Monday, July 15, 2013

Adventures in Boston Part 3

Day Four:

We slept in a bit, before heading out and exploring the city via the Freedom Trail. Before leaving Provo I put together my own information packet about all the places, and their history, along the Freedom Trail. Why yes I am a history nerd. Thanks for asking :)

1. The first stop was Boston Commons. We spent quite a bit of time walking around this beautiful park space, enjoying the beautiful greenery and watching people there. I love that the park is almost like a sanctuary in the middle of the city. Nice and quiet and peaceful. There's a park that connects to Boston Commons and has a beautiful pond in the middle of it full of ducks and the famous Swan Boats. We didn't pay to ride on the boats, but we did walk around the pond and enjoyed the beauty of it:

2. The next stop on the Freedom Trail was the State House building. The gold leafed dome was really interesting/pretty, and it's right across the street from Boston Commons.

This carving was right across the street from the State House. You know the movie, Glory, with Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington (totally an amazing movie. If you haven't seen it you should!!)? Well, this image is of the 54th infantry during the Civil War. They were the first all black infantry that the Union used during the war. And the movie, Glory, tells this story (well, as well as hollywood typically retells historical events).  Anyway, I thought it was pretty neat to see that. And you can bet I talked Tyson's ear off about it--and many other historical things, too, throughout the day.

 3 & 4 on the Freedom Trail was Park Street Church and the graveyard that is attached to it, the Granary Burying Grounds. I didn't get any pictures of the church--but I took a plethora of pictures of the graveyard. I don't know what it is about old cemeteries/graveyards but I love exploring them! This graveyard was so cool! Some of the headstones were so old and weather worn that you couldn't see writing on them anymore. Also, one of my favorite parts--the old ways of spelling words, i.e. lyes instead of lies. So fascinating! This graveyard housed the body of Paul Revere and even John Hancock (one of the signers of the Declaration!).

Paul Revere's tombstone

If you look closely you can see the spelling of the word lies, like "lyes." Also, isn't the decoration along the top (the skull with wings) kinda creepy/cool

5. King's Chapel and Burial Ground. This church was really beautiful and old! During the Revolution the church was closed and empty because it was used for Anglican services aka the Church of England. Thus, it probably didn't go over well with the revolutionaries to hold church services when the revolutionaries were trying to overthrow the tyrant King George. Another graveyard was attached to this church. This one was much smaller but it had John Winthrop buried there--the first Governor of Massachusetts and one of the founders of the first New England Settlement! I'm sure you all are just as fascinated as I was! Tyson could barely contain himself ;) 

Hello, John Winthrop!
Front of the King's Chapel
The back of the King's Chapel
6.  Benjamin Franklin Statue and the Boston Latin School 

Oh hey there Benjamin Franklin! 

 So the Latin School doesn't actually exist, but here's a cool mural in the side walk depicting stuff of it:

Pretty old Building close to Mr. Benjamin Franklin Statue
7. The Old Corner Bookstore.

This actually doesn't exist either. Well the building does, but apparently franchise food places are more important than history. And it was ironic that a Chipotle was housed there. I will tell you why: Tyson and I ate at a Chipotle in Las Vegas and hated it. Loathed it actually. It was "grosser than gross" (imagine a teen girl squad voice). So the fact that it replaced a piece of history was rather fitting. So both Tyson and I clenched our fists and shook them, cursing Chipotle's name when we spotted this travesty.

8. Old South Meeting Hall. Apparently this is where the colonists hatched the idea of the Boston Tea Party! I mean it was a seriously genius idea! Who doesn't want to dress up like Indians, jump on a ship and dump tea into the harbor? I know I sure would have! Actually I would probably rather drink the tea. Love me some herbal tea. Anyway, the building was pretty. We didn't go inside because we are cheap and didn't want to pay like 10 bucks.

While following the Freedom Trail-red-brick-line we saw a sign advertising a used book store. If you know me well you know I'm a sucker for used bookstores. I can spend hours in them. We only stopped for a minute, though. They had an awesome collection--floor to ceiling, books everywhere. It was also air conditioned, so it was a nice break from the awful humidity and heat. Also, they had a real cat inside. He was just sleeping in the window sill. So cute.

