Family, and a Trip into Boston

Family!  That word is powerful, for it’s how we grow, and how we ‘become’.  It is our source of support and extended love, even though it can be tumultuous at times.

I tell my preschool class that we are a family, because we are.  I share my own family stories.  I’ll be sharing today’s events with them, too.  They are filled with adventure, worry, help, wonder, and sticking together.  That’s what we do at school as a family, and that’s what I did with my family.


Our daughter and grandchildren arrived from the west coast.
It’s been over a year.

Today we went into Boston.  The New England Aquarium was #1 on the list.  Riding the train and taking the subway was #2.  It was not easy.  Navigating Boston’s commuter rail system is not for the faint of heart.  The first stop was the train station.


All the train lines are purple.

At last we arrived at North Station in Boston.  It’s the central location where every subway line connects.  In Boston it’s called the T, not the subway.  This is where we felt alone and a little worried.  Hey, I’ve ridden the T, but when you’re at the hub of all the connecting lines, it is very daunting.

We figured it out.  Of course!  That’s what families do.  The ticket to get onto the T is a Charlie Card.  My goodness, I didn’t know Charlie Cards were still around.

When I was a teenager and played the ukulele, everybody’s favorite song was M.T.A. by the Kingston Trio.  The song is about a man named Charlie and riding the M.T.A. in Boston.  Today the cards are named for Charlie.  And people call the M.T.A. the T.


We were on our way!

We were on the Orange Line and needed to connect to the Blue Line.  Does that statement alone make you feel a little stressed or worried?  As soon as we got off the Orange Line, we followed the path… yet there was no Blue Line.  We ended up outside on the street.  For those of you who have never been to Boston, the city is a wonderful mix of old and new.  The streets are narrow and winding, the opposite of cities with streets built on a grid.

Our goal, our destination, was the New England Aquarium.  We had an address, but GPS walking directions were terrible.  It’s been ages since I walked around the center of Boston.  We felt very alone, a teeny bit worried, and just needed a good map; a fold-out map that shows where you are in relation to everything else.  Why doesn’t everyone realize this is a golden tool?

Someone saw us and must have realized we needed help.  Yes, good people are everywhere.  Really.  A point in the right direction and we were on our way.  Walking in Boston was delightful, once we (kind of) knew where we were going.

We arrived at the New England Aquarium.  It is world famous in teaching about ocean life, and their animal rescues.  Outside the museum are pools of sea lions, tanks of sharks, and more.  Inside the museum is the exhibit of penguins in a natural habitat.

They swim, dive, climb rocks, spar with other penguins, and more.

Then comes the main exhibit, a gigantic round fish tank that is the central part of the aquarium.  People walk up and around the tank, watching fish that live on the ocean floor, to watching fish that live close to the surface.

There are many individual tanks of ocean life.


The old tortoise at the top of the big tank made me smile,
I wanted to watch him for hours.


This was my favorite.

Family is always an adventure, ups and downs, laughs and tears.  It’s a good thing that love is the glue.

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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72 Responses to Family, and a Trip into Boston

  1. beetleypete says:

    That looks like the perfect ‘family day out’, Jennie. Making memories for the years to come.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      It was, in spite of getting a little lost and a bit panicky. Oh, lunch at North Station for 4 of us which was very simple (chicken fingers, hot dogs, no drinks except water) was $84.00. Yikes! The Aquarium is truly a must see for anyone. Best to you, Pete.

  2. willedare says:

    Hurrah for you and your family taking public transportation and then getting a little bit of help en route to the aquarium!

    • Jennie says:

      Aren’t you proud of me for being so brave? I haven’t walked the streets of Boston in ages, so it was a good thing that we couldn’t find the Blue Line and walked to the Aquarium. It is a beautiful city, and I love the old architecture. There was a guy with a tri-cornered hat and in period costume in front of the State House giving a presentation/tour. That was fun. Have you been to North Station recently? Wow! Best to you, Will.

  3. srbottch says:

    And when you grow up in a large family, you experience the entire gamut of emotions: stress, happiness, anger, reconciliation, and in the end, love. Wonderful adventure and pictures, Jennie. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, you experience it all in a big family. I think love is the glue, or maybe it’s the final coat of paint. Thanks, Steve. I’m glad you enjoyed this.

  4. ganga1996 says:

    Wonderful. Lived in Boston for many years. Once you know T it is one of the easiest transportation. Quincy market and Boston commons were our favorites. Glad you had a great day.

