The bad news – it was raining when we got up. The good news – it cleared up enough for a nice walk around Walden Pond. The bad news – the lens on my camera is not working. The good news – I have a backup camera. We spent a full day in the Lexington-Concord area. Lexington is where “the shot that was heard around the world” occurred and the first military engagement of the Revolutionary War. The thing I did not know about Concord was that Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa Mary Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne all wrote there.

We first went on the Liberty Ride Tour. It was a 90 min tour that gave a great overview of the battle and the sites in town. It has stops where you can get off but I don’t recommend it. There is only one trolley and you will have a 90 min wait between trolleys. Everyone gets off at the North Bridge (photo above) where the tour guide gives you more information about the battle there. The tour guide was excellent and if you have two days in the area I recommend it. But if you have only have one day then I would skip it.

The trolley tour includes three building tours. The Munroe Tavern, which was the British Headquarter,s was closed for renovations till July. We did tour Buckman Tavern where the militia met and has the original door with a bullet hole. The tour guide was very interesting and informative. After the tour, we walked on the common and saw the memorial and tomb of the militia who had died during the Lexington Battle. The third building was the home where John Hancock and Samuel Adams where staying. (pictured here). This tour starts with a movie about the battle and then a tour of the house. I really enjoyed learning more about the Hancock family and seeing the room where Adams and Hancock stayed.

We then went to the Minute Man National Historical Park visitor center. If I could do it over, I would have skipped the Liberty Ride and spent more time at the National Park. They have an awesome multi-media program that gives the best overall of the battle.  I think the Junior Ranger program is well thought out and put together. My only complaint is the kids had two completely different books. It makes it harder to complete the books. I think it is better to have the same book and have the older children complete more activities. There were several buildings in the park that we did not get to see. They also offer several different tours. Next time this would be my first stop.

At this point, I honestly had heard enough about the battle so we went to the Louisa May Alcott home. I am not a  huge fan of Little Women but this tour was very interesting to me. I now want to reread the book and my kids are interesting in hearing it. I also want to learn more about her father and his philosophy of education. It is also interesting with her ties to Emerson and Thoreau.  The tour starts with an introductory movie and then continues with a tour of the house. The house is where the story is set and where she road the book.

We then went down the street a bit to the Concord Museum. We only had thirty minutes for this wonderful museum. We would have probably not have gone in if we did not have the Boston Go passes since we did not have much time.  We really wanted to see the lantern from the Old North Church. We had been hearing about it for months now so we wanted to see the real thing. The surprise in the museum was Ralph Waldo Emerson’s library. There is something magical about a library of a  person of this stature. At the end of the museum, they provided a postcard that you could write a note to a solider and then they would mail it for you. I think this was a nice touch. Across the street from the museum is Emerson’s home which is seen above.

The last stop of the evening was Walden Pond where we saw Henry David Thoreau’s  homesite and reproduction of his home. The kids could not believe how small the home was. We then walked around the pond. It is a beautiful place but the park has put up a fence with metal stakes about about chest high and barb wire without the barbs. I understand they are trying to protect the area and keep people on the trail but it really took away from the experience. Bruce said it reminded him of a cattle chute. It was nice to finally see the sun after four days of rain.

Bruce and I both enjoyed the day more than Boston. I guess I am a country girl like Claire because it was nice not to have the traffic and noise of the city. I would love to go back and tour Emerson’s home, the Wayside home, and Hartwell Tavern. I would also like to go back to Concord Museum. If you only have a day hit the National Park, whatever house you are most interested and then Walden Pond after five when everything else is closed. If you have the option, plan to spend  at least two days in the area.

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , | add comments