Day Six: Boston Part II

Day 6: Boston

We made all of the stops!

We set out today to finish the last two stops on the Freedom Trail. Both stops are on the same side of the river as our hotel, so we made a point of stopping at the playground (I saw from the train yesterday) so the girls could have some playtime. It was super hot even at ten o’clock in the morning, so the girls enjoyed skirting around the edges of the adjacent spray park, as well.
 We eventually found the signature red line of the Freedom Trail, so we followed it toward the Bunker Hill Monument, finding a popsicle truck on the route.
 Bunker Hill Monument is a 221-foot tall granite obelisk that was built to commemorate the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place in 1775. The monument has 294 steps to a viewpoint at the top.

Thankfully (really?), we were one degree from the NPS closing the monument due to the heat index. It was almost 90 degrees, but the ranger said it is typically 2 degrees warmer inside the monument. We made it to the top, although I did see my life flash before my eyes a few times. The only thing that keep me going was knowing that once I made it to the top, I could go back down again.

 

We followed up our tower climb with a visit to the accompanying museum across the street. I enjoyed the exhibits, including a battlefield diorama, but I also enjoyed that it was housed in the former Charlestown Public Library building.
From Bunker Hill, we followed the trail down to the Charlestown Navy Yard to see the USS Constitution.

Built in 1797, the USS Constitution, also referred to as “Old Ironsides,” is the world’s oldest commissioned war ship. That means the men and women that work aboard are active duty Navy sailors. Although it is currently in dry dock undergoing a two year renovation project, we were able to go aboard and look around the main deck.

There is a museum on the adjacent dock, unfortunately none of us had the patience to endure any museum time. We stopped in merely to use the head and get the girls some wicked naval tattoos.

  

Next, we walked down the pier to tour a World War II-era Destroyer, the USS Cassin Young followed by a quick lunch before we hailed a cab for a ride back to our hotel.

We watched HGTV for a few hours to unwind before taking a Duck Tour around Boston, including a short cruise on the Charles River.

After the Duck Tour, we took the T to the North End to try to find some Italian food for dinner.

 We took a stab in the dark and tried one of the first restaurants that we came upon, Fiorino. The lobby had a picture with the owner posing alongside Matt Damon (circa 1990-something), so it has to be good, right? Although Kiki refused to eat, Kai and I shared some delicious Chicken Saltimbuca while Jeff had Veal Parmigiana.

 For dessert, we tried to make a stop at the famous Mike’s Pastry for some cannoli. One look at the line (more like a mob) and we kept on down the block to Modern Pastry. We were able to find yummy Italian pastries for each of us to eat once we got back to the hotel.


It was another wicked good day in Boston.

Day Five: Boston

Day 5: Boston

Boston Cream!

After making a stop at Honey Dew Donuts we left the cape in our rear view mirror, bound for Boston.

Our room at Hotel Marlowe had a nice view of the Charles River

We were able to check into our Cambridge Hotel just before lunch. We unloaded our luggage, had a nice sit-down lunch and set out for the Freedom Trail!

The Freedom Trail is marked throughout Boston with a red brick line

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile marked path that winds through Boston leading you to several historical sites. Our first stop was Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States. During the Revolutionary War, the British used the area as an encampment.

Boston Common

Next up was the Massachusetts State House. Completed in 1798, and boasting a distinct gilded gold dome since 1874 Is the home of the state legislature and the office of the governor.

Massachusetts State House

One block away is the Park Street Church dating back to 1804.

Park Street Church

Adjacent to the church is the Granary Burying Ground one of Boston’s oldest cemeteries and the final resting place of many civil war patriots, including Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere.

Paul Revere’s Grave

Our tour along the trail also included stops at:

King’s Chapel

Kings Chapel and Burying Ground – dating back to 1630, the burying ground is the oldest in the city of Boston. The adjoining chapel, completed in 1754, has an active Unitarian Congregation
Old South Meeting House – most famous for being the location where colonists met to organize the Boston Tea Party. It was the largest building in Boston at the time. Old State House – One of the oldest public buildings in the U.S., it was built, in 1713 and housed the state government until 1793

Old State House

Boston massacre site – directly in front of the Old State House, the site where British troops killed 5 civilians in 1770, fueling animosity toward Britain

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall -built in 1742 to serve as a marketplace and meeting hall, it still serves as a marketplace most popular site for tourists in the city

Paul Revere House

Paul Revere House – built in 1680, occupied by Paul Revere from 1770-1800, the oldest house in downtown Boston

Old North Church

Old North Church – the site of the tower where the “one if by land, two if by sea” signal was sent in relation to the midnight ride of Paul Revere preceding the battles of Lexington and Concord.

I really enjoyed a demonstration of making drinking chocolate at Captain Jackson’s Colonial Chocolate adjacent to the church. There was also a fabulous printing press demonstration that I found particularly interesting because my great-grandfather was a printer in Worcester, Masachusetts. Apparently, printmaking was the second most popular profession (after farming) well into the 19th century.
Copps Hill Burying Ground – dating to 1659, the second oldest cemetery in Boston. It contains more than 1200 marked graves.

Some famous faces we saw along the way

Although we didn’t make it to all of the Freedom Trail sites, schlepping around the city in temperatures exceeding 80 degrees wore us out. We went back to the hotel for some much needed down time (in room happy hour, back to back episodes of Tiny House) followed by a light dinner and sleep.