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Day 58 – Sunday June 17, 2007 – Boston, Massachusetts
With our bodies still recovering from their “New York fatigue”, we didn’t get to the train station in Boston until about 11am. It took us awhile to get into the city, since two of the stations on our subway line were closed for repairs. With two stations closed, we had to take the train halfway, a shuttle bus to pass the two closed stations, then re-board a train to finish the trip. It added about thirty minutes to the normal time it would have taken, but what can you do?
We exited the subway line in downtown Boston near the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a three mile marked path through historic Boston. Along the entire trail, the path is marked by either bricks or paint, both red. Most of Boston’s major historic sites sit along the trail. I was excited yesterday, when in my research, I read about some of the walking tours that are given along the trail. My curiosity peaked even more when I found out that the guides dress up in colonial era clothing. After getting off the subway, we headed for the visitor’s center to book a tour.
At first, we looked for the National Park Visitor’s Center, (since their tours were a bit cheaper) but had no success in finding it. Frustrated, we decided to get lunch before deciding on what to do next. When lunch was over, we bit the bullet and headed to Boston Common, where I knew the slightly more expensive tours departed from. It didn’t take us long to realize we were in the right place, as one of the tour guides was announcing the next tour, which departed at 2:15pm. It was 1:30pm, so we bought tickets and decided to walk around the park to pass the forty-five minutes before our tour departed.
Boston Common is the oldest public park in America. It features many wide open green spaces, a couple of playgrounds, a pond and a lake. (It also is apparently a favorite place of locals to make political statements.) However, the most famous activity in Boston Common is the Swan Boats. The Swan boats hold about twenty people who are peddled around the lake by a crew member. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to ride, since our tour was about to start when we encountered them and they closed before our tour was over. It did look like a lot of fun though.
The tour began promptly at 2:15pm. Our guide asked everyone where they were from and Shawn Reece proudly said Nevada. The guide picked on Shawn Reece quite a bit throughout the tour, since he was the youngest. Every time our noble colonial guide would talk to Shawn Reece with his 18th century flare, our shy little boy would back away. Even though he acted shy, the smile on his face told us that he was throughly enjoying the attention.
On the tour, we passed both the old and new Massachusetts state houses, the first church in Boston and even the original Boston City Hall. If one was walking straight through, the part of the trail our tour covered, would be about a ten minute walk. However, with our guide filling in all of the history, it took about ninety. I honestly don’t recall any point in the tour where I felt bored. The guide did such a great job at keeping everyone, even the kids, interested in what he was talking about.
The place that our guide focused on more than anywhere else, was the oldest cemetery in Boston. In that cemetery, were the graves of Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and the victims of the Boston Massacre. They even believe one of the graves is that of Mother Goose. Apparently, the woman they believe was Mother Goose, died at the age of 41 with twenty children. With that many kids, it is no wonder she came up with all of those great stories! After leaving the cemetery, just down the street, we also saw the meeting hall where the Boston Tea Party started. (And the 7-Eleven next door) Before long, our tour was winding down.
The final stop on the tour and the point where the guide left us, was Fanuel Hall. Fanuel Hall has been a public meeting place for some time in Boston. It is still used today by a few local politicians to deliver speeches. The bottom story is also used as a small shopping mall. After leaving Fanuel Hall we continued walking the Freedom Trail into the North End of Boston. The North End is the Italian area of Boston. We probably would’ve spent more time in this charming area, but it started to rain and we decided to go back to the hotel. Taking the tour allowed us to learn some of Boston’s history in a short period of time. At the hotel, we relaxed before settling in for the night.
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The Coomer Family
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