We split fall break of 2022 into two major portions. The first three days were in and around Boston, getting a traditional history lesson in Revolutionary times.We stayed just outside the city proper, in Cambridge, and used the “T” and our legs to get around town.
Day 1: Charlestown and the North End
Sunday morning we took the “T” into Boston and walked across the harbor into Charlestown. Our first stop was the Bunker Hill Monument, where we climbed the 294 step obelisk for a moderate workout and views over the city. After coming down, we got to hear one of the park rangers telling the story of the battle, and getting us well initiated for our history lessons over the next few days.
We then started down the Freedom Trail. The next stop was the USS Constitution. We toured around the museum first, playing with the many exhibits about the ship’s construction, history, and life on board. Then it was on to the ship itself. It’s an interesting experience, although definitely loaded with tourists on a beautiful weekend day like we had. We also toured the USS Cassin Young, a WWII destroyer next door in the Navy Yard.
We then crossed the bridge back into Boston, touring through the Old North Church (“one if by land, two if by sea”) and Paul Revere’s home. That was about enough site seeing for the day, so we found a nice little Italian restaurant in the North End for dinner, and then followed the crowd to Mike’s Pastries for dessert. Then it was back on the “T” to our hotel.
Day 2: Boston and Cambridge
The next day we were back on the Freedom Trail, this time starting from the opposite end. We started the morning with the “Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum”, a kitchy but fun reenactment of the events leading up to and immediately after the tea party. The boys enjoyed a chance to rebel a bit themselves by throwing fake crates of tea into the harbor.
We completed the Freedom Trail sites over the rest of the morning, including the Old South Meeting House, the Old City Hall, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Old State House (seriously, how many “old” buildings can one city have?), the Granary Burying Ground (Sam Adams’ and Paul Revere’s grave sites), King’s Chapel, and Faneuil Hall. Boston has really preserved it’s history.
The Revolutionary sites in town all exhausted, we took the “T” back out to Cambridge to tour the MIT Science Museum and walk a bit around the campus at Lara’s alma mater. Evan declared he wanted to go to MIT, until we walked around the Harvard campus down the road. After a nice meal at a Taqueria just off campus, it was back to the hotel to crash for the night!
Day 3: Plymouth, Lexington and Concord
Tuesday morning we drove out to Plymouth to see “The Rock”, as well as a replica of the Mayflower tied up in Plymouth Harbor. While there, we also toured the Plimoth Patuxent historical museum, which has both a 17th century English village, modeled after the Plimoth colony, and a Wampanaugh village showing native American life around that same time. Both villages were interesting, and the boys loved interacting with the period actors on scene.
After lunch we drove to the opposite side of Boston, back to the Revolutionary scene in Lexington and Concord. We walked around Lexington Green, and then along the “Battle Road” in Minute Man National Historical Park. The park provided an entertaining “multimedia” presentation of the battle along the road on April 19th, 1775. There was more detail there than I had picked up in any of our prior readings on the event.
Our final site of the day was the Old North Bridge in Concord, where the militia made the push to turn the British regulars around and started a 15 mile slog back along the “Battle Road”. It was powerful to be on the location. On top of the history, the fall colors are still going strong in the area. When the sun came out, we had several wonderful views among the old buildings in both towns.
Finally it was on to Salem to let the boys play in the pool and then crash for the night. Tomorrow… The Salem Witch Trials and the road to Acadia!