2013 Gratitude Project – Travel: Day Trip to BostonThis month will be a celebration of travel. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had over my nearly thirty years to explore the world. Click here to read about my 2013 November Gratitude Project – Travel
The organization I interned with in NYC celebrates Pioneer Day on July 24, so I had the day off. I chose to take a day trip to Boston, which was spectacular! I wish I could have spent more time there, but crammed as much as I could into the very short time I had there.
What an amazing city with such a rich history and culture!
My journey began shortly after midnight when I hopped on a bus that only cost $1 somewhere in Midtown Manhattan. The trip was about four hours and got me there just as the city was waking up. Unfortunately, a heavy rain storm welcomed me. Since I had limited time, I chose to go find a few sights before others began to open.
The subway took me within a few blocks of Fenway Park. The rain just got harder as I walked around the corner to see the Green Monster. Since I was drenched and nothing was open yet, I took the subway to a train station and waited around for an hour or so until I got bored and decided to ride the subway for a distance, it eventually became a street-level light rail, and see some of the city that way while drying off.
The Freedom Trail
Once the rain petered out, downtown and the Freedom Trail were calling my name. This walking path through downtown Boston takes you to various sites important to the American Revolution. After all, Boston was the cradle of the revolution. Sites on the trail include 16 sites like the old and new Massachusetts’s statehouses, Paul Revere’s home, the Old North Church, King’s Church and more. I think I made it to most of these fabulous places – each with a great story that weaves itself into the larger story of freedom.
My favorite places on the trail were Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house and King’s Chapel. I didn’t get a chance to go in the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, because the line was way too long.
To walk in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers and be in the places they discussed and stood up for liberty. If only to be in any one of those locations when they had their gatherings to hear John or Sam Adams speak or be in the presence of those people who fought during the battle of Bunker Hill.
Old North Church
“One if by sea, two if by land.” The oldest church in Boston was also the highest point in 1775 so that a signal could be given to patriots telling them how the British were making their approach. Paul Revere was the messenger who put the two lanterns in the tower signaling the oncoming army. The tour of the church takes you up in the tower, not the original since fire has destroyed the tower a couple of times since then, and into the sanctuary.
Ever since my historical furnishings and architecture class, I’ve wanted to visit some of the important structures we discussed. Those structures are important because they were built by architects who redefined styles and created new things. In the class we actually discusses a few buildings in Boston. One of them was the Trinity Church designed by Henry Hobson Richardson. It is the best example of his style – Richardsonian Romanesque.
I’ve admired this style ever since and really wanted to visit the church. So, after my Freedom Trail expedition and getting some dry socks, I made it happen. So worth it!
The Trinity Church is a beautiful building inside and out. The murals inside are beautiful as are the stained-glass windows. I absolutely recommend visiting this piece of architectural history when visiting Boston.
There are many options for guided tours in Boston. I had time to do one. Since I had walked the city and seen many of the sites I opted to go on a harbor cruise. This took us out to see the lighthouse, passed an old star fort and more. I enjoyed it as a nice closing to an exciting day.
I am so grateful for the one short day I could spend in Boston. Just as my trip to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, this adventure helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the founders of my native land, for the men and women who sacrificed so much for what they thought was right – not right because they thought it was but because they believed what they fought for were rights inherently given to all humans not by man or government.
I am grateful for people who preserve the stories and places of the past. Being there helps the past be so much more real and not just fade into history and legend. As important as it is to move forward, we can’t forget where we came from and what has made us who we are today.