Adventures of the Traveling Totes: What I Did On My Summer Vacation, by Miss Rosie

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I’m Miss Rosie, otherwise known as Linda’s MacKenzie-Childs Traveling Tote, and based on the amount of time I spend with her, I would say that I’m a favorite.  I’ve been waiting to speak for awhile now, and since Linda can think of absolutely nothing to say about this past summer, she is giving me a chance!  Above you see me sitting at the edge of a fountain somewhere in sweltering Washington, DC, cooling off while Linda is wondering how she can either abscond with those gorgeous antique urns on the rear pedestals, or take a quick dip in the pool.  She did neither, much to my relief!  A much more appropriate place for swimming is our favorite beach.  There’s Mr. Fun, Will, Chris and Charlotte at low tide on the flats.

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We spent many days on Cape Cod, relaxing and walking here, where the tide goes out almost a mile and we can see across the bay all the way to Pilgrim’s Monument in Provincetown.  Brewster is on the inside edge of the Cape and besides being famous for these Brewster Flats, it is also the source of these Brewster oysters.  There is nothing quite like them, fresh out of the sea!

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Often I am called upon to carry home leftovers, but not this time.  Are you drooling?  Are you a fan?  Of oysters or the beach?

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One more photo of the beach as the sun starts to set. Boston is right below the setting sun.

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Speaking of the city where Linda has left a few bits of her heart, yes, we made some trips to Boston.  We never tire of walking the Freedom Trail or looking at the architecture or visiting the historic sites.  The State House, which towers over the edge of Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail, has a cornerstone which was laid by Paul Revere and Sam Adams.

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The gold dome was originally made of wood, but Paul Revere covered it in copper to stop it from leaking.  Later it was covered in 23K gold foil, then painted black to comply with WWII blackout regulations!  It was re-guilded in 1997 and shines beautifully.  It is easy to see from many places in the city as the location was chosen because of the height of Beacon Hill, once a cow pasture.

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The dome is topped by a “lantern” and a pinecone.  It is not a pineapple! Such fruit is not native to Massachusetts, while the pinecone represents the forests which gave rise to much industry in the area.

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Not far from the State House, George Washington, astride his magnificent horse, stands in the middle of Boston Common.  Monuments and memorials to George are everywhere in the city, even though he once thought New Englanders to be unbearable and uncivilized.

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 He changed his mind after he watched their successful efforts to temporarily drive the British from the colonies in March 1776 by hauling cannons up the steep Dorchester Heights hill in the dark of night, so that the British troops awoke to see those cannons all pointing down on them.  Surprise!  This tower commemorates the event.

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There it is off in the distance.  It can also be seen from many places in the city, including Charlotte’s neighborhood.  Linda was kicking herself for leaving our real camera home on this occasion.  I don’t know why she does that, as I am the perfect bag to hold it when she’s not clicking away.  So I’ll give you this iPhone pic for now.  We will go back for a better shot.

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Boston is also a modern city, with the iconic John Hancock buildings (the small one is the original one and the glass is the new) and the Prudential building.  Do you remember when the Hancock building was first built and it was losing its windows?  They would fall to the ground when the building swayed in the sea breezes from Boston harbor.  The building is still studied by architecture students as an example of what not to do, and how to fix it when you don’t listen.

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Another site that should not be missed, but which many tourists do not see, is Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.  This is also studied today by architects and landscape architects.  Its park-like grounds were designed in the 1820s and is considered one of the first public parks in America.  Here, the cemetery is seen as a “sleeping place” rather than a church burying ground, and is indeed very peaceful.

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The grounds are made for strolling and reflection, and the monuments are quite beautiful.

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The chapel has a most unique sundial.   Read.

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Many famous people rest here, and although George is elsewhere, in typical Boston fashion, there is a monument to him in the form of this tower.

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Linda does NOT like tight spaces but was determined to get a photo for you, so we climbed to the top and were rewarded with this view of Boston.  Can you find the Hancock building?

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And where was I?  Well I know I was there and I was willing to pose but as it took all Linda’s willpower to stand next to the edge and snap this shot I was ignored.  At least she wasn’t as bad as the poor woman who was clinging to the stair railing and wouldn’t go up or down!  Do you do heights?  Or teeny tiny dark spaces?

