Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Boston Days 1 and 2

Boston-Day 1
Josh and I recently took a trip to New England. I have been dreading writing this post mainly because it seems impossible to adequately capture how much fun we had on our trip with merely a few pictures and a meager description. I have always wanted to visit New England, ideally in the fall. Josh had some airline miles he had to use and he told me to pick a destination. So, of course, I picked my dream vacation...a trip to historical Boston and up into New England. It was a fabulous trip!

We flew to Boston first and spent a few days exploring this lovely city. This place is absolutely beautiful! These people really appreciate their history. It was fascinating to see and experience many of the places we've read about in our history books. The first day we flew into Boston, arrived at our hotel and took the subway into the city. We didn't have any set plans, but just wandered around and explored things. We came upon this special event that is every pregnant girl's dream. "The Scooper Bowl" was being held right in the middle of downtown Boston. There were about twenty or so ice cream vendors from the area who gave out samples of their best ice cream and gelatos. I discovered that I am not a fan of gelato. It just doesn't taste right. Anyway, after sampling dozens of flavors of ice cream, we moved on...

For dinner that night we ate at The Old Union Oyster House. This restaurant is known for being "the oldest restaurant in America" and was significant for many reasons. So much history took place in this restaurant, including it being a residence for a future king of France, a place where the wives of Adams, Hancock, and Quincy mended the colonists' clothes, the birthplace of the "toothpick", along with other historically important events. Josh and I sat right next to the John F. Kennedy booth, where the Kennedy family always sat when they dined here. It was super interesting. The atmosphere was great. It was such a fun first dinner upon our arrival in Boston.

Boston-Day 2

We woke up bright and early the next day and took the subway into Boston to explore The Freedom Trail. There is a painted red line that you follow all the way around the city of Boston, stopping at various historical locations along the way. My pitiful description of it doesn't quite do it justice. We saw some AMAZING things that day while walking through the city. It was eerie and oddly interesting to see the graves of Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin's parents, John Hancock, members of the Boston Massacre, and others. There are all of these massive downtown city buildings around you. Then, right in the middle of this vibrant city is an old-timey graveyard where many of America's founding fathers are buried. It was really interesting and one of our favorite sites on the Freedom Trail. It struck me just how many young mothers and little children were buried in these historical graveyards.

On a side note: There were some GORGEOUS buildings in the city of Boston. It is a beautiful place. Here are a few of the buildings in the middle of the city. It seemed that nearly every building was beautiful.

We visited some beautiful historical churches on The Freedom Trail. We really enjoyed seeing the places where George Washington, Paul Revere, and even, my personal favorite, Louisa May Alcott and family worshipped. Persons belonging to a church had their own pewboxes which they rented. Often, they said, the family dog would attend services with the family. It was interesting just how much your financial status/rank had to do with religion. If we were going to be in Boston on a Sunday, I would have loved the chance to attend a service at one of these historical churches. Seeing these churches was truly an experience.

Okay, I know this picture is WAY blurry. I had to include it, as it is a picture of me sitting in Louisa May Alcott's pew. Perhaps during particularly boring sermons, she was sitting here dreaming up visions of Meg, Amy, Beth, Jo, and Marmie. :)

From this church, we went on to the site of America's first public school. It is still operational today. They had this little hopscotch mosaic to identify the site. I guess homeschooling was the norm in our country before this site was erected. :) The tour guide discussed the curriculum of the school which was predominantly based upon...The Bible.

From here we went to another area on The Freedom Trail... The Old State House Museum. This museum housed some really unique artifacts including actual tea from The Boston Tea Party,

a coat and Bible belonging to John Hancock, (By the way, he was a teeny tiny man. He was about my size minus five inches in height... my size, that is, when I was in junior high.)

along with some other interesting items....

Makes you pretty thankful for modern medicine, doesn't it?

Outside the Old State House Museum, right in the middle of a traffic circle, was the site of the Boston Massacre.

More pretty buildings...

We walked on to Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Right outside this building, was a neat area with restaurants, open cart vendors, street performers, specialty stores, etc. We ate at a replica of the Cheers restaurant here.

After lunch, we headed to the North End of Boston (still on The Freedom Trail), also called "Little Italy". This area of Boston was so pretty. The streets were full of little authentic Italian pastry shops and pizzarias. It had a very old world feel. We visited Paul Revere's house while in the North End. It is not uncommon to see people dressed like this man walking around downtown Boston. I thought it was pretty neat.

The NBA Finals were going on while we were in Boston. We got to see lots of displays of sports fanaticism around the city. The people there are very proud of their city AND its sports teams.

Last on The Freedom Trail was a visit to see Old Ironsides. This wasn't my favorite part of the day. Perhaps it was because I was tired and worn out from walking all day? Maybe it was the herd of giggly middle school kids that accompanied us on our tour of the ship? It might have even been the feeling of being a sardine in a can while on the boat? Nevertheless, I was thankful when we exited the boat, made it to the last of the red line that marked The Freedom Trail, and headed off to find dinner for the night.

So that about sums up Days 1 and 2 of our New England trip. I will write more later. This may bore people to read all of these details. I want to be sure and write them down so that I don't forget all of the fun that Josh and I had together. More to come later...