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The Freedom Trail, part 2

September 23, 2011

Here’s another picture overload post.  If I don’t sit down and write about our trip now, chances are I’ll never come back to blog about it. Things are not going particularly well here this week, but I’ll get to that in my weekly report tomorrow. Right now I’d much rather reminisce about last week!

If we counted right, we went to eight cemeteries on this trip (and drove by countless others!)  Besides the family cemetery in Maine, we found DH’s great-grandparents’ graves in Medford.  Those were by far the newest headstones we saw.  The others were all very old.  I just love old cemeteries!  On the Freedom Trail is the Granary Burying Ground next to the Park Street Church across from Boston Common.


The big obelisk in the center is for Benjamin Franklin’s parents.  Paul Revere is also buried here. The slate marker from his burial:

A later marker that was placed:

Is it weird to have smiling children in front of tombstones?

John Hancock’s memorial:

Samuel Adams, and in his same family plot, the victims of the Boston Massacre:

The original Mother Goose (or so they say…)

The decorative old headstones are just so fascinating to me.  I could wander for hours in old cemeteries.  But moving on…

The USS Constitution!  C has wanted to visit this ship ever since we studied the War of 1812 almost two years ago.  We had intended this to be our very first stop in Boston, but it wasn’t open on Mondays.  We had a harbor cruise included in our trolley tour so we could see her from the water, but C had to wait another agonizing day to actually go aboard.

Finally we made it there.  First off though, we went to the USS Constitution Museum which had a wonderful hands-on exhibit for children about life aboard a ship.  We could have stayed there all afternoon, I’m sure.  Only the lure of going aboard the actual ship got us out of there.  The boys tried on clothes and tried out the hammocks, which were considerably more roomy than they would have been with the 500 men actually serving aboard the Constitution.

A got to practice hauling a goat on board.  It made goat sounds all the while which was hilarious.

We all got to practice standing up on the rigging and hauling in the sails.  It was hard work!  I can’t imagine doing it how many feet above the deck, in all kinds of weather.  We were pretty unsteady 6 inches above the ground.

Finally we got to the ship. It lived up to all of C’s high hopes and expectations, and I’ll even admit it was a really neat experience.  It remains the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat.  We were able to take a tour belowdecks with one of the navy crewmen assigned there.

There was also a WWII destroyer, the Cassin Young, docked there at the Navy Yard.  Normally we love WWII ships, but this just couldn’t compare to “Old Ironsides.”  D was looking forward to it however and enjoyed our walk around the deck.

At the end of the Freedom Trail is the Bunker Hill Monument commemorating the misnamed Battle of Bunker Hill, which was actually fought on Breed’s Hill, and which the British technically won.  It’s a beautiful site for an obelisk though!


DH took the three older boys up the 294 stairs to the top.  E and I opted to stay down below.  I guess the boys fairly raced to the top and back.  They were back pretty quick (and DH was sweating buckets from keeping up with them!) but they had some neat views of Boston from the top.

E at the end of the Freedom Trail:

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 26, 2011 11:02 pm

    See what you did to me?? Now I want to go to Boston too, but it’s too far away to be a practical destination! =]P Tombstones and tall ships: what a great combo! We went to a tall ships festival they had here, just a week after Raven’s birth, and it was a blast; we went on the HMS Bounty, which was the Black Pearl in the movies. Cool, but not nearly so hands-on as it looks like yours was! Tall ships are awesome. Now I’m going to have to go look up the USS Constitution in the book I bought that day & see what it says. Looks like you had a blast. =]

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