Friday, August 15, 2008

The British Agressors

It has been a busy few days - I will try to catch up today.

Last year we attended the wedding of the daughter of our good friends the Scholars. The wedding was in 29 Palms, California at a resort right next to the Joshua Tree National Park. We discovered a few things there. First I realized that I love the desert - the landscape and the sense of the desert were intriguing to me. I am determined to get back there sometime soon. The second discovery was that Bed and Breakfasts can be very good experiences. I'll have to check back to see if I wrote about that weekend in this blog.

At the wedding we sat with the groom's aunt and uncle who happened to live in the Boston area - Waltham to be specific. They were a very interesting couple and we have been in touch occasionally since. When they heard we were coming to Boston on this trip they invited us out for a day of exploring in Waltham and Concord.

We drove out to Waltham (thank god for the woman that lives inside my Garmin GPS - she knows how to get anywhere - and never gets annoyed when I make a mistake!). Nancy and Jim then drove us out to Concord where they took us for lunch at the Colonial Inn. The website begins with:

"Concord's Colonial Inn is an enduring landmark of gracious hospitality in historic Concord, Massachusetts. The Inn was originally built in 1716 and has operated as a hotel since 1889. Nestled in a quaint New England village famed for its revolutionary and literary history, Concord's Colonial Inn is the picture perfect destination for your next vacation and business travel. "

We had our lunch outside and enjoyed crab cakes, lobster sandwiches, decadent dessert and great conversation. Nancy and Jim are very knowledgeable and proud of their country's history - especially the history that took place in this area.

After lunch we drove out to the Old North Bridge - the scene of the "Shot Heard 'Round the World' - a phrase that comes from a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem.

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."

The battles fought here marked the beginning of the American Revolution - a revolution that had been brewing (pardon the pun) for some time.

As I understand the situation the British, who had established the colonies, heard that munitions and supplies were being stockpiled in preparation of an armed insurgency. To head this off they sent troops in to seize these stockpiles. The battles at Concord and Lexington took place to resist the British Aggression. Quite an interesting view of history.

We ended the day with a wonderful dinner of salmon, latkes and vegetables at Jay and Dori's place.

Jay and I had been invited by Jeff, his brother in law, to the Wellesely Newcomers Poker club and we left Helene and Dori right after dinner. I have watched Texas Hold'Em on television but had never played. I was the beneficiary of beginner's luck as I left the game with more money than I brought. I can see how the game can become addictive. Part of the attraction was the tournament style of play. We each bought in for $20 and then played until only one person was left with all the chips. The fourth last person to be eliminated got their $20 and the last three got increasing amounts of the pot as they survived. It felt like we were playing with lots of money but in reality only $20 was on the line.

It was a late night!

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