I know you already saw our tour of Nora Murphy’s Connecticut Country House, but you didn’t see me pose, so here I am in Nora’s dining room.

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And I know you didn’t see the antique shop set up at one of the houses on the tour that day, so enjoy.  The metal item with the hearts on the shelf is now at our house, an anniversary present to Linda from Mr. Fun!  Can you guess what it is?  (hint:  it’s from France)

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It once topped a little house pour un chien ~~ a very lucky and well loved dog, it seems!  Now it’s in our living room waiting for the perfect spot.  Linda loves it.  Someone please tell me the correct name for doghouse in French.  I tried to find out, but the web did not come through this time, instead giving me too many conflicting answers.  Un chien?  Du chien? Niche à chien?  Oh mon dieu.

Have you been to the National Cathedral in Washington, DC?  If not, you must go.  We have been before, but this time the bells were ringing and the ringers were trying to do a peal.  The grounds are gorgeous and we are going for a tour of the bells sometime this winter!!  We can’t wait!!!!  Have you been up to the top to the ringing chamber?  The staircase is supposed to be very tiny and hot and dark, but we (Linda and I) are determined to get up to the top.  Linda did not make it to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, but just to the last landing before the minuscule, winding, only-wide-enough-for-one-skinny-person-staircase-with-no-room-to-turn-around-if-someone-came-the-other-way (at least in her imagination).  The National Cathedral website describes the two climbs to the ringing chamber and up the Gargoyle staircase here.  Could you do it?   !!!!!

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Washington DC is home to some excellent friends so we have many opportunities to visit with natives and see the less frequented sites.  After seeing so many monuments to George in Boston it was fun to visit Tudor Place, home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter, who was also named Martha.  It is a National Historic Landmark in the Georgetown section of Washington and overlooks the Potomac River.  The family could see the White House burning in Washington during the British invasion in the War of 1812, when Dolley Madison famously carried George’s portrait out of the burning building.  Can you imagine looking out of your drawing room windows and witnessing this event?  History is really so fascinating.  And can you see me sitting on the porch steps?  I’m just a tiny dot!  This should give you a good idea of the size of this building!

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The website is full of beautiful photos and info.  We toured the grounds quickly as the oppressive heat was too much for Linda and me.  The fountain in the first photo of this very long post is on the grounds.  Also these paths ~~ it looks cool and shady but it was not.  It seldom is cool in DC!  And usually humid, too.  I’m never without a bottle of water in one of my pockets!

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On another occasion we visited the Woodrow Wilson House.  I know you are thinking “how boring could this be” but these houses are fabulous and a good docent makes it memorable!  Here’s the gorgeous front.

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Our docent was excellent, and as we were only two on the tour, we saw some secret places, like the wine cellar (it was Prohibition time!):

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~~ and Linda had the chance to play President Wilson’s Steinway piano!   ~~   It was definitely a highlight of this trip!

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It was in the drawing room next to the French tapestry that was too risqué for Mrs. Wilson (nude cherubs and other such French things 🙂 )!

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This neighborhood is home to many embassies, including the former location of the Chinese embassy which had this on the grounds.

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I was a little fearful sitting at the feet of this bear but luckily I had the chance to pose with a great man a few weeks later.

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It’s the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.  Have you been to a park yet?  We have been to several!  This one is excellent.

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Now if you are driving up Route 95 be sure to stop off in New Haven and visit the Yale Art Gallery.  Here you can see such diverse objects as these beauties all in adjacent galleries!

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Or you can visit the textile galleries.  I posed with these Andean antiques which are part of a special exhibit.

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Here’s Linda in the reflection but we can’t remember who this creature could be.  Do you know?

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We must have come back to these things a million times as Linda was fascinated.

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Her favorite, I think:

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We were thinking this would be perfect for our foyer.

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This museum even has something for the dishaholic, which I know many of our friends are.  These are Presidential patterns from the White House but there are all types, from flow blue to modern.

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These stairs were not a problem for us.

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As a reward to those of you still here, I’ll share a little shopping fun.  Lilly Pulitzer had this pink deliciousness in the window and we want one.  Don’t miss the seat.  I would fit perfectly in the basket!

