Road Trip 2011: Day 6 – historic Boston

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After breakfast (again) this morning at the hotel buffet, we drove over to Woburn to see some old family places (my mother-in-law grew up in the area). Then went to downtown to the city of Boston. We had pre-purchased tickets online for the Old Town Trolley tours, so after parking the car we walked to the nearest stop and boarded the trolley to see the sights.

The Junior Ranger badge for Boston National Historical Park isn’t nearly as straightforward as some of the other national parks we’ve visited since it involves visiting multiple sites around the city. My daughter really wanted to earn that badge, though, so we knew we were in for a lot of walking and lot of sight-seeing today.

From an early stop on the trolley route we walked to Paul Revere’s house and from there to the Old North Church. My daughter wanted to see more of the church so we went on a tour that took us up into the bell-ringing chamber (although we couldn’t see the bells from there) and down into the crypt to see some of the older tombs below the church.

Finished at the church, we walked the Freedom Trail over to the Charlestown Navy Yard, the home of the USS Constitution. Also in dry-dock there is the WWII destroyer USS Cassin Young … it was pretty cool to be able to walk on her decks and check out some of the compartments.

After finishing up at the shipyard museums (and my daughter obtained the required stamps in her Junior Ranger booklet), we continued on the Freedom Trail up to Bunker Hill. Unfortunately the monument itself was closed so we weren’t able to climb to the top and take in the view. We did peruse the museum, though, where I learned that the Bunker Hill Monument was the inspiration for the Washington Monument.

By now we had done enough historical stuff for my daughter to earn her Junior Ranger badge and were hungry for lunch. My wife wanted to go to the Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown (based on a Ming-Tsai recommendation on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate“) so we took the trolley back into the city and then walked the rest of the way.

Full of dumplings and other yummy Chinese food, we walked off some of our lunch on the way to the Public Garden where we went on the swan boats. By now it was almost time for the trolleys to stop running (why at 5pm?) so we walked to the nearest stop and rode the trolley back to our original boarding point. From there we walked over to Faneuil Hall (closed for rennovation) and Quincy Market (where we shared a small Boston cream pie pastry from a local bakery).

Still wanting to see some more historical sights before calling it a day, we walked to the King’s Chapel and Granary Burial Grounds to see the graves of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. Tired by now, we hoofed it back to the car and dealt with the remainder of rush-hour traffic getting out of the city. We swung out past MIT and grabbed dinner at the Flour Bakery (another FoodTV recommendation) to take back to the hotel.


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