My son, Tommy, called one day and said..."It's time for you to visit. I want to show you around one of my favorite cities, Boston, first and then on to New York!" No further persuasion needed! We were on a plane to Boston as soon as we arranged our flights and accommodations!
As you know, when we travel, we travel well and always work at getting the best deals. So, I took a little extra time to secure the most economical, yet excellent accommodations! As you also know, we never back down from trying something different and actually look forward to the unique, out of the ordinary, top-notch, and just plain fun vacations!
Since we are both retired, we can travel anytime. A plus for securing the least expensive flights. We will be flying into Boston and staying there a few days. Then Tommy will drive us back to his stomping grounds in the New York area, where we'll visit for another week. So, a one-way flight to Boston and one-way from Newark..
Here's a flight tip.....I've often found that, even when flying to and from the same destination, you can see a savings by booking two one-ways rather than one round-trip. So, always check your options.
Boston accommodations were easy. Since Tommy had his car, we could avoid the high Boston city hotel prices. (Actually, even without a car, planning around public transportation, you can save substantially on suburban hotels.) After some research, I booked us at the Double Tree Hilton in Bedford Glen, a short drive from Boston. The price was right, and the accommodations and hospitality were on spot!
Tommy picked us up at airport. We booked early flights so we could take advantage of most of the day in Boston. Our first stop....Double Tree to drop off our bags and head right out to experience Boston!
This is my first visit to Boston...I must say, I was even more impressed than I expected. I was looking forward to the history, the architecture, the Freedom Trail. Tommy loves this city and I could immediately see why! Add to the awe-inspired feeling of actually standing here in this site of our country's history, touching the buildings and walking the streets of our forefathers who shaped our country! Now, add the food (wow!), the fun vibe and the natural beauty...that's Boston!
We've planned almost 3 days to experience virtually all of Boston (mostly walking!), with a side trip to Cambridge and the awesome Harvard campus! Here we go! .....
Anxious to take in all of Boston in our 2 days stay, our first stop...the North End also known as Little Italy)...Boston's oldest residential neighborhood. Brick streets and historic architecture, includng The Paul Revere House... Built in 1680, occupied by Paul Revere and his family from 1770 to 1800. It was amazing to walk these 300+ year old streets and imagine a time when they bustled with horse and buggies, children in knickers and bonnets, pushing barrel rings with sticks, ladies in long cropped day dresses and gentlemen in waistcoats and top hats.
The period shops in this neighborhood are delightful! I couldn't resist Polcari's Coffee Shop. ....a marvelous collection of spices, teas, coffees, jams, candies and so much more than simply coffee! I was in heaven! A tough decision, but I finally chose some unique specialty spices, raspberry jam and ginger syrup!
We couldn't miss a quick trip through the Boston Public Markets...a glorious menagerie of over 40 vendors offering fresh locally sourced groceries, fruits and vegetables, plus an array of various foods and desserts!
Tommy had told us about the delicious Boston lobster rolls and promised to introduce our appetites to the best lobster rolls at his favorite Boston seafood restaurant...Neptune Oyster! We hurried across the street, hoping to get in front of the waiting line (no reservations taken). The line begins forming before the daily doors open, so it's imperative to arrive early. We weren't about to miss the opportunity, so we hustled to get our "10th in line" spot and, happily, just made the first seating! Jeff, the manager, warmly welcomed us as we entered this surprisingly small, but bustling Neptune Oyster Restaurant.
What do you do after a full, satisfying meal? That's right, folks! Walk it off! And what better way and more meaningful walk than Boston's Freedom Trail! A beautiful day...and 2 1/2 miles of history...Old State House, King's Chapel, Park Street Church, Old South Meeting House, Irish Famine Memorial, Massachusetts State House, Beacon Hill and it's majestic residences along Beacon Street. A stop at the "original" Cheers Bar on Beacon Hill and rest stops at the glorious Public Garden and Frog Pond in Boston Common.
Next, a look around The Quincy Building...an awesome mid-1800's building housing more eateries and shops.
A short drive to our hotel for the evening. after a very full and fun first day in Boston!
Day 2 - Planning our second day and final full day in Boston, we decide to make a stop in Cambridge and walk the beautiful and surprisingly widespread campus of iconic Harvard University.
A look around Tory Row and on to Boston.
We chose our lunch eatery wisely....Pomodoro...a lovely small, bright and friendly Italian Restaurant. Terrific food, sangria, friendly atmosphere and ambiance!
Back to the North End and famous Mike's Pastry, renowned Italian Bake Shop. Always a line, we were happy to wait to order cannoli, biscotti, cream puffs and an array of yummy bake goods!
Looking forward to an evening of Boston's delicious food, great atmosphere, libations and, of course, music!
Tommy has chosen another of his favorite restaurants....Gaslight Brasserie du Coin, an old world, French style atmosphere with Bohemian chic flair. A scrumptious meal, a good wine and on to our search for jazz/blues at it's finest.
We find just what we're looking for at The Beehive...funky and fun...known as one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world! We head up to the balcony. Here's a tip: There are lots of tables on the main level (most always taken through reservations and only a few have a good view of the stage). To sit at these tables, you must order dinner. Well, we just had dinner, so we checked out the bar area upstairs.and found the very best table in the house! Right at the balcony, directly overlooking the band, we had the best front row seats! Enjoying the super band, Void Union, Beehive's Honey Brews and a small selection of appetizers. it was the perfect farewell to the Boston beginning of our East Coast vacation!