On Saturday night, there was an excellent performance by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Worcester's DCI Center. We had a great time enjoying this show's music and visual effects.
Having never seen previous shows online, I did not know what to expect from this show. Having not perused previous shows online, I came to the show with an open mind. I was impressed by the performers' engagement with the audience, and the variety of fire special effects they used.
Things I Learned
The parking facility across the street is called SP+ Parking. You have to pay $20 to park there. This is a great location. However, it is a real hassle to get out. You have to pay before you get back to your car - which means long lines in the elevator lobby for the parking machine and the elevator as you have to pay before you leave.
After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, someone from the garage came out and told people they didn't have to wait in line to pay for parking. He also said that people could pay on the way out. Which only makes getting out of the garage slower because people are paying at the gate.
On this particular night, there was only one elevator working in the building. This meant that people who were not able to walk the stairs had a long wait even if they could walk down the hall.
We saw the show from section 231 - which for most sporting events would be the center of the arena. For the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it was just about stage level. We were worried that we wouldn't get to see much of the show since the seats seemed to be almost backstage. But the seats were great! The band used the whole area, which made our seats a great location.
Some people had a hard time walking up and down the stairs. Just a fair warning for anyone getting tickets for the upper balcony sections - the stairs are steep and there's no rail to help you up.
We upgraded to the VIP experience so that we could get into the stadium early and have a snack before the show. It cost $50 for the VIP experience and it didn't seem worth the cost. We did get in early but the appetizers were a bit small and we had to pay for our drinks. I would definitely not recommend doing the VIP experience.
If you only think of New England when you come to the USA, you need to rethink. Visit Ashland, a small town in Massachusetts and explore its scenic beauty. The town has been attracting tourists for its natural splendor. People are becoming more conscious of nature's importance and its impact on our lives these days. The world is changing rapidly, and we need to be aware of our actions. Tourism helps people know about a place so that they can visit it, experience it, and appreciate its beauty. Curious about this beautiful town?
Here are the top 5 things to do in Ashland Massachusetts:
The beautiful Prospect Hill cemetery
One of the most famous cemeteries in the USA is Prospect Hill, located in Ashland, Massachusetts. The cemetery has over 6,500 graves. Many of the graves belong to Civil War soldiers. It is one of the largest cemeteries in Massachusetts and a great place to visit. It is open to the public as a park, and you can wander through the paths, reading the headstones, for a few hours. You can also visit the nearby "Clapp Park" where there are a few old cannons and enjoy the tranquility of the cemetery.
Ashland's Carnegie Library
Ashland's Carnegie Library was built by architect William Sprague in 1902, as a gift from the industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1908. The library was built as a gift from Carnegie in 1908. There are many beautiful architectural elements in this elegant building. You can learn more about the history of the library in the museum, which is located inside the building. It is painted in pink and decorated with elaborate ceiling and wall designs. There are a few items related to the history of the town in the library, as well as a small gift shop with knick-knacks and souvenirs.
Drive along River Road and see the landscape
As part of your Ashland visit, you may want to explore the River Road. There are a few places you can stop along the path to enjoy the picturesque view of the landscape. The route is along the North River. You can take a drive along the route and take in the breathtaking landscape. A canoe can also be hired for a ride on the river, so you can take a stroll along the path and enjoy the scenery. You can experience the landscape in all seasons, but it is especially beautiful in the spring and fall, when the river flows with fresh water. The landscape during the winter is beautiful too, but the river is flowing very slowly. To get a different view of the landscape, you can visit the town during this time.
Walk on the trails of the Bear Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
There are around 100 species of birds at Bear Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Ashland. It is home to birds such as the wood thrush, bluebird, woodpecker, and warbler. The sanctuary has trails where you can walk and see these beautiful creatures. You can also take a guided tour at the sanctuary. The tour is led by knowledgeable and trained professionals. A gift shop at the entrance offers food for the birds as well as other activities like hiking, birdwatching, and nature walks.
Visit the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center
Near the Ashland Town Hall is the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center. You can visit the center to know more about this place. The visitors center has a good collection of books and souvenirs related to the town and its history. Aside from these souvenirs, you can also buy audiovisual presentations and interactive displays to learn more about the history of this place and its inhabitants. The visitor center also offers guided tours of the town conducted by trained guides who are knowledgeable about the town.
The town of Ashland, Massachusetts offers a lot to visitors. You can spend a few hours here and explore nearby places. The town has interesting places to visit, and you can explore them on your own. You can also book a guided tour to learn more about the town's history. The top five things to do in Ashland Massachusetts are to explore its natural beauty and to experience a unique kind of adventure.
Blue Hills Ski Area
Today I took my daughter skiing at Blue Hills in Canton Massachusetts. This was her first time on skies and I haven't been on a mountain in 18 years.
We just decided to ski together without any formal lessons. I would just give her some tips and tricks on how to ski.
We had a fun time skiing and she actually wants to go back next weekend.
Blue Hills "Fenway" trail with the magic carpet taking skiers to the top of the trail.
