Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boston - Day 3, 4 & 5

Day 3 was devoted to Irene.  She set our plans for the day and luckily went easy on us.  Boston really didn't get hit too badly.  This is the view from our hotel room.  Not too bad at all!  It was extremely windy for most of the day and it rained on and off but the heaviest rain we got was the day before at the baseball game!

We eventually left the hotel looking for a lunch spot.  Most stores and restaurants had closed in anticipation of Irene so there wasn't much to pick from.  We did find a cool little place, The Rattlesnake Bar & Grill, on Boylston street that was open and grabbed a table there.  The owner had told his staff not to come in so he was a one-man band, if you will, taking orders, bartending and cooking.  I think someone ended up coming in to help but he did do a pretty good job of managing on his own.  And the food was really good!

After lunch we walked (which was interesting considering we were going against the wind and saw lots of broken umbrellas along the way - but we had fun!) to King's where we bowled a couple of games.  I managed to embarrass myself by falling on my ass after stepping on the greased part of the lane we were on.  This was also after I fell in the bathroom at Fenway.  Granted, it was pouring down rain and I was wearing sandals without and tread on them, so I'll cut myself some slack on that one.  This time, though, not so much.  My own error.  If someone is going to fall, it is going to be me.

We walked back to the hotel and relaxed for a little while before Sara, JB and I went looking for dinner.  We ended up at P.F. Chang's (again, one of the only places that opened that day) and it, as always, was good.  I rarely get P.F. Chang's because John doesn't like any sort of Asian food so I didn't mind eating at a chain which I usually try to avoid when on vacation.

Monday dawned bright and sunny.  The weather was beautiful.  We headed out for Faneuil Hall for some breakfast and sightseeing.
Historic Quincy Market
The Faneuil Hall area was really pretty.  Lots of trees and historic buildings filled the area.  There was shopping - mainly tourist stuff, but that's okay - cafes and other restaurants.  We walked around after breakfast and found ourselves down by the water.
Sara was able to get a flight out on Monday so she headed back to the hotel to get her bags and take the T to the airport.  She had no problems getting there or through security and even said it was pretty weird being at the airport with hardly anyone there.

Once we said goodbye to Sara, JB, Steve, Diane and I decided to take a trolley tour.  I had been wanting to do this since we had such limited time and there is so much to see in Boston.  We decided on Old Town Trolley Tours since their tickets were good for two days and the guy that sold us our tickets gave us a student disount.  We decided to be students of beer.  Our first trolley tour guide was kind of a tool but the other ones that I had the following day were really good.

The trolley took us all over.  First through the North End and by Paul Revere's house then across the Charles River to the USS Constitution (more on that later).

Bunker Hill Monument in the distance
USS Constitution
The ride then took us back toward downtown and past some more places like the oldest cemetary in Boston where lots of famous historic figures like Samuel Adams are buried, past the TD Garden where the Celtics and Bruins play and then out toward the Back Bay area where our hotel was located.
Hard to see but this is the Bell In Hand pub - the oldest in America

Back Bay is where Boston Common is.  It is a beautiful green park with ponds and swan boats.  We walked through it from our hotel on our way to Cheers and then again at the end of our trolley ride.
The tour went by the mother church for the Church of Christ, Scientist.  The building was really pretty and had nice fountains out front.  It's too bad there was so much concrete or it might have been a more peaceful place to hang out on a weekend afternoon.
JB's mom had picked up some cookies while at the Faneuil Hall marketplace.  They were awesome!
King's - where we bowled on Sunday.
Fenway from the other side - we didn't make it to these statues on game day
After Fenway we went back over the Charles to MIT and down Charles Street.  If we had more time I would have wanted to spend it on Charles Street.  There were lots of adorable shops and cafes.  Lots of things to explore.
I had mentioned in a previous post that our hotel is on the register of historic hotels.  I wanted to get a picture of the elevators because I think they were the original lights on them letting you know when an elevator had arrived.  They lit up and said "This Car Up".
After the trolley tour JB had to head back for an appointment so I said goodbye and went up to my room to rest.  After a little while I decided to head back out to the H&M I had seen on Boylston for some shopping.  I am so glad that there isn't one super close to my house because I would spend a lot of money there.  I ended up having a beer at the hotel's Irish pub, M.J. O'Connor's, and taking dinner up to my room.  I have to say, it was really nice to have some quiet time to myself.  I don't get a lot of it!

On Tuesday I got up early and headed back out to the trolley tour to spend some time at the USS Constitution.  My dad had said more than once that I needed to go see it and I'm really glad that I did.  This ship is the one with the nickname "Old Ironsides" even though she is made completely of wood.  It was fun to hear the history of the ship.  Current Navy members operate and take care of the ship and give the tours.  Our guide said that they clean her every day and that they are hoping to get her seaworthy so that she can go out next year on the anniversary of her "birth" during the War of 1812.  What a site that would be!
By the time I was done with the tour and gift shops it was getting close to my needing to get back to the hotel to check out.  I had intended to meet Steve and Diane for a harbor cruise (also part of our trolley tour ticket) but I could only push my check-out back so far and I wasn't going to have time to do it all.  I'm sorry I missed the cruise and spending a little more time with them.  They're really great!  So I got some lunch, packed up my stuff and headed to the airport.  My flight left on time - 48 hours exactly after I was supposed to leave.

Boston was so much fun and I had an awesome time with JB and Sara.  I wish we could stuff like this more often!  I'm ready to plan our next trip.  =)

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