Follow the Red Brick Road by Charlene Sands

dsc01018I’m a lover of American history and I don’t apologize for thinking we live in the most wonderful country in the world!  Even as a child, I was fascinated by our founding fathers and what they had accomplished. Fascinated by the drive and determination of a people who wanted freedom from oppression.  Fascinated in the brilliance of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights for our countrymen.   Recently, and along with dear friends who were also celebrating a big anniversary, we traveled to Boston to board a cruise ship, but we planned enough time to see the sights first and there were many!

The Freedom Trail is the red brick road you follow, a walking tour that takes you from one historic site to another all throughout the city.  It’s so neat to see this pattern of bricks in all the sidewalks on the trail.  

I must admit, all of the places I’ve traveled so far, Boston is my favorite city. We stayed in a lovely hotel on the Charles River, just a few steps from the Naval Ship yard and visited the U.S.S. Constitution museum.  It’s one of the first stops on the Freedom Trail  We learned about the ship they call, “Old Ironsides”  because the sides of the ship were made of  live oak, found only on the East coast and is known for its hard surface.  When fired upon, the cannonballs literally bounced off, giving the impression of being made of iron.   The USS Constitution is 33 and 0, never having lost a battle.  It’s the oldest floating battleship in the world, having been commissioned by George Washington in 1797.

I didn’t know that if it’s on a ship it’s called a gun and if it’s on the ground, it’s called a cannon.  We were duly corrected, when we asked about the “cannons.”   Young boys had the danerous  job of delivering the gun powder to the 12 men needed to set off one gun. Those boys were called “gun monkeys.”   


We visited Paul Revere’s house, a small home of two stories, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.  The house is amazingly preserved and was said to have had over 200 residents, as it became a boardinghouse at one time.    I got goose bumps when I walked inside, imagining him being there with his family.  It was said he was good-looking man who had 2 wives and 16 children in his lifetime.    He was an bellmaker and one of his bells sits on his property now.   A bit of trivia:  The Samuel Adams beer, depicts a man who we believe is Sam Adams, but is, in fact, Paul Revere.   Dear Samuedsc00997l Adams, apparently wasn’t pleasing to the eye.dsc01009



 The Old North Church is on the Freedom Trail – the oldest church in Boston constructed in 1723 and it has the tallest steeple in the city.  It was here that Robert Newman signaled the approach of the British with the alert with lanterns, “One if by land, two if by sea.” 


The Old State Meeting House was the Puritan House of Worship built in 1729, the site of the Boston Tea Party in 1773 with Samuel Adams leading the charge, dumping 3 shiploads of tea into the Boston Harbor. 


Trinity Church in Copley Square built in 1723 burned in the Great Boston Fire in 1872 and was rebuilt by 1877.   I peered inside this church and it was stunning, the artwork, stained glass and amazing architecture was something I wished we had time to explore.  Directly across the street is the John Hancock Tower, constructed in the early 2000’s and many complained that the tall insurance tower would ruin the beauty of the church, so it was constructed with reflective glass.   Look at the neat reflection of the church in those windows. 


What would a trip to Boston be without  a visit to the Cheers Bar where everybody knows your name?   Built in 1895 and across the street from Boston Commons and the Public Gardens, we entered this underground bar, just to say we did!!   (my hubby Don, and dear friends from grammar school, Mary and Richard)


And of course, being huge baseball fans, we had to tour Fenway Park!  (note: not on the Freedom Trail, but lots of history there too)scan0023






Have you visited Boston or any city on the east coast that has sparked your interest in our history?   Do you love to learn about our nation’s beginnings as much as I do?  Do you get goose bumps (like I do) when you stand on the very places that made history?  If you could travel to any place in America to learn more about our history, where would that be? 

Texan’s Wedding-Night Wager is on sale now – #2 on Borders/Waldenbooks bestseller list for series romance.  I hope you get a chance to read it. 


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26 thoughts on “Follow the Red Brick Road by Charlene Sands”

  1. Hi Charlene, oh I love this blog! On our trip to Boston, we saw most of these same things. It is a city just crammed with history and I too love every inch of it. (Also have a pic of the Trinity church reflection LOL.)

    We catch that show Boston Legal sometimes and whenever they pan the city, we pause the DVR and just gaze at it. So beautiful.

    Thanks for the hobble down Memory Lane…or I should say, red brick road. I seem to remember Gramma Revere getting that giant room upstairs all to herself? Imagine that, in a house of 16.

    (Tragically, we recently attended a funeral at Forest Lawn but the church is an exact replica of the Old North Church. Which was way cool.)

    Loved this! Good job! oxoxoxox

  2. Hi Tanya,
    Thanks for the kind words this early in the morning. I think I might want to visit the Forest Lawn church, just to see. I didn’t know that it replicated the Old North church!
    Oh, it was fun to go to all those places… it’s a trip I’ll never forget.

  3. Charlene, I’m so intrigued by your cruise! What a fun trip, and being with good friends makes it even more fun!

    My only memory of Boston is when I had to spend the night in its airport. It was THE worst night I’ve ever spent on a vacation. I was terrified if my husband and I fell asleep, someone would steal our bags, and we’d never know it. I was awake all night. I thought for sure dawn would never come. Ugh!

    I think the Washington DC area is another part of our country incredibly rich in history. We’ve been there once, but you can’t see it all in one trip. I can’t wait to go back!