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And yesterday we stopped at Terrain, just for you!  They are busy putting up harvest time decor.

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Or, if you prefer Juliska, we stopped there too, where I am quite popular as the shop owners are huge MacKenzie-Childs fans.  It’s a small world!

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I know museums and parks and historic homes are sometimes seen as inspiring nothing but yawns, but if you haven’t been to one lately we hope we’ve inspired you to find one and go!  And if you know of one we should see, please do tell!  

Or tell us about your love/fear of heights and close spaces and historic homes and Washington and Boston and Juliska and all these other things because Linda needs to know she is not the only one who finds these things so fascinating.

Thank you for coming along on our travels!

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Please visit our other Traveling Tote friends:

Sarah     Rita     Debbie     Patti

and Emily who is having a wonderful giveaway for our readers!

Miss Rosie (for Linda) 🙂

joining the fun at Foodie Friday and Everything Else!

21 thoughts on “Adventures of the Traveling Totes: What I Did On My Summer Vacation, by Miss Rosie

  1. What a FABULOUS job you did, Miss Rosie… Tell Linda the photos are gorgeous! I would love to meet you two if you ever come back to Boston! And Rosie… tell Linda that because of her tour of Nora’s house, I sent her link to my Sista and she re-did her dining room to look just like Nora’s. Sista tells me that she won’t open any more links of mine because it costs her money. Hope you and Linda enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

  2. Linda, er, I mean Miss Rosie, these are some great places you’ve been this summer! I also love the beach, but oysters not so much. I have been on the Freedom Trail too, and am totally enthralled with the history of the making of our nation. Who knew what Paul did to that dome to stop leaking (copper) that it would be the same solution for my balcony 200 yrs later?!!
    Love DC too, and the Cathedral is outstanding. I’m not afraid of heights; well, I’ll dare myself to try most scary things at lesst once. My summer trip included a few of those instances!
    The parks, the tours, the galleries – I enjoyed all of your visits, and thank you for sharing. What a summer!
    Lilly, Terrain, Juliska- yes, yes, and yes!

  3. Miss Rosie, It sounds like your summer was very busy but certainly pleasurable. I understand the fear of heights and tight places. I was “as bad as the poor woman who was clinging to the stair railing and wouldn’t go up or down”. It happened to me in the Arc de Triomphe. The 287 stepped spiral staircase is intense! My husband told me to look down when I was almost to the top and I freaked out. I backed into a niche and didn’t want to go any further…my husband pulled me the rest of the way up. 😀

  4. Dear Miss Rosie. wow you’ve had a wonderful summer helping our friend Linda with her travels. I know she depended on you a lot and you sure look like you were enjoying your travels. Maybe when I get to Boston you can help me plan my agenda since you are familiar with the city. Love all the great photos, I feel like I’ve just toured there! My heart did a little flip when I saw you had visited my favorite new china shop, Juliska and I love you in Nora’s dining room. Yes, you and your friend Linda have inspired me to get to Boston. Thanks for the tour and tell Linda she did great!

  5. Miss Rosie certainly had a great summer…I am not familiar with the GW tower (where you took the distant photo of Boston – what town is that in? It is always fun to see familiar places in your posts. I love how we are documenting all of these travels and can share with each other!!

    1. Hi Patti, The Washington Tower is inside the Mount Auburn Cemetery which is in Cambridge near the Watertown border. You should definitely go there on a clear day as you can also see a view of western Mass and other parts of New England from the top! Linda

  6. Miss Rosie, you have been one traveling girl! I think you might just get tapped as a travel blogger. Great job, my dear! I love the beach, but you may eat my oysters. I’ll take the lobster though! I’ve been to many national parks. Aren’t we lucky that our country values these historical and natural parts of the US? And by the way, that Panda looks great sporting your Courtly Checks! Thanks for taking us along on all these adventures.

  7. Oh Miss Rosie, you sure had a fun and adventurous summer visiting fabulous places. It must be difficult to pick a favorite. There are a few more weeks, left so enjoy! Jill

  8. Yes to the Brewster Oysters! We are big fans of oysters, and on the beach YES! We get oysters from our “fish man” that comes to our area every Thursday. He had oysters today!

