Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekend in Massachusetts!

For the first time in a while, I have a new experience long enough to take up the length of a blog post! The last time that happened was probably February, haha.
Usually I write a blog post based on the experience, but not a direct journal-entry type post, but I can't think of anything good, so I'm just going to sum up my experience this weekend. If you get bored with details, then you can skip this post. :) Or just read the bold stuff for what actually happened.

Earlier this week, my family decided to take a weekend vacation, since my sister is currently touring the US with her camp and we want to do something fun too. And take a break from life and stuff. (For example, I skipped the last THREE Camp NaNo days. Hopefully the prolonged vacation from writing will help jump-start my creativity tomorrow.)

When I was fifteen, I was a total Henry David Thoreau fangirl, and I sort of dragged my family to Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. They ended up really liking the place and we went there again last summer. So we decided that Walden would be a fun place to go for our weekend vacation. We also decided to check out some historic sites in the area, which I'll get into later.

So Thursday morning, after I got out of work, we got in the car and drove the four hours up to Massachusetts. Our first stop was Minute Man Historic National Park, where many of the important sites of the Revolutionary War are preserved. We arrived around 5 pm, so a lot of the cool stuff was closed, but it was still pretty interesting. I've forgotten most of my APUSH knowledge, so I looked stuff up on Wikipedia and read all the signs to refresh my memory. We went to the Paul Revere capture site, hiked a little on a trail that we thought led to a historic tavern but it did not, and then we found our way to Lexington, where the first battle of the Revolution took place. Lexington is such a pretty little town and so before making our way to the battlefield, we had dinner at a nice restaurant. Then we walked down the street to the Battle Green. The place is a grassy field now, and some kids were playing Frisbee there. A stone plaque commemorated the words said by Captain Parker at the Battle of Lexington: "Stand your ground. Do not fire unless they fire first, but if they want a war, let it begin here." It was pretty exciting, and surreal, to stand on the same ground where the American Revolution started, imagining the early morning skirmish and the shot heard 'round the world. And now it's a field in the middle of a small historic town.

After the battle green, we headed to an open-air concert of wind instruments that was taking place in a park a little way down the street. We hung out there a while and heard their lovely music. It was really peaceful. When they finally finished up, we headed to the hotel.

The next morning, we went down to Walden Pond only to find out that the water was contaminated and no one could swim there. (Also that morning I had Nutella French toast for breakfast. Just to let you know.) So we decided to find somewhere else to swim. We went to Lexington's Old Reservoir, which was nice and small with a lot of shady spots to sit and there were only a handful of little kids and their moms there, so it wasn't super crowded. We read on the sand, then swam around in the water, then hung out on the sand some more and ate lunch. And! I found three snail shells in the water. It was really nice.

We went back to the hotel to shower and change, then we headed out to dinner in Lexington at a fancy restaurant. IT WAS SO GOOD. OK, here's all the food I ate. First, really good bread with herb butter. Then, green beans tempura with sriracha-honey-lime dipping sauce. Then, crusty toasted bread with hummus and marinated olives and artichokes and cooked sun-dried tomatoes that tasted like fire and the sun and summer and wonderfulness. Then, amazing mac and cheese with creamy delicious sauce and garlic breadcrumbs on top. It was really really really good.

After that meal, we took a walk in Lexington as the sun set. It's a beautiful town full of old buildings and stuff. We got ice cream- I got blueberry ice cream with mini M&Ms, as if I hadn't had enough good food already. We finished up our walk and then back to the hotel.

The next day (today), we had breakfast at a nice cafe and then drove down to Amherst, a gorgeous rural town. And guess who lived there? Emily Dickinson! We went to the Emily Dickinson Museum, based in her old house where she was born and where she died and wrote most of her poems. It was a pretty slow day so my mom and I were the only ones on our tour. (My dad sat it out). It was suuuuuch a fascinating tour. We saw all of Emily Dickinson's house and learned about her whole life and her family and her inspiration for her poems and all the cool stuff she did, plus historical context, plus learned about the work they do at the museum. We also saw her brother's house, the Evergreens, which was right next door, and was much better preserved in its historic glory (except that it's falling apart. But falling apart in its original furniture and stuff). So so so cool!

After the Emily Dickinson tour, we went to the Eric Carle museum of picture books. It was a pretty small museum and mostly little kids were there, but it was super fun anyway. I love picture books because I run a craft for little kids at the library and I have to pick out stories to read for each craft, and after five years of picking picture books, I have kind of a taste for them. :) The museum had a craft going on that day, in their art studio: a make-your-own truck or car thing. It was just a small cardboard box with a place for wheels, and then you decorate the rest. There were amazing decoration supplies there. I wish our library had stuff like that. I got really into it and made a Poets Mobile with a face and ribbons and a canoe on the top (my mom made the canoe). We then toured the museum, which had a very small gallery of Carle's work and some other great picture book artists. It was pretty interesting. Then we had to leave because they were closing early for a wedding. Imagine getting married in the picture book museum!

Then we got dinner at a small-town diner (I got veggie nachos) and drove home. And now I'm here! It was a super great weekend and I had a lot of new experiences: Seeing important sites from the American Revolution, swimming in an old reservoir, going to Lexington and Amherst, seeing Emily Dickinson's house (!!!), and seeing the picture book museum. Yay!

So, hope you enjoyed that post. Thanks for reading, and see you on Wednesday,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your passions with me. I loved the tour and learned so much from it (and you). Also, those green beans were AMAZING.