Sunday, October 07, 2012

Road Trip!

Jeff and the big girls have made it safely to Haiti!  I don't expect to get updates from them, but our pastor is supposed to blog whenever possible.  I'll keep you posted.

Since the younger kids were a bit sad, I decided that I would take them on a little jaunt.  Visiting Lexington and Concord has been on my bucket list, so off we went.

Our first stop was Lexington Green, where the first shot rang out on April 19, 1775.  Now it is a quiet green where people can rest and enjoy the outdoors.

Next, we climbed a hill to visit a bell fry.  The bell was used to warn the colonists that the British were coming after Paul Revere came to town the night of April 18th.  This was the view from the belfry.

The kids pose in the Green.

Across the street from the Green, was Buckman Tavern, where the Minute Men rendezvoused before the battle of Lexington.
The guide told us that the Minute Men were actually men who could be ready in one hour, but Hour Men wasn't such a catchy title, so Minute Men they became.  ha.

The view from Buckman Tavern.
In every town, large and small in New England, there are beautiful white churches with steeples.  In spite of that, New England has become very secular and has largely forgotten God.  It's so sad.

The kids were far more excited about all the leaves they could play in than in learning American history.

Next, we traveled the road the soldiers took from Lexington to Concord.  There was a really cool multi-media presentation about that fateful day in April.  It was free and amazingly good.  Jake and Kate were a bit scared, as it was pretty realistic, but they recovered quickly.  
After we watched the presentation, we were told that if we hurried to the next stop, we could see British soldiers.
This was Hartwell Tavern, which was also an Inn for men.  Women would not have stayed here as it was the 'truck stop' of today.  And as promised, there were Red Coats there.
{What were they thinking wearing RED?  You could see them for miles.}

The was the horse corral which the kids thought was cool but they were a little bummed not to find any horses inside.

And again....they found leaves and made that big pile and jumped in it.

Then we got back in the car to soldier on....
We passed the spot where Paul Revere was captured that night by a British patrol.
We passed the spot of the 'bloody angle' where the biggest ambush of the day took place.
And as we got closer to Concord...
We passed the Louisa May Alcott House.  I didn't realize it until we were passing it, so picture.  But maybe we can go back another time.
Cute little town of Concord.

This was the home of Henry David Thoreau.  When I was in high school my English teacher was pretty obsessed with Thoreau and talked about him so much that I got completely sick of him.  ha.  I thought his book, "Walden" was the most boring thing I ever read.  ugh.  However....  I was completely geeked to be able to see his house.  I don't know...I guess it was just cool to see something I had read about.

This was the side of the house.  Behind me was a trail that led to the Old North Bridge where the colonists stood their ground and chased the British back toward Lexington where they were ambushed.  It was amazing to me that Thoreau would have built his home practically on a battle field.  The bridge is only about 200 yards from the house.

Another Red Coat!  He was standing guard at a monument for the British soldiers who had died there.

The Old North Bridge.  
The colonists were waiting on the other side and refused to let the British come closer.  There is a monument there to the farmers who held their ground.

The kids sit in front of the monument.

Then...back to Concord because I was determined to find Walden Pond, where Thoreau had spent two years living in a small cottage contemplating his navel.
Okay, okay...maybe not his navel, but living a minimalistic life or something.
Obviously he wasn't married, with kids.
Another pretty church...

Ah-ha!  I found it!  
This was after the kids were sitting in the backseat asking me every 2 minutes if we were lost.
O ye of little faith...
I admit it DID take me a bit of effort and the GPS on my phone lost connection so I was at the mercy of a very non-detailed map and my gut.
And if necessary, I would have stopped to ask directions.
Because I am a GIRL.
But I didn't need to and seeing that sign brought a huge sigh of satisfaction.

I will digress here momentarily.
I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl.
Planning a trip is just....uhhhhh....well, too many details.
I'm not big on details.
I'm just more of a big picture kind of person.
You really don't want me planning a trip for you.
Basically, I just get in the car and head in the general direction that I want to go.
Sometimes I have read about places beforehand.
Sometimes not.
This drives Jeff crazy.
He would never drive off without a clue where he was going.  Or knowing what he was going to do once he got there.
So this particular trip would not have been Jeff's cup of tea...which is why I wanted to go when he was out of town.

