In Massachusetts we spent time in Boston and Quincy. In Boston, we attended the admission information session at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and took a guided tour of the campus. In Quincy, we visited John Adams’ house and took a guided tour of the church he and his family attended. Our most memorable experiences in Massachusetts consist of an utterly satisfying pastry breakfast right next to MIT’s campus, delicious Italian gelato in Quincy, the chaotic Boston T train, the extremely touristy Harvard Square, MIT’s dynamic energy, John Adams’ impressive home library, and a most enthusiastic tour guide named Tom at John Adams’ family church.
Having been warned by MIT’s admission staff that there would be no parking near or on campus, we drove for nearly an hour from Providence, RI, to Quincy, MA, to take the T to Boston. At the T station, I was immediately presented with a completely different picture of life from what I am used to in Campbellsville. People walked at a rapid pace to and from the train station. Most commuters looked young, fit, professionally dressed and in a hurry while getting on and off the trains. The only people not in a hurry were tourists like us. While on the train, most people either closed their eyes or looked at their phones, pretending that the other commuters did not exist. I was happy to see one person reading a book instead of looking at her phone.
As soon as we exited the train station right near MIT’s campus, we noticed our hunger and started looking around for a breakfast restaurant. Walking in the direction of MIT’s admission building, we found a lively place full of MIT students called Blue Bottle Coffee right next to the university. Casting my mind back, I can’t help being reminiscent fondly of the delicious croissant and excellent hot chocolate I enjoyed there. David loved his coffee and the boys raved over their chocolate croissants. In fact, the scrumptious breakfast injected us with much energy and enthusiasm to take on MIT’s admission information session and campus tour.
We had a fantastic time on MIT’s campus. We loved the dynamic energy of the people walking around us, and we found the architecture of the buildings fun and whimsical. We agreed with the admission philosophy and criteria communicated to us during the information session. Our tour guide provided our group with much fascinating information about MIT’s academic and residential life in which the students feel free to be themselves and explore their diverse interests not only in academic research but in practical know-how as well. Another reason we enjoyed this campus a great deal was the variety of good ethnic food we found there. Indeed, after our stimulating experiences at MIT, this university became Jacob’s first choice, which is both wonderful and intimidating since the admission rate at MIT is incredibly low and the standardized test score requirements are extremely high.
After MIT, we walked to Harvard Square in Cambridge to have lunch. At Harvard Square, we were instantly shocked by the heavy traffic, thickly polluted air, chaotic energy and the touristy throngs everywhere. After much walking and searching, Jacob and I got our to-go lunch at a Poke Bowl (Hawaiian seafood) restaurant, and David and James got their fish-and-chips takeout from an upscale restaurant. Longing for some peace and quietude, we took our food to Harvard University’s campus to eat them on the finely manicured lawn. After enjoying our surprisingly delicious lunch, we felt simply exhausted by all the chaotic energy we had experienced earlier and had to lie down to rest right there in the middle of Harvard University.
Another place of great interest to us in Massachusetts is Quincy where John Adams’ home and church are located. John Adams is one of our American heroes, and we had to go on a so-called pilgrimage to his hometown. At his family church, we got to see his family pew and his burial chamber as well as his tomb and that of his wife Abigail. When our sweaty but enthusiastic 82-year-old guide Tom told us most emphatically, “Without John Adams, we wouldn’t have a country,” David knew he found a kindred spirit.
Thank you for reading about our family adventures. Until next time.