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Walking the Freedom Trail

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Diane

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And I DO mean walking it! The bottom half of my body is sore!

After our time at NEHGS, we went for a delicious lunch at Met Back Bay. Maple glazed corned beef scramble (with egg, carrot, potato, kale) for me and a huge burger for Ron. Once we were finished with our meals, Ron requested an Uber and we were on our way to Bunker Hill. It was my first time riding an Uber; I was impressed with the cleanliness of the gentleman's vehicle, his knowledge of Boston, and his interest in conversing with us the whole trip. He used to live in DC so was regaling us with his thoughts on the metro (loved it!), his past jobs in Georgetown as a cook, and he also provided his thoughts on getting around Boston as well.

We started our Freedom Trail walk from Bunker Hill. It was a gorgeous sunny day, with temps in the mid 50s, so we chose to walk the 2.5 mile trail. Our server at the Met Back Bay was a bit horrified when we suggested walking the whole trail and our Uber driver highly recommended we not do the walk...Ron and I can both be stubborn. As we started walking all down-hill, we were thrilled we had chosen to start at Bunker Hill vs. the Boston Commons which is mentioned as the starting point. Halfway across the Charlestown Bridge, we realized we were traveling away from the USS Constitution. The Freedom Trail is marked with red brick, sometimes painted blue on either side, but we had not remembered that it does a loop in the Charlestown area to also take you to USS Constitution. We doubled back so we could see Old Ironsides; this ship was launched in 1797 and is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. Read more here at Wikipedia.

Retracing our steps to walk over Charlestown River, we made our way to Copp's Hill Burying Ground and realized we would be walking hills regardless. I chuckled a bit to myself as I realized that here at Copp's Hill you did not need to be a genealogist to be interested in walking a cemetery. Beautiful setting and interesting history portrayed on the informational markers; for more information check the Boston city page here. It still amazes Ron and I to see headstones from the mid- to late-1700s which are more legible than some from the 1800s due to the material differences of granite and sandstone.

Old North Church is a must stop on the Freedom Trail! Besides the USS Constitution, I think I took the most photographs at this historic sight. Check out its history here. We stopped at St. Stephen's Catholic Church but did not tour the inside as a service was being held. This church is noted as the place where Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was baptized in 1890 and then her funeral held here in 1996. Check out its history here on Wikipedia.

Past the Paul Revere house and through little Italy, we stopped at the Union Oyster House for an early dinner. It was a bit early at 4:30 pm for dinner but we wanted to stop at one of these restaurants/bars in this old section. The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in Boston and in a pre-Revolutionary War building so very cool! There was a huge crowd waiting for the bar; we chose to sit at a table. Delicious bowls of clam chowder and sweet corn bread made onsite every day and then we were on our way again.

The market was in full-swing near Faneuil Hall. We took time to check out the front of this building with its statue of Sam Adams. There was also a rally or comedy concert going on at the Hall; with my hearing aids, I really did not know which it was. Between the market and the crowds for the rally, we lost the Freedom Trail a couple times but were able to easily pick it up again as we continued onward.

We stopped for photographs at Old State House, the sight of the Boston Massacre, the Old South Meeting HouseKing's Chapel, and State House. By now it was dark out so photographs of statues are not so good and photographs of buildings, in some cases, turned out very striking. One thing that brought much joy for me was seeing all the Christmas decorations in the old section of restaurants and along the market place area. If it had been misting, I would have thought I was in Germany, strolling through the town after seeing the Christmas market.

At the end of the Freedom Trail, we had a 1/2 mile back to our hotel, and were thankful to be able to sit and relax after a busy and history-filled (just what we like!) afternoon!


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