City on a Hill Part 2

Our second day in Boston was wonderful. We started out eating at a highly recommended spot, the Friendly Toast. Side Note: I had been doing a ‘change’ of eating plan called Whole 30 (not calling it a diet because it really is designed to help you change the way you view food and trying to eat healthy). There is more on the website about it, but it’s basically like a Paleo Diet (only eating things our Paleo…ancestors would eat, fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, etc.) I was right in the middle of Whole30 and we decided to take this trip which meant bending the rules a little bit especially since we were going to eat at Mike’s Pasty later on. Fell in love with the Friendly Toast. Think of being transported to a 1950’s Café. When we got there, it was about a 45 min. to hour wait unless we could snag a spot at their tiny bar. We hooked our place in line and jumped at the first two spots available.  Kyle got what they refer to as “King Cakes” which is 2 pancakes with bananas and chocolate chips inside, and peanut butter in between encircled by a side of bacon (referring to Elvis as the King). I got a Hansel & Gretel Waffle (gingerbread waffle). Aaaaand…we shared a coconut hot chocolate since it was a little chilly that morning. Oh it was yummy. This was in Cambridge so afterwards we headed out to Lexington and Concord where I was able to see my history lover go a bit crazy over the beautiful historic sights we were seeing. Side note: Something I love about Kyle is his love of history and his knowledge of events that have made a difference and impact throughout time. And I love his love for people from history who have stood with honor and strength in hard trials. End side note.

We headed out to Concord first to see the Old North Bridge, which is considered to be the site of the first day of battle in the American Revolutionary War. The area was part of the Minute Man National Historic Park. I love how these American farmers without hardly any military training were so eager to fight for their soon to be independent and established country. Ralph Waldo Emerson penned that this is the place of ‘the shot heard round the world.’ If you want to know more, just ask Kyle J

Old North Bridge 

Statue in Honor of the Battle 

Beautiful landscape. 

Afterwards, we went to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where the graves of Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott (one of my favorites) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (another favorite) were buried. The little hill is known as Author’s Ridge.

People would put money or other trinkets on their graves for what seemed like good luck. We placed a couple stones there to cover our bases and to honor these great authors.

We also visited Emerson and Alcott’s homes (always costs money to go inside, but we saw the outside).

Emerson's Home.

I thought it looked just like the movie and loved the flowers growing outside.

We drove a little ways down to visit Walden pond, where Thoreau lived for two years as a way of getting away from distractions and to become enlightened…as he put it, “went in to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Love Thoreau’s writing. We went to visit a replica of his tiny cabin and I shared my apple with him. We went down to the Pond which looked more like a tourist lake amidst the pine tree forest. We enjoyed the sun that had emerged and did our best at skipping rocks (still can’t get the hang of it after all this time). 

So beautiful.

Trying to decide which rock to skip. 

Not knowing how to skip rocks. 

I gave Thoreau my apple for being so wise.

Once we had our fill of the ‘pond’ we drove out to the Lexington Battle Green where it is argued that this is the actual place where the opening shots occurred that started the American Revolutionary War. (This battle happened a few days later than the Old North Bridge battle.) Kyle and I walked around the area for a bit and saw this teenage kid dressed in 18th century attire carving something out of wood. We went up to ask him first if he worked there or just liked wearing breeches and a tricorn hat everyday….and second a little more of the history. I think I remember him clarifying a bit of our questions and as we left, we said thanks and he said, ‘No problem. This is what I do all day.’…….hmm….still debating whether he gets paid or not ha ha ha more power to ya kid on educating the tourists. 

Location of the Battle of Lexington and debated site of the "shot heard 'round the world" spreading news about the revolution. 

After we dropped by the Minute Man National Park and Kyle got his NP stamp (he is collecting as many as possible and I LOVE it) we headed back into town and visited what everyone seemed to talk about…Mikes Pastry. I hope the pictures do justice because I have never had a cannoli like that before in my life – same with Boston Crème Pie. Oh so tasty. This was my first bite of sugar for the trip as well and it went all downhill after this treat. 

Cannolis from Heaven. 

Not your average Boston Creme Pie.

Little Italy Magic.

More Little Italy magic with the cobble streets. 

We grabbed some HUGE slices of pizza in the Little Italy of Boston (by the way, this Little Italy was adorable…almost seemed like we were really there with cobbled streets every now and then and little shops and stores screaming Italy.) To end the night with a bang, we somehow found a place to park and began the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile-long path distinguished by a red line that goes through downtown Boston and takes you to 16 significant historic sites. I LOVED the Freedom Trail. Kyle came up with a great idea right up front that each of us would take turns using either our Boston travel book or phones and describe the next site and why it was important to Boston or American History. It seemed like Kyle already knew everything, but I enjoyed learning and teaching along the way.

Neat flags for Memorial Day at the start of the Freedom Trail. 

Sun shining down on that sometimes hard to follow red line (it doesn't look like it'd be hard to spot, but it would lead to one area and immediately stop, leaving us confused as to where to go next).

We made it to old schools, burying grounds, old churches and meeting houses, the Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre Site (this one was mine to explain and it was fun double checking facts every second on why events happened to someone who has a BA in History from BYU.)

Statue memorializing Colonel Robert Shaw and the first formal unit of the US Army during the Civil War that was made up of African-American men. This is based on one of Kyle's favorite movies, Glory.

Neat state house.

Canary Burial Grounds, where victims of Boston Massacre were buried along with Peter Faneuil (market is named after) and Paul Revere. 

I liked this. This is the site of the first public (Latin) school in Boston and supposedly America, set up by Benjamin Franklin. 

The Old State House. On the top is a lion and a unicorn, the national animals of England and Scotland. 

Me and my feet while trying to accurately describe what happened at the Boston Massacre to someone who has read novels on the American Revolution.

Quincy Market had a shop with free laffy taffy

Boston skyline.

Paul Revere's house - once again, cost too much to go inside and we were in a hurry, but I like to imagine what it would have been like back in the day.

THE midnight rider (and quintessential shot of kids playing ball at the base).

We made it all the way to the Old North Church and another burying ground by the time it got late. We decided to hit up the last two spots on the next day. Overall, we walked almost 3 miles just seeing the first little stretch. 

Love old cities and buildings that have withstood the test of time. 

This is the church in the North End of Boston where the famous "One if by land, and two if by sea" signal was sent to alert Paul Revere that the British were coming. INTENSE. We stopped by Faneuil Hall again for a late night smoothie and Japanese Teriyaki. A grand way to end our second day in the city.

No comments :

Post a Comment