Boston, the cradle of democracy and the beginning of the United States. You see the history in every stone of this city. You can even smell the air full of fighting for democracy and anti-colonist spirit. My husband is a Boston Bruins and Celtics fan and he was the one who organized this trip :). He was so happy to be in Boston wearing his Bruins t-shirt and cap, feeling like home. That’s why I’m dedicating this post to my love.
We decided to drive from Ottawa to Boston and see what’s going on on that route. We enjoyed driving from Ottawa to Boston so much that we are now looking forward to repeat that trip. We had connection at Burlington as it was pretty late to drive at night and we didn’t see the beauty of that road in the darkness. We took the highway 417 through Montreal and crossed the border in Vermont. Stayed in Burlington overnight and headed to Boston in the morning. There started the beautiful road trip, virgin green mountains of Vermont were perfectly accompanying us to the city of our dreams. I would drive this kind of roads for days.
Finally, we reached to our hotel in Waltham, Boston. It was a quite district close to Cambridge. We didn’t want to stay in downtown to avoid the traffic jams and to travel around the downtown as well. It was a right decision! So as soon as we arrived to our hotel and took a rest for a couple of minutes, we hit the road again heading to downtown. We were extremely excited!
Our first destination was TD Garden, home arena of Boston Bruins and Celtics. Of course, we couldn’t wait another day to get to the dream arena of my hubby. We took a guided tour and learned so many interesting stuff about these teams, players and the arena history. We found out how they switch the ice rink to basketball floor within one night. It’s not melting ice off, cleaning the whole area and putting the parquet floor on concrete floor, as I was imagining it before. It’s a very easy process. The ice rink stays underneath the parquet frozen due to special temperature control mechanism. Hundreds of workers lay deck boards topped with basketball parquet. It’s a huge amount of work done within hours. Amazing! There are also waxed figures of historical players like Bobby Orr (our hero!!) and you can see the original gate which got his famous “flying shot”. It’s a piece of history 🙂 I strongly advice to take a tour, you will enjoy it!
Then we headed to Quincy Market, it’s just 10 minutes of walking from TD Garden. It’s a historical market opened back in 1825. There are lots of food that you can enjoy. We tried famous Boston chowder soup with lobsters. Yumm!! It was such a delicious and rich taste! You know, Boston is a lobster city. Everything is made of lobsters here. We were like in a heaven, as we love lobsters. Then we tried a dipping baked with artichoke, spinach, lots of cheese and lobster. It became one of our favorites :).
After the Quincy Market we walked down to waterfront. It’s also in that area, around 15-20 minutes of walking. Very beautiful city view and lots of historical Victorian style buildings. After walking in waterfront part of Boston, we headed to Tea Party museum. You probably know about tea party from your history classes, how a group of colonists threw loads of tea into water to protest British dominance. This was the beginning of the great American revolution. This museum has an old style ship with imitated boxes of tea, which you can throw into the see shouting Hurray! But, here’s a tip for you if you want to save some money. The entrance fee was $25 for one person. Actually, we didn’t want to spend $50 for two of us to see how the tea boxes are thrown into water and hear some history that we already knew. There’s a tea house inside of the museum, very nice one in old British style. So, we took a cup of tea with a piece of scone just for $15 and got a free souvenir mug . Found a table on the terrace right on top of the ship where the guide was showing around and telling history of tea party. And of course we saw how couple of visitors threw box into water. That’s it! And we were so happy to save $35. We saw what was going on in there and had a wonderful cup of tea.
The next day we decided to walk around the Cambridge district and the famous Harvard University. Did you know that there are 52 higher education institutions in Boston? It’s a lot!
When I was at high school I had a childish dream to study at Harvard University. Yes, it was very childish as this university has very high tuition that my middle class family couldn’t afford and I got scholarship only from University of South Alabama :-D. And finally, I was lucky at least to see Harvard University and walk in the parks where smart people usually take a rest, have their scientific innovative ideas and make their studies. For a very short period I felt being a part of this science community, kind of smarty :). I liked the old narrow streets in this area which takes you back to old ages and you think about how many famous scientists have walked in these streets. There’s also a tiny Harvard square with some shops and restaurants.
After visiting the universities in this area, we went back to downtown to see the night life of Boston. I should say, the Boston parks are very distinct with their beauty and the city is pretty much green. We went to Public Garden and Common Park which are next to each other. It was a very peaceful park with swans on mini pond and bridges over the pond. It had some romantic atmosphere and we enjoyed our walk. There’s also George Washington’s monument in Public Garden. Another spot for a nice shot!
Later on, we went to see Boston from above in Skywalk Observatory. It’s on Boylston street and be careful with parking. We had such a bad experience. It was the most expensive parking in our life! To get to Skywalk Observatory, we had to park in underground parking of the Prudential building. The observatory is on the 50th floor of the Prudential building under which the shopping mall is. So, we were happy to grab a spot in underground parking and have a quick access to mall. However, we didn’t know that we should have verified our receipt from Skywalk!! They had a note about verification with super tiny, microscopic letters which anybody could miss. When we got back two hours later we had to pay $45 for parking :(. Anyways, it was a very disappointing moment when you feel fooled. But we had enjoyed the sky view of Boston at night, though had to over pay for just a view.
Our last day was dedicated to museums. We couldn’t skip the famous Boston National Gallery of Art. It was very huge and it took our half day to go through all the exhibitions. It had ancient, impressionist, modern and contemporary art pieces. We even found Stradivari’s violin! You can find works of Van Gogh, Rafael, Da Vinci, Monet and so on. So it was a nice day in Museum and after the museum we headed back to Ottawa.
Boston is one of the cities where we want to go back again and again. Hopefully we will have another chance to go back to Boston and watch Bruins or Celtic game at TD Garden! Fingers crossed 🙂