Sunday, June 29, 2014

Making Moves from Medway to Mattapan and Back

It's Sunday morning and I have been processing photos since 6am for the trip we took out to Minnesota. As I am selecting which photos to place on the blog and what story am I gonna do, I had been thinking I should get out and pick up some Double Down and Team Strange towns. At 5:30 I am suppose to go over to Giffs house to discuss our trip to Nova Scotia in August and meet Walter and Mike (Giffs brother) (who is in WV so he won't be there). I look at the available towns and decide those pain the ass towns toward Boston would be a good day to capture those. They have to be done and I can limit the miles so I can be back home by 5:30.

I finally get all the stuff ready, converting the GPS from a window suction mount back to a RAM mount, uploaded the WP's and Routes to the 1490, change lenses on the camera and get my one piece suit on. As I get older, it becomes more of a pain to get ready to go riding, but after I go thru the organizational trama of getting ready, I am happy I did.

I always have a targeted location for the Double Downs. The first one of the day is Westwood Garden which is a florist shop. I was wondering if it was the old Kabloom shop in Westwood, since I worked there when they existed and new the franchisee, not well but knew her. Just some of the things I think about when out of the bike.

Before I get there I passed the Medway Post Office and picked that up (not planned) for one of the Team Strange towns. They have to be a Post Office or Town Entering Sign.

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From there it was off to Norwood Theater. Temps are rising but I am staying very comfortable in the Olympia. Temps always see about 10 degrees warmer in bigger cities. The theater was built in 1926-27 and was fashioned after the Lowe's State Theater in Boston. As I read the historical writing, it talks about the theater being restored back to its original façade. It appears they accomplished that. I wonder where Sammy, Dean, Frank, Peter and Joey are??

Norwood Theater Then

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Quick stop at Holbrook House of Pizza.

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From here it was off to Cohasset for the Town Hall. One passes thru Hingham to get there and this place just reeks of history and money. I love passing thru the center of these towns. As I was picking up the Cohasset (and why didn't they spell it Cohassett, it would have been worth 2 points and looks right too) looking around at the church next door and the one across the street I figured that just had to be a Historic District, so I snapped off a few more pics for Waymarking.

Cohasset was originally part of Hingham which was settled in 1635. It was known as "The Plain" and used for gathering hay and feeding livestock. It became a town in 1770 and its citizens gain independence from Hingham in both church and school. The First Meeting House was built in 1714. The town went thru the typical religious differences that occurred in a lot of New England towns causing a split between the Congregationalist and Unitarians. Its name means long rocky place.

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Caught this really neat 60 Chevy coming right at me

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The 2 churches in Cohasset that separated over Doctrine beliefs. Unitarian vs Congregationalists. They are within a stone throw from one another, right across the street.

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And the pond on the green

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Finished up there and headed for Mattapan when I passed this family on the outskirts of Cohasset. I passed these 2 girls and turned around because they were selling lemonade and it did not look like they had any customers. When I circled past them I pointed to them to indicate I would be stopping. I had 2 glasses of lemonade which really hit the spot. Yes I asked the parents if I could take a picture. I told one of them to lose their sunglasses for the picture.

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As I headed thru Hingham, Weymouth and entering Quincy, I stopped at the USS Salem for a pic. This ship was commissioned in 1949 and is the only preserved Heavy Cruiser. It was built by Bethlehem Steel in Quincy. After sailing all over the world , the Salem found it's home in Quincy in 1994. It was also featured on Ghostbusters and they found evidence of paranormal activity.

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It dawned on me, after passing the Adams National Historic Park visitor center, I was in the birth place of John and John Quincy Adams. I first went to the Old House which was the wrong location and the Park Ranger gave me the address of the birthplaces. Plug the address into the 1490 and picked up a Two-Fer for the Team Strange Presidential Grand Tour.

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Checked my phone and it was 4pm and I was due to Giffs at 530pm. I sent a text to see if we were still on and took off for Mattapan.

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Checked the phone and Giff asked if I needed more time and a simple NOPE was sent back. I had a general idea where I was but not really, however I knew I was not going to get all of the scheduled stops for the day. I figured I could grab Roxbury Crossing for the Double Down and pick up Needham, Needham Heights, Newton Upper Falls and Newton Lower Falls another day. (as I type this I just realized Newton Lower Falls is not a valid town. NO doubles LL are allowed. Sheesh).

The FJR thermometer is indicating 95 degrees out, however I am perfectly comfortable in the one piece riding suit. I am wearing both wicking shorts and T shirt under the suit, which keeps the sweat at bay. Cudo's to Olympia. This was the most challenging part of the ride. The roads are not in great shape and the drivers add an element of surprise and excitement. Finally arrive at the Roxbury Crossing MBTA station. Grab my pic and head for home.

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The 1490 has me heading straight for Boston downtown to pick up the Mass Pike. It then dawns on me how deep I am into Boston. I AM THERE. Picked up the Mass Pike from Huntington Ave. Since I needed to make up some time, I exceeded the speed limit in some sections, but it felt good to stretch the legs out on the FJR after spending most of the day under 40mph. Pulled into the garage right at 5:30pm, texted Giff that I was gonna be about 10 minutes late and got rid of the riding stuff, grabbed the laptop, USB Drive with the maps and headed out to his house. Walter, who is also going to the Nova Scotia was already there. I had not eaten all day and other than the lemonade had nothing else to drink, so that first beer, which was that new Dells Lemonade Beer stuff ended the day perfectly.

