Sunday, July 08, 2007

Boston, Baby!

Last February (as in 2006), Joel & I voluntarily bumped ourselves from a flight so that we could receive 2 free tickets on United. We decided to take a trip to Boston this summer using those tickets. It was our first trip just the 2 of us.

We flew out Monday morning and the miracle is that this was all the luggage we brought with us! Just carry-ons! For some, this is not a major accomplishment. But, it is for me! I usually like to bring half my closet with for a 3 day trip. It was actually a really good thing we only had carry ons because we were running a little late and I think we might have missed our flight if we had to wait in the check-in line.

We arrived in Boston mid-afternoon and had one of those "they-must-be-tourists-because-they-don't-have-a-clue-what-they're-doing" moments. You have to take a bus to get to the subway from the airport and we couldn't figure out where we were supposed to go! But, we made it to our hotel and then went out on the town (we were starving by this time!).

We were just blocks from Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market--really old buildings that are now restaurants and shops. We ended up eating at The Purple Shamrock. Then we started walking the Freedom Trail. It was a beautiful afternoon--about 75 degrees and a bit breezy. Just awesome.

If you've ever been to Boston, you know that the Freedom Trail through Boston is a pathway leads you to all of the major Revolutionary War sites. There is actually a painted red line/brick line throughout the city for you to follow. You can't get lost! At every major site there is a large seal (like the one in the picture) in the middle of the line so you know to stop.

We began by going to King's Chapel (built in 1686) and Burial Grounds. Buried here is the woman who Nathaniel Hawthorne is said to have based his character from in The Scarlet Letter. (Joel knew this fact, having just taught the book this year!)

Then is was on to another cemetery--who knew they could be so cool? This was the Granary Cemetery where many Revolutionary War Heroes are buried. The few that I remember are Samuel Adams, John Hancock (his is the biggest headstone in the cemetery, just like his signature!), and Paul Revere.

From there, we passed by Park Street Church (now being renovated) and the State House Building. Then we walked through Boston Commons and the Public Garden (made famous by the 1942 Caldecott Winner, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey). There is a bronze statue depicting a scene from the book in the park. We then tried to ride the swan boats that are also famous, but they were closed (we tried again another day, but got there at 5:01pm and it closes at 5:00!)

We then looped back the way we came and went to a Fife & Drum Concert. We only stayed for about 20 minutes, but it was very cool. They play classic Fife & Drum music from the Revolutionary time period, along with other lesser known music from Great Britain.

Our last stop of the day was at the site of the very first
school in America (we're both teachers, what did you expect?). It is called the Latin School and all that is left of it now is this plaque in the ground. You would walk right past it if you didn't know it was there. It was built in 1635 and has many famous former students, including 4 Harvard Presidents, 5 signers of the Declaration of Independence and it's most famous drop out, Benjamin Franklin. It still operates as an elite school in Boston.

Then it was off to our hotel for a good night's sleep. We had another big day planned for Tuesday!

1 comment:

Ski said...

Wow! I admire you Joel for being able to do all this traveling and be in grad school at the same time. I walked the Freedom trail on an 8th grade trip to the East Coast and I can remember some of the places you mentioned. If you have any interest in history Boston is a great place to go. Glad you had a good time. Sounds like you had nice weather too.