Hi everyone! In 2011, right after finishing my undergraduate degree, I headed of on a little vacation of a week to Boston, Massachusetts. I was always intrigued by Boston: I had been a Red Sox fan since age 14 and what kind of academic would I be if I weren’t intrigued by the city where universities like Harvard and MIT are housed.
I was going to make only one post, but there are so many pictures and so many interesting things about Boston that I’m working on a Part II that will be posted on Thursday!
After booking a hotel with a great deal through a website I really cannot remember anymore, I started planning. I quickly found out about the Go Boston Card, that allows as many visits as you want for the number of days you bought the card for. It usually also includes some deals on restaurants, souvenirs, and at some attractions, it can even let you skip the lines.
I ended up buying a Go Card for two days, which was about $75. Since it was only two days and 51 activities are offered with the Go Card, I decided to plan in advance to be able to get the most of the card and make sure not to lose money. Because I knew where our hotel would be, I started thinking of the activities we could reach. Google was my friend on that one since I had never been to Boston before!
I quickly found out that part of the time we would be in Boston was going to be Memorial Day weekend – which, as a Canadian, doesn’t really ring a bell. I quickly found out that some of the attractions would be closed that Sunday and Monday. But I did not despair, there were lots of things to do that didn’t include visiting paying sites/attractions.
Since this was organised early, we also booked tickets to go to a Red Sox game. In a whim, I had checked the rates and found that it wasn’t really that ridiculously overpriced to go see a game. We bought some tickets online and we were to pick them up before the day of the game. The game was on Memorial Day, which was kind of great!
A few weeks later, we left for Boston on the Greyhound. We arrived after a long day of bus travel from Montreal to Boston. Thank god I had already checked the itinerary so when we got there I knew where to go once we were on the T. Unfortunately for us, I’m kind of terrible with directions and so we got lost and got out of the subway a few stations early and had to walk and drag a suitcase for about 5 blocks to finally make it to the hotel.
We stayed at the Ames Boston Hotel. It is a lovely hotel that I really recommend (although when I went in 2011 it was owned by the Morgans Hotel Group and it is not anymore). We had a great deal which also included breakfast (and brunch during the weekend) at their restaurant. It was highly worth it!
We had arrived quite late so after checking in, showering and changing, we headed on a walk around the neighbourhood. The Ames is super central so it was easy to get everywhere from the hotel. You can walk to many places in that part of the city and you can also easily access the T as the hotel is situated between the Government Center Station and the State Station (which are conveniently on different lines).
On our first real day in Boston, we had an early breakfast at the hotel before heading out to go to the New England Aquarium. My plan was underway! The Go Cards activate when you visit your first attraction and since we wanted to make the most of our 2-day card, we headed out early. The hotel was only a short walk away from the aquarium so we headed there for the opening. It was such a fun visit! There were penguins, blue crabs, lots of jelly fish and my absolute favourite, turtles! The sea kind of scares me with all that it hides so I find it fascinating to be able to see creatures from under the sea at the aquarium. I even got to touch stingrays (after much much hesitation) at the exhibition pool at the end of the visit!
Afterwards, we headed to Cambridge to go to the Harvard Natural History Museum. It was super cool! I’m not very into stuffed animal – but I found it fascinating to see the skeletons of diverse creatures. It also had some gorgeous photos of animals and insects and I got to learn lots about the different kinds of animals (I knew about dire wolves before I knew about Game of Thrones!).
After that visit, we couldn’t resist passing by and visiting the Harvard campus. I have been obsessed with it since watching Gilmore Girls (even more with Yale from season 4) and was so happy to be visiting it! Wish I had an in depth tour of it though! A girl can always dream of attending Harvard, right?
The campus was decorated for their commencement ceremony that had happened the week before or was to happen the week after. It was gorgeous, and grand, like I had always imagined Harvard to be like.
After a well-deserved lunch, we headed to the Museum of Science until closing. We had given each ourselves about 2 hours to visit the museum because we wanted to be out and at a restaurant in time for the hockey game, but we ended up staying at the museum until closing. It is such an awesome museum! My favourite visit of the week! I don’t have many pictures of the museum because I was too busy running around and trying out all the activities (probably meant for children) and having the best time ever!
When we were finally kicked out of the museum, we headed back toward our hotel in search for some dinner. Most pubs were full and most restaurants seemed closed. After walking for a good half hour and almost giving up and buying McDonald or sandwiches at the 7/11, we found a Chipotle and from there my obsession started. I had heard about them in the documentary Food Inc. and was very happy to be trying out their food. It is heavenly! Please bring it to Montreal or Edinburgh! Thank you!
That’s it for today! Please drop by again on Thursday the 26th June for part II, which includes some baseball, some art and lots of historical stuff!
Have you ever been to Boston? What is your favourite attraction to visit?xx