal. But if you absolutely must go to Wolf Island Rd, do so with consideration and respect.

 

 

 

 

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A Day in The Life

It’s Saturday! One of the two days a week I get to find local adventures. Not only that but it’s another super warm day and its still February. The snow has melted and I’m itching to go. But wait, it’s also tax season and although I already took my paperwork to my tax guy, I just got 2 new items needed for this year’s taxes.

First stop the gas station. Boy there sure is a lot of traffic today. Finally with a full tank I make it to Stoughton MA where I drop off the new paperwork. It’s way later than I expected.

I dash out of his office  with minimal chit chat. Back in the car I’m headed to Hanover/Norwell MA to get a passport photo taken and pick up some prints of my whale and also of a photo I sold recently.

Baby Whale Breach

Yup I’ve been a published photographer for awhile now but never been paid. (I’m not bragging, just thrilled)

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Boston Globe

Back in January I was contacted by a marketing firm to purchase the rights to one of my photos.  I was thrilled and even happier when they agreed to pay me for it. I happened to think that I should print a copy for my portfolio.  Since I signed the rights away I’m not sure I can show it here. A bank in Seattle is planning to enlarge it to wall size to decorate their lobby…or so they say. I am supposed to be notified once it’s done. I think there may be a trip back to Seattle in my future.

On the way Joe called. He’s just moved back to the north country from Sunny Florida. He wasn’t having any better luck than I was getting out of the house. We’d loosely planned to get together for a photo shoot.  We decided it just wasn’t meant to be. Another day, another time.

When I arrived at the photo processing lab the owner who takes all of the passport photos was tied up so I picked up my prints and ran down the street to a photo store to ask about filters.

That took about an hour but was very educational. By this time lunch was way over due. I made a quick stop at Wendy’s and returned for the passport mug shot…I mean photo. I guess you aren’t allowed to smile any more. I was smiling in my old photo but they told me no smiling this time.

That’s very hard because I know these guys and they always make me laugh. I ended up looking like I  had just sucked a lemon but no smile!

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I still had to do some grocery shopping and I had not taken 1 picture. Where did the day go?

So now you know why I never seem to have any time except when I go on vacation. Maybe tomorrow will be the day for the next local adventure. I hope so or you may be bored with another post like this.

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Destination What?

I’m going to talk nonsense for now. I don’t mean to have this sound like a plug for a TV program so apologies up front if it does.

 Have any of you seen the Travel Channel’s program called Expedition Unknown? Do you watch it?

The host , Josh Gates, is a Massachusetts native raised in Manchester- by the Sea, a little town on the north shore.

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You may have heard of it. It’s also the name of a movie starring Casey Affleck, but I digress. I haven’t seen the movie even though it got great reviews.

Back to Expedition Unknown and Josh Gates. I first came across Josh Gates when he was the host of a paranormal, monster chasing adventure, reality show on Syfy called Destination Truth.

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Of course they never found any of the monsters or ghosts but the stories were great and the locales exotic. I loved the way Josh delivered his lines too. I was hooked.  That show ran for 5 seasons. Who knew there were so many cryptids to investigate?

I was disappointed to learn that my favorite globe trotter was done with monster hunting but that didn’t last for long. Josh was back with a new program on the Travel Channel called Expedition Unknown.

On the "Expedition Unknown" series premiere, Josh Gates utilizes a bili-bili bamboo raft in order to get to a remote village on the island ot Viti Levu in Fiji/photo courtesy of The Travel Channel

On the “Expedition Unknown” series premiere, Josh Gates utilizes a bili-bili bamboo raft in order to get to a remote village on the island ot Viti Levu in Fiji/photo courtesy of The Travel Channel

The cryptids like Bigfoot are minimized ( although not completely gone) while real life mysteries are explored. The premier was an investigation into Amelia Earhart. Since then there have been investigations into King Arthur, Cloning the Woolly Mammoth and a visit to Everest Base Camp in search of the Yeti. (I told you the cryptids weren’t completely gone)

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Along the way he even hooked up with one of my favorite Naturalists, Casey Anderson.

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So why am I going on and on about Josh Gates and his adventures? ( Or should I say Exploits?) It’s because  at the moment I’m stuck working for a living and won’t be able to go exploring for another couple of months so I’m living vicariously through his show. If I were younger (read that as in better shape)  I’d love to be chasing around the world like he does, riding horses, climbing mountains, scuba diving undersea ruins, etc.

