Three if by Train?


One if by sea, two if by land…

A phrase associated with Paul Revere and the conflict that took place at Lexington during April in 1775 that turned out the be the flash point for the start of the Revolutionary war.

We took the day on Monday to travel to Boston, but by neither sea or land, we choose to take the train.  The day started out a bit earlier then we are used to anymore with us having to get up at 6AM.  After getting ready we drove north just a bit to the train station in Kingston where thankfully there was ample parking for our tiny little truck.

Now those of you who know me well know that I’m big on the details, I like to have every little detail worked out ahead of time and I can get overboard sometimes on planning too much (more on this in a later post).  Well taking a train up to Boston to roam around on foot allowed for a large number of unplanned details, and just unknown items that we wouldn’t be able to figure out until we were there.  It was a good exercise for me in letting go a bit.

We managed to catch the train with little issue, and after a less then scenic hour long ride were deposited at South Station on the southern side of downtown Boston by about 9:30am.  Thanks to our friend Dan Stone we had a pretty good list of ‘priority’ locations to visit.  Places like:

  • The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • The Old South Meeting Hall (where a number of pre revolutionary war meetings were held, including the meeting right before the Boston Tea Party happened)
  • Lunch at the Quincy Market
  • The Old North Church (famous for the lanterns that appear in it’s steeple in 1775)
  • The USS Constitution

We worked our way around all these places and a couple extra while on the Freedom Trail, a walking path through the city that connects various historical locations.  Following the path is very easy and didn’t even require a map most of the time since you simply follow a brick line that flows down sidewalks, shows you where to make street crossings, etc.  It felt a little bit like the Wizard of Oz in how we were “following the red brick road.”

Our first stop was the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum.  Though a bit pricey this turned out to be a great first stop.  It’s focus extended a bit beyond just the actual event of the Tea Party and served as a great intro to some of the history we were about to see.

We enjoyed lunch at a Cheers location (yes, every thing is more expensive then it should be) and even caught a show out in front of Quincy Market by a street performer.

We were sad to discover that the USS Constitution (a heavy frigate launched in 1797 which is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world) was in dry dock, and though it was fascinating to see this historic vessel out of the water and torn down pretty substantially while it underwent repairs we were unable to get on the ship.

We were able to visit and board the USS Cassin Young (a WW2 era destroyer).  Sam especially enjoyed seeing the depth charges as it that was a weapon heavily depicted in an old WW2 movie we both watched recently.

From there we broke from the trail to cover some serious ground.  Wendy and Ava wanted to see the ‘Make way for the Ducklings‘ tribute statue in the Boston Public Gardens.  This is based on a children’s book written by Robert McCloskey that our children know well.

After that destination we worked our way back to the South Station to catch our train home.  We were able to walk through Downtown Crossing on the way there, a couple block section where cars weren’t allowed on the roads and the streets were lined with shops and restaurants.  It was a pretty cool place and convinced Wendy that if we ever moved to a large city it would probably be Boston (you know, since we fit in so well politically with this area).

All told we covered a bit over 6.5 miles on foot and got back to the cottage (our name for our RV) around 6:30pm.  We were all very tired but it was a great day (though a bit of an expensive day).  It was a great reminder of some of the history regarding the revolutionary war and had some interesting connotations on where this country is politically.

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