I had a pretty busy work schedule early in the week last week, but Amy and the girls were able to meet up with my cousin Kathee and her kids on Monday at her nearby pond in Concord. (I’d get to see her as well as my Aunt Grayce later in the week.)
On Tuesday we learned that my nephew Matthew from Greensboro was laid over at the Boston airport on his way to France. Amy and the girls were already heading there for some plane spotting, so it was great that they could stop in and say hi:
Emily also got to see her first Boeing 787 Dreamliner take off:
On Wednesday afternoon we drove into Salem and learned all about the witch trials of 1692. It was a sad, sad reminder of what happens when fear and superstition mix.
Strolling through Salem:
Amy picked up a few books at this Salem bookstore. It was a cool place, in a crazy mess sort of way:
We visited the Salem graveyard — known as the “Burying Point” — which dates back to 1637. We located the gravestones of a witch trial judge as well as a Mayflower pilgrim.
Total side note: I don’t care enough to research why, but there are Dunkin’ Donuts evvvverywhere out here. Everywhere.
On Thursday, I worked at the Concord library…
…while Amy and the girls visited Sleepy Hollow cemetery nearby. They tracked down the headstones of Thoreau, Hawthown, Alcotts and Emerson.
They also stopped at Walden pond:
These are the woods where Thoreau hung out for two years at Waldon pond. (I love that Thoreau quote.)
Amy and I enjoyed some beautiful scenery on our morning runs at the Lorraine Park Campground in Harold Parker State Forest:
As I mentioned in last week’s post, our challenge for the week was to live without the electric, sewer and water connections that we typically enjoy. Turned out to be a piece of cake, with our only real challenge being that our waste tanks fill up faster than I wish. Our water supply, however, was more than enough, and I still had almost 11.5 volts of juice in the batteries at the end of the week (that’s really good).
Saturday was our big day in Boston, starting with the Boston subway system. (Fun fact: Boston had the first subway system in the country in 1897.)
One of the first things we came upon was the make-shift memorial for the Boston Marathon bombings. It was pretty moving.
Amy left one of her race bibs and a note as part of the memorial:
The bombs blew up just a short distance from where I took this photo:
Inside the Boston Public Library:
Another old graveyard — Granary Burying Ground. We saw the headstones of Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams and James Otis (the dude who coined the phrase “taxation without representation”) among others.
The Old South Meeting House. This is where Samuel Adams launched the Boston Tea Party:
This little place — what is now a Chipotle restaurant — used to be a book publisher and was where Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and others brought there manuscripts to be published:
This is the Old State House built in 1713 to house the British colonial government of the time. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the Bostonians for the first time from this building:
The site of the Boston Massacre:
We had covered a lot of ground by mid-afternoon. We were whipped.
…nothing a little Italian ice and gelato can’t fix, though:
We summoned enough energy for one more trek, this time to the Charlestown Navy Yard to tour the USS Constitution:
This old ship, named by George Washington himself, formed part of the original US Navy. While fighting in defining battles of the War of 1812, it received its more recognizable nickname “Old Ironsides.” It’s amazing that it even still exists, let alone still floats (and even still sails!). It was very cool; the highlight of my visit.
Boston is an amazing town, one with a staggering amount of historical significance. It was a very full day, however…we were all ready to head home.
Before getting on the road Sunday morning, Em and Nat helped me finish my air-conditioner repair job. It worked!
We made an impromptu detour on our way to Cape Cod to see Plymouth Rock. I’m glad we stopped just to say we were there, but we didn’t stay long. Those Pilgrims sure picked a busy town to land in.
Here we are heading into Cape Cod. Note that this is the right direction to be going on a Sunday afternoon:
And now we are settled into our latest retirement community of the week:
We have been told by many Bostonians that we must stop at “the Cape.” We’re looking forward to discovering the draw of the this beloved place.