Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grandmas Visit The Cradle Of Liberty: Walking Along Freedom's Trail

Friday morning brought all of Boston out to enjoy the warm temperatures and sunshine. Robin and I were no exception. We decided that since this was to be the best weather of our visit, we would spend the day walking the Freedom Trail.

Our tour guide for the day was Nathaniel Balch, Boston's hatter and friend to John Hancock.

Well, he wasn't really Nathaniel Balch...but for today he would retell American history through the eyes of Balch.

We met up with Mr. Balch in Boston Common. A beautiful park that was set aside from the earliest days of Boston for the grazing of the cattle.

In the Boston Common there is a cemetery where most of the headstones are blank. We would later learn that this is the final resting place of the British soldiers who were killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Next, we walked through Boston Common to the State House. Built in 1798, the dome of the State House was originally covered in copper...but it leaked. So someone came up with the idea of covering it in 23 karat gold instead. It no longer leaks...but, boy, did it cost a lot of money to fix that leak!

Next we walked past the Granary Burial Grounds. A cemetery dating back to 1660, it includes the final resting place of three signers of the Declaration of Independence, the victims of the Boston Massacre, as well as Paul Revere and the parents of Benjamin Franklin.

This marker is for Samuel Adams.

After leaving the Granary, we walked past King's Chapel, the Old South Meeting Hall (where the secret signal was given that set off the actions we now call the Boston Tea Party), the Old Corner Bookstore, and finally, the Old State House.

It blows my mind to think that this building was standing before we were even a country. This was the seat of British rule in the Americas. That balcony on the third floor is where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston in 1776. Wow!!!

Just in front of this building is the sight of the Boston Massacre in 1770...the incident that helped spark the rebellion.

We walked on down to Faneuil Hall...a building which looks like it could have been built thirty years ago...but was actually the meeting hall where our founding fathers met to discuss the Declaration of Independence.

Faneuil Hall was our last stop on the Freedom Trail tour with Mr. Balch, but Robin and I continued to follow the trail on our own.

The Green Dragon Tavern...a favorite hangout of our founding fathers.
See that redcoat at the door? I wonder if he is a spy gathering intelligence?

Nah! Upon closer inspection, he seemed to be a pretty nice guy!

A little further down the road we found Paul Revere's house and took the tour.

Did you know Paul had 11 children who survived infancy? We were told that he outlived most of them and at the time of his death he had 50+ grandchildren! He was a silversmith...and he cast bells...and he was a dentist...and he was a shopkeeper. Revere was defiantly more than a horseback messenger!

Just around the corner from Revere's house was one of the restaurants that Jeff had recommended: G'vanni's Ristorante. I had the Shrimp Giuseppe. It was the best pasta I ever put in my mouth! There was a dish on the menu that I just couldn't get into: Pumpkin Ravioli. But Robin decided to be adventurous and order it. She gave me a bite and it was DELICIOUS!

After lunch, we continued our walk down the Freedom Trail to the Old North Church. Remember the Old North Church...location of "one if by land and two if by sea"? Built in 1723, it is still a beauty.

Here is picture from inside the church:
The Old North Church was the King's church and most of it's congregation were loyal to the King of England. They were the wealthy of pre-revolutionary Boston and their status in society is reflected in where their family pew box was located.

The balconies were for the children and slaves of the pew box holders.
I have never seen a pew box before our tour of Old North Church. It seems that in order to sit in a pew you had to purchase your space and pay rent to keep it.
My question, since this was the King's church, is how in the world did they talk someone into betraying the King and sending out that signal on the fateful night of April 18, 1775?

After spending a little time in their gift shop, we began our walk back to our hotel. On the way we passed Saint Stephens Catholic Church where Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was baptized and where they held her funeral. (She lived to be 104!)

As we were walking through the north end, we kept seeing all these blue and white boxes tied with string.

We decided that we must try them out. We picked up a couple of Yellow Italian Creme Cannolis and a few Boston Creme Boconnottos (Cream Puffs).

We carried them back to the hotel and decided that this would be our dinner for the night. We made it an early night because there was still much to see and to do in Boston.


Anonymous said...

You both seem to have a good time. I love to see the picture. I am so glade thar you our seeing our country first. MOM

Fonda said...

My mom commented on my blog! OMG!!! ;-) I'm just kidding, Mom. But yes, we had a great time and there is still so much to see. We Grandmas have just begun to see America.

Allen and Rita Smith said...

I love seeing Boston thru your eyes. You always go to the best places. I had no idea that Paul was so accomplished. The history books leave out so much. It must be humbling to actually see the places that shaped our country.

Anonymous said...

The way you describe your trip makes the rest of us want to go. Thanks for the pictures they are so interesting. Did you know that Rose Kennedy swam every morning in the ocean until she was in her 90's? I wonder if that was what kept her going? Aunt Fran