The Big New England Trip
So, I had a plan. The plan was that I was going to get approved to telecommute this summer and that we would spend July and August driving from Chicago across to New Yorkish/Bostonish/Mainish/ down to Virginia and come back through Louisville. With a new car and flexible schedules for Dave and Nico, I think it was the perfect plan. Basically drive a little bit, find a cool spot to be. Work, do stuff. Win!!
I didn’t get approved to telecommute. Sad face. So, the two month long epic road trip got turned into an 8 day whirlwind of history.
We started by flying into LaGuardia and renting a car. We drove to Philadelphia, where we *really* started the trip. I had to do some work stuff and while Dave and Nico checked out the USS New Jersey.
On our first full day, we checked out the Liberty Bell and the Museum of the American Revolution. It hasn’t been open for very long and was AMAZING. Some of the best $$ I have ever spent at a museum. Worth every single penny.
Nico got to hold a real musket, which was a highlight, obviously. They also had interactive screens and video presentations. And the gift shop was well-stocked.
We had a late day snack at a place called National Mechanics, which is in a really old building in Philadelphia.
So, I had originally ordered a new patriot/revolutionary costume for Nico for his birthday. I wanted one that didn’t look so cheap (like the A.Ham one that he wore for his school presentation). I was going to have it sent to the AirBNB we stayed at in Boston, but just ran out of time, so I packed it and the boots in my bag. However, Nico knew something was up, because he saw the bag it was in, and being a Nosey McNoserson, was like, “What’s in the bag?” So, we let him have it, which turned out to be a great choice, because he wore the hell out of the costume. He wore it everywhere.
Dave and Nico had spotted this ship from the USS New Jersey and decided it was worth a trip, because it might be period relevant (it wasn’t). But he didn’t care. He’s walking around dressed up like a revolutionary.
So, we spent one afternoon walking around downtown Philadelphia. And made it to the seaport.
After the seaport, we did the Rocky thing… Nico ran up the stairs to the Art Museum like 4-5 times while Dave and I recorded him from multiple angles and vantage points. Like the touristy weirdos we were being.
On our way out of town we stopped at Reading Terminal Market. It lived up to the hype. Loved it. Wish I had planned better to have two meals there, instead of just the one (philly cheesesteak- I mean, I am not a monster).
Next up, we headed to Boston. The AirBNB I reserved for us was an RV outside of Boston (all three of us have agreed that having an RV would be ideal for soccer tournaments). There was also a pool and a hottub- which the boys loved.
We made it into Boston to do tourist stuff. We took the Freedom Trail, north to Charlestown and Bunker Hill.
I am going to reveal a secret. I might lose some friends here… but here it goes. I am self-centered jerk.
I know that at some point, I was supposed to grow out of this when I had a child. I know intellectually that it’s not about me anymore. And that when you are traveling in a group, it doesn’t really work if one person is being an a$$hole.
I know these things.
But I also know this: I don’t deal well with: being hot, being hungry, being tired, and having to walk in places where I have worry about stepping in holes, off curbs, into ditches, onto slightly uneven ground, onto other people’s feet, up onto uneven sidewalks, etc. It is stressful, given the ankle situation (they are both garbage). Plus, the slow tourist walk MURDERS my back. Also, I don’t like being around tourists. I come by that honest, from my mother. But it is what it is.
So, I was over walking around Boston, hence we didn’t do a lot of the history stuff Dave wanted to do. We walked over to Charlestown, where the boys checked out the USS Constitution while I googled things like, “Why isn’t there AC outside?” and “Can one be allergic to humidity?” from a park bench. After, we headed up to Bunker Hill.
Now, mind you, Nico is wearing this costume. And people in Boston, love the shit out of it. Lots of people were like, “Love your costume!!” or “Great costume!” In fact, random tourists wanted to take pictures of him.
Which is fair. I mean, look at him. Of course people wanted to take pictures of him.
We got cannolis from Mike’s Pastry Shop in the North End, which was amazing. Also, really wouldn’t mind living in the North End. So cool.
The next day was the Redcoats and Rebels, pretty much the entire reason for going to New England. Old Sturbridge Village (outside of Boston) does this thing every year, where they put on a re-enactment, and it is amazing. Nico wore the costume (obviously) and it was huge hit.
There is kids musket training, demonstrations on make butter and cheese, battle re-enactments, etc. The gift shop had toy musket and handguns. Obviously, Nico needed the musket, which definitely wasn’t a pain in the ass to bring back in checked luggage- with its length of 38″.
They have working tradesmen there- so they had the saw mill actually running, and a guy was working the potter’s wheel in the potter’s house(?). They had cavalry horses and farm animals, and the kid was so happy to be there. It was very cool.
There were re-enactment marches and battles. And mustering. Incredibly cool.
After, we got dinner at an old little tavern near by.
The next day, we got Legal Seafood on our way into Boston for a game at Fenway. It was so hot, so very hot in Boston. And at Fenway- we had decent seats, but again, hot. The Red Sox got down 4-1 to the Yankees on the last night of the series that Boston was on the verge of sweeping. So Fenway started to clear out. Which was great. But then the Red Sox got back int he game. They tied it in the 8th and won on a walk-off single in the 10th. It was fantastic.
One of the Yankee bullpen guys tossed Nico a ball during BP, despite the fact that that Nico was wearing a Sox hat and a Cubs Jersey (before he got the sherzy shown below).
Such an exciting game. Nico made friends with the guy sitting next to us, who was a huge Yankees fan. The guy was disparaging of a newly traded player, “Who is this Voight? What has he done?” Nico has started that commentary now, so that is cool. We didn’t get back to the AirBNB till 330am. So tired.
Weirdly, Dave Royse ran into two different people he knew from Tallahassee. At Fenway. WHAT? How does that even happen?
Then we headed back to NY, dropping the car and checking into our hotel in Queens. The next day, we headed around New York.
We saw the graveyard at Trinity Church. In addition to Alexander Hamilton’s grave, it is the location of Phillip, Eliza, and Angelica’s graves, as well as Horatio Gates’.
We had lunch at Fraunces’ Tavern, which is in the oldest building in NYC, which was very cool.
In a room upstairs, George Washington’s generals hosted him in a farewell dinner. And it was a hangout for A.Ham- which was cool.
After, we did Times Square.
Before catching a red eye out of Laguardia, we saw Dave’s friend Dave G and their three kids, in Brooklyn. We made it to the airport with plenty of time to catch our delayed flight back to OHare.
It was a pretty fun trip- if exhausting.