Sunday morning was Erika's birthday! I feel bad that it somewhat passed by as any other normal day since we didn't have the traditional means of throwing a party. She is an amazing individual and I love her dearly.
In the morning we nourished our souls by attending Sacrament Meeting and then headed off to fill our minds with the history of the beginnings of our amazing country.
We met in Faneuil Hall to begin our walk along the Freedom Trail. We went in a group with a tour guide from the National Park Service but to be honest, I think we would have done just fine on our own. She was very quiet, even with a microphone, and went off on strange tangents that were hard to follow, even if you could hear her.
I loved walking around the city. I did go to Boston a few years ago and although it was fun, it was so blasted cold and we didn't have a whole lot of time to explore the town. I didn't realize how much more of the city I missed. I wandered the streets and I loved it more every minute I was there. I love how it is a big city and walking around downtown I did not feel crowded and anxious and the sense of impending doom like I did when I was in New York. Even Nick commented about how much he appreciated this (except for the impending doom part). I glanced up at all the buildings, enjoyed the architecture, and as we walked along the cobblestone streets I wondered how many people sprained their ankles in the early days because their shoes became stuck in the cracks.
One of our first stops on the tour was Paul Revere's home. I didn't realize he was in his 40s when he made his historic ride. I guess I just imagined he was a strapping, young man in his 20s riding his horse (well, a borrowed horse I also learned) through the narrow streets warning his neighbors the British were coming. I also didn't know he was the father of 16 children--he lost five of them in infancy and five of them in early childhood. I even have more respect than ever for this man not just for what his heroic ride accomplished but because of what a loving and devoted father he was. He called his children his "little lambs" and left work and came right home if he heard that one of his beloved was sick.
Off to the Old North Church.
I loved looking down all of the narrow streets. A lot.
Our tour stopped at the church and before we continued on the red line that was leading us to all the historic sites, we decided to eat some lunch. It was not an easy task to decide where to eat. Boston's North End is dubbed "little Italy" and everything looked and smelled divine. We decided on a little place called Seraceno's and it was delightful. I wish I would have taken pictures of the inside of the restaurant. We were seated downstairs and it reminded me of the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", even though it was totally an Italian restaurant. It was cheesy and gaudy and looked like the 80s threw up all over the place. But it was comfortable, the food was good, and our waiter was awesome. He loved his job and was good at it. I didn't get a picture of him either. I did, however, get a picture of Nick trying calamari for the first time.
It wasn't his favorite but that did not deter him from suggesting Seraceno's anytime we were trying to decide where to eat after that. He gives it two thumbs up.
He also gave two thumbs up for the sinful cannolis that we ate. Three of them to be exact. I highly recommend the amaretto flavor. Un.believe.able. Next time I am planning to pig out on the pistachio macaroon. I was too blown away by the cannolis to even realize there were other pieces of heaven available to indulge in.
After gorging ourselves, we continued our journey and stopped at Copp's Hill. This burial ground is the second oldest in Boston.
I think it is so cool to be staring at something that existed in the 17th century. If the dates are hard to read, they are 1671 and 1678 respectively.
How I love the water. It calms me. Don't get me wrong, I adore living in Utah and the splendor of the mountains but I become mesmorized when I am around bodies of water. I could stand there for hours looking at it, listening to the rushing or the crashing or the gentle pulses of the ripples against the shore. I want my cake and I want to eat it too, so I will live by the mountains and have a vacation home near the ocean. Or any body of water. It would delight me to the fullest.
And boats? Just hanging out at the dock? Don't even get me started on how perfect I think this is.
Another narrow street.
And darling archetecture.
We made it to Bunker Hill. The last stop on our tour today.
The area around Bunker Hill is absolutely adorable. I loved all the buildings, flags flying on doorsteps, the streetlights, and yes, of course, all the narrow streets.
We decided to climb the two. hundred. ninety. four. steps to the top of the monument. I am so glad we did it. Not only did it help me feel a smidge better about the cannoli I had just eaten, the view from the top was fantastic.
We didn't make it to the U.S.S Constitution in person but I was content for now to just take a picture of this regal frigate.
On the way back to the car, right back at our starting point, Nick wanted to stop and watch some goofy street performers. They were actually pretty funny and really got the crowd involved.
They pulled my dad from the crowd and had him participate. They said he looked like a Charleston Heston impersonator. He corrected them and said, no, Clint Eastwood. Go dad.
He basically helped hold a ladder and then let go when the guy told him to.
He did a great job.
We then headed back to our hotel, ate at the restaurant across from the creepy cemetery, and went to bed a little early because not only were we a little tired but the big marathon was the next day and my sister had to be back in Boston early early in the morning.