October 22 – Nashville to Boston
The 4:30 alarm was most unwelcome. Josh had tossed and turned with excitement all night. I just wanted more sleep.
Up and out and at the airport by 5:30. Luggage now over weight so we had to do some wrangling – what even is two pounds? Turns out it’s the equivalent of three records or a bag of candy 🤣
No time for breakfast or Starbucks, straight onto plane where 2 bananas and crappy filter coffee helped to keep hunger at bay until we could enjoy cannoli and pasta in Boston’s Little Italy.
Shock to the system – though it was obviously not hot in Nashville, it was not really cold either but here we are in Boston and at 11am it’s still 6 degrees Celsius. Melbourne winter temps!
Getting a ride share from the airport was an adventure! We waited half and hour – the longest we’ve ever waited – and had two cancel on us. Standing in the cold, wishing for some hand warmers or gloves.
Our little Airbnb is in the heart of Little Italy and close to the river as well. We dropped the bags and started wandering and looking for somewhere to have lunch.
We hadn’t gone far when we came across a stop on the Freedom Trail – a 4.0 km path through Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the USA. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate. The stop we were at was the Copps Hill Burying Ground.
The winged skulls/ deaths heads on the tombstones are on about 80% identifying them as the oldest graves as they were used in the 1700s. There are also cherubs and urn & willow design popular after the American Revolution.
Buried here are Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Robert Newman who hung the lanterns in Old North Church signaling to patriots that British troops were moving, and black activist Prince Hall. Many colonial era free African Americans are also thought to be buried here.
Union House Oyster Bar
We chose this place for lunch on the recommendation of a friend and it did not disappoint!
Before it became a seafood house, the building housed importer Hopestill Capen’s fancy dress goods business, known colorfully as “At the Sign of the Cornfields.” At this time, the Boston waterfront came up to the back door of the dry goods establishment, making it convenient for ships to deliver their cloth and goods from Europe.
In 1826 it became a restaurant. In the 19th century, the American people went crazy for oysters. In every town there were oyster parlors, oyster cellars, oyster saloons, oyster bars, oyster houses, oyster stalls and oyster lunchrooms.
The Kennedy Clan has patronized the Union Oyster House for years. J.F.K. loved to feast in privacy in the upstairs dining room. His favorite booth “The Kennedy Booth” has since been dedicated in his memory.
Clam chowder is like the pho of New England. Everyone makes it and everyone says theirs is the best. All of them have clams in a creamy broth with diced potatoes, onions and celery. It was delicious!
Josh had a Lobster Roll which is another New England favourite.
Oysters were a must as well.
And on we walked.
Paul Revere’s House. The original three-story house was built about 1680, making it the oldest house in downtown Boston
All the attention on Paul Revere but his famous midnight ride is a walk in the park compared to the ride of sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington. Just eight days after Revere’s 20 mile ride, Sybil rode 40 miles in the pouring rain to gather her father’s troops and to warn of incoming British soldiers.
People everywhere were walking around with boxes tied with string housing delicious cannoli. We joined the crowd and carried our box around for ages looking for the right place to eat it.
We chose outside Faneuil House.
Built as a market place, the second floor houses the Great Hall where many stirring speeches were made to rouse anti British sentiment and spark a revolution.
From here we walked down to the Harbour were the Boston Tea Party occurred – a political protest where American Patriots strongly opposed the taxes in the Townsend Act as a violation of their rights ( no taxation without representation). Demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution. The Tea Party became an iconic event of American history.
From here we walked back to our Airbnb and I got a manicure while Josh rested before the big game.
Later we walked down to get pizza before Josh headed off to the highlight of the whole trip for him – what made Cuba worthwhile – Court side seats to see his beloved Boston Celtics.
We called Harry for his birthday and went our separate ways. Josh to the basketball and me back to wash my hair.