We stayed with the Composer's first cousin once-removed (fancy for his dad's cousin) in a little township west of Boston. I'd never been to New England before and was unprepared for the late-winter beauty of the still-bare hardwood forests, the pristine white buildings, and the stonework.
Cousin Robert is a historic preservationist so we kind of landed on our feet there in terms of old buildings! They put us up in the Shaker house they hauled over the highway and attached to their home. Beautiful.
Tuesday we stopped by the *really* old house Robert has been restoring for seven years (that's his job). These are the set kettles in the basement--so handy for your cheese-making.
We were nearby, so we stopped at Fruitlands, the failed Transcendental utopia perched on a barren hillside, where Bronson Alcott dragged his long-suffering family. I've never been a fan of his.
Then we went into Concord and saw every inch of Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott's family home. 80% of the furnishings were used by the Alcott family. There were Flying Geese quilts on the beds that apparently Marmee had stitched.
No pictures were allowed in the house, but this is the charming exterior (I dressed to match the front door).
That evening we came back to our hosts' home and the Composer walked over to the common. The church was open and he was invited in to play the organ! Sadly I missed it as I was cooking dinner for us all.
I couldn't get over how much history is still standing around there. Here's the stone pen for any stray animals that wandered around--they were impounded and their owners had to spring them with a fee.
We completed our Boston adventures by shopping at two choice fabric stores--Mercer Fabrics in Beacon Hill (multiple stars for its friendly proprietor and fine selection--stop in if you're around and pick up one of their totally charming calling cards with a hedgehog on it). The other was Gather Here, in Cambridge--bigger, with a few more basics, but not half the cozy charm of Mercer!