WARNING: This post is huge and may require some patience.
DISCLAIMER: Written after being awake for 21 hours - please disregard all spelling and grammatical errors.
In February I received an e-mail from my mom asking if I would like to accompany her to Boston for her nursing conference. It would be me and my sister doing pretty much anything we wanted for three days while my mom was at her conference and then two days hanging out with her afterward. I immediately forwarded the e-mail to Mr. Mitchell who said I should go. Well, I have just returned from my Boston adventures and must, of course, share.
My wonderful mother-in-law provided a way for me to get all of my pictures in Boston; unfortunately, the camera had a very difficult time focusing so quite a few of the pictures came out slightly blurry. Just remember, there are three types of pictures and these ones are the first type: documenting.
This was our only day with sketchy weather. According to the locals it was unusually humid plus there was a smattering of rain throughout the day. We did not let that spoil our fun. We decided to start our day off with Plimoth Plantation, but we didn't have an exact address. Jayme and I decided to wing it and plugged in Main Street Plymouth. Gladys (our GPS) kindly directed us in a very incorrect direction that took us through the delightful town of Duxbury. Quaint and expensive. Ultimately she landed us on a dead-end sandbar in the ocean, but it was fun. Here are some pictures of Duxbury where he hung out with some locals and participated in the community crossword.
After getting an address we finally made our way to Plimoth Plantation which is most definitely not located across a rickety bridge on a sandbar. This place was cool. We tried tricking the pilgrims into slipping out of character and never succeeded. We hardly said anything to the Native People because just outside of their village entrance they have a sign posted that lists at least 10 things you cannot say in the village because it is offensive (i.e. say Native People instead of Native American or Indian)and we did not want to accidentally offend anyone.
Then we went to Mayflower II.
This day (and the next) my brother joined us from North Carolina. We started with a tour of the birthplaces of John Adams and John Quincy Adams and then their final family estate. What an inspiring family - everybody should read about Abigail.
We then went on a Duck Tour (named for the WWII DUKW vehicles the tours take place in). The tours take you on land and water and make you stick out like a sore thumb to the locals. It was fun, though.
This was followed by the Freedom Trail Part 1. We saw the Old State House, where the Boston Massacre happened; saw the cemetery where those casualties were buried along with Paul Revere; saw the Old City Hall; lastly saw Faneuil Hall and market.
After an exhausting day of much walking we decided to relax with a nice Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I cheered for the Mariners, but had to do so secretly so nobody would dump their beer on me.
This day started in Salem - Stupid Salem as we now fondly call it. I will never go there again expecting an educational/historical experience because it has turned into a Halloween tourist trap, no matter the time of the year, based off of the Salem Witch Trials. I learned some things about the trials, but I mostly felt like they were doing a terrible job of trying to give me thrills and spooks; however, there were some fun things to do in Salem. The House of the Seven Gables was one of my favorite tours of the trip (secret passageways - hello!), the candy store was sweet, the pub had excellent food, and if it hadn't been so windy we totally would have gone on a schooner ride.
After Salem we went back to Boston to continue part of the Freedom Trail. We didn't think we would make it to the USS Constitution, but when I told Mr. Mitchell that he sounded soooo bummed that I made sure we fit it in. We attempted Bunker Hill, but they have the monument closed. Afterward, we strolled the North End observing the night life and ate at an amazing Italian restaurant. Jayme really had to pee...but that's a whole other story.
*You're almost to the end!!*
We finished up the Freedom Trail by hitting up Paul Revere's house, walking through an adorable, and oldest, part of Boston, and finishing at the Old North Church where they hung the lantern so Paul Revere could take his ride. We actually went to a church service there and, boy, were they happy to have visitors.
We then moved out of Boston to Lexington & Concord. We saw Orchard House (home of Louisa May Alcott), Ralph Waldo Emerson's home, and drove by Wayside (Nathaniel Hawthorne's home - the government doesn't have it open yet)and the replica of Henry David Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our events the last couple of days we weren't able/allowed to take many pictures. Besides, Jayme and I started getting camera loopy, so I'll save you from those.
We then went to North Bridge which is where the 'shot heard round the world' was fired from. After hanging out with a Torie and a rabble-rouser we had a fabulous dinner at a Tandoori Indian restaurant.
*You really, truly are almost done!*
On our last day we broke our Massachusetts bounds and drove into Newport, Rhode Island. BEAUTIFUL! We toured the summer 'cottages' of millionaires and it was amazing. First we went to The Breakers, which was owned by the Vanderbilts, and then to Rosecliffe, which was owned by a family that married into the Vanderbilts. There were several others that we would have loved to done, but they were expensive. We played on the beach for a bit, but it was nearing dusk and getting cold. We then ate a steak and seafood place that was very swanky and very delicious. We finished up with a scenic drive down Ocean Drive and our lives will never be the same.
Whew! Well, thanks for reading my Boston synopsis. That's right, y'all got the short version. It was a beautiful, historical trip.
Thank you, Mom! You made it all possible, and we're very, very grateful!