Boston…what can I say? I spent two days of my recent holiday in this wonderful city. Although hubby and I were based with friends, about an hour’s drive away, they suggested we book a hotel and spend a couple of days in Boston, to give us a chance to see more of it. So we did.
First of all, it could not be a more different city to New York. (Trust me – there’s a post on that crazy place coming soon). For me, Boston was to New York what Edinburgh is to London. Boston has a friendly, compact feel to it. The historic sites are dotted about everywhere, nestling amongst the skyscrapers. We got around by a combination of walking and using the trolley bus. The first thing we did on arriving was take the trolley tour of the city. Our bus was driven by a mad garrulous guide who explained all the sites, with many a humorous anecdote thrown in. Once we’d got our bearings in this fun way, we dumped our bags at the hotel and set off for Boston Common and the Public Garden, home of the famous ‘swan boats’.
It was a beautiful afternoon, so we strolled around drinking juice and soaking up the sun. The Common and the Garden were full of families and couples enjoying an afternoon out. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. After a lovely walk we moved on to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. The ships are replicas but no less interesting for that. The experience starts with a re-enactment of the meeting at which the Tea Party is planned. Costumed players encouraged us tourists, now playing the part of the Sons of Liberty, to shout and cheer and boo, and some of the kids got a little ‘speaking part’. Then we moved on to the ships, and again the kids had fun throwing cartons of tea over the side (the cartons were cleverly roped to the ship, so they could be hauled back in later). Long-suffering hubby also acquired himself a role in the proceedings. He was Francis Akeley, the only man arrested for taking part, due to not being able to keep his mouth shut about what he had been up to. Very appropriate, I thought! The whole Tea Party experience was fun and informative, and an ideal thing to do if you visit Boston with kids (or are big kids yourselves, as in our case). 😉
Like the rock chick I am, I couldn’t resist going to the Hard Rock Café for dinner. Yes I know, I’m sad. But we’ve been to the HRC in pretty much every city we’ve visited, so it’s kind of a tradition. After a few beers we walked through the Quincy Market area, home of street performers and stalls during the day and now lit up prettily. Then it was off to bed ready for another day of sightseeing.
Next morning saw us take a boat cruise round Boston Harbor. Note my American spelling! When in Rome (or Boston) and all that… 😉 This was a fantastic way to see the sights on the coast and let us take amazing photos of the skyline. Then it was hot dogs for lunch sitting looking out over the Harbor. We finished our trip with a visit to the New England Aquarium. WOW! Again, aquariums are something we visit regularly, and this one definitely ranks as one of the best. It even has penguins and seals! Also turtles, and all kinds of fish, including rays (which I stroked), and piranhas (which I didn’t). Another great attraction for kids big and little. Sadly, after that it was time to catch the bus back to New Hampshire and regale our friends with what we did.
I think the main thing I’ll take away from Boston is what a friendly city it is: both its people and its general feel. Being one of the first places colonised, the history is rife. The streets are winding, like Edinburgh, which was my home for many years. Yes, cities with a grid system help people get around, but I love the character of old, twisting roads and I am used to navigating them, so I found my way round Boston easily. I loved the mix of old and new architecture, which somehow seems to fit together perfectly. It’s a city with something to offer all ages and types of people. Once I’ve saved up some more money, I’ll definitely be back!