Thursday, May 28, 2015

Not a Leisure Trip! This is a Field Trip!

I got to spend the past week with Sophie and her cousin and my Sister-in-law on an eighth grade history trip sponsored by my Dad. He decided these two girls, and their teachers, needed to see some historical sites up close and personal so he sent us on a plane to the other side of the USA.

We boarded a plane in San Francisco (9:15 p.m. Pacific time) and six hours later we were in Boston (6:00 a.m Eastern time).

 These two girls were so excited! They even thought the shuttle to the rental car place was fun.

No sleep for the weary! We jumped into our rental and drove out to Lexington to make the most of Day 1 of our trip.

 We actually ate a picnic breakfast in the green at Lexington.  After wandering the square, and gaining some maps and info from the Visitor's Center We were on our way to Minute Man National Park.

 We were all amazed at how green and lush everything was.  Coming from drought stricken CA to this beautiful Spring day in New England was quite the contrast.
 We watched a short film at the Minute Man park visitor's center that told the history of the events that took place here in Lexington.

With not much more to see in Lexington we started off for Concord.

Before you get into the cute little city of Concord there was a special home I wanted to visit.

We had prepared for this trip the last few weeks by listening to the audiobook of Little Women. We were very excited and ready to visit Orchard House!

They don't let you take pictures inside the house. But it was really fun to see where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women and where the story takes place. We happened to be visiting in May which is when Anna, her older sister and inspiration for Meg in the Little Women, was married. They had her wedding dress on display. They said it is only brought out in the month of May.  We also were able to see Lousia's younger sister May's (Amy in Little Woman) drawings and painting throughout the house. May's room even had drawings on the walls and around the windows. She truely was very talented.

Next we went to visit the Old North Bridge in Concord. 

This is where Ralph Waldo Emerson said the "shot heard round the world" took place.  Of course the first shots were fired in Lexington Green. But evidently the first shots the American's shot and at the British was here on this bridge.

 We had to walk down the hill from the visitor's center to get to the bridge. The fields were so green an covered in buttercups and dandelions. We took our time walking down and enjoyed the beauty of the hillside.

Here is the Minute Man statue at the bridge

 Just to prove I was there I had to have a picture with Sophie on the bridge.

On the other side of the bridge and up a little hill is the "Old Manse" where Ralph Waldo Emerson and then later Nathaniel Hawthorn lived.

Very beautiful and covered with lilac bushes.

This isn't a lilac but I couldn't help but take pictures of the beautiful flowers as we walked through the countryside.
 We had a brief lunch and picked up some Boston Baked Beans candy.  I am sure you can buy these anywhere but it was fun to eat them while in or at least near Boston.

Our next stop was Walden Pond.  The actual pond is actually a popular swimming spot here in Concord so wouldn't be the peaceful place where Henry David Thoreau spent 2 years living in a little cabin on the shores.
 There is a replica of the cabin,
 and a statue of Thoreau.
Here is the inside with all the things he was supposed to have had with him. However the list said he had a flute with him and we couldn't find it. 

After visiting all these different literary homes and such we thought we should go and see where these famous authors now rest. We went up to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (we thought perhaps this is where the Legend of Sleep Hollow is supposed to take place but it isn't. That is in NY not MA.). 

 This is where Thoreau,
 The Alcotts,

 Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorn (sorry didn't get a picture) were all buried in a part of the cemetery called Authors' ridge.

 By this time we were tired so headed to find our hotel and finally get some much needed sleep!

That was quite a long Day 1.

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