Sunday, July 20, 2008

Warning: American History Ahead

This weekend's adventure was wholly patriotic. We started with swimming with some frogs!
Ok. Maybe that bit wasn't patriotic, but on we went to Concord to see where 'America' started.
We began our walk through time with a minuteman carrying his customary gun and a plow. Those brave men had to be ready at any minute to drop their field work and join the fight for freedom.
This is the Old North Bridge where colonists fired the first shots at British soldiers. It was of this place that Emerson wrote the Hymn, "...Here once the embattled farmer stood, and fired the shot heard round the world."
Next we visited the Old Manse. It is a stone's throw from the Old North Bridge. This place was amazing. It is by far my favorite stop in Boston. William Emerson was a Patriot minister and fought at the Bridge. His wife watched the whole battle from the study window. Emerson survived the battle and continued to act as a minister for the Patriot Army. His grandson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, penned his famous essay 'Nature' while living in this house. Emerson died and his wife later remarried another minister, Ripley. The Ripley's rented the Old Manse out to the Hawthorne's for their honeymoon. They ended up staying for three years. They were terrible renters. Never paid rent. She painted their bedroom metallic gold. She scrawled various things on the windows using her diamond ring. Needless to say, the Ripley's were upset after 3 years went by. However, Hawthorne wrote a lot of things while staying in the house, and coined the title Old Manse. When Hawthorne came back later in life to Concord, he sqaured his debt and became good friends with the Ripleys.

Anyways, I could go on with all the rich history of this place. That's why I liked it so much. It was just an ordinary house, next to an ordinary bridge, but so much interesting history happened there.
We visited the Orchard House, where Little Women was written. It was interesting too, but I've never read much or heard much about the Alcotts and the book, so it wasn't as interesting to me. Celeste really enjoyed it though. There were several successful writers who lived here in Concord. Mr. Alcott was good friends with Thoreau and Emerson. His daughter writes one of the most famous novels, and Hawthorne lived down the street. Interesting stuff.

Last of all, we went to the beach (again, not so patriotic) to see some sand 'castles'. They had this big sand sculpture festival, so we went to see the entries. Needless to say, they were amazing. Enjoy the pics!

(This was my favorite!)


Aqualung said...

I'm so jealous, beaches, whales, history, and water. What a fantastic summer you're having.

Austin Baillio said...

you guys definitely are having the time of your lives. heck, you are having the time of my life (or what I wish i was having). Each weekend i am lucky if i have enough energy to go wash my car let alone go tour california. of course, there is much more interesting stuff to see in Boston. Anyways, love the posts. i look forward to them each week!

Sarah Burgoyne said...

The sand sculptures are amazing, how do they do that?!

Hailey said...

My family lives right near Concord, so I've been to all of these places! But not the Orchard House--I want to go there!

Spitzer Family said...

Those sandcastles are awesome!!! I love the rich history of the East coast-everything is so much older the farther you head East!

Sarah said...

How fun! I am really very jealous, if there was one place I would just love to go it would be we have an excuse to go out there. Looks like you guys are having so much fun.

dp78 said...

I really liked the history lesson. We just went to Philadelphia and saw all of the amazing stuff there.

So have you guys decided if you are coming back to Illinois or staying out there?

Megan said...

Hey happy birthday today celeste! Wish we could be there to celebrate with you!