Guest Blogger: Meredith St. Cyr

Traveling back to Colonial Boston

(Spoiler alert: It smells funny.)

MAY 4, 2012

Recently, American International College's Honors Program took a trip to Boston. At seven o'clock in the morning, 13 sleepy students boarded a lovely yellow school bus. Once everyone was as comfortable as possible we fell right back asleep. Among the group of students who attended this affair was one who has been a resident of Massachusetts her whole life, yet had never before been to Boston. Luckily, we had a trusty Californian who planned the whole thing and kept us all on track. Christina Romeo, a.k.a. "Cali," took charge once we arrived at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. "Taking charge" started with figuring out where the bus was supposed to park; perhaps the bus driver should have read the directions that Cali had sent her earlier. While in the museum, Aubri Bailly, Jamal Hadley, and I managed to get lost in one half of the building. Not "lost" because we were so absorbed in the exhibits, but "lost" because we could literally not find our way out. After making a few circles in the museum, we finally asked for directions. Rather, Jamal did. We were impressed that the "man of the group" had no problem in asking for help. And then I realized why I don't go to Harvard.

For lunch we all went our separate ways but made it back to the meeting spot safe and sound. We waited for our bus, hoping the bus driver could find her way around without Cali's help. When she found us, we hopped on and headed toward the beginning of The Freedom Trail. As you may know, April 16 was the date of the Boston Marathon. In order to be ready for the big day, septic systems were being cleaned out on the 15th... the day of our visit. We figured that this is how Boston smelled back in the day, giving us an authentic experience on The Freedom Trail.

Our guide was a woman dressed in a long, heavy dress. (How she survived the heat, I have no idea.) She had a great attitude and kept things fun and entertaining. However, when it was time to move on to see a new site, she took off - full steam ahead. Aubri was somehow able to keep up with her crazy speed, which came in handy when she and the guide crossed the street and the rest of the group was still on the other side waiting for the lights to change again. When we got to the Old North Church at the end of the trail, the guide was telling us stories about witches when, seemingly out of nowhere, an old and creepy man started making a scene at the gift shop adjacent to the church. She stopped in mid-story to watch this act, which she had never seen before. The man was yelling "No exit!" and "Cryptkeeper!" and generally terrifying people in the area. Turns out, it was not an act. In the end, we made it in and out of the church just fine and were on our own again for dinner. Around 7 p.m. everyone found the bus and we made it back to Springfield after all of our adventures.

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