January 2, 2020 – Franklin Park (Including Schoolmaster Hill Ruins)

Today Wilma and I Adventured to Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Franklin Park is the largest park in the Emerald Necklace at approximately 527 acres. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1890s. Franklin Park includes: trails, history, a public golf course, Schoolmaster Hill and the ruins, Scarboro Pond, and the Franklin Park Zoo.

We had an unexpected Adventure to Franklin Park. My initial plan was to visit the ruins at Schoolmaster Hill and then likely head to the Arnold Arboretum nearby. However, not knowing exactly where it was located we parked and began walking. I soon realized we were in Franklin Park, and decided to just explore, and hopefully locate the Schoolmaster Hill in the process. We immediately stumbled on Scarboro Pond, and decided to walk on the loop around this Pond. The Pond was simple, but lovely, filled with ducks and framed by two two bridges on the near and far ends. The people we passed were friendly, which is not something I would have expected in the city. Along this tiny loop we found a map to help us navigate our route.

After Scarboro Pond we headed on the main loop around the Park. The Park was centered by the golf course, and the clouds and sun were just right. We passed various things including a playground and cafe before arriving at the Schoolmaster Hill. I was so excited to head up the Hill to check out the ruins. We arrived at the ruins after a short walk up the Hill, trotting through the ruins several times, appreciating each moment of the experience. Wilma appeared extra curious, jumping up, putting her front paws up to look through, and peaking into each corner. I absolutely loved the ruins, they were beautiful. Definitely exceeded my expectations! (Please see below for a video as well as numerous photographs).

After spending time at Schoolmaster Hill we continued to explore the Park, including: The 99 Steps/Ellicott Arch, and Scarboro Hill with the “vista” lookout. We spent about two and a half hours walking on the paved trails, and trying to see what we could find. I absolutely loved watching the sun setting the clouds were framed by all colors, and sunlight creating a spectacular scene. I wish this beauty was easier to capture on camera. As you may expect the sunset and ruins were my favorite parts of today’s Adventure, while Wilma loved walking along the stone fences, jumping on the rocks, and the expected walking and sniffing. Although I had heard of Franklin Park I never thought of exploring it until our accidental find. So glad we could Adventure to Franklin Park today (Rating: 3.5)

November 14, 2020 – Boston Common – Massachusetts

Today Wilma and I Adventured to the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston Common is located in downtown Boston. It was established back in 1654 making it the oldest urban park in the country. Boston Common is rich in history, and is a popular location for gathering with friends, walking, and ice skating in the winter months.

We had a squirrel-filled Adventure to the Boston Common (haha). Surprisingly I was able to locate meter parking nearby and off we went. Today was a dark New England day with remnants of color still scattered about and leaves blowing poetically in the breeze. We walked and explored venturing to all corners of the Common. There were memorials, endless belly heavy squirrels, lots of paths, and of course the empty frog pond. We also located the Central Burial Ground on our walk, however no dogs allowed so we just peered in the gate.

Throughout our Adventure Wilma was somewhat out of control loosing her mind with the squirrels. Likely due to their lack of fear and overly friendly personalities causing her to get dangerously close to these brave creatures. I can just imagine what the other canine friends thought about the screaming suburban girl who kept trying to climb the trees. I do not even think Wilma realized I joined her on this Adventure (haha). Wilma did stop to greet several visitors but mostly was hyped with the city squirrels. The Common was busy with culture and companionship creating quite the family feel. There were endless dog visitors many off leash. So glad we could visit the Boston Common today (Rating: 3.5).

August 5, 2020 – Brookline Reservoir Park – Massachusetts

Today Wilma and I Adventured to Brookline Reservoir Park in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Brookline Reservoir Park has a trail around the Brookline Reservoir of approximately one mile in length.  Brookline Reservoir is a water supply for Boston.  The Park is popular for walking, jogging and fishing.

We had a nice Adventure to the Brookline Reservoir Park.  I was planning a trip to Rhode Island but with the last minute changes to COVID travel guidelines we changed to this back up plan.  I had been curious about the Brookline Reservoir Park for some time, so was pleased to finally visit.  The Park has been under construction and re-opened in June.   I was thankful to find available parking as we started our Adventure late arriving at 9:30.

As I had read in my research the “trail” requested a one-way traffic pattern.  I appreciated this for several reasons, including the COVID precautions.  We began on our walk around the Reservoir, surprised to find few visitors.  There was not much to see, but we still enjoyed our walk.  The path had numerous benches, and besides endless geese poop it was quite clean.  We took our time as Wilma appeared quite warm in the sun.  Wilma engaged in a humorous, random roll in the middle of the walking path, and laid down to rest as needed.  She loved smelling the trees and often smiled at me as we trotted, my sweet girl.  Although the path was a bit unappealing a good change of pace on this warm day.  So glad we could Adventure to the Brookline Reservoir Park today (Rating:  3.5).

