After coffee with Amber at the Best Western and parting ways with Hannah, I drove us to our next port of call, the Bedford Motel just outside Concord, MA. Apart from the fact that it was my turn, it was necessary for me to drive because after 3 cups of coffee, Lizzie was talking non stop and shaking slightly. The Bedford Motel was slightly stuck in the 60’s, but with two queen size beds, a fridge and a microwave and a parking space right outside the door it was perfect. Our first port of call was the supermarket to buy supplies, after nearly a month of eating out we are trying to reign in our spending a little. After a visit to Stop’n’Shop and a quick lunch of “turkey-style” meat free burgers we headed to Concord to get our bearings. Concord itself is beautiful, we were very lucky to have gorgeous weather as we wandered around taking lots of touristy photos. We wandered into several of the shops (mainly to warm up as it was FREEZING) and as it got dark decided to head back, via TJ MAXX in search of new gloves for Liz. Dinner was more mircrowave cooking, and we had a quiet evening sorting out our stuff and watching some TV. At this point I realised that I didn’t have my mobile phone, panic! I went and looked in the car and we called the Best Western to ask if they had it. We were directed to housekeeping and told to leave a message. Eventually we managed to get an answer on Wednesday morning, they have the phone (phew! I just put $25 of credit on it.) and we can pick it up on our way back past Boston in a few days.

The following day we were up relatively early and quite surprised to see that the forecast rain was actually pretty heavy snow. Despite this we headed to a pretty deserted Concord and after getting Lizzie some much needed gloves. Our first port of call was Orchard House, the home of Louisa May Alcott and the place where she wrote Little Women. After trekking through the swirling snow for what felt like miles, we eventually reached the house, the sign outside, “Closed Today”. Sad face. We trekked back to the Concord Museum and were greeted warmly by the lovely Claire. She chatted to us about where we were from and it turned out that she has a cousin at St Andrews. She then gave us tickets at student price. Apart from the staff we had the museum to ourselves and the staff were really friendly and went into great detail about the history of the town as well as recommending what to do. They also gave us the number for Orchard House so that we could call on Wednesday morning to see if they were open then. While we were in the museum the snow had turned to rain so we wrapped back up and ventured out. Our next stop, the North Bridge, about a mile out on the other side of town. The walk was long, but it was definitely worth it, although we did decide not to climb the snowy hill up to the visitor centre. After that it was back into town to warm up at “Helen’s” with a hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll, served by Helen herself, before heading to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to visit the graves of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott among others. The cemetery was closed, but we hadn’t come this far for nothing. Initially I did not want to go in since it was closed but faced with the choice of following Liz up the snow bank and around the closed gate or waiting by the road for her, I followed her in. The cemetery was beautiful and we soon located signs pointing us to authors ridge. Most of the gravestones were covered in snow, but we managed to find Thoreau’s family headstone, although his personal one was buried, we thought the same was true of Louisa May Alcott’s, being able to see only the larger Alcott family stone, but in front of it there were several smaller stones and I glimpsed the top of the letters L.M.A above the snow. It was reachable from the path so I brushed some of the snow away to reveal the rest of the stone. We also found Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grave due to its unusual shape (we had seen it in the video at the Concord Museum) but the inscription was completely buried in the snow. Once we had trekked back into town it was time to head home to dry out and warm up.

Wednesday morning was pretty frantic as we tried to get all our stuff sorted, all the washing up done, lunch made and be out of the room by the 11am check out time. We managed it with minutes to spare and a quick phonecall later were on the way to Orchard House in Concord. Luckily for us it was open, but as the only visitors we got a private guided tour of the house. It was incredible to see the house preserved as it was when Louisa May Alcott lived there and wrote Little Women. We learned how the story was based loosely on the story of her family, with each of the girls modeled on Louisa (Jo) and her sisters Anna (Meg), Beth and May (Amy). Although most of the story is fiction, a number of events are detailed as they took place in real life. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the museum, but I bought a set of postcards instead. After a quick trip to the Post Office in Concord we headed towards our next stop, Vermont.