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Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts

Saturday 15 October 2016

Beau The Giraffe

Hello Beau.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Address: 1 Franklin Park Road
Date: Sept 2013
Website:  www.zoonewengland.org/franklin-park-zoo

  Beau, the Masai giraffe, towers above the visitors to Franklin Park Zoo.  The zoo offered a chance to feed Beau and we were excited to take part.  Due to some signage issues, we missed the morning feeding but the staff at the zoo was helpful and squeezed us into the afternoon feeding.

Giraffe Measuring Stick.

  Beau the giraffe stands about 17 feet tall.  He is about three feet taller than his mate Jana.  The couple has a baby named Henrietta who was already 8 feet tall and rising.

39 Feet of Giraffe.

  Henrietta and Jana were in the yard with Beau, but Beau was the star of the show. 

Feeding Time.

A special elevated platform had been built so that zoo visitors would be up at giraffe level for the feeding.  Henrietta was too small to reach up to the platform and Jana just wasn't interested in us.

Big-hearted Beau.

    Beau was waiting for us as we walked around to the feeding tower.  As we got up nice and close we realized that he has an enormous head.  A giraffe head is about 2 feet long.  That also happens to be about the same size as their heart.

Feeding Beau.

  Beau loved eating squash right out of our hands.  A zebra shared the enclosure with the giraffe family.  He looked like he would also be interested in a handful of squash.  He hung around just in case Beau dropped anything.  Sorry our little striped friend, but Beau easily got every last piece with his giant tongue.  A giraffe tongue is about 21 inches long.

Beau blow.

  Beau also seemed to love sneaking up on people while they were posing for a photo with him.  He would give a big puff from his nostrils right on the back of their neck.  Giraffe are beautiful creatures and Beau had a great personality which endeared us to him right away.  He truly was a gentle giant.

Map of Our World
Franklin Park Zoo (Giraffe Feeding)

Post # 139

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Steaming Tea Kettle

Exactly how many gills in a Venti coffee?

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Address: 63-65 Court Street
Date: Sept 2010
Website: www.starbucks.com

  It can hold 227 gallons, 2 quarts, 1 pint and 3 gills.  We know this since it is stamped right on the side.  In front of what is now a Starbucks, hangs a giant tea kettle from 1873.  We were in the upper deck of a Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tour when we got a really good look at this kettle.  If you look carefully you can see steam coming out of the spout.  The picture at the bottom of this post shows it best.
  The kettle was built for the Oriental Tea Company and in 1875 they had a contest to see who could guess the kettle's capacity.  Thousands of people came out to guess and find out what the kettle could hold.  The kettle was carefully filled by a city inspector to ensure everything was accurate.  The story is that several people came within three gills of the correct answer and shared in the prize of tea.  This brings us back to what some of you may have asked at the start of this post.  What is a gill?  This type of gill has nothing to do with fish, but is a measurement equal to one quarter of a pint.  It is no longer in common use today.  There have been many other changes since this kettle was first hung back in 1873.  We enjoyed seeing this little blast (of steam) from the past.

It's such a blast to be alive.

Map of Our World
Steaming Tea Kettle

Post # 85

Friday 15 May 2015

MUSIC - Rock Lobster

Somebody went under a dock and there they saw a rock.

Artist: The B-52's
Song: Rock Lobster
Released: 1979
Where to listen: East Coast, Snorkeling, Aquariums & Beach Parties

    The B-52's were the first successful band to hail from Athens, Georgia.  They would be the most successful if it weren't for a band called REM.  While REM may have sold more records, The B-52's are much more fun.  This song is great for parties and summertime travel.  It would be perfect if you were at the beach with boys and bikinis and girls and surfboards.  This song also works when visiting any fishing towns in the Maritime provinces of Canada or the North-Eastern USA.  We visited a 55 tonne lobster in Shediac, New Brunswick that is sitting on a huge rock.  Now that is a rock lobster!
  This song is also great to help kids learn all the fish noises when visiting an aquarium.  The ending of the song is sort of an Old MacDonald of the sea.  Instead of moo, quack and oink it gets a little more complicated.  Let's look at some of the lyrics.

