Travelogue -- Day Three, Historic Quincy
Monday morning Chris and I left about the same time Kathy left for the downtown bank where she works. We met Dave and Rose again at the condo, but this time went straight to the Coachhouse Restaurant for Fiesta Pancakes - another taste treat from the past -- but this time, as good as we remembered. We had Fiesta Pancakes, a big stack of pancakes with lots of strawberries, butter, brown sugar and whipped cream. A short stack was enough to fill me.
After breakfast all four of us drove down to South Park again and saw the old stone bridge at one end of the creek that runs through the park. As children Chris and I didn't go that far very often. My brother, however, who was more adventurous than us girls -- and a good deal more foolish -- went there often. There is access to the city's storm sewer system nearby and Dave and his friends as teenagers use to haunt the sewers under the city in search of rats. Go figure; they enjoyed it.
Chris and I were anxious to take some photographs of the extraordinary architecture in Quincy so we parked the car on Maine Street and took pictures of houses, but David, whose knee was due to be replaced the following week, stayed near the car. Since he couldn't walk with us without pain, we cut that session shorter than we would have liked. Being back home and together, it was hard to remember and accept that we are no longer kids with bodies able to do whatever we want to do.
After a quick visit to the hospital to say hello to Rose's mother, Chris and I said goodbye to our brother, Dave, and Rose and we were on our own again. We headed right back to Maine Street and spent most of the day walking up and down the streets of the East End Historical District snapping shots of the wonderful old houses in Quincy. When we were children we didn't really appreciate what a beautiful old town we lived in, but as adults we realize that Quincy is a real architectural treasure with hundreds of unique houses. The National Geographic Magazine once described the corner of Sixteenth and Maine as the most architecturally significant corner in the United States. There is every period and style since 1850 represented in the very large neighborhood. I especially loved all the flowers and lovely landscaping. We took hundreds of pictures there.
We also went to our old Junior High School to get some pictures. I'm not sure we ever noticed as children what a grand building it was - or the gargoyles that guarded the East entrance. Like most children, we took so much for granted. The security guard noticed Chris and I taking pictures and took us inside. They are now in the process of restoring the old building to its former glory, complete with a lovely little atrium. What a trip to get to see it inside, too.
We also found some time Monday afternoon to visit the old cemetery that was just a few blocks from our house. We had never been through the old gate as children, but Chris loves old cemeteries and she wanted to see it. I'm glad we did. It was not your average graveyard. Woodland Cemetery is old, of course, and very hilly, overlooking the Mississippi River. I found it fascinating, as well. I especially loved the old vine-covered mausoleum and an underground building curiously called City Vault.
From there we drove up State Street, a street that seems to have hardly changed since our youth. We got back to Kathy's house a few minutes before she got home from work. That evening we ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant named Tiramisu close to the river. The meal was excellent; Chris and I both had Tortellini alla Panna, marvelous stuffed pasta pockets in cream sauce with ham, mushrooms, and peas. It was nice to have a superb dinner out our last night in Quincy. We drove down by the river after we left the restaurant and took pictures of the Mississippi at sunset. There is something about that river that never leaves you when you are raised near it.
We decided it would be nice to end our visit to our hometown by making a vinegar pie so on our way back to Kathy's we bought the ingredients we would need. When we got home it was fairly late so each of us set to work at different tasks. I made a piecrust while Chris assembled the filling. Kathy's job was to find a pie pan, which proved to be the most challenging. By ten we had a pie cooling while we played scrabble.