Sunday, May 31, 2009


Our devoted followers will notice we haven't blogged in a couple of weeks, but there's a good reason for our neglect.  For the past 2 weeks the Steens have been jet setting around the globe! By globe I still mean this continent, but we did go to Boston, New York City, Costa Rica, and Washington D.C. (all places we'd never get to see easily if we lived in Utah).  So stay tuned in the next few days as we summarize our whirlwind tour of those exciting places.  

I had never been to Boston before, so when work took me there on May 18th, I was very excited. Boston was of course very prominent in the Revolution, and it was also the first state to legalize gay marriage, which can only be a great source of pride to the Founding Fathers now, wherever they are.  We stayed with Eric and Alisa, our old friends from Provo who relocated to Boston about a year ago.  They were excellent hosts, picking us up from the airport and allowing us to stay with them for a couple of nights.  They are the new, proud parents of a cute little baby boy, Tyler.  

Robyn and me with Alisa, Eric, and baby Tyler

Robyn with baby Tyler - he is just over 2 weeks! (I, Robyn, just fell in love with him - he is so adorable!)

Being the history buff that I am, I was anxious to see all the historic sites, chief among them being Mike's Pastry on Hanover street.

If you ever go to Boston you'd be crazy not to go to this place. I've never seen a larger selection of sweets. We enjoyed cannolis, brownies, and chocolate cheesecake that rivals anything at the Cheesecake Factory. But Boston is most famous for its Revolutionary War history, of course. The Colonial and Revolutionary periods are my favorite to learn about because it was such a harrowing time for our young country and I really believe the best men in our history lived then.

Me, in front of Paul Revere's house, who was blessed to live just down the street from Mike's Pastry. Among the many similarities between me and Mr. Revere, we both lived in a row house.

Two modern day Patriots in the courtyard in front of North Church, where Paul Revere began his famous ride to warn Bostonians of the invading British.

The inside of North Church

Another highlight of our visit was a trip to Walden Pond, made famous by 19th century hippy Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau lived in isolation in Walden Pond for about 18 months, in a homemade cabin not too far from civilization.

Robyn, in a rare display of whimsy, holds hands with Mr. Thoreau

We also visited Salem, site of the now notorious Salem witch trials of 1692. Though they are largely vilified by history now, the witch trials performed an invaluable service by ridding the country of witches, potential witches, witch sympathizers, and enablers. The witch trials show how far our criminal justice system has come since the 17th century. In Puritan Salem in 1692, all one had to do to be tried as a witch was be accused by some crackpot who had some convulsions and claimed she was being tormented by your spirit at night. Hearsay was not only allowable, it was the only form of evidence used to determine if one was a witch or not.

On our way home from Salem we stopped by the bay to get a view of the ocean.

We were freezing.

Our hotel the last night happened to be right across the street from the Necco headquarters. This was a childhood treat Robyn and her family enjoyed. They no longer give tours, but they did give us a nice gift pack of Necco candy, including Necco wafers in all flavors and the chocolate pack, patriotic conversation hearts, and dots on paper.

So that's Boston.


The Larsens said...

Matt I love your post! Sounds like a great trip!!

Jackie (updated profile) said...

I can't tell who looks more pregnant in the first picture, you or Robyn.

Marian said...

Thanks for the post. I love hearing about all the places you visited and see you in the pictures. It makes me long for a trip back there to see you. I LOVE the history in the East.

Holly said...

Oh SOOOO jealous. I have always wanted to visit Boston. Luckily, you guys are posting great pics of the area, which make me almost feel like I am right there with you. The North Church looks beautiful--someone is doing a great job of keeping it up--and the pastry shop looks incredibly tempting. Glad I am far far away. . . Too bad you guys didn't bring your wetsuits, you could have gone for a swim!

Rumsey's said...

Ah! You guys look so cute! I'm excited to see the post from Costa

Heather said...

Fabulous pics. I love that the first site you posted about was a bakery--too funny. It must be very good. Someday I'd love to visit Boston.