Day two in Boston we were more prepared for the cold.  
Because us desert girls about froze our skin off the day before.
Luckily Saydi has collected lots of layers of warmth over the years living winters through Boston, and we matched her stuff with our own meager offerings and did the layering in a serious way.

Yep, four down-filled coats on Claire up there.

And Grace had four layers of pants:

Oh yeah, we were ready.
I even wore my fleece pajama pants over all my layers out of desperation and it was the best.
We looked a little like stay-puffed marshmallow-men that second day and boy howdy it made us happy!

We took the “T” in to the city this day.

Gotta love the “orange line” tile showing us the way:

Our first stop was the BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY.

I have always loved that place for it’s beauty…Copley Square in general is one of my favorite places, but Saydi has taken the appreciation of that beautiful building to another level.  She told us all about the extra artistic details I never knew.

She helped us soak in this beautiful iron-work by the same guy who

…and to appreciate these gorgeous mosaic ceilings:

…and these lions that apparently commemorate the Massachusetts Civil War:

Lucy would have been in Heaven with these guys.

Saydi pointed out (from a tour she had had before) that these two ladies on the wall were using modern technology way before it was available…the “tablet” and the “cell phone”…ha!!

The Bates Reading Room was as beautiful as ever with these pretending-to-read girls.

Loved seeing my favorite Boston building out the window: the Hancock Tower.

Aren’t books just so beautiful?

Next we explored the John Singer Sargent murals on the third floor.  Oh man I had never seen these before.  I love John Singer Sargent and these were just so very beautiful.

He  considered these “his most important work,” all clustered in this library along these walls (this particular room was being prepared for an event at the time we visited).

They were painted over a period of thirty years and called “The Triumph of Religion,” show scenes from all kinds of religious progression over the years in all kinds of religion.

By the time Saydi and I were done oooo’ing and ahhhh’ing over all this beauty this is how the girls looked:

Ha!  They were ready to move on to the beautiful courtyard…

…and out to the rest of COPLEY SQUARE.

I know I’ve mentioned this a gazillion times, but I wrote a paper about that Hancock tower in college and right then and there I grew a deep love for that place.  How it reflects the old and the new.

Right here seems like a good place for a flashback picture…

There we go.

We went inside that gorgeous chapel and I wrote a bunch more about how we felt in there, and what it looked like, and how we even sang a little, and how the organ was filling up the space with so much beauty back HERE.

Love the thoughts this good sister of mine shared in that place.

We walked down NEWBURY STREET after that:

And stopped for this Burdick hot cocoa which is kind of like drinking a melted chocolate bar.


I talked about how someone made all these cute little knitted beanies for the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues back HERE.

…which Claire was pretty excited about.

We loved wandering the streets at BEACON HILL, where every nook and cranny was filled with Christmas bursting out of it’s seams, spilling out of every window box.

I’m pretty sure this is the most photographed street ever (above).

From there we started on the FREEDOM TRAIL

Where we purchased the “wrong” kind of Boston hat according to Saydi (Red Sox fan…not the right kind of “B”, but Claire sure loved that thing)…

…and made a visit to the GRANARY BURYING GROUND.

…filled with so many famous graves.

I loved this one honoring Benjamin Franklin’s parents:

Here’s what it says:
ABIAH, his Wife,
Lie here interred.
They lived lovingly together in Wedlock
Fifty-five Years;
And without an Estate or any gainful
By constant Labour, and honest1 Industry,
(With GOD’s Blessing)2
Maintained a large Family
And brought up thirteen Children and
Seven Grand-children
From this Instance, Reader,
Be encouraged to Diligence in thy Calling,
And distrust not Providence.
He was a pious and a prudent Man,
She a discreet and virtuous Woman.
Their youngest Son,
In filial Regard to their Memory,
Places this Stone.

Love the “constant labor and honest industry”, “Be encouraged to Diligence in thy Calling.”  It all just hit me so beautifully standing there among those graves of so many people who were pious, prudent, discreet and virtuous…and for all the things so many of them did not only for our country, but for their families…the very building blocks of our whole society.

I thought these signs were pretty interesting as well:

…and these leaves quite beautiful:


Wish I had time to talk about all the historical significance of that place, but I love it and there’s a link with all the historical awesomeness HERE.

Us Eyres have a weird thing.  Well, lots of them actually, but one of the many is that we like to find ways to get up high in big cities to see awesome views.  (a little more about that in this post back HERE.)

