Friends, I have a trip coming up. I’ll be joining my parents in Concord, Massachusetts for 4-5 days where they have a home for part of the fall; we’ll sightsee in Concord and Boston and visit the best pubs around. And then I’ll head a little further north to Vermont to see an old friend with a new baby, and her whole family, on their farm. I’m so very excited! I miss my parents (who base out of Houston, where I live, but travel so much), and I miss my girlfriend and her baby, and the weather in these northern locales will be so very dreamy compared to the heat that we are still experiencing down here. And I look forward to tromping around the Vermont woods – and seeing all that Boston, Concord, and the surroundings have to offer. This is where you come in.
One of the great attractions of Concord is literary in nature: the Transcendentalist movement is generally understood to have begun with Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord, and other major figures include Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott, also Concord residents. (The latter had a daughter you may have heard of as well: Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women.) Local sights that interest me:
- the cabin at Walden Pond where Thoreau wrote Walden (which I hope to read for the first time before I get there. I have a charming pocket-size red cloth-bound copy);
- the Concord Museum, home to numerous artifacts relating to the American Revolution, Puritans and Native Americans, and Emerson and Thoreau;
- the Old Manse, home to Emerson and later, Nathaniel Hawthorne (that of Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse);
- the Wayside, home to Louisa May Alcott, then Hawthorne, and then Margaret Sidney;
- the Emerson House, now a museum and National Historic Monument (where he lived after vacating the Old Manse); and
- the Orchard House, where Bronson Alcott and his family lived, including daughter Louisa May who wrote and set Little Women there.
We’ll also be walking the Boston Freedom Trail and Minute Man National Historical Park, for their American Revolutionary War relevance (and overlapping some of the above – the Wayside is in the Minute Man Park, for instance). Apparently the Underground Railroad stopped off in Concord as well: the Transcendentalists were movers in abolitionism (or more commonly “anti-slavery”, in the contemporary term) and feminism/women’s rights, and the Alcotts helped slaves along their way to freedom.
So tell me, friends – TBM, I have you specifically in mind! – how’s my itinerary looking so far? What am I missing; is anything here redundant or less interesting? And one final important point: what’s the best, most authentic Irish pub in Boston?? My Pops hasn’t found it yet. Remember, we’ve been to Ireland; no green beer please.