early thursday morning i headed to the train station to go to concord. man was it busy (after all, it was a weekday morning). along the way i met a nice train conductor, though i had a hard time understanding what he was saying. i had no idea i would have such trouble with the accent.
now why concord? most of all, there is a national park. here, the battle of concord was fought during the revolutionary war (duh). this battle was the first open arms combat of the war. the british arrived to take the militia's firearms, and the colonists fought back. the revolutionary war history really intrigued me, but there is also a literary history (especially transcendentalism). louisa may alcott, nathaniel hawthorne, ralph waldo emerson, and henry david thoreau were either born or lived in concord. i didn't see any grapes, but the concord grape was also developed here.
from my entire trip, concord was the spit image of the picturesque new england town. there were old cute buildings, small businesses, old churches, and narrow streets. also, this was the city with the most autumnal leaves (boston was a bit of a disappointment). a ranger told me that normally by this time it is the peak for the leaves, but not this year. if only i waited a week or so i could have seen all the colors. oh well. warning: this post has tons of leaves/trees pictures.
look at these leaves, so pink!
and these leaves!
a cute old church (for some reason made me think of gilmore girls). also, i love how the church is all sunny and the grave is dark.
the little grave behind the church.
the first stop, after coffee, was sleepy hollow cemetery (est. 1855). this was a good 1 mile walk. here all the authors mentioned above are buried. i am not a big literary person, but i like visiting old cemeteries and it makes it more interesting when i am familiar with names.
both thoreau & may alcott's graves had pens (i imagine emerson's did but i could not locate it).
another 1.5 miles is the concord visitor center for minute man national park. north bridge is where colonists were first told to fire back on the british, but it was the second battle of the day. this is also the site of, "the shot heard around the world."
the minute man statue (est. 1875).
the north bridge.
a view from the north bridge.
while at the visitor center, i was trying to figure out a way to also see the visitor center in lincoln (a good 5 miles away). i gave up on the idea of walking round trip, which i am so glad. man would i have gotten bored and exhausted. ranger andy helped me find a taxi service (which was awful. more on that later). also the nps passport stamp was stolen, so he drew me a special stamp :) i always say this, but rangers are da best. he even offered to drive me to the station when his shift was over, but it would have been too late. also, when the park is closed for a good 5 months (due to the harsh winters), ranger andy rides his bike across the us. my favorite quote from andy: i use to collect junk, now i collect snakes.
i then ordered a taxi (which was only my second time in a taxi by myself). when i ordered, the lady gave me a different price than the driver who was super rude the entire time. i then called back and the lady gave me another price. ridiculous. anyhoo. i arrived at the minute man nhp lincoln visitor center (which is the main visitor center of the park).
the visitor center in lincoln is so pretty.
after, i took the 5 mile 'battle road trail.' i was originally going to only look at some sites along the road, but the ranger told me this was a bad idea. it may be shorter, but there is no pedestrian walkway. the longer trail allowed me to listen to more hamilton. even though the musical talks about the battle of lexington, it was cool listening to the songs while on the trial. the trail shows you the terrain the soldiers experienced. there are also structures and commemorations relative to the battle. one of the coolest commemorations was the site that paul revere was captured.
during this trail was a dummy. i took a wrong turn that became a dead end (to my credit, the sign did not inform me). to save time, i ran back but on the way dropped my brochure. oops, but i am proud to say i did not get lost :)
scattered throughout the park are british soldier grave sites of those who were killed during the battle.
the sign of the hartwell tavern, a reconstructed 18th century inn.
because i was not going to make the earlier train i had a couple of hours to waste. i thought about walking to the reconstructed thoreau cabin in walden pond (this was part of my ambitious itinerary and 2 miles away), but i was pooped. instead, i decided to have a nice meal. i happened to walk by this busy little family restaurant / cafe and was sold. it's called main streets market & cafe. honestly, this was probably my favorite meal of the entire trip. the meal was delicious and the environment was wonderful. as any solo eater, i sat at the bar. i was also sold because they let me order iced coffee as my fountain beverage and had no additional charge for coconut milk, what?!
main streets market & cafe
fish & chips
boston cream pie. to my surprise, the chocolate is hard not frosting.
now for a song. like i said prior, i am keeping with the hamilton trend. everyone loves this song, but it is because it is so good. it has the best rap parts in the entire show! also, angelica is the most badass woman from the show. side note, but i wish they would have kept her song 'congratulations.' i love the honesty & attitude. anyhoo, 'satisfy' from hamilton. enjoy!