So here we go. I’m sat on the floor at Boston’s Logan airport, 2 hours before we can check in to our flight, eating a dunkin donuts bagel and drinking iced coffee – the last I will have before retuning home to cold and dark autumnal weather!
Between the two is us we have enough luggage for a small African tribe and we are looking forward to getting it on our plane here in Boston and not seeing it again until we reach Wellington. We shopped hard, but hey, you only live once right?
But this is the now. Let’s travel back in time and space to yesterday for our last thrilling adventures…..
So Boston is the only city in the world that has been graced with my presence where as a tourist you are a fronted with numerous tour and attraction offering passes. Even my memories of big cities on The Continent only seem to recall one or at most 2 tour companies.
I counted at leased 5 different hop on hop off bus services and 3 different pre purchased cards that would grant the holder free or discounted rates into attractions around the city and its not even that big!!!
After some reading, angst and confusion we purchased a Go Boston card, to be used for 1 day only. Our last day – so sad!
That was all well and good and feeling rather chuffed with ourselves we picked up a coffee and sorted our bus passes. Nothing of interest seems to open in Boston before 9 am if you’re lucky or 10 am if you’re not.
It became pretty apparent that the bus company our pass gave us access to was. ..well…. OK at best. The USP (for you non marketers out there this is the unique selling point) seemed to be that these buses were converted trolly cars from a tram system which made them rattly, old and kinda cramped. But you know, it beats walking everywhere and some might call it eclectic.
So, we were the only people on our bus which meant Richard, our handy dandy tour guide could tailor his tour a bit to us. He was chuffed when we found out we heralded from Nuh Zeaaaaland. He took us across from Boston Central to Cambridge, where MIT and Harvard sit.
As much as I would have liked to spend some time exploring the campuses, graduation week was afoot, the weather was a bit iffy and frankly everything else we wanted to do was back across the river so we thought it best not to chance it. Anyway, with only two undergraduate degrees between the two of us (and only one person who’s name is on those degrees…), we were hardly qualified to be wandering the halls of an Ivy League school!
While we went up and down the streets of the MIT Richard explained to us that Boston only has ~600, 500 residents and 220, 000 of those are in the medical profession. There are 4 major hospitals in the area, and Boston was the first place anesthetic was used, so hurray for that! If you’re sick, this is the city to be in.
Given the number of university’s and colleges in the area (specialising in everything from law to medicine, engineering to music) the student population during semester is about 300, 000 people which is pretty impressive when you think about it. Looking around at the food places to would often see young people with coffees and laptops, working away, like I remember doing at uni only a number of these students are post grad.
Back into Boston and down to the Sea port district Andrew and I disembarked to check out the 2 ships marking the Boston Tea Party. For $25 you can join in a bi-hourly reenactment followed by tea ans scones which we gave a miss on, but we wandered the pier for a while and watched.
A short walk away, and now in the sunshine, we headed for the harbour pier, one of the two original piers built on the Boston harbour. Similar to wellington lots of the harbour is on reclaimed land, only in Boston this is man made…
So we journeyed to the New England aquarium and checked out the seals, penguins and more on offer. They have a cool set up with a huge 4 story tank in he middle which boasts more than 3000 salt water species. A nice easy walking ramp takes to to the top which is cool.
An hour or so in the aquarium and we were getting hungry for some lunch. New England is famous for its seafood and Andrew was keen to try a Lobster Roll. When in Boston you gatta tawlk like a lawcal so we went and ordered a lawbstah roll to go. Expecting some meat in a bread roll Andrew was shocked to find it was going to set him back $30. Luckily they explained he would be getting fresh lobster, in a warm roll with butter and would also get some fries, coleslaw and extra bread. It was definitely enough for both of us. Phew!
So lunch was done and the sun was shining. The perfect time for us to take a quick harbour cruise, care of our go Boston pass.
The cruise was nice enough, with the majority of the sites off the starboard side. We happened to be sat on port side, which was our own fault. Anyway. The cruise too us out to he Charleston navel base, where the USS Constitution is docked. This is the oldest ship still in commission and isn’t bad looking for its age! I’ll pop up a photo later.
Back on Terra Firma and we had a couple more things to do, so we hopped on our bus again. This driver was awful. His driving was fine but his commentary was drivel and at some points when he got stuck he would repeat the same paragraph word for word all in monotone.
Finally though, we ended up and Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. A small stadium it still has some of the original seating from 1912, which is pretty cool. Again, on our pass, we took a tour and went all over the place, including the press room! Even I enjoyed myself which is saying something.
My favorite part was near the end of the tour. A huge 502 ft away from the pitcher there is a lone red seat in a sea of blue ones. This is the seat where a guy got knocked out by a home run, the longest within the stadium. A pretty cool tribute I reckon!
Andrew liked that the store sold all the normal fan gear but also had a special mini store selling memorabilia, like old bricks from the stadium, original seats, used and signed balls and bats. Lucky for me his luggage was already full.
Our final spot of sightseeing was to be from the top of the Prudential Center one of the tallest buildings in Boston. Inconveniently they were closed for a private function. The sign for that wasn’t there at 930 when we checked it out! That was a bit pants, but hey, we couldn’t do anything about it.
So, a long day if sight seeing and touring. There is defiantly more in Boston that we could have visited, like going inside the state house, checking out the cemetery where Ben Franklin’s parents are buried and doing the freedom walk. All things for next time, right?
Out for our final dinner of burgers and fries before a cheeky cheesecake desert at home.
With our bags already mostly packed it was another evening of TV and sleep for us. A real treat.
And that’s that. A busy day but a fun day and a good end to a good holiday.
All up we have travelled through 9 states, out of 50, which for 3 weeks ain’t bad. We’ve seen a bunch of history, met some great people, had some laughs, ate good, bad and ugly food and shopped up a storm. Happy times all around. Now we have 27 hours in the air, a couple more in airports and we will be home to our own place, space and cuddles from the cats. Just what I want for my birthday.
It’s been a blast.