So, Saydi had a grand idea to see if we could get to the top of this old Custom’s Building:

It was Boston’s first skyscraper until the John Hancock building was completed in 1949, and at the time the clock was built it was the largest in America.

The dial on that sucker is 22 feet in diameter.  The minute hand is 13’8″ long.  Whoa!

Anyway, Saydi mentioned she had always wanted to get up to the top, which made Claire and Grace’s eyes sparkle with delight.

They were in for the adventure.

We walked around until we found the entrance…that was a good view of my pj pants btw:)

It is actually a Marriott (leasing the building), and we lucked out and found an elevator right to the top where we walked out to see a pretty spectacular view:

I love that you can see the reflection of the Custom’s House building where we were standing in that glass skyscraper over there:

…and it’s shadow way down below.

We had so much fun up there in the glistening, cold sun, taking in all that beauty stretching out below us.

It wasn’t like it was anything really sneaky to get up there, just a hotel elevator, but for some reason it just made us all a little jubilant that day.

Looking up from below:

From that little adventure, Sayds had to get back to her kids.

So she left us to do some exploring without her.

We headed to the PAUL REVERE HOUSE and the NORTH END.

…where we actually took a little tour of this awesome house I’ve been to the outside of so many times…

…and we learned a ton in there.

So many thoughts on that man, one among many of the revolutionaries but became so famous because of a poem written by Henry Longfellow (“The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”).  
Even though he was one among many, he was quite an exceptional man.  We learned so many cool things about him in that little house with a very knowledgeable tour guide who was apparently quite the expert.

Had to stop for a Mike’s Pastry…

…and on to the OLD NORTH CHURCH, which I adore.

So simple and elegant, and so much historical significance.

We sat in one of the little “family pews” where families would sit during sermons (which are interestingly elevated so they could heat them a little while they listened).

This was the view from our perch while an incredibly animated tour guide brought a group in next to us and told them (and us) all kinds of the coolest things with arms flailing and eyes bugging out with excitement.  Loved every minute of it.

That above picture merits one more flash-back pic of my boy all those years ago:
Oh I love him.
We walked through the HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL there near the North End and I loved sharing it’s reverence with my girls.

They learned so much in that somber, so-tastefully-done memorial.

We walked through the streets on to FANEUIL HALL…

…just in time for the lighting ceremony of the giant Christmas tree there.

Let’s take a little look at what that was like because I’ve got to be honest, it was pretty magical:

We shopped a little bit, and headed back out to Saydi’s after a day well spent…

…where we enjoyed a delicious gourmet meal made by that dear sister of mine:

(she’s the best cook), and soaked in that family of hers for the evening.

…and warmed up our frozen bones with some hot cocoa.


  1. I saw that you and your family drank hot cocoa while you were in Boston…for some reason I thought that Mormons are not allowed to drink hot drinks.. please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.

    1. Great question! Mormons generally follow the Word of Wisdom that refers to "hot drinks." They define these drinks as coffee and tea (green,black,etc). Hot cocoa and herbal teas are not considered against the word of wisdom.

    2. Thanks! Funny how you can hear things about a certain religion and be completely wrong. I had also heard about coffee and tea being on the "no" list, and assumed that it was because of the caffeine in them. Then I heard that it wasn't the caffeine, it was because they were "hot drinks". So some hot drinks are ok but not hot coffee or non-herbal tea? How about non-hot coffee or green/black tea, as in iced coffee or iced tea? Are they ok? And is it because of it harming the stomach in some way if you drink it hot? Thanks again!

    3. To answer your questions:
      1. Hot drinks like hot chocolate and herbal tea are fine.
      2. No iced coffee or iced tea, as those drinks are brewed hot.
      3. I understand the prohibition against those drinks to be due to the high levels of caffeine, which can be addictive. Interestingly, tea and coffee are also pretty bad in terms of staining your teeth yellow!
      – a returned missionary and "actual Mormon"

  2. LOVE this post, Shawni! I am a native Bostonian, and work in the building next to 53 Exchange Place (the tall mirror building near the Customs House!). I walk past the Holocaust Memorial each morning on my to work, and on my way home, and each time I do, I say a prayer for all 6 million "numbers" that are etched into that Memorial. The poem by Martin Niemoller jumps out at me everyday of as a reminder that we can never let others be alone and on their own. Looks like you had an awesome trip, and so fun for me to see my home through your eyes!!!

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