Sunday, December 6, 2009

The "Shot Heard 'Round the World": Minuteman National Park, Concord, MA

The "Shot Heard 'Round the World": Minute Man National Park
174 Liberty Street
Concord, MA

Alright, so we were both social studies teachers. I know, you're picturing tweed coats and padded elbows, not Indiana Jones (although he did wear them when he was teaching Anthropology). Yes, we met in graduate school learning to become high school history teachers, and while I had not taken more than a single course in college on US History, I fell in love once I began to teach it. With every passing lesson on colonial history I thought back to what it meant to grow up in New England. My wife on the other hand, hand no interest in the foundation of our democracy. I blame my passion on the reenactment of The Boston Massacre trial, held at the West Newton court house in 1985. I was the dredded Captain Thomas Preston.

While the historical importance of "the British are Coming!" to Lexington and Concord may be tough to explain to a three year old, I used this as an opportunity to school my Floridian-wife on the significance of the birthplace of the Revolution. Did Sydney enjoy skating on the ice as we approached that fated bridge? Sure he did. Could he remember "one if by land, two if by sea" on a pop-quiz?" Ummmmm...

If the Revolution isn't heady enough for your friends from afar, try out Transcedentalists like Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond just a hop, skip and a jump away. You may be more likely to skate on the pond, or ice fish this time of year. I've enjoyed a good skiaround the edges while meditating on the outdoors. There's even a "Thoreau for Kids" day at the visitors center.

But the money shot to guaranteeing your kids become life-long New Englanders is a pass by the Concord church steeples in a blanket of snow. It just doesn't get more mom and apple pie than this. After a quick tour you'll gunning the engine for the Norman Rockwell Museum, a great homage to Americana in Stockbridge, just a couple short hours down the Pike.