Tuesday, May 11, 2010

boston: freedom trail

Our first day in Boston was our most productive touristy day. The first thing that we did was walk the Freedom Trail which was probably the highlight of my time there (besides the whole engagement thing, obviously). The Freedom Trail covers many of the sites in Boston having to do with the Revolutionary War. Justin was a great sport and let me take tons of pictures, so here you go!

1. Boston Common
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Boston Common was pretty cool. I love public parks like this in major cities. It's such a great gathering place for people. We were in Boston during Marine Week, so there were all sorts of helicopters and trucks and tanks (and soldiers!) scattered throughout the park.
2. Massachusettes State House
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This building obviously makes me think of The Departed and Matt Damon. There was some sort of workers' union protest going when we were walking the trail which seemed odd in the middle of the morning on a Thursday...Apparently my Aunt used to work in this building--I had totally forgotten that she had been assistant to one of the Massachusettes senators.
3. Park Street Church
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The place where this building stands was nicknamed "Brimstone Corner" back in the day due to the fiery sermons preaching condemnation. The first Sunday School was instituted at Park Street Church.
4. Granary Burial Ground
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Such a cool cemetery! Definitely a must for American history lovers. The victims of the Boston Massacre are buried here as well as many of the signers of the Constutution like John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams.
5. King's Chapel
Photobucket King's Chapel is the church with the unusual box pews. It's also where all of the British "bad guys" went to church. It's also were prisoners condemned to hang in Boston Common heard their last sermon, and the building houses the largest bell ever crafted by Paul Revere.
6. Boston Latin School
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Site of the first ever public school! What an awesome concept--schooling available to everyone.
7. Benjamin Franklin Statue
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Me with one of my ultimate heroes, Benjamin Franklin!
8. We missed the Old Corner Book Store : (
9. Old South Meeting House

Photobucket This is where the Boston Tea Party began!
10. Old State House & Site of the Boston Massacre
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Right in front of this building is a little circle of cobblestone marking the spot where the Boston Massacre took place which went on to fuel the flame and begin the Revolutionary War.
11. Faneuil Hall
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The great meeting hall on the second floor is where Americans first protested the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act--"no taxation without representation."
12. Paul Revere House
Photobucket This house was built around 1680 and was where Paul Revere lived. It is the oldest structure in downtown Boston, and it totally made me think of Johnny Tremain.
13. Old North Church
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The steeple where Robert Newman hung two lanterns to let the revolutionaries know that the redcoats were coming via the Charles River. If you look really close at the bottom, you can see a teeny tiny Justin.
14. Bunker Hill Monument
Photobucket Site of the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, the first major battle of the Revolutionary War.
15. U.S.S. Constitution
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Complete in 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution in the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Justin and I took a tour of it, and it's hard to believe that this was the height of naval technology at one point in time.

So, our tour book said that this would take us 90 minutes. It definitely took us about half a day. You might be able to finish it in 90 minutes if you speed walk and don't stop to look at or take pictures of anything. Definitely worth half a day, though. It was inspiring to stand where so many of our great American heroes stood and fought for what we have today.

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