 

 

July 24, 2020 – Belle Isle Marsh Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation in Boston, Massachusetts.  Belle Isle Marsh is Boston’s last salt marsh.  The Reservation is managed by the Department of Reservation and is approximately 240 acres in size.  It encompasses various trails, including a .6 mile loop.  The Reservation is popular for walkers, nature lovers, and bird watchers.

We had a mosquito-filled Adventure to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation.  I was excited to have My Mom join us and visit this park which has caught my curiosity for some time.  We arrived to find the parking lot almost completely empty.  We began our journey, and found some nearby rangers who warned us of the mosquitoes and offered their bug spray.  We decided to agree to this kind gesture and utilized the bug spray before carrying on to our Adventure.  Belle Isle Marsh Reservation was beautiful, lovely wild flowers, boardwalks, and green framed marsh views.  Planes from Logan flew over on occasion adding some drama to the scene. The mosquitoes were rough but we continued on determined to see the Reservation.  We enjoyed a climb up a tower providing panoramic views of the area.  Wilma was quite enthused with this climb, always looking back to make sure her precious Grandma was nearby.  This was a fun feature in the Reservation.

Our plan was then to watch some baby osprey being banded by the rangers.  However as we ventured farther into the marsh the mosquitoes became brutal, I do remember EVER seeing anything like it.  I figured I would be fine, but I was soooo wrong.  The mosquitoes were so vicious that there was no way we could sit and watch any activities with the rangers.  I was very disappointed to miss this special opportunity but it was clear to both of us that it was not an option. However, we managed to walk around the loop, almost panicked at some points by the attacks.  Luckily it did not seem like Wilma was bothered by the mosquitoes until near the end when she would often roll and clearly was becoming irritated with them.  I felt badly about this and hope that she was more bothered by feeling them on her then any real bites (as she does not like when a fly, piece of grass, or anything is on her fur).  However she loved trotting around, exploring the trails, climbing the tower and checking out the marsh views.  The Reservation was unique, but I can promise you we will never be back.  Although strangely we still were glad to visit another location today (Rating:  3).

 

July 15, 2020 – Deer Island – Massachusetts

Today Wilma and I Adventured to Deer Island in Boston, Massachusetts.  Deer Island is a Peninsula in Boston that is part of the Boston Harbor Islands.  You can drive to the Island after crossing the town of Winthrop.  The Island has a long history, including:  serving as a prison camp for Native Americans during King Philip’s War, and a home to immigrants and refuges during the Irish Potato famine.  The Island has five miles of trails including an almost three mile loop.  It currently is the location for the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, which both treats and recycles waste.  The Island is popular for walking, jogging, biking, and fishing.

We had a misty Adventure to Deer Island.  We arrived at about 8am and I was quite thrilled to find a parking spot as the Island reviews indicated they are often limited.  We began our walk around the main loop an almost three mile paved path.  It was sprinkling, and somewhat misty as we began.  I was surprised to find myself quite impressed with the beauty of the “trail”.  There were many colorful wildflowers, and the waves were quite grand, loud and raging.  Wilma often preferred to walk along the stone/cement wall, my rock loving girl.  There were parts of the path where the waves actually crashed so high they spurted water over us and the path.  I found this little natural feature so fun, although Wilma was not a huge fan of these unexpected showers.

I would guess we were about halfway around the Island when we found a little beach, centered by a breakwater, featuring purple tinted rocks.  We normally would have wandered down the breakwater but there was a fisherman at the end so we decided to give him his space and explore the beach.  I was disappointed to find a lot of litter on the shore, but sadly to be expected on a city beach.  However we did our best to ignore this and appreciate the sand, shells, seaweed, lobster traps, and the water.  Wilma loved sniffing around, and digging and running chaotically.  She sometimes waded into the water, but dramatically bounded back when any type of wave appeared.  A fun little diversion from the “trail”.

We then continued on the path along Boston Harbor.  We soon found a spectacular view of Boston, so impressive.  As we walked further the sky began to slightly clear, with dashes of blue between the clouds.  I could not get enough of this view, and guess it must be one of the best skyline view of Boston.  I took numerous photos of this scene, and dreamed about the zoom lens I wish I owned.  Definitely one of my favorite parts of this walk as I love seeing the Boston skyline.

Throughout our walk the “trail” varied from a small path to opening up, to providing opportunities to walk on the rocks, to scenic vistas – paths off the trail.  There were benches along the way to sit, relax, and enjoy the ocean views.  An interesting aspect to Deer Island was the Treatment Plant which added various structures parallel to the “trail”.  There was only one small part of the path where I noticed an odor, but thankfully that was a short part of our journey.  We were able to view kiosks throughout to learn more about the location and history. Near the end of our walk we found several memorials, including the Irish Memorial, and the Judge A. David Mazzone Memorial.

