We got up early, ate breakfast, and checked out of our hotel. We took the subway and then the local bus to Lexington. We had reserved a rental car for noon, but got there early enough to pick it up by 11 am. We drove to downtown Concord and ate at the Colonial Inn. I had the Alcott sandwich, which I chose mostly due to its name. It was delicious though. After lunch, we explored downtown Concord before heading to the North Bridge, which is where the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired. It was a lot smaller than I imagined for some reason. The path to the bridge wasn’t clear so our shoes got muddy and wet. But I enjoyed seeing the bridge—the weather was beautiful and the river was so clear. You can also see the Old Manse House, which was owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grandfather—Ralph created some of his earliest writings there. Ralph also let Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife live there for awhile as well.
Next, we drove to Walden Pond, which was the highlight of the trip. We had to walk a LONG way in snow, but the weather was beautiful. The pond was frozen and I walked on it for awhile. When we got up to the site of Thoreau’s cabin, there was only foundation markers. We sat on them and watched the lake for awhile. It was extremely peaceful, and I could definitely see the appeal of living out there. We walked back and looked at the replica of the cabin, which was surprisingly well-furnished. Thoreau used his space wisely! It was my favorite part of the trip by far.
Afterwards, we drove to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. My parents were worn out, so I walked up to Authors’ Ridge by myself and saw the graves of Emerson, Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, along with their families. It took me awhile to find the graves, and two gentlemen directed me. The path up was icy and one of the gents asked if I was sure I wanted to go up. I told him that “I’ve come all the way from Texas, so I’ve got to go up!” The walk wasn’t that bad—there were handles. The sun was setting and I sat on a bench opposite Louisa’s grave for awhile. It was quite lovely.
We went back to the hotel via the scenic route and rested for awhile. We had dinner at Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant in Lexington. It was terrible service though—don’t go there if you’re ever in Lexington.
The weather was amazing—sunny and crisp. We picked the right time to come in my opinion. The paths weren’t the best, but the solitude made up for it. Apparently in the summer it gets horribly crowded in Concord, which I would not enjoy. Sitting at Thoreau’s cabin or at Louisa’s grave alone for 10 minutes or so would not happen in the summer.