Including the parking garage where we started out. We choose to drive into Boston because we wanted the car to leave early or late, depending on our moods. I’m so glad we did. We thought there would be less people because it was a Sunday morning, but it was still crowded. Fun crowded though, because everyone was doing the same thing.
We walked up and out of the parking garage, right into the middle of a field. On our phone maps, we couldn’t tell which way to go, so we headed south, which was the wrong way, so we turned around and headed north. Finally found the visitors center and immediately opted to not take the park service tour – 25 people already waiting. The kids and I went in to buy the visitors guide and map and they were just thrilled when I bought the teacher’s version! It’s a small book, with the full history of each stop on the walking Freedom Trail, so we really learned as we went.
Amazing to see all the history where it actually happened! History was my favorite subject in high school, thanks to John Horn, a great teacher and now a great friend. He inspired me to wonder what happened and to appreciate all that had come before I was born in my little tiny corner of the world. I loved being in the middle of all of it!!!
It was so crowded on the streets that we bypassed some stops, just reading about them outside. The church that was built around another church and then the old wood thrown out the windows of the new church. The city hall with famous quotes. The reenactment of the tea party. Too many cemeteries.
The picture above is of the church that shown the light of Paul Revere fame – “one if by sea, two if by land” – the man who lit it had crawled out a second story bedroom window to avoid the British from asking where he was going. He climbed his way into the steeple, and then another man nailed him in so someone wouldn’t find him. The light in the steeple warned people that the British would be leaving Boston by sea, as Revere and another man took off by horse on two different routes to warn people.
And this is where I just about lost it. Paul Revere was married twice. The first time his wife bore 8 children and died in childbirth. He married again with the exact same result. What? I never knew he was married and the father of 16 kids! Those poor women. The feminist in me just wanted to scream, and it wouldn’t be the first time that historical living conditions for women made me mad. This was normal? Expected? Crazy more like.
Anyway, off my soap box and back to the walking tour…
We walked over the river and up Bunker Hill. There was a huge monument like the Washington monument, and of course we had to go up the 291 steps inside. It was packed with people, so you bumped into them the whole climb. It had no ventilation. The steps were worn by years of use. The view from the top was worth it! Once again, climbing up high in a city makes it so fun to see the view from a good vantage point. We understood why the British wanted this hill and why the Patriots were so happy to win it.
After many more hours of exploring, snacking and heat, we headed back to the car. With all the add on’s we’d done on the tour, we thought we had walked about 7 miles. Eliza and I were delirious from the heat and the pain of our feet. We were in the silly zone and just couldn’t stop. It did make the walk back go easier and we were very happy to have seen Boston.