A Boston Teaser Party: Just Enough to Make Us Want More
Thanks to my kindergarten pal and college roommate, Megan who we visited yesterday (read about that here), I had been to Boston before. However, that visit was nearly 8 years ago for her wedding. Russ visited many times for work, but not for play. That being said, we were due for another visit to the city of Boston. I didn’t conduct my normal “What to do in (city name)?” as I had an inkling that the options might have been overwhelming. So instead, I decided to limit my looking to great deals on a sight-seeing type tour. When we were presented with a deal we could not turn down, the Boston Duck Tour became the tour of choice. We climbed aboard our amphibious vehicle for a quirky tour of Boston by land and by sea. Our ConDUCKtor narrated our tour, providing historical facts mixed with a little comic relief about the city of Boston, often referred to as the birthplace of freedom and the city of firsts. It is always cool to learn a bit about a place from a person who truly loves the city as they are full of little known facts and interesting insights. Our “splashdown” into the water provided us with a view of not only the Boston skyline, but Cambridge which sits on the other bank of the Charles River. Our 80 minute tour, gave us a quick run down of many of Boston’s attractions. Quack Quack!
After our feet were back on the ground, we decided to do a little walking tour. As any tour of our usually starts, we headed toward the water. We walked a mile or so along the Boston Harbor until the cold breeze blew us to warmer grounds as well as grumbly tummies.
After a quick lunch break, we decided to head to the Bunker Hill Monument as we heard you could climb to the top for a great view of the Boston area. We learned several things on the Duck Tour about the Battle of Bunker Hill that I’m sure we heard in history class, but never sunk in. Sorry, Aunt Vick! If it makes you feel any better, I enjoy history much more than I did as a teenager. Things we learned…
- Since the Battle of Bunker Hill has a monument, you would assume that the result of the battle was a Patriot Victory. But as always never assume anything, as the battle was actually won by the British. However, many consider this a turning point for the Patriot forces as it demonstrated that the inexperienced Patriot militia was able to stand up to the strong British troops in battle. The British casualties were comparatively larger leading them to adopt more cautious planning and maneuvers in the future.
- The Bunker Hill Monument is not located on Bunker Hill, rather it sits atop Breed’s Hill which is where the majority of the fighting took place during the battle. The location was misnamed, but the battle name stuck anyway!
- The famous Revolutionary War phrase, “Don’t fire until you see the white of their eyes.” was coined in the Battle of Bunker Hill by William Prescott a native of Massachusetts. Since the Patriots did not have the large amount of gun powder as the more powerful British Militia, Prescott did not want any of it to be wasted on a long shot.
Okay, okay enough historical trivia! Plus to most of our readers, these are not new tidbits of information as you all probably paid attention in history class. Way to Go! Because, after all we have the most intelligent group of readers out there.
We stopped at the museum to to get some information and climbing passes. While admission is free, you do need to check-in with the ranger on duty prior to climbing. Yes, the only means to reach the top of the Bunker Hill Monument is via 294 stairs. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Well let me tell you, it was a little more difficult than we anticipated. Some heavy breathing also accompanied us to the top of the monument. The saving grace was the narrow spiral staircase because it was hard for two people to pass going alternate directions. That meant when someone was coming down, I took that as an opportunity to be kind and let them pass and by be kind, I mean take a break to catch my breath! The work-out was worth it, as the view was pretty impressive. While the Bunker Hill Monument’s obelisk shape will almost immediately remind you of the Washington Monument, thank goodness for our lungs and calf muscles that it is only a mini version. The Bunker Hill Monument constructed entirely of quarried granite measures 221 feet, while its Washington counterpart is the tallest of its kind at 555 feet and is equipped with an ELEVATOR! Which we now know why it is!
While the views from the top of the monument were pretty spectacular, we found a more unique view once we were back at the bottom. Nuns playing football. Not something you come across every day. Let me tell you, some of those sisters had good arms. Watch out Tom Brady, they are coming for you! While you may think NFL stands for National Football League, remember when it becomes the Nuns Football League that you heard it here first.
The Bunker Hill Monument stands tall at the end of the Freedom Trail, so as we departed to head about 2 miles back to the car we followed the red-lined route most of the way. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile route leading you along sixteen historically significant sites. Russ said he didn’t remember the Freedom Trail to be such a long walk, but then he remembered that was because he rode it atop his Dad’s shoulders as a wee little one. I tried to talk him into letting me experience it that way first, but he refused to provide me with such a ride. The Freedom Trail is a good way to discover the history of the American Revolution as it began in Boston.
This conveniently lead us within a couple hundred feet of a Nespresso Boutique, where were enjoyed a coffee treat. I would just call it a coffee break, but Russ sipped a fancy mocha latte while I thoroughly enjoyed a shot of espresso over salted caramel ice cream. Told you it was more like a treat, than just a coffee. We sat for awhile trying to let traffic lighten up before making our drive back to our home parked at Normandy Farms Campground.
We had a great day exploring Boston with plenty to still see and do on future visits to America's Walking City. Walk on Bostonians!