Where better to enjoy Independence Day than in the city where the birth of our country began? Boston is beautiful, it is also small. I’ve visited lots of cities and most are overwhelming in their size. Not so Boston. The little thumb of land is walkable, ask me how I know? We have covered all the ground from the Inner Harbor to the Charles River and most points in between. Yes, there are other districts we haven’t been in, we didn’t make it to Brookline (home to our 35th President); we didn’t make it Fenway Park either, being Giants fans, it just wasn’t necessary. We did, however, make it to Cambridge and Charlestown, as well as all of the North End, Beacon Hill, the West End and the Esplanade. It was awesome.
The subway system is great, easy to travel, clean, timely, and will take you anywhere. Two tips for you, Inbound means in towards City Center, Outbound takes you to the edges – this will save you a few trips up and down stairs. Second tip, if you are going to be there for more than two days, buy the weekly pass. For $19, you can travel on anything the MBTA offers, including the water shuttle from Charleston to the Long Wharf.
The fireworks were spectacular, and I’ve had a lot of experience with fireworks. We chose to watch from the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The Boston Pops performed under the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, but because that area is so condensed, they pipe the music across the river for all to hear. We enjoyed the concert surrounded by 500,000 of our closest friends, and then enjoyed the rest of the show. The pride in America is Boston Strong, so worth being there.
Definition of a hero? Someone who does what needs done at a time when it needs done. Take Paul Revere as an example. Take Paul Revere as an example, he was a silversmith as a young man, just trying to get ahead in life, like so many others, but when the call came to do something heroic, Paul delivered. Today his name lives on in history, as a hero of the American Revolution. (This was just one, of the many conversations we had today.)
History is everywhere in Boston. At the Charlestown Shipyard you can meet a dozen crew members of the US Constitution and hear their stories of why they went to sea. You can visit the buildings that once employed over 50,000 people to support the war effort during WWII. You can walk the battlegrounds of Breed’s Hill where the monument to the Bunker Hill Battle exists today. Tombstones of those who were born in the 16th century are still in existence at Cobb’s Hill cemetery, and running through the streets of Boston is the brick path to shed light on its’ history: The Freedom Trail.
Just two and a half miles long, the Freedom Trail takes you to all the major points of interest to share the history of this city founded in 1630, and while the history is cool, I found something I enjoyed much more in the city by the bay: The People.
We talked to dozens of different people today, from the bus driver taking his lunch break who directed us to the subway to the locals carrying their Mike’s Pastry box with reverence to the cannoli’s inside. The lady and her daughter walking dogs on the square had to stop to talk to us when the French Bulldog pup they were walking decided I was his new best friend, he kept coming over and leaning on my leg and backpack. The Irish girl at Hennessey’s that seated us for our shared lobster dinner had a delightful accent. The fireman at Hook and Ladder #50 who stood on the sidewalk and talked to anyone walking by. The receptionist in the salon who answered my question with enthusiasm when I asked for a coffee shop and sent me down the street to Zume’s. They were just a few that made a great first impression for this wonderful city.
The last time I was in Boston was for a day on the famous road trip of 2007; we parked at Boston Commons and walked the Freedom Trail, only to be returning when the skies opened up. I have never been so wet in all my life, Haley and I ended up changing clothes in the parking garage before we even got back in the car. This time there is more time and a different view on the adventure, no need to fit it all in a single day, we can enjoy all that is available. Thank you, Boston, for the hospitality!