Cheers, to us in Boston.
So some back story on the trip out east. In mid-July I had work meetings out in Providence, RI for a week. I figure if I'm taking the time and energy, and my work is spending the money, to make it out east I might as well extend the trip for the weekend to see another part of the country, right? And my mom and I took a trip together out to Napa five years ago and had just a blast traveling together. Her sense of adventure and excitement to see and take-in a new city makes her one of the best travel partners. Plus, we both don't really have an off switch when it comes to exploring on vacation, so we get along pretty darn well!
Friday morning (July 18th) I hopped the Amtrack from Providence to Boston, a less than hour ride, and met my mom at the South Station downtown Boston, which she had arrived via bus from the airport, and we continued on the subway to our vacation rental. Yea, that's right. We planed, trained, bused, and subwayed our way to and around Boston!
I'm on a train!
So my brave mama agreed to try airbnb for the first time. We found this beautiful room and bathroom on the top floor of a three-story residential home north of Boston off the Porter Square subway station and one station from Harvard. The owners of the place was a lovely young family that we met for about 15 minutes before they headed out of town for the weekend. We mainly stayed up in our third floor room which, with the windows on the ceiling, light colored walls, and minimalistic decorations, made for a peaceful and welcoming place to relax. It was a great experience and an awesome location for us to anchor as we were exploring Boston.
The owner of the home is Swedish. Grandma Leona would be proud!
After settling in to our place a bit on Friday, we headed back out to enjoy our first night in the new city. We walked the shortish distance to Harvard for dinner and checking out the area, and then to explore the campus, which seemed to just go on and on! Despite school not being in session, the place was hopping.
Seriously. Harvard doesn't mess around. This is one of the admissions offices!
We followed our self-guided campus tour with a self-guided tour of the area trying to find a subway or bus to take us to downtown. After over-shooting our bus stop downtown by about, oh one mile (sorry, Mom!), we took matters into our own hands and walked to our destination: Drinks! We went to the Prudential Tower which on the top floor has an all glass walled restaurant with just stunning views of the city. We enjoyed some cocktails at the bar and took in all the views. We even saw a (unconfirmed) celebrity! For no real particular reason, I said it was Cameron Diaz, but the waiter refused to acknowledge my questions about who on earth caused them to shut down most of the dining room to enjoy an intimate dinner (Cameron Diaz).
Let's see if we can figure out this public transportation thing.
Nailed it! We made it to the bus!
See, the fun part about getting a bit, uh, lost is that you stumble across neat things like this that you may never have found.
Saturday morning we had booked a boat tour of the harbor. Well, not any boat tour but a mimosa boat tour! To our surprise, we had chosen the tour company that uses sail boats as opposed to the small cruise ship we were expecting. But it turned out to be the best surprise as the guides were friendly and the experience was wonderful, and neither of us were wondering why they had received five stars on yelp.
Wow. That's a lot of Boston fun, right? And I'm only halfway through the vacation! Next week I'll fill you in on the second part of our Boston trip :o)