We woke up somewhere around Cleveland, Ohio on Day 8 in sleeper cars on the Lake Shore Limited. Corbin and I were in a roomette, Grandma and Doris were in a bedroom. Something interesting about our roomettes was that they had little secret toilets and sinks in the stairs to the top bunks right in our roomettes. It was cool, and disturbing. They don’t stink or anything, they seemed very clean, it’s just the thought of sleeping inches away from a toilet that was a little odd. Grandma and Doris’s room had a toilet/shower in it, which is exactly what it sounds like. You can just sit right there on the potty and take a shower if you feel so inclined. The only real drawback is that you really have to be careful because everything in the bathroom when you take a shower gets wet – including the toilet paper. The room was pretty cool though. Corbin spent most of the day sitting in there with them, and I sat alone in the roomette just reading and enjoying the quiet comfort.
One thing you will notice is that we have very few decent pictures from the train between Chicago and Boston because the windows were extremely dirty. It was like the train had been muddin’ or something. Anyway we all really enjoyed seeing a part of the country that none of us had ever laid eyes on. Seeing a bunch of snow-covered everything was very impressive to us Texas folks.
We arrived into Boston at about 9pm and went right to our hotel. We were kind of swindled by our first Nigerian cab driver, so when we arrived at our hotel we were feeling all happy and quite proud of our urban accomplishments. After all, we HAD just maneuvered ourselves all the way across the country using public transportation! That’s quite an achievement for some born and bred Texans who had previously never even stepped food on a city bus!
Our hotel was truly amazing. The Omni Parker House hotel is said to be the oldest continuously operating hotel in America. Chefs in it’s restaurant are also credited with inventing the Boston Creme, and Lemon Meringue pies. It was beautiful, and the staff was wonderful. Corbin was super excited that there were hotel bathrobes.
On day 9 we woke up and headed out for some history tours! We walked with Grandma and Doris and left them at Faneuil Hall which is next to Quincy Market and bunch of other shops and restaurants they could explore within a close proximity. Corbin and I headed to Boston Common to join a walking tour. This tour was truly the highlight of our whole trip.
We thought the tour would follow the Freedom Trail which is a 2.5 mile walking trail that directs you around to a ton of historical sites through Boston. You can easily find it because they have laid a red-brick path that you just follow and read the information. Our tour guide said that he believes this trail was actually created by the local Chamber of Commerce to connect the Dunkin’ Donuts stores to one another. So he took us a different way, but we saw all of the same things. I really can’t explain how great this tour was from a homeschool perspective. In about two hours, Corbin and I both have a grasp of the history of our country that I don’t think we could have received in years in a classroom. Walking through the sites really connected the dots and made the history just click into place.
After the tour, we met back up with Grandma and Doris Marie to have lunch at Durgin Park restaurant which was founded in 1827. We didn’t realize while we were there, but our waitress was supposed to be surly and rude to us. I guess she figured we looked like a no-nonsense bunch of folks, so she was quite kind and helpful. The food was great. I had a lobster roll with genuine Boston baked beans! They served some excellent cornbread. I don’t usually like sweet cornbread, but it was really good. The only drawback with this meal was that Corbin credits it with the beginning of what would be a really bad stomach bug that lasted over the course of about 4 days! After lunch we walked over to tour the Paul Revere house. We were amazed at what an awesome guy Paul Revere was! History has not given him enough credit I think.
We visited a few other graveyards and sites near our hotel and then went in for the evening around dark. Corbin had started feeling bad, and we were all tired. Since the hotel was famous for the Boston Creme pie, we splurged and ordered some from room service. It was so good, even more so since we enjoyed it in our jammies!
Like I said before, Boston was truly the highlight of our entire trip. I felt so close to our country’s history there. We will be going back there soon. We saw so much, but I know we didn’t even scratch the surface!