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I’d even settle for running around the US. I don’t need to travel the world but I do need to be out looking for new and exciting things to do.

I missed out on the Powerball. It was up to  4M before somebody in Indiana won. Oh the places I’d go !

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Well, if you’d like a firsthand glimpse of what I would aspire to be, take a spin by the Travel Channel and check out Expedition Unknown. Then when I say something like “I had to take a moment to channel my inner Josh Gates” you’ll know I just had an OMG moment!

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The Last 5

I thought I should finish what I started. Of the top 10 things to do in Boston, I only got to 5 yesterday. Now I’m sure everyone has different things on their top 10 list. This is just the one Trip Adviser suggests So here we go. Starting with number 6.

#6, North End

               A pretty cool neighborhood especially in the summer  when they have all the Italian Festivals like the Feast of St Anthony’s.

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#7 Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

               I haven’t been in to visit this attraction although I have walked past it. It’s my understanding that the tour guides are in period dress and walk you through the events of the Boston Tea Party.

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#8 John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library

               Ok everyone knows the Kennedy’s in Boston. They are like a Dynasty. John, Bobby, Teddy, Joe, Patrick. The Mom, Rose, has a stretch of “Greeenway” named after her. Yes they are a Dynasty. And Thanks to JFK we have a Presidential Library.

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#9 Boston Public Library

               This is  an amazing building and that’s just the outside. Inside there are statues, Marble work and Murals. They have a lovely courtyard where you can find a spot to just curl up and sit. (once again a summer activity) A nice break from the usual rush , rush , rush.

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#10 New England Holocaust Memorial

               This is a pretty unique memorial. I’ve walked through it and around it many times. It’s not a large Memorial but a lot of thought went into it. It has 6 tall glass towers. Each tower has 1 million numbers etched into the glass, each number representing a person who died. By the time you have walked past all 6 towers you realize that they represent the 6M people that perished during that horrible genocide. It really makes you think.

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Maybe if it’s nice this weekend I’ll make a trip into town. Then I can tell all of you what I think of the list. Have you been to Boston? What do you think should be on the list? The Old North Church? The TD Garden? Old Ironsides (In dry dock right now)? Don’t forget the “Cheers” Bar!

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What to Do, What to Do?

Now that my globetrotting is temporarily on hold the age old question rears it’s ugly head. What am I going to talk about until my next trip (which isn’t until June by the way)?

If I were on a TV show you’d get to watch reruns  for the next couple of months and I may dip into some of my older posts to share but I don’t plan to do that every day.

 In hopes of finding topics I googled the Top 10 things to do in Boston. If the weather holds out maybe I can try to cover some of those.

According to Trip Adviser the number 1 thing to do is visit Fenway Park. That won’t work. The Sox are in Fort Myers Fl. for spring training.

 #2. Is a visit to the Museum of Fine Art.

      Well, I’ve been there and it is beautiful. I attended the special exhibit for the glass blowing artist, Dale Chihuly.

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Chihuly

His work is amazing!

Chihuly

I also love the statue out front. Appeal to the Great Spirit.

Appeal to the Great Spirit at the MFA

Appeal to the Great Spirit at the MFA

 #3. The Freedom Trail.

               Get out your walking shoes because if you want to walk the whole thing it will take you awhile. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Of course while you are at the Bunker Hill Monument you’ll want to climb the 294 steps to the top for views of the Boston Harbor. Bunker Hill Monument is a National Historical Park.

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 #4. Boston Public Garden

               This is one of my favorite places in Boston but not in February. In the spring there are flowers everywhere.

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Swan boats cruise the little lagoon and there’s always the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture. Of course in the winter there’s skating on the Frog Pond but it’s been so warm I bet all of the ice has melted.

#5, Boston Common

               I really don’t distinguish between the Boston Common and The Public Garden. They are all sort of one big park.

According to Wikipedia they are a pair of public parks in Boston. I’m sure my friend Joe would be quick to point out the differences to me. He is far more of a “Bostonian” than I am even though he’s  lived in the south a number of years now.

Well that’s about all I have time for in this post. I guess we’ll have to finish off the last 5 another time.

