Scurvy and Scuttlebutt

So the SCBWI New England conference wasn’t the only great thing about last weekend, not by a long shot.  The day before the conference, I got my first taste of Boston, Massachusetts, the city whose suburbs Jennifer has called home for several years.  I didn’t know what to expect, other than a fun day out with my dear blogging buddy and former SHU roommie.

I fell IN. LOVE. with Boston.  I want to move there.  Truly.  I am that in love.

Old North Church--isn't it lovely?

For true history nerds (which includes all three Damsels, to be sure), there is no better US city than Boston.  It’s like the American London–bustling and active but built on layers of history with a spirit of pride in its heritage.  In my one day to visit the city proper, I decided

We discovered these handy sidewalk plaques about halfway through our walk...

to spend it walking the Freedom Trail, a path that starts at Boston Commons and laces together historic halls, churches, houses, and a boat that has seen action since the early nineteenth century.  It’s three miles through twisted, cobbled lanes, clearly marked but only if you know what you’re looking for.

I loved every last minute.

Highlights of our walk included the cemetery in which lie John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams (yes, all in one place!), where Jennifer and I enjoyed reading the tombstones and trying to figure out why so many of them were topped with a winged skull.  We also loved the Old State House with its grand spiral staircase, Quincy Market with its myriad of lunch options (I got lobster salad, in honor of my dear friend Danna back in Seattle), and the Old North Church with its beautiful altar and its amazing role in our nation’s history (“one if by land, two if by sea,” anyone?).

We crossed the Charles River and visited the USS Constitution, one of the first ships commissioned by the US Navy.  These two Damsels learned while listening to the presentation below deck that we are even bigger history nerds than we realized: I knew right away why lime juice was mixed with sailors’ rum and whiskey (to prevent scurvy) and Jennifer knew that scuttlebutt became a term for military rumors long before our guide got to that part of his spiel.

USS Constitution--our last stop

Boston was amazing, and I am glad I was able to tour it with not only a local but a fellow history nerd.  Our nation’s struggle for freedom came so very much alive for me as we walked, and I will always cherish my trip down America’s great memory lane.


9 Responses to Scurvy and Scuttlebutt

  1. Jennifer says:

    It was an awesome day! And cool for me cause (even though I practically live in Boston) I’d never walked the freedom trail before 😀 So I got to see a few new things too. I think I loved Paul Reveres house most, but it was all fun! Including the milkshake 😀 And little detour thru the farmer’s market 😀 😀 I think you should come move out here Emilie!!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wow I got smiley face happy in that comment huh?

  3. Audry says:

    Sounds like a fun trip! I love Boston too. For a time (before I met my husband, who didn’t live in or near Boston and wasn’t interested in doing so) I thought pretty seriously of moving there after college. For now I guess I’ll have to content myself with visiting Jennifer too. (do you think the August heat will make walking through Boston more or less pleasant than the March chill? I gotta figure out how to come in May, like Emilie :D)

  4. Jennifer says:

    lol I think that it will probably still be fine – bring a hat and wear shorts and a tank – some sunscreen – a lot of water and we can do Boston in August (and honestly – this is Boston we could get at 50 to 90 degree weekend you just never know :D)

  5. Tricia says:

    Sounds great! Emilie, I was born in Quincy–another reason for you to love Boston! 🙂

  6. danielle hinesly says:

    I went to a conference in Boston years ago and said the very same thing. It’s fabulously beautiful with history coming out of the seams.

  7. QNPoohBear says:

    Glad you enjoyed Boston and the Freedom Trail. I haven’t made it across the river yet but maybe next time I’ll start with the Constitution and work backwards. I give a great tour of the Freedom Trail, better than the official guides, I think, who tailor to tourists with a casual interest in history. It’s one of my favorite places. Next time, stop in the North End for pastries or gelato. I hear the aquarium is really cool too but I haven’t been there in years.

  8. […] Ransome’s Crossing A few weeks ago Emilie posted an article entitled “Scurvy and Scuttlebutt.” History buffs that we are, we knew that citrus juice was added to grog to prevent scurvy, and […]

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