While working in Rhode Island we took a day to explore Boston. Unlike our trip to New York City our day did not have to start before dawn. We made the 30 minute drive from our campground to one of the rail stations connecting to Boston and rode the commuter train into the city. The train ride took about an hour and the kids enjoyed looking out the windows and playing games on our phones.
Once we arrived in Boston at South Station we headed out on to the sidewalk and started to get our bearings. We apparently were looking very much like tourists with our day packs and city map. We were approached by a very nice lady in a tunic (like what a monk would wear) and she started putting bracelets made of wooden beads on Heather and the kids. I initially refused, but at the coaxing of Heather accepted the bracelet. As Heather started to turn to walk away the lady stopped her and insisted in very broken English that we make a “donation” to her convent in return for the bracelets. She pulled a small black book from her tunic and showed us each where other people had written down their donations to her. Heather offered $2 and the lady answered that Heather should give $20 not $2. Heather attempted to give her bracelet back to the lady, but the lady insisted that Heather keep her “gift”. As they haggled back and forth Heather finally agreed to $10, wrote in the black book and bid goodbye to the lady. The lady blessed us with “Peace” as we walked away. Heather commented to me that we had better have peace throughout the day since we paid $10 for it. We also instructed the kids not to accept any more “gifts” from strangers.
Our first point of interest as we toured the city was the Old State House in downtown Boston. It was the site of the Boston Massacre if you are not up on your colonial history.
Next was Quincy Market. The market is an active eatery with many different types and nationalities of food. The market itself is flanked by two other long buildings with shops and restaurants in them which created a nice outdoor marketplace to wonder though. There are also routinely outdoor performers around the market for the enjoyment of all. And yes, that is a performer on a 10-foot unicycle wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes. Not exactly something you see everyday.
From Quincy Market we next visited the home of Paul Revere, which was the famous horse rider during the showdown between the American patriots and the British military. I found it interesting to see how this man and his large family lived in such a relatively small house, unlike most Americans today who require 2,000 sq ft for their family of four.
Right outside Paul Revere’s house we found a Freedom Trail marker on the sidewalk. There was a sign on the brick wall near it that explained that the brick trial could be used as a self-guided tour of Boston’s historical places. We were very interested in this concept and followed it. If you can see it in the photo of the sidewalk which was also brick they used stone to separate the trail from the sidewalk so you would not lose the trail. As the trail wound through the city we found a statue of Paul Revere and the Old North Church to name a few. Heather was also having fun following the Freedom Trail because of the number of Pokemon Go creatures she was collecting along the way. Since I have never really been a gamer, I just rolled my eyes at her over this.
From the Old North Church we followed the Freedom Trail past the Copp’s Hill cemetery, across the bridge, and to the Boston Harbor and Boston Navy Yard where Old Iron Sides is docked. We toured the old wooden vessel even though she was under a bit of repair in dry dock at the time. Due to the repair work all the cannons had been removed from her gun deck, but we found them lined up along the pier close to the vessel.
Also in the Navy yard is the USS Cassin Young, a Fletcher-class destroyer that we toured. As a nurse I found the sick bay on board interesting and could only imagine the nurse aboard trying to perform their duties within the small space. The Cassin Young is now a part of the National Parks program, while Old Iron Sides is still maintained and hosted by the US Navy.
After leaving the Boston Navy Yard we found a nice stretch of green space at a city park to relax in for a while and even dipped our feet in the cool water that bordered the grass.
Finally we strolled through the many gardens, green spaces, and parks that were strung together through the city complete with walkways and fountains. The parks ended at a great arch with a picturesque view of the Boston Harbor. We then made our way back to South station and to the commuter train back to our vehicle.