Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Closing out season #5: Boston By Foot Tours

Serving as a guide with Boston By Foot is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love learning about history and architecture, and I get great joy from sharing my knowledge and love of my home city.

I'm finishing up my 5th season of tours in October! Even though I was away for a big chunk of May, by my count, I will have logged 29 tours by the end of the season (Oct 31). I'm posting to give you an opportunity to come with me on the last few tours I'll do until May (gosh, that seems like a long time from now!) and also to recap some of the fun I had this season.

So - I'm leading "Heart of the Freedom Trail" at 10 am on Saturday, October 1 and again on Saturday, October 15. It's 90 minutes and covers 10 sites that connect to Revolutionary War history. $12 for adults, $8 for kids (free for members!). It starts at Faneuil Hall next to the Samuel Adams statue.

Later on Oct. 1, I'm attending (just for fun) the Tour of the Month that got rescheduled from August because of Hurricane Irene. It starts at 2 pm at the plaza across from the Somerville Theater. 90 minute, fifteen bucks ($5 for members and guides). Should be very fun - when it ends, you are in Davis Square with all the cool bars and restaurants. Not too shabby!

My last "Boston By Little Feet" of the season will be Saturday, October 8 at 10 am. I love giving this tour mainly because I never know what the kids are going to say. It's one hour and is $8 for everyone (except members who pay $0) and is geared especially for children age 6-12. ALL are welcome and I know several adults and teenagers who have admitted to really enjoying this tour! Same meeting spot (Faneuil Hall by Mr. Adams' statue) and same buildings as Heart of the Freedom Trail. Just a bit of a different take than what I talk about with grownups.

Finally (gulp!) my last North End tour is Saturday, October 22 at 1 pm. Another 90 minute tour, $12 for adults and $8 for kids. It begins on the corner of Cross and Hanover Streets near the Greenway and Mother Anna's restaurant. This is the quintessential Boston tourist tour, but even locals have told me they never realized how much history was packed into this tiny neighborhood.

Now for a few highlights from the season:
  • Giving the North End tour for several co-workers and their friends/spouses
  • Supporting Tours of the Month in Chestnut Hill and the Back Bay
  • Doing the "real deal" of the entire Freedom Trail on the fourth of July, then watching Old Ironsides make her annual turn and cannon salute in Boston Harbor
  • Taking the ferry from Quincy on a beautiful Friday morning in July and sauntering over to Faneuil Hall to start a tour
  • Donning ye olde Pirate Costume to sell "Captain Kidd treasure kits" during Harborfest
  • Supporting "Franklin: A Son of Boston," a special tour during Harborfest.
If you think you know Boston well, come on a tour and find out what you might be missing! If you're one of my friends who doesn't "go into town" much, take the opportunity to remember why it's so cool to live only a 20- or 30-minute subway ride away. February will be here soon enough. Seize the day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Not in Kansas anymore

The view from my hotel balcony, Sunday morning at 6:00 - and the warning posted on the glass sliding doors:

Friday, May 6, 2011

On my way to South Africa

Wildfire 2011, the 5th International Wildland Fire Conference, starts in 3 days in Sun City, South Africa. Their website even has a countdown banner. To get there in time (and with my sense of what day it is more or less intact), I have to leave today.
Early yesterday, I got an email asking if I would speak for a few minutes at the opening of a pre-conference (Monday) workshop. I realized only then that the same workshop I'd been involved in helping launch back in 1999 was the one that the South African folks had adapted and were presenting. That workshop was my introduction into the amazing world of wildfire and was basically my life from 2002-2004, when I was part of the team delivering dozens of workshops around the country.
I'm honored, but also humbled. To think that this idea called Firewise, invented by a few incredibly creative and brilliant people, and nurtured by stubborn bureaucrats like me, has traveled across the world and taken hold in such a different culture is mind-boggling.
I am presenting for 20 minutes on Wednesday. "From an Idea to a National Movement - Firewise in the USA." The title isn't even my original thought. However, it's fitting. I hope to do justice to the people who have done the hard work of moving concepts into action, and to the wonderful relationships that have made it possible for this idea to spread not only from coast to coast, but across the globe.