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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Boston (Day 2)

Rise and shine! It's only 5:00am and we are already getting ready to go out the door. Yep, 5:00am EST. Now, what would get us West Coast night owls up at this time of the morning? Only one thing other than food--live reenactment of the Battle of Lexington! The Battle of Lexington is reenacted each year on April 19 to commemorate the April 19, 1775, battle that started the American Revolutionary War. And, it starts on the dot at 6am. We called the Lexington City Hall beforehand and they advised us to arrive by at least 5:30am to find parking. So, we hit the road a little a bit after 5am.

We were a bit worried that we wouldn't know exactly where the reenactment would take place. But, we needn't have worried. We drove into town as the sun was coming up, and we saw herds of people making their way in the same direction to Lexington Green. We parked and joined the throng of people, many of whom were carrying ladders. We figured out what the ladders were for when we got to the green.

The area in which the reenactment would be performed was roped off. It was a path that ran from a street onto the green and through the houses that bordered the green. It was kinda hard to find a good spot to see (since we didn't bring a ladder) but we finally found a pretty good spot right in front of a house. Unbeknownst to us, this turned out to be the center of a key scene in the reenactment. Of course, I failed to video that part.

Several colonists were hanging out in front of the house. All of a sudden, a colonist rode up on horseback and asked for the lieutenant living in the house. The lieutenant was summoned from the house, and the colonist on horseback reported that the British were coming! (Okay, he didn't use those words but that was the gist of what he said.) The lieutenant instructed the surrounding colonists to assemble on the green. A drummer appeared from the side of the house, started drumming, and led the way to a spot farther away on the green and out of our line of vision:

Not long afterward, we heard the drumming of the British and we saw the redcoats come marching down the green. They were even pushing a couple of colonists who had been captured along their route:

The redcoats marched passed us and there wasn't anything we could see anymore, but we could hear gunshots, shouts, and sounds of scuffling. MP and I moved to another location and got a better view of the battle:

What community participation! There were so many people walking with us and who were already there before us. It was really neat to be a part of such a group and you could really feel the energy in the crowd. We had such a blast!

When the Lexington portion of the reenactment was over (there was a similar reenactment in Concord), it was about 7am, a perfect time for Dunkin' Donuts. We got some kwawfee and donuts and drove to Concord. We went to Walden Pond State Reservation and made our way toward Walden Pond. What a wonderful idea, don't you think? Lexington battle, followed by an early breakfast walking along the trails surrounding Walden Pond. Here is the map, but it is unfortunate that *someone* lost the map while we were deep into the woods. Nevertheless, we charged on--we don't call ourselves "Thelma and Louise" for nothing.

Anyhow, let's just focus on what we saw before and after the map disappearance. We found Walden Pond. It was very tranquil and there was someone fishing. Apparently, the tide was still high. Even though it was mid-April, Spring was only just beginning to show up at Walden Pond. There was some vegetation that reminded me of my goal to have hot pot in our hotel room. There was also some moss that I had never seen before. We also saw some ducks who were building a huge nest. Then, MP commented that, only in America would the state run electricity into the middle of a forest so that a small shack could partake in the utility. We also found the site of Henry David Thoreau's cabin where the chimney foundation was marked. Here was the view that Thoreau would have seen from his cabin. When we got back to the parking lot, we saw a replica of Thoreau's cabin (inside), and we took a group photo.

What happened next in Salem can only be described as "uncomfortable." MP felt that all three spots that I had chosen to visit sucked (pirate museum, witch museum with reenactment, and witch museum 2). I will admit that the pirate museum was a dud. However, witch museum with reenactment was great. These people reenacted a portion of the Witch Trials directly from the transcripts, and they really got into it. However, because these two points of non-interest were so dull, according to MP, that we decided not to visit the third, even though we had already paid for it in a combo tour purchase. Now, this is a big deal ("this" = MP not consuming what she has paid for). So, instead, we went to visit Nathaniel Hawthorne's house and also the house upon which he had based his novel, The House of Seven Gables.

MP was unimpressed. We drove to visit a lighthouse of her choosing, but even though we didn't get to see the lighthouse, we saw some falcons for the movie, The Proposal, which was being filmed near the lighthouse at the time. (Those falcons were so cute--they looked like they were wearing pants!) We didn't see any stars, though. MP was so unimpressed with my planning that she made sure to set the agenda for Day 3 before going to bed that night (only she and Hermie talked it over and excluded me).

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