A Deep Dive into US History in Boston

I often feel like I should be paid for how much I “advertise” for Road Scholar. Like similar travel companies, the company has created the best of both worlds for people of a certain age and income. That is, they set about making traveling easy and educational at reasonable prices for experiences (three for us so far) that will remain in our hearts and minds as we travel this thing called life.

I need to talk about their six-day Boston trip in particular because it was all about the founding of our great country, the United States of America. Every morning, our group would listen to a lecture by Charles Bahne, a noted historian specializing in the American Revolution, that detailed different aspects of the times, the people, and even the buildings in place during our march to independence!

What I got out of the lectures was exactly how much of our country’s founding relied on lots of luck (besides the blood and fighting, of course.) That these particular men lived in this part of our country at exactly that time was a star-crossed, magical intertwining of events that defies imagination. What chances did these scruffy, determined misfits and miscreants have against an established world conqueror like England? The scrappy colonists were, at the same time, highly-regarded members of the 1760s society and sly, under-the-table, blackened-faced tea hurlers who were the Boston Tea Party celebrants. During that Tea Party morning lecture, we were there with the colonists, slinging tea. And we were all but “sitting with them” the next morning, happy as heck with innocent inside smiles hidden beneath quiet smugness. “We got ‘em.”

Stupid England

The English puffed themselves up in their stuffy egotistic Red Coats, blinded to the quest for freedom that gave our United States ruffians the power to overcome mighty England. And King George? Ha. He was a puffball of the highest order. Remember the play Hamilton? The song runs through my head now as it does yours if you’ve seen the musical. Dah da da dah dah, da da da da da da da, dah da dah. All right, then. It’s stuck in your mind now, isn’t it?


I am not sure anything says bricks like Boston. We saw bricks here, there, and everywhere,

Bricks and Barrels

Brick-y patterns define walls, walkways, and courtyards on campuses and around homes, government buildings, and parks.

We like clinker bricks, too!! We loved those rascally, uneven, wavy, and often blackened bricks that give chimneys and walls even more character.

On many tours, the spirits of Paul Revere, George Washington, Sam Adams, and Ben Franklin all but walked among us. We went to the churches, battlefields, and homes where history dripped off the walls or reached out from balconies and balustrades, farmhouses, and bridges. We closed our eyes to “hear” fevered speeches that started our patriotic blood stirring. Don’t you just love the United States? Well, if you don’t, you’re probably not an American. If you love America, you’d love the Boston story. It’s a good one, and I believe traveling in the United States can be just as exciting as other countries across the seas. Maybe more so.


Deep-Dive Traveling

You know, we’ve been on many of the types of tours that say, “If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium.” Those are fun too, for you get to see a lot of countries and cities in a one- or two-week span. However, six days in one city touches all your senses — the smell of the harbor, the feel of the bricks beneath your feet, the sights of battles and buildings, the taste of real Boston clam chowder, and the sounds of the wind rustling in trees that may well have been tiny saplings at the very spot you’re standing. Isn’t that cool?

If You Go

Don’t forget the cannoli! These sweet, filled pastries have people lined up around the block. It’s a good thing we walked a lot on the trip! And do try to catch a guided tour for part of your stay—even if you don’t go with a tour company. You’ll learn so much!




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