We left on our three and a half hour road trip to Boston at around 7- after dinner- on Friday night. I really wasn’t looking forward to the drive up there but it actually turned out to be pretty awesome; we had spectacular views of the Catskills as we were approaching the state line and Massachusetts is a pretty state too. When we finally got to Boston we had to carry on to Cambridge, where we were staying, and it was, very accurately, described by the guy driving us as ‘very hipster but in a good way’. I was sold! When we finally got to the house we were staying in we couldn’t actually believe our luck; there was twenty of us staying in an 8 bed house so we were expecting cramped spaces etc but it turns out we actually had loads of room to spare. We could fit about ten people in one of our showers (the one with a waterfall and a table in it!). It was up for sale so obviously we did what anyone would do and looked it up (over $1000000 in case you’re wondering. And apparently they were moving into a more expensive place). Oh, the owners had also stocked the fridge, freezer and cupboards full to bursting. Safe to say we had great times in that house! On that Friday night we decided to get up around 8am to go exploring Boston, so went to bed early. However, 6 of us decided that it’d be great idea to stay up until 2:30 because why not? It always seems like a good idea at the time doesn’t it?
On the Saturday we were, surprisingly, all up and ready by around 9am. We decided to split up, as a group of twenty would have been chaos, so some of us walked to the train station, proceeded to lose some people on the way only to have to meet up with them later in Boston because they’d walked the wrong way and ended up at a different train station! Anyway, when we were all back together we decided to start walking the Freedom Trail but we got the the Massachusetts State House (the beginning) before deciding it was too hot to walk so we would get a bus/boat tour instead. We walked all the way to Quincy Market, past the point of the Boston Massacre, to find the ticket stand. Turns out we’d actually walked quite a bit of the freedom trail just by doing that.
We wanted the duck bus tour where the bus turns into a boat at the harbour but they’d sold out. We were a little disappointed but the ticket stand sold us a trolley bus tour which included a longer river cruise for the same price so that’s where we head next, via an ice cream truck. There were some lovely views of the skyline from the river but I think I was comparing this boat tour to the one we took in NYC and, in my mind, none will live up to that. Also, we couldn’t see the USS Constitution properly because she was dry docked for, what I think, the first time in her life. After the boat we got on the bus. It was a good tour but I feel like either I wasn’t in the mood to learn things or I didn’t know enough American history to know what then guide was talking about as he mentioned names and didn’t explain who they were so I didn’t get why half the facts were interesting. We did, however, see Edgar Allen Poe’s birthplace, which I was excited about, and we learnt they film a lot of movies in Boston and saw the house used as Sandra Bullock’s house in ‘The Heat’. We did find out though that Johnny Depp had just left the city as he’d just wrapped a movie. I guess it’s just not meant to be! Surprisingly, on these tours they didn’t talk about the Boston Tea Party too much. I mean obviously it was mentioned but not as much as I was expecting.
After the bus some of us walked to the tea party museum but only four went in. I guess the rest of us didn’t want to pay $22 to hear someone going on about how badly behaved our ancestors were mixed in with terrible, cheesy acting (and let’s not mention the terrible British accents the actors were trying to do!). Anyway, we decided to walk back to Quincy market and spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering around there, looking at the market stalls and watching the street performers. My favourite performer was by far Kilted Colin as he was just hilarious! I can’t explain his act as you definitely need to see it to appreciate him, but if you ever see him performing anywhere, stop and watch. I liked Quincy market as it reminds me of a bigger Covent Garden in London, and I have very fond memories of that place too.
After a bit we met up with some others and, after not finding a suitable pub, and got the train back to the house (via the supermarket to stock up on alcohol). And that was pretty much our night from then on- alcohol and pizza and music and everyone else when they came home. It was a good night.
On Sunday I woke up at 9am and got worried that everyone would have left without me as it was late for one of weekends away. Turns out everyone was still in bed! Sunday was pretty chilled- my favourite kind of Sunday. We walked to Harvard as it wasn’t far from us and had a wander round. We had lunch and then went to Harvard bookstore and a couple of shops around there (not forgetting to pick up a Harvard shirt on the way). A few us then went for a walk down to the river, which was very pretty. Boston/Cambridge reminds me very much of a European city and I think it’s very easy to forget you’re actually in America at times. We then walked back to Harvard Yard, via the frozen yogurt store, and met up with everyone else and just sat and chilled for a while before deciding to go home at around 4.
We were the first car to leave and the second to arrive home because we stopped for dinner at the place with the slowest service ever. We stopped in a very nice little town though, very American, and, apprently, very typical of towns in New England. I liked it but the guy driving us said he thought it was a little pretentious.
We finally made it home at around 10:30, absolutely shattered. Talking about the trip afterwards everyone said they preferred Boston to NYC, however, although I think it is an absolutely lovely place, it doesn’t even come close to NY. All-in-all though it was a very good weekend and I recommend Boston/Cambridge to anyone looking for a chilled out city break.