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The 3 BD’s

It was tempting to just turn around and get back on the plane back to Hawaii when I landed in Providence Saturday night. It was dark and cold. Snow was piled everywhere. I had heard about the 14 – 18 inch snow storm while I was in Maui but I was a long way away from it.

I was wearing my Aloha shirt and digging through my pocket book for my claim ticket for my car when 2 airport police approached.

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They were wearing ski masks and bundled up big time. They stopped by to tease me about my shirt and we chatted about the snow and ice and COLD…brrr.

Eventually I was home greeted by my little fur baby.  Sunday was just time to relax, unpack and get ready to return to the real world. I had a birthday on Wednesday. I haven’t paid much attention to birthdays in a long time so I was surprised when one of my co- workers brought me flowers, another left me a message wishing me a happy birthday and then sent more flowers! The office paid for lunch. They even bought a birthday cake!

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Nancy’s kids, Dawn and Alex both have birthdays in February too. For years, since they were just toddlers, we have made it a tradition to get together for a breakfast or brunch to celebrate out 3 birthdays. In the beginning we did it because how do you explain to little kids that one kid gets presents but the other one has to wait? It turned into a tradition to just celebrate them all together.

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This year Nancy & I were both watching our pennies so Nancy suggested we go to Braintree to a place called Kristin’s. Nancy said it had a great reputation.

It’s a little hole in the wall at 349 Washington St, Braintree. Parking is a real problem but eventually we found a spot about a block away. It was a nice day, fairly mild and sunny so walking back wasn’t too bad.

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We opened the door on chaos! It was loud and the place was packed. If busy-ness is any indication, this was going to be good. Eventually we were offered seats at the counter. The portion sizes were huge! Nancy, Dawn and Alex all had pancakes. One each was ample. Alex chose the most exotic. He had a Boston Cream Pancake.

This is 1 pancake. Can you actually imagine eating 3?

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Nancy was more traditional with a Blueberry pancake and Dawn had an M & M pancake.Sides of bacon and juice were added to round out the meals. I strayed from convention with a plate of Texas Toast French toast. It tasted a lot like the french toast I make with lots of cinnamon but I don’t have those lovely thick slices of bread.

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It was really good and the best part was the bill came to under  $10.00 per person. Can’t beat that! We had a good time, exchanged gifts and the tradition continues!

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Save the Whales

Back from Maui with only limited success I watched the Kia Superbowl ad that I missed on Superbowl Sunday because I was on  plane over the Pacific. I laughed out loud as I watched Melissa McCarthy answer a call to “Save the Whales.

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She rushes out in a little pontoon boat only to have a huge whale breach right next to her! As the behemoth splashes down it lands on the end of her boat catapulting her into a larger whale watch boat.  Its all an exaggeration but I suppose the whale landing on the boat is a real possibility…if you got that close.  I sure would have been happy to take my chances with a close encounter.

So how would I rate my 4 experiences?

#1. For the best photo ops had to be the Pacific Whale Foundation’s  Photo Safari. It was the only one that actually delivered a breaching whale, even if it was a baby.

Baby Whale Breach

#2. For shear fun and excitement, I’d have to vote for the Ocean Rafting. I had a great time when I was on a pontoon boat back in November and got the same thrill this time looking for whales. I love the smallness of the boat and being so close to the waves. Plus we saw plenty of whales. I would not recommend this one for small children. We had all adults on our trip.

Man O War

#3. Pride of Maui Whale watch and Snorkel. I hate to put this ahead of the Pacific Whale Foundation trip but the arrival of the spinner dolphins kind if pushed this over the top. Plus they did a great job with the barbecue lunch. Seeing a tiny octopus while snorkeling was another plus in their favor even though they can’t control what fish or animals we might see.

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#4. Pacific Whale Foundation. This is a great family trip. The boat is large and stable in the water. The naturalists are professional and friendly and a portion of the cost goes to support Whale Research. It may not have made the top spots in this particular lineup but we saw whales, it was educational and I would not hesitate to go again.

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Any of the 4 trips would be great. It kind of depends on what you are looking for and if you are a family with small children or a solo adventurer.

Baby Humpback

I  can’t wait until the whale season next year!

Cuise ship sighting

 

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