I ended up again having an impromptu day off this past Saturday and what a beautiful day it was to have off! This is one of my favorite times of the year, when winter fades into Spring, and everything is in bloom. My allergies hate it, but I don’t care too much because Boston becomes transformed into one huge garden. There is a lot of civic pride here, and there are plantings everywhere to be seen bursting with flowers and little parks here and there full of people that have couped up in doors for many long cold months.
Since I found myself suddenly with nothing to do, I decided to take advantage of Mother Natures gift and embarked on a little city hike through my neighborhood of Brookline down to Beacon Hill in Boston. I didn’t really have any particular purpose in mind, and just decided to wander and see what I might discover along the way. People were out in droves and it seems many had the same idea, so I was in good company.
My first discovery was the Hall’s Pond Sanctuary in my own neighborhood Brookline. It has a huge field that was being used for soccer and football, and there were a few folks soaking up some rays. There is also an area set aside with a natural pond and wetlands, not dissimilar to the ones back home in Louisiana. There is a lovely boardwalk built around the pond so that you can easily traverse it and enjoy the trees and flowering plants. It was previously unknown to me, and I just happened to notice a sign on Beacon Street as I walked by. I was glad I explored it, and I’ll be back sometime with a picnic, or just to lay out for a while and enjoy the sunshine in the near future.
After that I headed towards the Fenway area to see if the Rose Garden was in bloom yet. It wasn’t, but I was treated to lots of tulips, daffodils, and what I think were lilacs. Since I was already in the area, I headed over to the MFA for a bit to check out the Japanese Garden.
I found some busy sidewalk chalk artists at work on the granite steps facing Fenway and enjoyed the cheerful renderings. Some were really quite impressive. There were unicorns, butterflies, flowers, loud jazzy designs, and even a still life. I think the good weather had put everyone in a good mood.
The Japanese Garden was stunning as always. The last few times I’ve been to the MFA, I’ve walked by, but been disappointed that it wasn’t open. It was worth the wait seeing it however, and perhaps the anticipation made it even more special. The garden is an interpretation of a 15th century Zen garden by Kinsaku Nakane. It features large rocks and gravel taken from the North Shore and plantings of local species that can survive the cold winters. I have never seen it in the Spring, and it was a real feast for the eyes and soul. I spent a half hour or so in the quiet and peaceful garden and felt happy that I could just be there.
I couldn’t let the afternoon end without heading to Boston most famous garden, the Public Garden at the middle of town. It was packed with people. There were plenty of performers as well – a man with a long grey beard rocking out on an electric guitar, a hurdy-gurdy player, a bagpiper, tight rope walkers, and even a magician. I’ve never seen the Public Garden quite so alive.
I sat on the banks of the reflection pond for a while and watched the Swan Boats. I’ve never actually been on one, and not sure I really want to. It is fun nice to watch them go around the pond though, and it’s certainly a Boston tradition that has been in place since 1910!
Besides the swan boats, the Public Garden was amazingly beautiful. Everything was green and fresh. There were beds full of tulips and daffodils, and people posing for pictures in and with the beautiful plantings. As always, there were tons of kids and I had fun watching the littlest ones by the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues.
I ended my afternoon at the Beacon Hill Bistro with the first of the season’s Gin and Tonic. I felt quite satisfied with my day of free entertainment, and it made me feel glad to live in such a beautiful city. I hope that you can get out and enjoy taking in the sights as much as I did on your day off in Boston or your own hometown.