Nine Things I Learned
Reservations Required. Due to COVID-19 state rules, we had to make reservations. We were able to secure a spot the night before we hit the slopes.
Time Constraint and Cost Also new this year is that you limited on how long you can ski. We had a 4-hour slot. Which was probably just enough for my daughter's first day on the slopes. However, it seemed expensive for 2 tickets and rentals for $170.
Confusing On Arrival. Prior to going to the ski resort, I checked the parking lots. I found that there were three lots and getting the first or second was ideal because I didn't need to take a shuttle bus. We were lucky to get a spot in the second lot. When we got to the buildings it was a bit confusing where to get tickets. We had prepaid rental and there was a section for that - however it was for people that had been there before. We met other people that were also confused.
No Private Lessons. As were skiing we saw a Blue Hills official approach a guy with several children and asked him if he was giving paid lessons. Apparently, you can't give private lessons that are not sponsored by the mountain. This could be a liability reason or they want people to use the mountain training.
Great Mountain to Learn. We found that Blue Hills is a great mountain to learn to ski. Its small size makes it easy to go up and down the mountain.
Limited Skiing. When we went, there wasn't much natural snow on the ground. Many trains were closed because they don't have 100% snowmaking coverage. Also once you become good at skiing, there's a limited number of trails to ski on.
Food and Drinks. The cafe was open. When I walked in, someone asked me if we plan on using the bathroom. I told them no, then he asked for my name and phone number- which I assume was for COVID-19 contact tracing. A bottle of Poland Spring water is only $1 - that was nice.
Fenway Trail. We spent all day on the Fenway trail. It was busy because most people had lessons on that slope. One thing I noticed is that most people didn't have any poles.
Magic Carpet Lift. The two green trails are served by two Magic Carpet lifts. The lift is a conveyor belt that gently moves you up the hill. I found it a bit tricky to use - I have been on a lot of lifts. Basically, you walk on the carpet and standstill as it moves you. I noticed some people lean forward to help keep their balance.
A picture of the trial map that hangs near the ticket window.
If you're going to Blue Hills, I would recommend getting there at least 45-mins early to get rental equipment and lift tickets. Your ski time is when you can get on a lift and not when you can get your equipment.
Best New England Blog Posts
During the Spring and Summer months, I blogged about various New England locations. It was fun thinking up all the various locations that I have visited over the years.
Here are 8 of those posts that are worth reading:
Best Blog Post
OceanEdge Beach at Sunset-- Great Place to enjoy a sunset over the Cape Cod bay
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary-- Fun Facts about the popular Wildlife Sanctuary
Graveyard of Dearly Depinted-- Fun Graveyard to visit at the Ben & Jerry's Headquarters
Bewitched Statue in Salem-- Fun facts about the Bewitched statue in Salem, Massachusetts
Salem Witch Museum-- Fun Facts about the Salem Witch Museum
Sturbridge Village-- Old Sturbridge Village is a great place to learn about colonial New England
Minuteman Statue in Concord Massachusetts-- Fun Facts about the Minuteman Statue in Concord
Our Lady of Fatima Shrine-- Some fun facts about this popular shrine site
Will Be Back in 2021
I plan on revisiting this topic again sometime in 2021.
This past weekend we did the Magic Lights at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. We had a great time enjoying the lights and celebrating the Christmas season.
Here are some of my notes from that trip - hope it helps others have a great time! It's 2020, this is a safe way to enjoy the Christmas season.
Eight Things I Learned
We found out that most people arrive as soon as the gate opens, you might want to wait for at least 45-mins to avoid the long traffic line.
Best way to get there is via Route 1 South. As the northbound traffic to the Magic Lights has to loop around to the event, this caused a longer backup than the northbound traffic.
The Christmas Music for Magic Lights is on 88.7 - but they don't sync to the presentation of the light, you can play your own Christmas Music.
Many kids were were enjoying the lights by standing up and looking through the sunroof.
The show was great! Drive slow to appreciate the decorations and selection. For example, we saw some lights that represented the 12-days of Christmas - I am sure they are all there.
There are two lanes that go through the whole light show. Both lanes appear to offer the same viewing experience. (We did see some lights out on various sides.)
Don't forget to turn off the headlights when driving around!
When you leave the exhibit you end up going south on Route 1.
This isn't a Disney ride, there are no gift shops at the end of Magic Lights.
Walking around Salem's historic "The Burying Point" graveyard, you'll encounter some fascinating colonial gravestones. One of the gravestones that stands out is Simon Bradstreet. He was buried here in 1697, 323 years ago.
He was born in Horbling, England on March 18, 1603.
He came to America in 1630 with John Winthrop
Simon Bradstreet was one of the original founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Simon Bradstreet was the 20th (from 1679-1686) and 21st (from 1689-1692) Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was the last Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
He lived in Cambridge, Ipswich, and Andover, Massachusetts.
He lived to be 93 years old and was called the "Nestor of New England" by Cotton Mather because of his old age.
