Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Welcome to Boston

Penguin at New England Aquarium
Yesterday, I chaperoned a 7th-grade field trip to Boston. Though my 7th grader had been to Beantown once before, I had never set foot in this particular coastal city. We visited the New England Aquarium, Quincy Market and walked the Freedom Trail. Like all good tourists, I brought my camera.

This guy practically posed for me.
It must have been field trip day in Eastern NY and the entire state of Massachusetts, because the aquarium was packed with roving groups of school children. The group I was chaperoning spent the most time petting the sting rays and sharks, but they thoroughly enjoyed the whole aquarium. They'd all been there before, so knew exactly what they wanted to see. I followed them around and took pictures when there weren't throngs of people swarming the exhibits.   

The highlight for me was our walk on The Freedom Trail. It was less crowded, albeit a chilly day to be hoofing it on the city streets with 7th graders, many of whom weren't properly dressed for the cool sea temperatures. Still, I was appropriately dressed, so the fresh air and historic sites were stellar. We had a lovely tour guide who chatted and joked with the kids, as well as filled us up with historic tidbits and facts that you don't find in your average history text. 

The Old Statehouse
Old buildings and cemeteries are favorites of mine, no matter where I am. Boston has both in spades.

Paul Revere's Grave
We spent quite a bit of time in the Old Granary Burial Ground. Paul Revere is buried here, as well as Samuel Adams, John Hancock and an interesting fellow named James Otis who wrote extensively on taxation without representation. He also had his skull split open in a bar fight, recovered with the help of doctors who patched him up with a lead plate right above his brain. He spent the remaining years of his life going crazy from lead poisoning and was eventually struck and killed by lightening. Standing out in a thunderstorm is never a good idea, but when you've got a metal plate in your head it's pretty much a guarantee you're not going to make it to see the next rainbow.  

All in all, it was a great day (for us, not James Otis). We were back home by 6:15 PM, in plenty of time for dinner.

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