And here it is....
It was rather beautiful, I must say.
The weather was rotten and was starting to sprinkle, so the pictures really don't do it justice.
At all.

You can swim here with no lifeguards on duty.  
Which for Massachusetts--the state with far too many silly laws--is amazing.
{And one thing that is really funny....while writing every post on this blog, I hear my Thoreau-loving-English teacher's voice (or red pen) in my head saying, "You cannot start a sentence with But, Because, And, or Or.}
And I feel a twinge of guilt.
Or the need to explain that blogs are not like literature.
I really DID learn that lesson, and I remember it, Mr. D.

Walking back up the hill from Walden Pond.

One more group shot with Walden Pond behind them.
Have I mentioned I was completely geeked about finding this?
Oh yeah....I guess I did.

It was getting dark and the kids were 'starving' so we headed home.
Which was good because it started pouring.
We ended up at the only McDonald's in the entire country that did not have a drive-thru.
It's raining!!!
{Insert whining--from Mommy}
Oh well.  We had to go inside anyway because Jake had to go potty for the umteenth time.

I'm happy to have crossed that location off my bucket list--although I wouldn't mind one more visit to see some things we missed.
We watched Little Women tonight  (the old version, with Katherine Hepburn) just in case we get to go back to see the Alcott house.

The kids want to know where I'm taking them tomorrow since they have the day off.
Another bucket list item is to drive to the White Mountains to see the fall leaf colors.
Do I dare?  
It's hours away.
I really Waaaaannnnaaaa go.....


Mom Of Many said...

You adventurous momma! The pictures are completely stunning, and totally calendar worthy. Love the ones f your treasures sweet.

Sue Mom of Two said...

Our son lives in the Boston area and we have visited all of these places, some of them twice. You MUST go back to Walden Pond when it is sunny and the leaves are in their full fall glory. It is absolutely stunning. I was totally amazed by the VERY small house that he lived in for 2 years. About the size of a closet.
We've also been to the White Mountains, and the Kancamagus Scenic Byway is truly gorgeous. Lots of places to stop and walk in to see the beautiful streams, etc.

Kim K. said...

You are definitely brave and full of adventure. Love all the pics...especially the one with the kids and the Red Coat. Being an English major in college, I totally appreciate the reference to Thoreau and Walden pond. Have a fabulous Monday with the kiddos. I hope you venture to the Mountains!

Chinamama4 said...

Thanks for sharing these great photos! I grew up in RI and lived in Boston for several years (I'm in Chicago area now) - I miss these jaunts so full of history! And you're right about New England being very "secular" now, considering its beginnings...

Sharon said...

What a fun adventure!!! I love to do stuff like this in the fall! Oh, want to let you know that Shali's latest obsession is Jillian and Molly. She's been on your blog going back many posts.
she's so excited about their mission trip! She also has fake glasses she's been wearing to look like them. So funny! Oh well, if she's going to have an obsession, I can't think of two better subjects! :))

Angie said...

OK. Now I'm doubly green! Not only would I love to go on a missions trip, I'd also love to visit the historical sites out east. I'll just have to live it through you all!

Martha said...

Hello! I just stumbled onto your blog and realized that we must live in the same area! Your photos of Lexington are beautiful. I brought my three children to the battle of lexington reenactment this spring and it was amazing. You should come back next year for the event. I wrote about it on my blog:

Your children might enjoy looking at pictures of what the Lexington Green looks like when there's a battle going on!


catiaht92 said...

Wow, what a nice adventure :D
By the way, your pictures and your children are lovely!
Great post :)

Difference2This1 said...

I love your photos...they tell such a sweet story within your written story of your adventure. It was a blessing to stop by today at this post. Prayers for your family in Haiti...what an amazing experience for your older girls. Blessings, Jennifer