Died in Salem on March 27, 1697.
His son, John Bradstreet, was accused of being witchcraft. He left Salem for New York. He returned to Massachusetts when the Witch hysteria died down.
If you look carefully at the writing on the gravestone, at the bottom right, you'll see "Woodland Bronze Works -Newburyport Mass." It was a company in Newburyport that created bronze tablets. The company was founded by George. P. Tilton. Tablets were created by the Cire-Perdue process.
The text on the left side of the tomb is written in Latin.
Text on the Tomb
Esquire in the Senate of the Massachusetts Colony from the year 1630 to the year 1673. Then Lieutenant Governor to the year 1679 and at last, Until the year 1680. Governor of the same colony by the general and determined vote of the people. He was a man endowed with keen judgment whom neither threats nor honors could sway. He weighed the authority of the king and the liberty of the people in even scales. In religion devout and upright in his ways, he vanquished the world and relinquished it on the XXVIIth Day of March in the year our lord MDCXCVII. and in the IXth year of King William third and of his life the XCIVTH.
The Last two-line reads: In religion devout and upright in his ways, he vanquished the world and relinquished it on the is 27th (XXVIIth) Day of March in the year our lord 1697 (DCXCVII). and in the (9th) IXth year of King William third and of his life the 94 (XCIVTH)
Thompsons Clam Bar
In the 1980s, One of our favorite Cape Cod restaurants was Thompson's Clam Bar. It was a family tradition to get some seafood and watch the boats come into Wychmere Harbor.
Remember that jingle: "Hey Where Are You Going..."
Things I Remembered About Thompson's
The restaurant closed in December 1995.
People would wait for hours to get into the 450 seat restaurant.
You could arrive by boat and tie it to the dock. I remember people helping boaters dock their boats.
They offered valet parking and on a busy summer night the car line would back up to the main road. We used to go around and park at the club.
In the late 1980s they put in an outside bar. People could order drinks and appetizers while they waited. They had some kind of bar rice snack in baskets on the tables. They were so good.
In the Summertime in the late 1980s, I worked on the other side of the river at HarwichPort Boat works. I can remember that fresh clam chowder smell - just before lunch hour.
I also remembered getting a steam lobster that smelled like bleach. I asked the waitress to take it back as there was something wrong. I got a new lobster a few minutes later. I enjoy the baked stuff lobster and always treated it as my summertime treat.
Quabbin Park Cemetery
The Quabbin Park Cemetery is located in Ware, Massachusetts. It's most famous for being the resting spot for those buried in towns that were eliminated for the Quabbin Reservoir.
Quabbin Park Cemetery was developed in 1931-32 to house 7,613 graves from the disincorporated towns of Greenwich, Dana, Prescott, and Enfield, after taking 81.,000 acres of land to create an enormous reservoir for Boston.
The graves were moved from 34 cemeteries in the four towns.
One Indian gravesite was not moved as the locals couldn't properly remove the graves as many sites were unmarked.
7,613 graves were moved from 34 cemeteries scattered throughout eight towns.
Various war memories that use to be in town centers of Greenwich, Dana, Prescott, and Enfield are now located in the cemetery. The cemetery has become a memorial to those towns.
One of the Ware locals told me - years ago - that the bodies were not placed at the gravesites. Instead, all the bodies were placed in a crypt that you see as you drive into the cemetery.Permalink
Nauset Beach at Sunrise
In August we woke up early to catch the summer sunrise at Nauset Beach in Orleans Massachusetts.
Five Things We Learned
- We arrived just as the sun was coming up. We should have planned it better and arrived at about 10-mins before the sunrise to get the best effect.
- There were a few people at the beach but a lot less than it was at the sunset at Ocean Edge the night before.
- There was plenty of open beach for pictures. Most people were on the northern side of the beach - near the parking lot entrance. We parked all the way on the other side giving us plenty of beaches to take family photos.
- We saw a few people leave moments after the sunrise. There were a few people who were sitting on benches enjoying coffee.
- After leaving the beach we stopped at the Chocolate Sparrow for a post sunrise treat. We couldn't go earlier as they don't open until 6:39 am. It was a nice way to treat all those who were crazy enough to get up early.
OceanEdge Beach at Sunset
One of the advances of the some of the towns on Cape Cod is that you can get gorgeous sunset views. Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Brewster offer great sunset views from various beaches.
Recently we stopped at OceanEdge in Brewster and took some fantastic photos of the summer sunset.
Things we Learned
You have to have an OceanEdge beach membership to get on the beach.
You can try some of the nearby public beaches, Ellis Landing Beach, but the beach at OceanEdge seems perfect for photos.
Check the tides before you go. If it's going to be high tides it means that there won't be much of a beach - get there early.
We saw a family that had a fire with S'mores. This is a package deal that you can buy from your waiter.
If you don't want to sit on the sand, you can always sit and watch the sunset from the bar.
There were a lot of people taking pictures. Best to keep walking along the beach so people don't get in your pictures.Permalink