Day Two the Princess, teen, and peeps do the Freedom Trail
Or subtitled today in honor of Back to School day “How I spent my summer vacation Day two”
After the “grueling” first day there was already a mutiny among the troops and the plan to get up early and get going was sacrificed for the good of moral. The Princess needed her beauty sleep and the teen needed extra time to get all his texting in. On the trail it was a text free zone except in the case of an emergency like the other adult peep has left the scene and we are trying to locate him. That other peep always has his own agenda. You know the type. So our day of lessons learned begins at 10:30. Time was a wasting and history was waiting but the peeps were ‘starving” so we had to get rations. “When in Rome” so we went to the Dunkin Donuts across the street from the Radisson for a nutritious Boston breakfast.
Then it was a quick one block trip to the start of the Freedom Trail in the Common. Actually we stopped in the Public Garden for the Swan Boats first. The teen and that other peep took one look and said no way. This is when it helps to have a Princess along. She and I had a lovely time on the Swan boats. Great way to see the garden . The wait was only 10 minutes and it was not too expensive. Meanwhile the teen and peep went to the Boston Common Visitor Center to pick up an Audio tour called “Hear Freedom” for $15 for the day. They told them that if they only got one and everyone listened to it, it would run out of batteries in the middle. We took our chances and it lasted till the end with all listening to one set. It did add extra time since we had to pass it among us but it saved money. It was a great way to hear the details without going on a guided tour. We also got to do it at our own pace and no one crowding around one person. We saw some big crowds on the tours that day.
Away we go, time to start the Freedom Trail. Ok I lied; the troops took a quick diversion to walk through the Frog Pond at the end of the park. Fun way to cool off on a hot day. We looked at sites 1-6 on the Freedom Trail map but did not really stop to feel the history till #7-#16 The Park Street Church and The Granary Burial Ground. The Teen and Princess like most kids in this age group are obsessed with scary things like grave yards. Even in the middle of the day this one fits the bill. They could have stayed there for hours finding famous graves, seeing the cool tombstones with skulls, skeletons and other Halloween images and seeing how old the dates were on them. They sure knew how to bury them in the 1700’s. The younger peeps loved all the old churches on the route. “Wow they actually have crypts in them with bodies!” We have nothing like this at home. Finally I dragged them out of there to stop #17-#18. Guess what? It was another spooky church and cemetery. The Kings Chapel and Burying Grounds. They loved this stuff. Don’t tell them they actually learned a lot while listening to the headphones and reading all the gravestones. It would ruin the moment.
Like Sherman marching his troops in the South we had to press on. Stop #19. The site of the first public school. Boos all around from the Teen and Princess.
Stop #20 was next. Or should I say next to #20. This was the first of a few lessons learned that day. Note to self. If you stop in a store in route and a nice sales person gives your Princess a free product you might as well buy more right then and there or else you will spend the rest of the trip checking out every tourist shop for said product. Why would any sane person want to put rubber bands in the shapes of animals etc on their fingers as rings is beyond me? Wasn’t your wrist silly enough? If you have a child between the ages of 4-12 you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t seen the rings yet you will.
Off to #21 (Promise I am not going to list each stop) Old South Meeting House
Freedom is not Free and either is the Freedom Trail. $7 here and $6 there and it really start to add up when there are 4 peeps. We paid for the combo ticket with Paul Revere’s house. They had a free Scavenger hunt for the little peeps. The Princess enjoyed this and she got a free pencil. Who doesn’t like free?
#22 Old State House. Across the street is the National Park info center. Great place for hearing about the tours (I think some are free, again love that word). Also you can get your Passport Book stamped if you collect them from National Parks. Of course we forgot ours at the home castle, but stamped on little sheets of paper. Like we would really remember later to add them to the book. Right….I keep finding them now when I do the laundry from back pockets. Lesson learned just buy a new Passport book. What is another $7 bucks at this point in the game.
Ok back to #22 Old State House the fee to get in I believe was $7 per peep and we had forgotten a little thing like lunch. It was already late afternoon so we listened to the headphone story and marched on to #25 when all we really wanted was a Food Court. Dreams do come true #25 was one gigantic crowded and expensive food court. Quincy Market. Since there was no place to sit this peep sold the others on snacks now and a great early dinner in the North End. We had $7 smoothies and fruit and pressed on.
Back on the trail we stopped into Faneuil Hall just in time for the Town meeting put on by the National Park people. We read about this on the board as you walk in the visitor’s center across from stop #22. Interesting, interactive, and free.
One if by land two if by sea? Or is it the other way around? Does anyone really ever remember? It was on to the North End and the promise of real food at the end of the rainbow opps trail. Princess loved Paul Revere’s house. It looked like just the place a Princess could feel at home in. Teen liked the North Church. More scary crypts. We were too late for the crypt and bell tower tour. He really wants to do that “next” time.
Before there was another mutiny I had to feed the teen and Princess.
Where to eat? Sure wish I would have printed out all the reviews on TA. Did not. So we went to Cantina Italiano. Here we learned some important expensive lessons. Before you have multiple Sangrias from the cool looking container at the bar find out the cost and before you and the other peep order the special of the day really understand the cost or you could have a very big surprise at the end. Let’s just say it was the most expensive meal of our trip and there were no steak products involved. This is when it helps that we skipped a little thing like lunch.
I must have missed the memo on which is the better cannoli’s place so we did the tourist thing and went to Mike’s. Now this peep loves cannolis so assumed all would be thrilled with one. So did I order just one for everyone to try? No I had to get 4 of them. Princess hates cheese so I told her it was whipped cream. She took one bite and called it a day. Peep said it was too sweet. Teen said it looked weird wouldn’t touch it. So much for the cannolis, these are people whose favorite meal is tuna casserole so foodies they are not.
Another lesson learned.
If it seems like this trip report is never going to end I would agree with you. I think it has taken me as long to write this as it took to do the trail. And that is a long time. So let’s briefly say it was too late to actually go on the Constitution but we heard some cool bag pipe playing as we listened to a private ceremony from across the water on it. We were able to drop off the headset at the Residence Inn Marriott right there in Charlestown after hours. Way after hours. Then the long trek back to our hotel the Radisson. It helps to have your own Boy Scout with you at all times to read the maps but if you don’t happen to bring one with you having a GPS with also helps. Luckily we had both. We made it back in about 30 minutes.
Lessons learned you will not be able to do the entire Freedom Trail in one day not matter what you have on the plan. And I love my plans, but enjoy what you can see.Edited: 27 August 2010, 04:57