9 & 10 The Old State House and the site of the Boston Massacre.

So this is the Old State House. Pretty cool. And they have a subway stop in the middle of the building. Interesting. 

People used to stand on the balcony and give speeches--for example the Declaration of Independence was read to the people from this Balcony. Not a big deal or anything. Ahhh!! So much history. I can't handle it. Again, Tyson was thrilled by my ramblings :)

Here's the precise spot where the Boston "Massacre" happened. 5 Bostonians were killed in this spot by the British soldiers, which was a major spark that eventually led to the Revolutionary War.

But, don't think that the Bostonians were innocent. There is much debate about whose fault it was. My money is on the colonists, not the British. I know, gasp. But, do some research and you'd be surprised at how controversial this part of history is.

Here's another shot of the Old State House. I love the juxtaposition of the old buildings versus the new. So beautiful. Plus those rays of sunshine! Great shot, if I do say so myself :)
11. Faneuil Market

We had some fun here. There were a lot of cool street performers. Well one group was cool--some break dancers. The other street performer basically kept saying, keep watching and waiting and I'll eventually do something cool. All he really ended up doing was juggling. And we didn't stay around to watch much else. He was odd... 

We also stopped at Quincy Market, explored and debated on whether to get some food.

 We ended up deciding to go to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. I've never been to one before. It was ok. I actually wish we would have gone somewhere else. The food was ok. The service was not great. And, they were out of a lot of food options so we were limited in our choices. We did get some cool souvenir glasses to take home with us. So I guess that's an upside. Here was our view while we waited quite a while for a table (which didn't make sense because there were hundreds of open tables):

After dinner and a break from walking we decided to take a pause on the rest of the Freedom Trail (we had walked over 7 miles exploring the city) and pick up the rest the next day. Before coming to Boston I researched about a bunch of places to try and one of the ones that had the highest ratings and most recommendations was this little Italian pastry shop in the North End. So we decided that we could pick up quite a few pastries and then head back to our hotel to relax. We were both very tired and sweaty. Man, I forget how humidity makes you feel. I mistakenly decided to wear jeans, and my jeans were very uncomfortable in the humidity. 

Anyway, on the way to the pastry shop we ran into the Boston Holocaust Memorial.  It was a very moving monument and I'm glad we stopped and took some time to take it all in. They have grates on the ground of each glass pillar that blows out steam. I think it is supposed to be reminiscent of the gas chambers. Anyway, it really got me thinking about all of the history. And after just getting done teaching Night during my student teaching, it was a really moving experience to walk through the memorial.

part of the memorial. The glass was etched with the victim's numbers 
the sunset from the memorial. 

Here is the pastry shop we stopped at, Modern Pastry. The line was extremely long, but moved pretty fast. We waited about 30 minutes to get our yummy pastries, but boy, were they worth it. It's a cute, little Italian run place. Probably the only downside was that they only accepted cash. Probably makes things easier for them. All the pastries on display were gorgeous! And by the time were were done ordering, our little pastry box probably weighed about 5 pounds, filled with delicious goodness.

 Walking to the T stop to get back to our hotel. Love the beauty of the city skyline:

Riding the Red line to the Alewife stop:

Holy Cannoli! But seriously. They were heavenly. We got 2 chocolate dipped cannolis with divine ricotta filling, 2 regular cannolis with chocolate custard filling and 1 giant (as big as my face) cream puff. They don't fill the cannolis until you order them, so they were nice and crisp and delicious.

What a beauty!
After both of us indulged in cannolis (I saved my second one for the next day) and part of the cream puff, Tyson and I were basically in a happy sugar comma. So, naturally we watched the Iron Chef and relaxed. It was a great day :)

I'll finish up the last of the Boston posts soon! To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. So Shaun and I had a similar experience with chipotle. When we moved to ohio we thought it would be similar to cafe rio. It was SO gross! Everyone out here loves it... Not us! Your desserts on the other hand look amazing!!