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Visiting Minute Man National Historical Park | Smudge InkFor this year’s summer outing, we headed 18 miles outside of Boston to the historic town of Concord. We spent the day walking the famous paths of the American Revolution and cooling off in the shady beaches of Walden Pond. Eric kicked it off by doing some extensive research at the Visitor’s Center (really, he didn’t have the heart to turn down any of the 60 brochures handed to him by the older gentleman manning the information desk).

Summer Outing in Concord | Smudge Ink(image: Eric fills in as designated tour guide and feels confident we're headed in the right direction)

The Old North Bridge Audio Guide | Smudge Ink(image: listening to the audio narration of the first battle of Independence)

With map(s) in hand, we made our way to the Old North Bridge where the “shot heard round the world” was fired. The walk itself wasn’t very long, but in the 90+ degree heat, we retreated to the former mansion of Major Buttrick from circa 1910 (aka the souvenir shop) for some lovely 21st century air conditioning.

Summer Outing | Smudge Ink(image: April's smiling because next stop is lunch)

We made a lunch stop at Main Streets Café, followed by a most necessary ice cream run at Bedford Farms next door. Choosing which ice cream flavor to get was probably the most challenging part of the day. What’s in Moose Tracks? How about Mississippi Mud? Ack, the pressure! I’ll just get a scoop of Vanilla, please. Unfortunately, inhaling an ice cream cone and taking photos are two things I cannot do at the same time. So you’ll just have to trust me that everyone was looking mighty happy at this part of the outing.

Learning LCR Dice Game | Smudge Ink(image: playing dice and feeling bada** in the high school parking lot)

Replica of Thoreau's Cabin at Walden | Smudge Ink(image: checking out the replica of Thoreau's cabin and exploring the deeper meanings in ... Pokémon GO)

Sign at Original Site of Thoreau's Cabin | Smudge Ink(image: sign marking the original site of Thoreau's cabin)

After being instructed we were a good 14 minutes too early to enter the parking lot, Deb taught us how to play Left Center Right as we waited for Walden Pond to open. Then we planted ourselves on a breezy nook at the far end of the pond, stopping by a replica of Henry David Thoreau's 1-room cabin and its original site on our way. To Ryan’s chagrin, the weak wi-fi signal made it impossible for him to catch any Pokémon.

Walden Pond | Smudge Ink(image: the shady side of Walden Pond)

For the rest of the afternoon, we lazed away on the beach, some of us dozing off and others dipping in their toes, most missing Sarah (who was sick at home), and all enjoying a day off work. Thanks for a great time, April and Eric!