Boston, MA: Following the Freedom Trail

First, some updates

OK, yeah, you caught me, it’s been a week and a half since I last posted. Well, I have been busy…painting walls, and…horseback riding, and…going to the beach, and…accidentally insulting people on facebook. That last one may be a lie (give or take a word or two). In any case, I have returned to South Carolina to resume my rather busy boring life. The one useful thing I have done is sign up for the GRE and start collecting words off my study cards for a romance novel that I shall inevitably write when I am old and gray and on welfare (if I’m lucky). My favorites so far are: prowess, impetuous, inveigle, raffish, imbroglio, and lubricious.

Oh yeah, I’ve also completed a prototype of the yoga mat bags that I would like to sell. BUT you shall receive updates on all of this at a later date (hopefully in the near future…pending my ability to get my butt in gear).

Now, back to THE FREEDOM TRAIL

On day two in Boston I find myself downtown wandering aimlessly. Somewhere around Park and Beacon streets I notice something strange: a thick red line that has been painted onto the sidewalk. My first thought is, “Where’s the construction?” But to my surprise, I spot not a single orange cone (clearly I’m not in Montreal anymore), and the red line continues beyond my view. Here I am with no idea what to do in a big city, and then there’s this thick red line. Clearly a sign from God. So I follow it.

The Freedom Trail Boston, MA

After about five placards that have “The Freedom Trail” engraved on them, the line becomes inlaid brick in the sidewalk – fancy schmancy – and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am currently following said Freedom Trail. I’m feeling triumphant, of course; finally, following a random red line on the ground has led me somewhere that’s not sketchy (unless you count the Charlestown Navy Yard).

Along the way, I stop at King’s Chapel (built for the King’s men who occupied Boston to enforce British law) Inside King's Chapel in Boston, MAand Burying Ground whose most famous grave is that of Joseph Tapping, a Boston shopkeeper who died at age 23. The grave is known for its “elaborate carvings depicting a skeleton and Father Time battling over the eventuality of death” (Freedom Trail Guide).Joseph Tapping's Grave in King's Chapel Burial Ground in Boston

I also stop at the original location of the Boston Latin School (America’s oldest public school that has been torn down and moved elsewhere), try to find the Old Corner Bookstore but get sidetracked by the Borders closeout sale down the street, leave an hour later with two new books for $6 total, and meet back up on the Freedom Trail at the Old State House.

It has begun to rain. Luckily, I have my pocket-sized umbrella tucked away in my backpack. Unluckily, it is about the size of a hat. But I am not to be thwarted. I duck inside the Old State House, which has been turned into a museum. There were some neat exhibits in the museum:
• interactive maps with buttons that lit up different important buildings
•an audible interpretation of what happened at the Boston Massacre and subsequent trial of Captain Thomas Preston
•the supposed cane that SC senator Preston Brooks beat MA senator Charles Sumner with (I don’t know why our state has such a bad rap!)Charles Sumner Preston Brooks Cane used in Caning

After checking out the museum, I brave the rain once again and follow the Trail past Faneuil Hall (closed for repairs),Faneuil Hall Boston, MA the North and Quincy Markets, through Little ItalyLittle Italy Boston, MA

Little Italy Boston, MAand to Paul Revere’s House. I wonder if he’s expecting me.

Paul Revere Statue Boston, MA

It's hard to tell if he's going to high-five or back-hand you...

Then I pass some cute pubs and taverns,Pubs and Taverns in Boston, MA pop in the Old North Church (which looks exactly like the King’s Chapel on the inside) and head toward the Charlestown Bridge in the rain.

Charlestown Plaque

Cute Charlestown New England Houses

Not wanting to miss out, I head to Bunker Hill first,Bunker Hill Monument Charlestown, MA then make my way over to the Charlestown Navy Yard to see the USS Constitution.Charlestown Marina The museum there is unfortunately closed because I spent too long in Borders. Oh well. Onward with my next quest: locating a bathroom.

That night I grab a beer with my friend Kelly then head back to my hostel (Revere Beach host had only one night available). I ended up staying at a place called The Farrington. It was nice, in a very musty, no-wifi-unless-you’re-within-ten-feet-of-the-office kind of way. My room was clean and it had a lock on it. Surprisingly, I even got a double bed and had only two roommates. The common area was large and the kitchen was nice and usable. I’d recommend it if you’re not planning to be there all day (which I wasn’t, so it worked out). Their check-in/check-out system was a little weird, but they did have parking for an extra $5 – a small price to pay to keep your car in a private lot tucked away from harm (especially when you’re hauling your entire life in said car). I was told the place can get pretty rowdy on a weekend, but I was there in the middle of the week so didn’t get to witness that phenomenon (whew).

The next day, I head back downtown to grab lunch with a friend. Let’s not talk about how lost I got trying to navigate the highway system in Boston. I’m pretty sure my GPS would have been cursing me out if it could say things other than its programming; that or it was intentionally shouting EXIT NOW at the last minute to get back at me for leaving it in the glove box with a pine-scented cushion I bought in Vermont (all my electronics smell like Christmas now).

Join the Movement

So one of the many things I’ve been doing here in chilly-but-sunny Montreal is acting as promo-girl and photographer for Movement Travel, a nightlife electronic tour company started by my friends Zeina and Michael (pictured at left).

You can see some of the pics taken in the gallery below. These pictures are from Feb 19th, one of our largest tours so far! The company was officially launched late last year (yes, during the winter!) and began collaborating with Montreal Central, providing their guests with weekly Thursday tours. We are now working Saturday nights with the largest hostel in the city – Hosteling International Montreal, with plans to expand to other hotels and guest services in the city. We also are looking at the possibility of daytime themed tours. So, why start a company in the wintertime that depends on tourists for business? Well, Zeina and Michael explained that it is the best time to hone your business and figure out exactly what your clients want and need. By the time summer comes around, we’ll be ready to handle very large groups, and will have the routine down-pat. I know I’m excited about the summer!