Here is a picture of Tatiana, Emily and Kate, with the Boston skyline in the background. This is where the USS Constitution is and we started here and ddi all the sites I had previously seen and told you about.
By the time we got to the street across from Fanueil Hall thankfully there were some amazingly fun fountains. So we all rested, ate an entire box of crackers, got soaking wet and did some people watching. Everything you need to rejuvinate yourself for more history.
This is where we turned the corner that I had never been able to get past on previous trips to the Freedom Trail. And actually it was a little sad how little of the trail was actually left after this point :) But see the look on Tatiana's face...... multiply that look times at least 5 other faces and voices and that my friends is why previous attempts to get past this spot had failed. After this we walked by the spot where the Boston Massacre occured. We saw the Old State House where James Otis opposed the Writs of Assistance thus inspiring John Adams to say, "then and there the child independence was born." We saw the Old Corner Bookstore (now a jewelry store) which was built in 1718 and became a literary center. Where Henry (Wadsworth Longfellow), Harriet( Beecher Stowe), Louisa (May Alcott), and Nathaniel ( Hawthorne) all brought their manuscripts to be published. And we also saw The Old South Meeting House where on December 16, 1773 Samuel Adams launched the Boston Tea Party. Our next stop was the Granary Burying Ground. I would never have described myself as someone who took pictures of gravestones but there was something about seeing where John Hancock, Mother Goose, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams among many others were buried that changed my ways. All the victims of the Boston Massacre were also buried in this cemetery. There were buildings on all sides of the cemetery and it was worn but how could it be any different?
We finally made it to Boston Commons the last or first stop on the Freedom Trail. (depending on where you start). There was a lot of people taking advantage of the park. But our main goal was to get through the park to the Boston Public Gardens where we knew Mr and Mrs Mallard had finally settled with their ducklings. Thankfully Robert McClosky had included the name of the street the ducks had crossed to get to the Public Gardens in his book so we were able to fairly quickly find it. After walking through the not so neat Boston Commons and arriving in the Public gardens I was struck by how clean and neat the public gardens were. They really were beautiful. We were not sure where to begin looking for the statues of the ducklings so while we were getting our bearings the kids discovered real ducks, a goose with a tendency for hissing, and a squirrel. The squirrel reminded me of the extremely tame and bold squirrels we had seen in Princeton NJ when we lived there so I told the kids about those squirrels we used to sit outside of Princeton University and feed while we were waiting for our dad to get done with work. Of course after hearing that they all wanted to have some Ritz crackers to feed the squirrel with. And lo and behold I was right. Amanda held out a cracker to the squirrel and with his little paws shaking like a squirrel with an extreme Ritz cracker addiction reached out and took the cracker and I got this picture of him munching away. Of course after that everyone else tried in vain to feed any squirrel we saw. We finally found the statues of the ducks from the book Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McClosky. There were a lot of people taking pictures of them and a lot of kids climbing on them. It is amazing that this book has made this park so well known.
At this point it was about 7:30pm. We had been discussing on and off the possibility of using the subway to get back to the car and at this point we decided to do it. It turned out to only be $5.00 for all of us to ride the subway up to the nearest station by the car. And it is crazy how the subway is always the highlight of the trip. By the time we got home it was 10:00 pm we got everyone into bed in record time since we all had to get up at 5:30am for our 2 moms, 2 dads and 11 kids in New York City day. And I will tell you all about that tomorrow.