“Oh you’re going to Boston? *pause* foooor….?”
This was many of my conversations leading up to our trip to Boston. Yes, we’re going to Boston. No, we don’t really have a reason. I know it’s not NYC, LA, Chicago, Vegas etc, but it’s certainly on the list of MOST AWESOME PLACES IN THE USA. Who made that list? Well I did. Having been to the aforementioned four cities, two of them we visited together, we can say that Boston is absolutely world class and you won’t be disappointed in your trip there. So here’s my summary of what we did. For you, mom, and the other two people reading this.
First we missed our flight. We were flying out of the nearest US city and time at the border took longer than usual. Now you’re probably saying “well, YES it always takes a long time,” and I’ll just say that it was FIVE THIRTY in the morning. ON A SATURDAY. So after spending way too long idling in our car (beside the “no idling” sign, mind you), we made our way to the airport – to be greeted with a 50-minute long line for security. We made it to our gate 4 minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave. And let me tell you, JetBlue doesn’t mess around. So we missed it. But luckily for my suitcase, IT had NO PROBLEM getting on the flight – cue heart attack at baggage claim when it doesn’t come off the conveyor belt. We were plunked on the standby list and got on the next flight a couple hours later. No harm, no foul. I guess.
We rented a lovely apartment in the South End off of AirBnB – by the way, once you go AirBnB, you never go back. It was like we were actually LIVING in Boston.
Not a hotel to be found, no tourists staying anywhere nearby. Just us, our apartment key and our weekly transit passes. Sidebar: public transit in Boston makes public transit in Calgary look like the HIGHWAY ROBBERY that I will always maintain it is.
We did a bit TOO MUCH our first day there which we repeated through the week so I’ll just skip that. We did end the night with dinner with my bloggy/social media/online friend, Katie, who I met through blogging in 2005 when I lived in Montreal. And we’ve corresponded ever since then – sometimes more regularly than others – but had never met in person. Katie actually sent me a metal star ornament from Texas that says “The stars at night are big and bright” and I still have it hanging on the knob of my bedside table, many years later. So we met for dinner and it was as though we were old friends which, I guess, we are! Conversation and laughs both flowed freely as we ate, walked, ate, and – you guessed it – walked. Katie and her husband, Jeremiah were a sparkle in our trip, two friendly faces in an unfamiliar city.
We took in a Red Sox game, which was an amazing step back into time at Fenway Park. I expected everyone to be wearing hats and tweed blazers. The best time I’ve ever had at a baseball game, hands down. Amazing.
We poked around Boston Common (like Central Park, but in Boston), grabbed dinner at Cheers (no, nobody knew our names, because I know you’re going to ask) and did some shopping on Newbury Street.
We saw the majestic Public Library and were thrilled to see it being used as a library and not just a museum.
We (mostly Graham) visited used bookstores on every corner and visited Harvard to see where the magic happens.
We walked the 4km Freedom Trail (which ends with a hike up a huge hill, by the way) and learned about the founding fathers of the city. We learned about how Boston fought for America’s independence and all there was to know about Paul Revere other than his shoe size, which I’m sure we could have found out if we’d wanted to know.
We downloaded a $3 app and took it along with us on the Freedom Trail. It was amazing. Best app ever for the purpose. We learned so much more than those poor chumps who had to read the plaques and every stop. Losers. Here we are, the actual losers, listening to our audio tour.
And here is my favourite photo from the trip – Graham inside a “box pew” in The Old North Church which is where they hung the lanterns to signal that the British were coming.
We drank before noon at our Samuel Adams Brewery tour and then drank a bit more when we went right afterwards to L Street Tavern from Good Will Hunting and realized they didn’t serve food. Poor planning on that one, she says as she stumbles up the street.
And as we were leaving, we waited an hour on the bus and three hours at the airport as weather had delayed everything. The rough travel in and out hadn’t deterred us – we loved Boston and will definitely be back.