Bahstun

Boston Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 93 › view all entries
Cheers!

Searching for digs the day before heading to city is a mistake we've made early on and one that won't happen again. On top of that, the third monday in April is Patriots day, a New England public holiday, and the running of the Boston Marathon.

 

We ended up booking a small airport hotel in Winthrop, East Boston, before leaving New York. So after negotiating downtown Boston, the 'T', Boston's excellent (and America's oldest) subway system, followed by a bus, we found ourselves slap-bang in middle-America, a small town that could've easily been the set of a Stephen King novel (as far as the scenery goes anyway). Our apprehension about the distance to central Boston and such a quiet area were soon eased by the excellent and friendly hotel staff and the room, which was fantastic for the rate.

Boston's skyline
Weary from the 5hr journey and the heat (about 17 C) we found a great Italian restaurant and had an early night.

 

Sport is always high on the agenda in Boston so it seemed only fitting that we try to see a game of some sort. With the Celtics in the NBA play-offs and the Red Sox being sold out for virtually every game the odds of getting tickets were slim. No joy with either. We wandered around Fenway Park before strolling back towards the main part. Boston's got a great feel to it, especially the Copley square area with great architecture and nice wide boulevards lined with cafe terraces and it's somewhere we both liked straight away. On top of that, the public library offered 60 mins free internet a day! Not that exciting you might think - but after paying through the nose elsewhere, this was a real find.

Em clearly loving Fenway Park
 After a quick stroll around Boston Common we chanced upon the original Cheers bar. Surely we couldn't come to Boston and not go in? So after the obligatory photos by the sign we had a pretty good lunch in there. In-case you're wondering, it was the inspiration behind the TV show, actually filmed in Paramount Studios. The producers wanted somewhere on which to base a show around a bar and decided on Boston, as sport and politics are always hot topics here. So after spending some time chatting to the staff and punters they made a pilot and the rest was history.

 

After lunch we went back onto the common to follow the 'Freedom Trail', a 2.5mile walk around some of the city's most historic sites connecting Boston's role in independence from us savages in Britain.

In-game action
We signed up for a guided tour of it from a very OTT guy dressed in 17th century costume. However, 20 mins in and Em wasn't feeling very well so we had to dive into the nearest bar. I'm still not sure if it was genuine or if she was embarrassed at following the incredibly eccentric guide around. On the plus side, I got to watch a bit of the Liverpool-Chelsea Champions league semi-final. With Em feeling better 15 minutes later we followed the rest of the trail by ourselves, taking in a bit of history, some impressive buildings and finishing the trail at Bunker Hill. The Bunker Hill monument is very impressive, although having already walked about 5 miles we couldn't  face the 290-odd steps to the top. It was there to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, which sowed the seeds for the war of independence.

 

Feeling all cultured-out, it was down to Quincy market for a mooch around and a beer. With our pick of sports bars around the old market-place to choose from we had some food and watched some live music. One thing about staying so far out of town is that going home for a nap/get changed/watch tv isn't really an option, so we were pretty shattered and headed back to Winthrop at about 11pm.

 

The next morning we took things a little more leisurely, getting into Boston at about midday and getting our free internet fix in the public library. After that, and a spot of lunch we had a quick look around the city centre (sorry, downtown) and then to a bar to catch the end of the other champions league semi-final. It was now about 4pm and I got chatting to another brit.

Turns out he'd been to a Red Sox game at Fenway the night before and queued for his tickets two hours before-hand. Puppy-dog eyes came out (mine, obviously), and having persuaded Em that this was a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience, we were soon on the way out to Fenway. There are loads of bars around Fenway Park and they were already buzzing and queueing out of the door. We joined the back of the queue for the matchday tickets and lady luck smiled on us. A guy was selling his and his son's season tickets for face value as he already had Celtics play-off tickets. Reasoning from his smart dress that he wasn't a 'scalper' (ticket tout to you and I), we bought them off him and in we went.

 

Up until this point I'd never been to game and didn't really understand it, but it's so huge over here that I thought there must be something to it.

The atmosphere was great, easily akin to many football matches I've been to and our seats, as he'd promised, were excellent. We'd worked out the rules pretty quickly after the first innings and aided by a few cold beers, enjoyed the game. It's actually a lot more exciting than you'd think, although it all ended pretty abruptly at the end of the ninth with the LA Angels winning 5-4. Sated with my urge for live sport, we had a few drinks around the stadium then headed home, with the propect of a 7.5 hour coach journey to Montreal early the next day.

 

Boston's a great city and somewhere we'll definitely be back to at some point. Maybe to run a marathon...

Nick

 

 

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Cheers!
Cheers!
Bostons skyline
Boston's skyline
Em clearly loving Fenway Park
Em clearly loving Fenway Park
In-game action
In-game action
On the freedom trail
On the freedom trail
Bunker Hill Monument
Bunker Hill Monument
Boston
photo by: bubu932