CLICK HERE for an additional photos not shown in the above presentation.

The days travels was just around 125 miles.

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Extra I reviewed and updated my Double Down towns I realized I blew right past Braintree when heading for Cohasset...go figa

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Leaving Cleveland, Heading East

We were suppose to go to the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame today, however with the wheel bearing problems I was already over extended on my vacation. The Hall is only a day drive from home so we will come back and not be any pressure to zoom thru.

We stopped at Lucky's Café featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. While it doesn't fit any of the categories in the TV show name, it is not a Diner, you can't drive up and get served and the prices are much to high to be a dive, so it remains a Café. Food was good but pricey.

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Cutesy cup of coffee

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MeAsWe breakfast

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Right around the corner from Lucky's was a great cityscape view of Cleveland

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We really only have one scheduled stop which is Kirtland Temple in Ohio. This was the first Mormon temple built. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 1969 and built in 1833.

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From here it was a ride across I-90 to home. For fun I decided to grab some pictures on the fly while MeAsWe was driving

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A gas station stop gone bad. The food maybe ??

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Fast lens speed shot

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To close for comfort ??

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Some National Park stuff

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Almost home. Last stop for gas

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Closing of the day.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Milwaukee to Cleveland for less than a $1 per day

After a couple of boots of Miller, Milwaukee's Finest, we woke up to a foggy morning on Lake Michigan. Seems the cats feet decided to lie down some place. Headed out for some local landmarks.

The Pabst Theater was built in 1895 and is the 4th oldest continuously operated theater in the US. (I has to be a baseball statistician that comes up with this stuff). Inside, it sports a hydraulic orchestra pit. It is also one of the first air conditioned venues of the day.

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Right across the street is Milwaukee City Hall. Also completed in 1895, then the tallest habitable building in the US, implying there was a taller building that had no occupants. It was also the second tallest structure, the tallest being the Washington Monument.

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Not too far away is Turner Hall, which completes the National Historic Landmarks I grabbed today in Milwaukee. Both the City Hall and Turner Hall were designed by Henry C. Koch, an American German architect of the late 1800's

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A view of Milwaukee streets

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Breaking from the old paid a visit to the Harley Davidson Museum, grabbing only a double shot glass to add to my collection.

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There were a bunch of Roads Glides, Electra Glides and other Gliders, however this Honda grabbed my attention.

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On the way to Kenosha, which is about 1/2 way between Milwaukee and Chicago, passed this house and just had to turn around and go back. Not a National Historic Landmark, but just as interesting. This was in Cudahy WI on S Lake Dr. I like his style, keeps the mowing of grass to a minimum.

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Heading south to Racine we stopped in Wind Point to visit Wingspread (where do they come up with these names)(I guess if you are rich you got time or money to pay someone to come up with the names), Herbert F Johnson of Johnson Wax fame house. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938, it was built around the same time as the Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine. The Johnson's donated the property to the Johnson Foundation in 1959.

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We intended to take the Johnson Wax Headquarter tour, however they do not do them on Monday's. This is the building with the giant mushroom columns in the Great Workroom that is so famous. They do not permit photos inside and I was not allowed past the guard gates, so I got off a few shots from afar.

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When planning these trips I always throw in Diners, Drive-In and Dives waypoints. If they are along the way and the timing is right we stop. Franks Diner did not become a favorite because of DDD, it was too crowed by regulars, plan to wait a bit to be served. Good food and fun. You can see MeAsWe sneaking in the door.

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The infamous •The Franks Garbage Plate

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and Cinnamon Swirl French Toast. MeAsWe meal

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I think mine was more healthy than MeAsWe

Crossing into Illinois outside of Chicago we stopped at the Crow Island School, simply because it was a National Historic Landmark. Most places are impressive, this one was a bit underwhelming. I guess when the school was established it had a progressive program for the elementary school kids.

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Due to some shipping disasters on Lake Michigan around Evanston Illinois, the Grosse Point Lighthouse was built in 1874 and it was lit in 1874.

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Right next door is the Evanston Art Center which is a pretty neat building, has a nice water fall pond and some art work out in front. None of which are particularly historical or of any importance.

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Not too far away was the Charles G Dawes house who earned the 1925 Nobel Peace Prize and was vice president to Calvin Coolidge.

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Continuing south into Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood we stopped at the James Charnley House. Today it is a museum and was the work of Louis Sullivan and a young Frank Lloyd Wright, who was a junior draftsman at the time.

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Deeper into Chicago we headed for Adler Planetarium was open to the public in 1930 and was America's first planeterium.

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Grabbed a pic of the Chicago Skyline.

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Last photo opp of the day was Clement Studebaker home in South Bend, Indiana. Clement was the founder of the Studebaker car company and lived here from 1889 to 1901. Today it is a restaurant.

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The rest of the afternoon and evening (actually it was all evening) was getting to Cleveland, OH for the night. SLIDESHOW CLICK HERE

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