Here comes a stingray (wok ahh whuhh)  - The noises are hard enough to imitate let alone write downBelow are two southern stingrays from the Toronto Zoo.

Hey ray, what do you say?

There goes a manta ray (aya aya ayah) - Manta Rays are the largest rays and can reach widths of up to 23 feet.  We have never seen one or heard what it sounds like.

In walked a jellyfish (uuhhh) - We have seen lots of jellyfish, but they always seem very quietThe picture below is of a Japanese sea nettle from the New England Aquarium.  We don't know if Japanese jellyfish sound different or not, or if this one has been in Boston long enough to pick up an accent.

Mind mah stingahhs.

There goes a dogfish (reeawr) - Dogfish are a type of small shark.

Chased by a catfish (blrroooh) - The catfish below are from Sea Life London Aquarium.  You can always tell a catfish by its whiskers.  Actually those whiskers are not hair but skin.

You were expecting we would say meow?

There goes a narwhal (eehh  eehh) - A narwhal is a whale that lives in the Arctic and has a long tusk.  We did see this one on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Bye Buddy.  Hope you find your Dad.

While the song Rock Lobster may not be as educational as this blog post, it is always lots of fun no matter where you are vacationing.  Oh, and remember to watch out for that piranha!

Watch out for that piranha. (yayayyaayayayooo)

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Stingray Bay) , New England Aquarium , Sea Life London Aquarium
Royal Ontario Museum

Post # 51

Wednesday 10 December 2014

South Street Diner

Oh you want my name?  Maxwell Hause...er

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Address: 178 Kneeland St
Date: Sept 2010
Website:  www.southstreetdiner.com

  South Street Diner used to be known as The Blue Diner.  It is one of those old time, 24 hour diners that looks sort of like someone deposited a railway dining car on the corner of the street.  It is also the type of place that will have interesting characters both as staff and customers.  We drove past the restaurant while on a Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tour.
  The diner was used as a filming location for the movie Hiding Out staring Jon Cryer.  Jon Cryer is best known as Alan on Two & a Half Men or Duckie from Pretty in Pink.  In this movie he plays Andrew Morenski who ends up wanted by the mob and is taken into protective custody by the FBI.  He manages to convince them to let him have a meal at the diner.  In the movie you can see that the sign on the roof still says the Blue Diner.  During the meal a mob hit man takes out the FBI agents and Andrew has to crash through the window and run for his life down the street.  He eventually escapes on a train leaving Boston's South Street Station.  He hides out by enrolling as a high school student under the name Maxwell Hauser, which he made up while looking at a Maxwell House coffee tin.

Catch Me (I'm Falling) out the diner window.

Map of Our World
South Street Diner

Post # 31

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Boston Olive Oil Company

Bottle of Boston Vinegar

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Address: 262 Newbury Street
Date: Sept 2013
Website:  bostonoliveoilcompany.com

Most people are familiar with wine tastings, but the Boston Olive Oil Company offers oil and vinegar tastings.  As we were walking along Newbury Street we came upon their shop and could not resist the chance to give it a try.  We use oil and vinegar daily atop our salads and appreciate the noticeable differences in quality and taste.
The staff explained to us the scale of the olive oil and how it goes from 1 to10.  The oil is kept in stainless steel kegs from Italy called fustis. You get a little paper cup and turn the tap on one of the kegs to release some oil from inside.  You then decide if you want to dip some bread into it, or mix it with some vinegar, or just take a shot.  You can really notice a difference as you go up or down the scale.  The oil higher up the scale tended to have a grittier taste  We preferred something around the middle range.  What we were most interested in was the flavoured vinegars, and we sampled a few before deciding on a Pomegranate White Balsamic Vinegar for ourselves.
We left with our purchase and headed over to the Prudential Center for some ice cream and shopping.   We were looking for some gifts for family and friends but nothing seemed quite right.  Then we realized we were holding the perfect gift.  It worked as a Boston souvenir since the green bottle says Boston Olive Oil Company.  It was also healthy and from our earlier sampling experience, very tasty.  So we headed back and picked up a couple more bottles.
We know that the next time we are in Boston we will be having another taste.

Map of Our World
Boston Olive Oil Company

Post # 17