Lately, Adventure Guy and I have talked about a driving tour of the East Coast to commence immediately following camp pick-up this summer. AG’s uncle extended an invitation to join him on the river in Boston for 4th of July fireworks, and that sounds like an opportunity we can’t pass up. We’d thought about driving it from Missouri and taking in some other cities on the way out and back. That is, up until we made a long trip in the family Suburban over Labor Day. Then suddenly Adventure Guy became a proponent of flying into Boston and renting a car for touring from there. I haven’t quite decided which way would be the best option.
But one thing I am sure of now is that my kids will love Boston. I had the opportunity to travel there for business this week. First for a meeting and then to present at a conference on Friday. My colleagues and I explored the city both on foot and via the T during the evenings and the one free afternoon we had during the trip.
On our first night, we wandered down to Harvard Square for a trip to Legal Sea Foods and an impromptu stop at Lizzie’s Ice Cream. I highly recommend the Butter Crunch if you’re in the neighborhood! And speaking of the neighborhood, we had a great time seeing the apartment at the Harvard Divinity School where one of my colleagues and her husband lived as newlyweds and then wandering through the streets admiring all the lovely homes, churches, and university buildings.
After a long day of meetings Wednesday, we continued the eating tour by taking the T up to Beacon Hill and enjoying dinner at Grotto. I had the excellent crabmeat ravioli and even more excellent banana bread pudding with caramel ice-cream. Diet? What diet? The after-dinner walk proved just as enjoyable as we ogled the beautiful homes in the neighborhood, catching glimpses of other lives through the occasional brightly lit window. I’m particularly intrigued with urban life and the interesting basement apartments tucked into these brownstones since I’ve always been a small-town or suburban girl myself.
I spent most of Thursday morning’s meetings anxiously awaiting my opportunity to get outside and onto the Freedom Trail. We hit the T and travelled up to the North End for lunch, stumbling on Gennaro’s, a nice little Italian place with a killer view from the upstairs booth we wrangled. After filling ourselves with both the people watching and the spaghetti and meatballs, we set off to walk off all that lunch on the Freedom Trail.
One of my favorite stops was The Old North Church. We stepped inside just as a docent began her talk about the famous events surrounding Paul Revere’s ride. I also enjoyed seeing how my Episcopal forefathers decorated their private pew boxes. The quaint setting seemed far away from my childhood church, but the familiar prayerbooks and hymnals reminded me of the shared heritage I have with so many of those ancient Anglicans.
We also visited several of the cemeteries along the route, marveling both at the intricacies of the skeleton designs on the old tombstones and the famous names they bore. I’ll admit I have a thing for cemeteries. They bring out the historian in me. I love imagining the lives lived, the stories behind all those birth and death dates. And perhaps that’s the reason I loved Boston so much. The place just oozes history.
I can’t wait to share it with the kids in July.