  4. Charlene, thanks for the wonderful pictures. I love seeing those old buildings still standing tall and beautiful even when surrounded by skyscrapers.

    I’ve never been to Boston, but several years ago my husband surprised me with a trip to Baltimore. We got to see Betsy Ross’s house and the harbor where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the national anthem. Wonderful history on the east coast. I hope to get a chance to explore more out there some day.

  5. Hi Pam,
    You know, my hubby and I both said how incredibly safe we felt in Boston. Of Course, we were in all the tourist areas and those are highly protected. I haven’t been on the east coast since growing up in New York and I barely remember that, so it was fun to see the east again. Boston is such a college town, we saw joggers out everywhere. I didn’t know they have over 60 colleges in Boston area.

  6. Hi Karen — Oh, just hearing those words, gives me a thrill, being in Betsy Ross’s house and standing right where FCK got his inspiration. I hope you get to explore the east coast too, I’ll be right behind you! I’d love to go again. 🙂

  7. Charlene,

    What an interesting post. Love the photos.
    There is one place that I would love to go and that is Wounded Knee. It has always been dear to my heart.

    Wonderful post

    Walk in peace and harmony,


  8. I’m not a huge traveler and when I do go I’m always thinking mountains, canyons, rivers, not buildings. But I LOVE this Charlene.

    I love that these buildings are so old.

    I was in Greensburg, Pennsylvania once, just sooooooo close to Pittsburgh but we didn’t get into the city. I loved all that old stuff in Greensburgh, very different and charming and cool.

    And I was in New York City once loooooooooong ago and it was fantastic, terrifying, an adrenaline rush that took me days to get over.

    I just might decide I do need to go to Boston after this post. I’d love to see such old things. Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. I’d like to see this stuff.

  9. And, I read a biography of Benjamin Franklin recently and woven into it was the history evolving during his life, American Independence adn the thing I came away with was that we now look at our Founding Fathers and think of them as Old, Dead, straightlaced, often slave owning white guys.

    But the truth is, these people were RADICAL. Benjamin Franklin proposing slaves be freed and considered fully human was such a radical notion it was unthinkable. Breaking from England…most people considered the King to be annointed by God and declaring independence was a terrible sin in many eyes.

    It was all just so radical and so rooted in a desire for FREEDOM. A notion that really had no place anywhere else on earth at the time.

    Samual Adams was among the most radical of them all. Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, these guys were terrifying to many people because of their radical ideas that became the foundation of something unheard of on earth.

    Benjamin Franklin actually fought for YEARS to stay with England. He kept insisting that a way could be found to get Americans equality, a vote, no taxation without representation. But in the end he had to give it up and that did NOT come easily.

    Okay, off my soapbox. Loved the post.

  10. Charlene – what a great post! Hubby and I made a trip to Boston about a year and a half ago and visited most of these same sites. Love the pictures – made me feel like I was right there again.

  11. Thanks for the tour, Charlene. With all the traveling I’ve done, Boston’s one place I’ve never been. Have you seen the HBO series on the life of John Adams? It’s out on dvd now–that’s something you’d enjoy.
    And what a glamorous lady you are, even in jeans!

  12. Charlene, it looks like you had a fantastic vacation. Wow! I’d love to have tagged along. I, too, love visiting historical sites and goosepimples never fail to rise when I stand on a spot where history was made. I guess that’s one reason why I love writing historical fiction. Oh, and I’m fascinated by brick streets. The downtown area of Ralls, where I recently moved, is completely paved with brick streets. It’s definitely a vision of yesteryear. I can close my eyes and picture wagons rolling along it at a leisurely pace.

    Didn’t know that fact about Paul Revere. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Mary – Did you see John Adams? I got the DVD for Christmas. You have no idea how much I admire these men. And the people behind them had sooo much courage to stand up and fight with little knowledge of weaponry and warfare. And WE won!
    I think you’d love Boston. I was walking around with my jaw dropping (not from eating fruitcake either) but in awe of the history. What a history lesson. And it’s always fun to learn bits of trivia along the way.

  14. Winnie – I wish I could show all the pictures. We had the best food in the North End and enjoyed the Public Gardens and Boston Commons. And the little parkways all around town, everyone out jogging. It’s such a college town too.

  15. Hi Linda,
    Oh, I tell you walking down those cobblestone roads (not all, but a few streets were preserved with cobblestone) is hard on the feet. I kept thinking how hard it would’ve been on the horses.

    You should have seen me – mouth dropping, goosebumps all over! 🙂

  16. Hi Elizabeth,
    Yes, I loved John Adams and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks so much for the compliment. I never think of myself as glamorous, especially in jeans – so that’s nice to hear!

  17. Hi Charlene,

    Honey visited Boston some years back on a business
    trip. He really enjoyed the tour, it is the only city he mentioned for a return visit by both of us!
    All the history plus the beauty of the city made a
    great impression upon him.

    Pat Cochran

  18. Went to Boston with our daughters about 1980. Did the walking tour. We plan to go again and might bring our grandson. Boston is a great town and the area around there is so full of history. Can’t wait to go there again.

  19. Charlene, I am so glad you enjoyed my city. I am a lifelong Bostonian, born and raised. You forget how much history is around here till you see it from someone else’s eyes. Although I’m a huge history buff, when I’m in downtown Boston I am on my way shopping or going to a meeting that I walk by all those historic places without a second thought but I always linger if going by Fenway Park!!!

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