Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Boston Adventures

A few weeks ago I headed to Massachusetts for the weekend with a friend. We had plans to explore Boston and also go to a used curriculum sale plus IKEA. A fun weekend all the way around!

Years ago I had walked part of the Freedom Trail with another friend of mine. I have been planning to do this with my boys now for a few years but we haven't been able yet. Nicki & I thought it a good idea to walk it together so we could enjoy it without kids wanting to move on faster than we wanted to. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to spend walking around the city.

We were staying with my aunt and uncle in Hull. By car, Hull is about an hour from Boston - depending on traffic. However, they have a commuter ferry that leaves directly from Hull and it only takes 20 minutes to get there by boat. It's also far cheaper than parking in the city for the day.

We headed off following the familiar red brick path to our first destination - Paul Revere's statue and then on to the Old North Church

The last time I was here was probably in the late 1990s early 2000s. Like I said, it's been awhile. There is a new memorial garden set up in the courtyard of the Old North Church. These are blank dog tags that represent all the deaths of our soldiers since 9/11.

 Just as I had remembered, the Old North Church is just beautiful in its simplicity. There is just something about churches and graveyards that I find fascinating. And on this day, I was able to indulge my love of both. (Admission is by donation. Suggestion of $3/person.)

When we left the church we headed north by accident. We didn't realize at the time that we were headed the wrong way. Technically not the wrong way, but not the way we intended to go. We soon came to Copp's Hill Burying Ground which is someplace I hadn't been before. As I mentioned earlier. I find graveyards strangely fascinating.

The really cool part about the old graveyards in Boston is the history buried there. We found many stones dating back to the 1700s and some even in from the 1600s. There were many from the Revolutionary War as well as those who were part of the shaping of our country. I just find that extremely fascinating. 

Here is buried in a
Stone grave 10 feet down
Cap. Daniel Malcolm, Merch
Who departed this life
October 23d, 1769
Aged 44 years
a true son of Liberty
a friend to the Publick
an Enemy to oppression
and one of the foremost
in opposing the Revenue Acts
on America

As we continued north after leaving the burying ground and started across the Charlestown Bridge, we realized our mistake in direction and backtracked. While we would have loved to have checked out Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution, the majority of the Trail was south of us so we headed back that way.

This time we stopped at Paul Revere's house and took a look inside (admission is $3.50/person). As my uncle has said before, "He's not home right now." Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to take photos inside the house so an outside shot will have to do.

Nicki and I overhead an interesting conversation while we were in the house. There are all kinds of tourists out this day and many made a comment about how wonderful it is to see houses, artifacts, and even graves from the 1600s. There was a woman from Scotland in the Paul Revere house and she said that in Europe they see things much older and how we are so fascinated with things that aren't really that old. It's all about perspective I guess.

We headed to Quincy Market and grabbed some lunch there. I'm not one for crowds but I do enjoy the Quincy Market area. Crazy I know.

After lunch we headed out to see Faneuil Hall since it's right there. Unfortunately, it was closed for the day due to a graduation that was to be held there. As we left to continue on our way there were some street performers dancing so we stopped to watch. They did a lot of jumps and breaking and were fun to watch.

There final act was this...

We headed to the Old State House next. There is a museum inside but we opted not to pay the admission price (Adults $10, children 18 & under are free). We browsed the little gift shop and then headed on our way.

The next stop was the Old South Meeting House. All day long we seemed to hit most spots just before or just after large school groups. This was one of those types of stops. However, we opted again not to go in and look around (Adults $6, children 5-17 $1, under 5 free).

We stopped at the Park Street Church next. This church was just as beautiful as the Old North Church. (Suggested donation of $3/person.)

The Granary Burying Ground was next. This may have been my favorite. Many of those who helped shape our nation were buried here. 

Samuel Adams

Paul Revere

Franklin Family Memorial

Josiah Franklin
Abiah his wife
lie here interred.
They lived lovingly together in wedlock
fifty-five years
and without an estate or any gainful employment
by constant labor and honest industry
maintained a large family comfortably
and brought up thirteen children and seven
grandchildren reputably. 
From this instance Reader,
be encouraged to diligence in thy calling
and distrust not providence.
He was a pious and prudent man;
she a discreet and virtuous woman.
Their youngest son,
in filial regard to their memory,
places this stone.

As we continued our walk, we soon found ourselves at the Boston Common. Since we were so close to the Public Garden, we decided to go check out the Swan Boats. We actually had thought about doing a Duck Boat Tour, but we still had a used book sale and IKEA to go to the next day so instead we opted to do the Swan Boats as they were far less expensive. (Adults $3.50, children 2-15 $2, children under 2 are free.)

Baby ducks!

Make Way for Ducklings statues 

On our way back to Long Wharf to head home, we stopped at King's Chapel Buying Ground.  Much smaller than the other two, it's next door to King's Chapel.

Both Nicki and I wear FitBits. By the time we ended up back to the boat we had well over 20K steps. We decided that we would walk back from the boat which was another two miles and change. By the end of the day she had 30K steps and I had 27K steps. It was definitely a long day but worth it. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed a day in Boston.

I'm planning to take my boys back in September and walk it all again. I'm not sure they'll go as far as Nicki & I did, but we'll hit the high points I think.

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