By the rudge bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wow, what an incredible trip! My mind can barely absorb it all, I feel like I could spend a year in the places I went and still not learn everything. Because there is so much, I will make a list of the places I went, and have a few highlights of my favorites and interesting things I learned. Please endure my nerdiness for this post (:
-Drove by NYC- saw the Manhattan skyline and the statue of liberty (:
-Began in Newport, Rhode Island. We spent a day at the beach, and saw these incredibly enormous mansions from the Industrial Revolution. We found seashells and seaglass, and hiked along the coast. Beautiful!
-Went to the Naval Base, and spent a day at the beach. Rode a carousel on the coast (: Saw the Naval War College and some other universities. I didn't get sunburned AT ALL, sadly... too much sunscreen I guess.
-Drove up to Plymouth, Massachusetts (Where the Mayflower landed). Saw the Mayflower - the ship was tiny! I can't imagine sailing with over 100 people onboard across the Atlantic Ocean... wow.
-Saw Plymouth Rock. It was also smaller then I thought it would be- over time, the rock has eroded. There is no proof the pilgrims landed there, but it was probably a landmark, and is a cool symbol of our country.
-Saw some memorials where Pilgrims were buried, and monuments to the Native Americans as well
-Drove up to Boston. Walked "The Freedom Trail" - a pathway of bricks that leads through the entire city, that leads you past the historic places.
-Ate at The Green Dragon Tavern, original to the time period. Was the meetingplace for Boston Revolutionaries- deemed "the headquarters of the Revolution" by Samuel Adams, Daniel Webster, and Paul Revere. The idea of the British to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock (and seize the powder at Concord) was discovered here. Sam Ballard, a 13 year old boy, overheard 2 British officers discussing the plans, and alerted the tavern's landlord. They placed a spy in the room where the British held their councils, and based their plan for Paul Revere's ride. It's still used as a restaurant and bar, and has delicious hamburgers the size of half your plate. I ate the Paul Revere burger (: It was way cool!
-Went to the Old North Church - where the lanterns were lit in the steeple to give the patriots signs of the British positions. "One if by land, two if by sea". This was incredible - had pews that Paul Revere's family and other patriots owned. Very cool.
-Paul Revere's house - we didn't get to go in, because it was expensive (especially with 8 kids) but we got to walk next to it
-Bunker Hill and Breeds Hill: where the Battle of Bunker Hill happened. The battle happened on Breeds Hill, but is commonly mistaken with Bunker Hill. I think it's because the original fortifications were for Bunker's Hill and they changed it, but I'de have to check up on that.
-Samuel Adam's gravesite
-Printing press Paul Revere used for printing pamphlets and pictures, next door to Benjamin Franklin's sister's house (: They probably printed copies of the famous pamphlet of the Boston Massacre here, and posters to enlist for the Continental Army
-Where Boston Massacre happened. This was an interesting experience - it's right smack in the middle of Boston, with skyscrapers and streets all around. It was hard to imagine it happening there. It was cool though.
-Boston Commons: one of the oldest parts of Boston. In colonial times they hung pirates, witches, and heretics here. In more modern times, Martin Luther King also spake here.
-Went onboard the U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides". This is the oldest Naval ship still in commission (or active duty). It fought in the War of 1812. It's never been defeated in battle. Next year, for the 200th anniversary of the war, their going to sail it out into the harbor and fire the cannons. I really want to go to that (: We'll see what happens. It was incredible! They have Naval soldiers work, and they wear time period uniforms. It's cool.
-The National Monument to the Founders: a really neat old statue to the pilgrims, focusing on the freedom of religion
-Lexington & Concord: The Battle Green at Lexington, where the Americans and British first fought. Because of Paul Revere's (and William Dawe's) ride, the patriots knew the British were coming. They lined up across from eachother. It wasn't planned to be a battle, but somebody fired - nobody knows who- and thus the revolution began. Around the green they have homes and a church that date back to the time. They have a nice minuteman memorial there.
-The North Bridge- in Concord. This was one of my favorites. The British and Americans fought on the bridge, and it was the first American victory in the war. They pushed the Brit's all the way back to Boston. They have some beautiful memorials, including one to the British soldiers, and a huge one in the middle with Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem "The Concord Hymn" on it.
-Saw the homes of Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women), Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The Scarlet Letter) , and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
-Saw Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau did his famous experiment living in the wilderness. That was really cool too. It was beautiful (:
-and, finally, driving home we stopped by Washington's headquarters in New York. This was beautiful. It was in a really, really poor area, but the view was incredible, right on the foggy banks of the river. George Washington is my favorite, so this was the perfect ending (:
Incredible trip, huh? It's hard to write, especially as I'm impatient and am writing very quickly, to the affect of how amazing it was to be in those places. It's truly something I wish every American and person interesting in our history could experience. I am so excited to spend more time going to more sights (: What an amazing opportunity! It was awesome!
We took tons of pictures, but if you want to see them, go on facebook - their all on my profile, and if your my friend, you can see them. They take too long to download and upload again (:
Ok, the end for now!