    Miss Rosie would fit nicely in that sweet Lilly Pulitzer bike basket! Love the seat!

    Linda, take a video and share with us. I would love to hear you play the piano and how awesome that you got to play on President Wilson’s Steinway piano!

    Your summer certainly has been special!

  9. Miss Rosie: I have thoroughly enjoyed the tour! I, too, enjoy old, historic homes, and I am so happy that Linda got to play in Woodrow Wilson’s piano! I am not usually afraid of heights, but I often worry that I’m holding others up during the climb. You see, I walk very slowly because of bad knees and bone spurs. However, two years ago, I became determined to climb to the External Terrace at the front of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. It was an arduous climb for me, since the steps were steep, and the stairs rather poorly illuminated, but once on top, I was so happy I did it. The view was spectacular! So, Miss Rosie, please continue to encourage Linda to climb, so she can continue to keep us entertained . . . and you, too, of course!

  10. Dear Miss Rosie – That was quite an adventure, and I’m glad to hear that you were up to the task of watching out for your Linda. I love Boston too, though my ancestors were not on the side of Mr Revere and company. Some of them ended up in Nova Scotia – you’d love to visit there!
    Thanks for the tour!

    1. Hi Pondside! You are right about Nova Scotia. We visited the beautiful island on our honeymoon many years ago and loved it. And we recently visited the Canadian area around St. Stephen, New Brunswick, just over the Maine border, where there are monuments to the Loyalists who escaped to there from Boston and the other colonies. My hubby is such a history buff and we loved thinking about the times from the point of view of those Loyalists. We don’t always get that perspective here! Thank you for visiting and reading about our summer adventures! Linda

  11. Miss Rosie, you are a wonderful guide to all of yours and Linda’s fun summer. I am traveling to Boston, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantuckett this month. I enjoyed all of your adventures but particularly Boston and Cape Cod! Please thank Linda for the beautiful photos…Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend! Pam @ Everyday Living

  12. Too much fun Linda, you are so smart to turn the narrative over to the star, Miss Rosie, she did a fabulous job! I loved the various tours and all the interesting history, and of course the shopping! You and Miss Rosie have had quite the summer visiting so many historical and fascinating places. I’m not much of one for tight spaces, winding stairs and high spots so I admire your courage and personal sacrifice to bring us those photos 🙂

  13. Miss Rosie, Linda should let you talk more often…you are a great tour guide have been quite the traveler this summer! We are oyster fans. When we visited Seattle and Vancouver BC several years ago we thought we had died and gone to oyster heaven. I haven’t been to DC in way too long and my hubby has never been. I’m not afraid of heights but winding spiral stairs with two way traffic is NOT my idea of a good time. We pass on climbing lighthouse stairs if they are too crowded. P.S. Tell Linda that we would love to see more of what’s in store for the harvest or holiday season at Terrain and Juliska 🙂

  14. Very cute post from the tote’s perspectives! I love your photos too. Boston has so much shared history, like where I am originally from in Philadelphia. I could spend weeks there exploring. The cemetery has much one can learn also. The tote with Lincoln was such a cute photo.

  15. Awww Miss Rosie, you’re the perfect tour guide to all the historic and beautiful spots you’ve been to this summer. I’ve sadly, never been to the spots that you visited, but I thank you for taking me along with you. No, I don’t like heights, or tight spaces, but Linda did an amazing job of getting those pictures for all of us to enjoy. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to visit some of those places.
    P. S. Linda, thank you for thinking of me on my trip to paradise. Thankfully, the Hurricanes stayed away from us and we had a wondeful time!! This Saturday, I’m leaving for Savannah and Charleston with two lady friends!

  16. ooo, and I meant to add that I hope your owner, Linda, is having more fun less laundry today….i am off for an afternoon with 11 friends, Bunco, lunch and shopping….WOO HOO.

  17. Miss Rosie, I’m a tad late hearing about your adventures but I had a lovely time seeing all your stops today.I learned several things I didn’t know, for instance ,the gold on the dome of the state house and Terrain is a new store for me. My husband climbed the stairs at St. Paul’s a few years back and said he had thoughts of not making it but he did. I declined to try. Linda, must be in top notch shape to climb all those stairs.I enjoy hearing about your adventures.

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