I was very happy to be surprisingly impressed with Deer Island.  The large waves made my mind think of movies where there is an ocean storm – just something I cannot describe in words but the sounds and the scene were majestic.  The colorful wildflowers, combined with the unique structures of the Plant made for a distinctive experience.  I loved the path too, quite pristine and quiet, I guess a perk of minimal parking.  Although several things made me debate the rating I overall was very pleased with Deer Island, and look forward to returning in the future (Rating:  4).

 

 

 

Weekly Video/Photo

If you regularly follow my blog, and the weekly/video photo I would recommend skipping on to paragraph three, specific to this week’s video/photo.  I have decided to add a weekly video/photo section to my blog.  This blog will display a video or photo, usually highlighting an Adventure, while I might also sneak in some that are humorous, adorable, or just other fun dog moments.

So if you have followed my blog from the beginning you will know that I adopted Shadow as a puppy, and about a year later adopted Buster as a puppy.  We had many wonderful years together before experiencing the devastating loss of Buster at just seven.  It took a long time for our hearts to heal, but almost a year later we welcomed little Wilma into our world.

Today’s feature is a photo of Shadow and Wilma from the Arnold Arboretum, an Arboretum of Harvard University in Massachusetts.  It was take last month at one of our many visits.  This is a beautiful location, and is a great place for a dog walk.  In this photo the orange leaves of autumn are scattered over the ice of winter as the seasons merge.  If you live locally I would definitely recommend you visit the Arboretum, although of course much more colorful in the spring and summer.  If you want to read more about our first Adventure to Arnold Arboretum you can type it into the search box.   On to Winter we go!

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Throwback Adventure – Castle Island – Massachusetts

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In April of 2018 Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Castle Island in Boston, Massachusetts.  Castle Island is located on the shores of Boston Harbor.  Castle Island was formerly an Island, but was connected in 1982 by land, therefore creating a peninsula.  At the top of the land is Fort Independence, the oldest fortified military site in British North America.  Castle Island is the home to the Popular Sullivan’s restaurant, and is a favorite summer spot for Boston locals.

We had a windy Adventure to Castle Island.  I was quite pleased to visit Castle Island as it is a location I had heard about often.  As on many occasions we decided to explore Castle Island in off-season.  There were paths along the Fort, and airplanes flying throughout.  We enjoyed walking next to the Fort, the walls towering high above us, and checking out the views.  Castle Island was not the cleanest spot, but I guess that is to be expected in a more urban setting.  We were glad to visit a new location and enjoy a long walk.  As per my usual Throwback blogs I had some difficulty locating photographs, but I did find some to represent our Adventure as well as a video along our stroll (Throwback Adventures will not always be rated).

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July 10, 2019 – Boston Public Garden – Massachusetts

Today Wilma and I Adventured to the Boston Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Boston Public Garden is a large park in Boston, Massachusetts.  It was the first public botanical garden in the United States.  The Friends of the Public Garden and Common works to preserve the Garden, and also various other locations in the city.

We had a metropolitan Adventure to the Boston Public Garden.  Today was a unique Adventure for Wilma as she was solo, without big brother Shadow.  Wilma had an early morning appointment, while Shadow was relaxing at the Grandma and Grandpa spa we figured it was a good opportunity for some training, and an energetic walk.  I also did not feel Shadow would have enjoyed this Adventure due to the heat so we felt it would be a good day for both.

We began our Adventure to the Boston Public Gardens with some challenges with parking, however eventually decided to go for the Charles Avenue parking garage.  Valet parking seemed a bit affluent for me, however it appeared to be the best option, and really the only possibility.  The walk to the Garden followed a small side walk lined with many shops, restaurants, and businesses.  I found this to be a great urban training experience for Wilma as she took in all the new smells, sounds, and sites.

It did not take a long to arrive at the entrance to the Garden.  I was excited to visit the Garden, a place I had been thinking about visiting for a couple of weeks.  Although I have been to the nearby Boston Commons, I do not remember ever having visited the Garden.  The Garden was well manicure, with flowers, historic statues, and was centered by the scenic Lagoon. We made sure to walk around the entire Garden, not wanting to miss a thing.  We often took breaks, sitting in the shade, and hydrating on this extra-warm early afternoon.

Wilma’s highlights of the Adventure included:  chasing pigeons, relaxing in the shade, and the hunt of the overly-friendly city squirrels. She also appeared keen on walking on the cement around the Lagoon, peering at the swan boats, and watching the ducks.  Wilma was very curious about her new environment, however appeared quite content. My favorite parts included:  the Make Way for Ducklings Statue, the gorgeous flowers, the Lagoon and surrounding scenery, and watching Wilma experience a new environment.  We were grateful for a new Adventure, natural shade, and time to train.  The Boston Public Garden is definitely a fun place to explore (Rating:  3.5).