    • Jennie says:

      I know what you mean, and your two stops are great ones. It had been a long time since I rode the T. The next time will be much easier. I can’t believe they still have Charlie Cards- so cool. Many thanks!

  5. A grand day out, and your daughter is very beautiful.

  6. Would love to visit Boston someday. I love trains! Thanks for posting!

  7. Brenda says:

    Looks like you had a brilliant day out with your family. I agree, that old tortoise would capture my attention too

  8. Lovely post! Enjoyed that outing with you and family!

  9. Fantastic! Family is everything and love, indeed, is what it’s all about. Wishing you and yours (at home and at school) a blessed and beautiful Christmas and New Year, Jennie! 🎄💞

  10. Don Ostertag says:

    Family. It what makes our world go round.
    And Boston…what a town. I spent a month there doing the Leonard Nimoy show, his home town; and I explored that wonderful city every chance I got. So rich in history and beauty.

  11. looks like you all had a great outing Jennie! The fish were fun to watch!

  12. I’ve felt that worry in the big Metro, Tube, and Subway stations in France, England, and NYC. I’m glad you had a helping Angel come by to get your on way to the Aquarium. It looks like a fantastic place.

    I hope you all have a wonderful visit and Christmas together.

    • Jennie says:

      It is a little scary, Deborah. I would think it’s a worse feeling on public transportation out of the country. You did it! The Boston Angel was such a gift. Whew! The Aquarium is fantastic, I hope you get there one day. If you come with the grandies, please let me know, I’ll be there. 😀

      We had an absolutely wonderful visit, Deborah!! Best to you.

  13. Dan Antion says:

    Jennie, I laughed so hard at “…the opposite of cities with streets built on a grid.” The only thing worse than trying to figure out the T is trying to figure out what to do when you emerge from the tunnels. The only thing worse than both of those is trying to drive in, park and walk.

    You have a lovely family!

  14. Thanks for taking us along. Yes, I have had that feeling navigating around cities. I hope your family is enjoying the trip. I love Boston.

  15. Certainly a great day out for all of you, Jennie. I learned something new about that CharlieCard…that’s a cool story how that came to be. The aquarium is always a great place to visit and tour about. So many sights to experience there, enjoying some of nature’s finest.

    • Jennie says:

      It was great day. I was shocked when I got my CharlieCard, thinking it had been long gone as a ticket for the T. It made my day, and of course the Kingston Trio’s song still hasn’t left my head. Yes, the Aquarium is outstanding. You are right that some of the finest in nature is right there. Just typing this reminds me of the tank of dwarf seahorses. They are maybe an inch. Nature is a wonder!

  16. Ritu says:

    Oh, what fun! Family is everything, Jennie 🤗

  17. Well done, funny how every city and country has it’s own name for underground trains. For regulars it’s easy, but if you’re a visitor or occasional you really have to concentrate. We had some challenges on the Paris Metro.

  18. quiall says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! I’ve always said that we have more than one family in our lives: the one we are born into and the ones that we create.

  19. Jim Borden says:

    congrats on successfully navigating Boston’s public transit system. and it sounds like you had a wonderful day with family!

  20. Hi Jennie, this looks like a wonderful aquarium. I am always anxious using the London underground when I have to change lines. It is always like a madhouse and it is disconcerting when you are unsure.

    • Jennie says:

      Hi Robbie, the Aquarium is one of the best. I’m glad I’m not alone feeling worried when taking public transportation. I imagine London is just as busy as Boston.

  21. Wonderful, Jennie, so lovely you shared such adventures with your lovely family.. I hope you have a wonderful family gathering and more joy and laughter… Enjoy your weekend ❤

  22. Carla says:

    How wonderful that your family was able to come for a visit. I am guessing they will be staying for the holidays. What great pictures and videos of your trip.

  23. Darlene says:

    Nothing like a family adventure, even if you get a bit lost. Looks like a fun time!

  24. Boston looks a lovely city, Jennie. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Brian Bixby says:

    I’m reminded of my first solo trip on the T. I went to the wrong stop. Couldn’t match up the street network to the T lines. Eventually got it straightened out, after boarding another line and going the wrong way.
    And the nicest thing about the commuter rail is that in Ayer it hooks right up with the rail trail into Groton!

  26. dgkaye says:

    What a beautiful family memory you have made again Jennie. The photos are magnificent. ❤

  27. bosssybabe says:

    My goodness what a grand ol’ time! Love spending time with family! I’ve always wanted to visit Boston!! 🙂

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