First visit to Boston! I was in the city for a work conference. After it was over, I scheduled a couple of vacation days. I decided to pack as most as I could into one trip.

I opted to purchase a Boston CityPASS for discounted admission into 5 sites. To make it worth the money, you DO need to visit 5 sites–which I did. I chose:

You don’t need a car while in Boston. It’s a walker’s paradise. Everything else you can access using the “T” (subway). I was staying close to Boston Common near the Arlington “T” stop–so easy access to everything.

Besides seeing the sites on my Boston CityPASS, I made sure to do:

My full set of photos are in my Boston/Cambridge Flickr album. Check it out!

After finishing up a work conference in Boston, I decided to schedule a couple of vacation days. On one day, I took the “T” (subway) over to Cambridge and strolled around the campuses of Harvard University and MIT. Lots of great architecture: classic old buildings, plus new ones like Frank Gehry’s Stata Center at MIT.

To tour MIT, take the “T” Red Line to the Kendall/MIT stop. I wound my way through campus, down Vassar Street, to Massachusetts Avenue, and then along the Charles River.

To tour Harvard, you can take the “T” Red Line to the Harvard Square stop. You’ll be right across the street from the historic Harvard Yard. While at Harvard, I used my Boston CityPASS to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

My full set of photos are in my Boston/Cambridge Flickr album. Check it out!

Peoria, Illinois Postcard

Peoria, Illinois is like a second home to me. Here are a few pictures over the past year from being out and about in Peoria.

Driving down Washington Street in Peoria, Illinois, you’ll come across this tall fiberglass statue. Known locally as “Vanna Whitewall” (also Miss Uniroyal, or the Uniroyal Gal), it sits outside the Peoria Plaza Tire.

Displaying a classic pageboy style haircut, she’s been greeting motorists since 1968, and was even hit by a car in 2005. Some say she’s modeled after Jackie Kennedy Onassis. In warmer months she sports a bikini. According to the Peoria Journal-Star, the statue’s owners have her insured for $25,000.

This is the former Peoria State Hospital, also known as Bartonville State Hospital, or the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane. Located in Bartonville, Illinois, the main building (shown below) opened in 1902. The hospital closed in 1973. It’s reported to be haunted (of course).

Abandoned Indiana

Abandoned buildings fascinated me. I don’t always see them as eyesores. They are a window to the past. In Indiana, I’ve driven past plenty of derelict buildings.

Two that stand out to me are the old Electric and Water Works building in Auburn, Indiana and the Jefferson Township School in Dover, Indiana.

Illinois Wind Farm

Driving though rural Illinois, north of Peoria, when I stumbled across a wind farm. These have always fascinated me. Had to pull over and snap a few photos. This is the Camp Grove Wind Farm in Marshall County.

Springfield, Illinois

Drove over to Springfield, Illinois to take in all of the Abraham Lincoln sites, including the family home, plus the state capitol building.

Autumn in Illinois

The leaves were in full Fall mode so I ventured over to the water tower in Peoria Heights, Illinois to take in the view.

In downtown Des Moines for a meeting. During lunchtime, I walked down to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park for a look around on a rainy October day.