A Field Trip to Boston
It was a day of firsts for our recently rescued Golden, Mr. Franklin. We began our adventure in Quincy, where he experienced his first Mother’s Day brunch. We brought a bouquet of red tulips for both, Courtney, our sister-in-law, and my mother. Then we took a sweet photograph of our handsome boy and our equally as pretty, sister-in-law, substituting for my mother, just for the day.
Franklin is a big boy with a big appetite. Though his dads are vegetarians, my brother’s family is not. Franklin got his first taste of bacon. And boy did he gobble it down. Both he and I were disappointed that he only got one piece. Especially since there was a big plateful of pig leftover. But let’s move on with our journey.
It was a blustery Sunday, too blustery for the beach walk, so our first stop was indoors at our favorite museum in Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). It would be Franklin’s inaugural visit to a museum as my service companion. To get to the exhibits we had to take the glass-enclosed elevator to the fourth floor. Another first for our boy. He watched curiously as we rose between the floors. When the doors opened, he proudly marched out.
I wasn’t sure how Franklin would do surrounded by crowds of people and art displays. There were a few times where he got excitable, but I held his leash tightly and he heeled perfectly. I could tell from the expressions many wanted to pet him. A nicely dressed, matronly woman couldn’t resist taking a photo of him. He posed like a star. She off handedly said, “I know I’m not supposed to pet him, but…..”
I replied, “I know it’s difficult to resist him. But if I let you…,” I looked around the room. “Then all these folks will want a turn.” Several onlookers smiled and nodded their heads. Even the security guy grinned and said, “I’ll be the first in line.”
She understood my conundrum and we moved along. I always feel bad when I say no to someone. Under other circumstance, I would have let her pet Franklin.
The exhibition that day featured works of bright colors. We chose a sculpture by Raul de Nieves, a Mexican-born, New Yorker, for Franklin’s first art pose. It’s a life-size horse, rearing up on its (his) hind legs, covered in sparkling beads and sequins.
As we were leaving, Franklin said, “I never knew museums were so much fun.” (I told you he could talk.)
Now we headed across Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park and walked to the famous North End of Boston, the Italian neighborhood. Along the way, we couldn’t resist stopping for pictures of Franklin at several flower beds of tulips. Another first for our big boy. Tulips were the theme for the day. There were bright red ones and sun-shiny yellows and ones with an orange and yellow mix. My favorite was the reds. They looked like a 3-dimensional painting. They almost looked fake. And Franklin’s light blond fur and my red skull cap contrasted vividly against the rows and rows of red. Passersby stopped to watch us and took pictures of Franklin.
We finally made it to Hanover Street, in the heart of the North End. My grandfather used to take us here for the St. Anthony’s Feast Street Festival. It was where he shucked for me my first quahog when I was a young boy. We’d often go there to buy homemade raviolis, and for pizza at Regina Pizzeria.
It was a crowded Sunday on this Mother’s Day and lots of people said hello to Franklin, but due to the congestive traffic and throngs of tourist we weren’t able to get any pictures of him. We bought four plain cannolis and a whole ricotta pie at Modern Bakery, opened for ninety years and just a two-minute walk from the Paul Revere House. If you’ve never heard of a ricotta pie, it’s a creamy ricotta filling with a hint of lemon and almond that is baked inside of a sweet Italian pie pastry. This dessert is traditionally served at Easter time, but now it’s eaten all year long.
It had been a long fun-filled day of firsts for Franklin, but we could tell our big boy was getting tired. He seemed disinterested in sniffing the grassy field, a clear sign that he was ready for a dog-nap. We decided to forego an Italian dinner at one of the cafés and drive home. Heading back to the garage, along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, something utterly amazing happened, we found a beautiful bouquet of flowers lying on the ground, still wrapped in cellophane, and tied with a ribbon. It’s as though someone had left them there for us.;