We had now lived in the concrete jungle of New York City for over six months, and we needed a break. We felt like reconnecting with the greener side of life where things seemed simple and easy, so we decided it was time for a camping trip.
Once again, we packed up the car but this time we included a few camping supplies, then we set off towards New England. Our destination was a patch of woods in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Our mission was to catch the spirit of the American wilderness.
Our very first American Independence Day was fast approaching and Jessie and I wanted to do something special. We knew it had to involve fireworks, a military marching band, and tolling bells, but we wanted more. That’s when we decided that to get the best experience of Independence Day, we would travel back in time.
We set our destination to Williamsburg, Virginia, and the year was 1776. We would go back to the moment that America’s liberty was declared and spend a week exploring the town and its surroundings. It was time to go back to when it all began.
It was the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees were behind but with a bit of luck they could still take it out. Hope floated about the stadium as the crowds held their breath. I was just happy to have learnt what ‘bottom of the ninth’ meant.
Where I come from baseball isn’t all that popular, so being in America I figured it was time to get amongst the game known affectionately as America’s favourite pastime. However, I didn’t want to start at the bottom and make my way through the little leagues. I went straight to the top, buying tickets to see the big players.
In our own test, we put the New York Yankees at the massive Yankee Stadium in New York up against the Boston Red Sox at their beloved home of Fenway Park in Boston. Here’s how the stadiums and ballgames played out.
The city of Boston was a mess. There were no cars in sight, only thousands of people roaming the streets dressed in black and yellow, singing and chanting. Police were blocking off public spaces. What had we got ourselves into?
Our journey into American history had brought us to Boston, Massachusetts – home of an American revolutionary named Paul Revere, and also home of the Boston Red Sox and Harvard University. We had come looking to learn more about the American Revolution, with a night out to see the baseball, but the city offered something else.
Here’s what happened when we stumbled into Boston during one of their biggest moments since America got its independence.
While living in New York City, we couldn’t help but notice it across the Hudson River. All the way down the side of the Big Apple, it reflected back at us like a twisted mirror, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
I could imagine privileged children long ago, innocently asking their fathers while staring across the water, “Daddy, what is there on the other side of the river?” and their fathers would reply cautiously, “There’s nothing there, son. That’s New Jersey, and you must never go there.”
We only saw a portion of New Jersey and this recollection of my handful of journeys across to the rough side of the river may not give it a fair representation. Nonetheless, feel free to read on out of curiosity as I explain how despite showing a rather ugly face in public, the state actually does have some hidden treasures.
We had now visited the brain of the United States (AKA Washington DC), but we wanted to go back further in history. Who were Americans before they were American, and what were these pre-Americans like?
I wanted to trace their history, and instead of finding clues in ancient cave paintings, I found my answer in a travel guide. Next, we packed up the car for a weekend trip, and printed out directions to the quaint little state of Rhode Island.
The title of this blog entry sounds like the name of a TV doco special, or an action-packed thriller movie, and in truth, it very well could be. It would be full of suspense, the scares, the laughs, and tons of amazing scenery. Luckily for me, it would end in absolute triumph.
After a hold-your-breath moment of anticipation, those big rubbery wheels finally touched down on tarmac, and if you’re reading this now, it means I just survived my 30th flight on a plane. I lived to tell the tale, so I will do just that.