On the 38th day of our PapiBlogger Family Road Trip, we went by land and by sea on Boston’s popular Duck Tour and discovered more reasons why Paul Revere was probably a more down to earth American patriot than his contemporary John Hancock.
BOSTON DUCK TOURS
Ordinarily you wouldn’t catch me alive in a Duck Tour in Miami but seeing how the one in Boston works makes me believe that the one in my hometown might be worth recommending to my out of town friends. As I’ve mentioned before, city tours get poked fun at a lot but they serve a very practical function to help you scope out the place your visiting.
Boston’s Duck Tour was especially ideal for us because from the point of view of kids it features the added advantage of taking you on a tour by land and by sea. Our “ConDuctor”/guide took us by the front of the bar where the 80s classic “Cheers” sign appears, to most of the top Boston colonial landmarks and to Trinity Church before temporarily dipping into the ocean for some waterside sightseeing.
The neat thing about our particular tour was that our guide also invited all the children on board to temporarily steer the duck while in the water. Jonathan and Elena each drove the tourist-packed boat for about three minutes and were delighted to have the opportunity. (Don’t worry, there wasn’t a boat or bridge anywhere in range and our guide was literally right next to them).
WALKING THE FREEDOM TRAIL – SORT OF
As some of you may know, Boston is famous for largely instigating our independence from the Brits. Some of the biggest names in our nation’s pantheon of heroes lived or politicked here frequently. To commemorate its hell raising, revolutionary roots Boston created a 2.5 mile walk called the Freedom Trail.
The Freedom Trail is a red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites. It consists of a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.
We didn’t have time to do all of the Freedom Trail but we did stop at two spots: the Old Granary Burying Ground and Paul Revere’s house.
The Old Granary Burying Ground (1660) is the city’s second oldest cemetery and is also the final resting place for Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Mother Goose (yes, you read right), among many others. Most of the grave markers are fading but the ones you can clearly read are all interesting and some are even funny. One of the funniest epithet you’ll find here is this one:
“Remember me as you pass by.
As you are now, so once was I;
As I am now, so you must be,
Therefore prepare to follow me.”
Another interesting insight we gleaned at the cemetery was the stark contrast in size between the gravestones of revolutionary patriots John Hancock and Paul Revere. You may recall that Hancock, statesman, president of the Congressional Congress and financier for the American Revolution, is the one who signed the Declaration of Independence with a REAL LARGE AND FLAMBOYANT SIGNATURE compared to everyone else who signed it. Well, it turns out that he did the same thing in death: his gravestone is as tall as a 30-foot obelisk, easily 10 times taller than most every other tombstone in the cemetery. Revere’s tombstone is probably no more than 16 inches tall.
The gravestone for Samuel Adams (yes, the beer guy was also an American patriot) directly faces a bar. Poor Samuel Adams, every time a tour guide drives by they humor visitors with this line: “Folks you are now in the only place in the world where you can drink a cold Sam Adams in front of a cold Sam Adams.”
PAUL REVERE’S HOME IS BORING
Paul Revere’s home is nice and all but overall, unless you’re doing the whole Freedom Trail or you’ve done in-depth colonial history exercises with your kids, they will find visiting this house utterly boring. Take the photo outside the house and skip it because there’s not much to the home. Kids under 12 are free.
BEST SEAFOOD OF THE TRIP AWARD GOES TO LEGAL SEAFOOD
We had our best seafood meal of the trip at Boston’s Legal Seafood, a national seafood chain with more than 30 locations.
The remarkable part was that the food was not only outstanding but it was cheap. Elena, for example, got a delicious whole lobster for almost $10. My oyster meal was awesome.
SPRINT NEXTEL ROAD TRIP TIP OF THE DAY
Regardless of whether you’re planning to go to a theme park, museum or ghost tour, search the web for reviews and user comments about the place you plan to visit. Whenever we did this on our trip we were rewarded with a more efficient and effective itinerary. Where we didn’t research ahead of time, we lost time, took boring routes or went the longest way.