Boston Trip Report

Old Dec 18th, 2006, 06:02 PM
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Boston Trip Report

We decided to go for a long weekend to Boston, MA accompanied by my parents (actually it was their idea). They love the city and visit there two or three times a year.

We ventured out of NJ early Friday morning, getting nestled for the long drive. We stopped at several rest stops for snacks and at an amazing scenic overview of the bay at Mystic, CT.

We finally arrived at Boston, settled into our hotel, the Sheraton at Newton. Parking was free for hotel guests, and they have a shuttle service into Boston. The hotel itself is nice, clean, great customer service, and a wonderful breakfast.

The shuttle leaves every hour and it takes about 10 minutes to get into downtown Boston; we got dropped off at Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which is surrounded by beautiful churches (picture in front of the Trinity Church). The mall itself is very nice, a great place to eat lunch, walk around and relax.

Since it was already afternoon we decided to take the subway to the New England Aquarium. The subway is clean, easy and convenient way to get around. The subway system is easy to follow and will take you almost anywhere (or close by) especially the touristy attractions.

We had several blocks to walk after our stop, and we got a bit confused at which direction, but we asked and were given instructions to follow. The aquarium is easy to find, and is near Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall.

The line for entering the aquarium wasn’t long, but we arrived about 1 ½ to 2 hours before closing time. There is a special rate for children, but overall it was over $100 to get in. As you walk in, you get to see the penguins, huge fish in tanks which spiral about three floors. The tanks on the outer walls seem to represent different ecosystem, and there is a huge ocean tank in the middle with all sort of sea animals (turtles, sharks, and even a mantra ray).
Our daughter loved the place, and so did we … next time we’re going whale watching.
On the way out of the aquarium there is the obligatory gift shop, of course.

By now its dark; we are all cranky, hungry and tired. We ate at a chain restaurant (Bertucci’s), which hit the spot. But as we keep saying, if my wife doesn’t have to cook, and I don’t have to clean … its good food.

In the morning we had a great breakfast buffet at the hotel, and got directions to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. The hotel’s staff was kind enough to give us a few moments on guests’ computer in the lobby to get directions.

Since my parents go to the museum every time they are in Boston, we naturally assumed that they will know how to get around.
Well…never assume.
Of course we got lost trying to get through the small, curvy streets, and just when we were about to give up, we found it.
Asking my parents how they can not know how to get there, since they’ve been there at least seven or eight times, the answer was: “we get lost every time”.
Silly us.

The museum itself is beautiful; it belongs to a lady who collected any antiquity under the sun, from Mexicans tiles to Rembrandt. We spent several hours there, and could spend several more days. It’s definitely worth a stop, and to get the self guided tour. Cost of entry is around $20, and if your name is Isabella, you get a free lifetime pass.

We exited the museum and went back to Quincy Market area. Again we decided to take the subway, and walked to the Holocaust Memorial, a very moving tribute to the victims, if you’re in the area (walking distance from Quincy Market) you should stop by for a few minutes.

At this time, my wife decided to help some other tourists who asked her for direction, and sent them off in a completely wrong direction. We take many trips, and hate when it happens to us, but I have to admit it was funny then and even funnier when we remember it now.

We ate lunch at Cheers, just for the novelty. Basically a burger joint which serves drinks and looks like the Cheers set. Nothing special about the food, or the beer, but we had to try, just to say we did. Still, we had a good time.

We kept walking around Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, there are many shops in the area, otherwise there is not much to do there, except eat and drink. We wanted to get to Mystic, CT to eat dinner so we left Boston early enough for the 2.5 hours drive.

Mystic is a beautiful little town. Very picturesque with many artist galleries, boats, beautiful houses … and everybody smokes. We ate at a wonderful restaurant called S&P Oyster Company. They treated us well, gave us a large table and brought out the kids meal before the others. The food was excellent, you can probably not go wrong with any seafood choice on the menu, and even our daughter’s entrée from the kids menu was fantastic.
And no, we didn’t try the pizza.

We got home late, but happy after a great weekend.
We certainly have to go back to Boston to see the historic sites, and certainly too Mystic for a weekend of R&R.
zlaor is offline  
Old Dec 19th, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Great report about a favorite city, thanks for posting.
cmcfong is offline  
Old Dec 19th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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I just had to laugh about trying to get to the Gardner museum. I've gotten lost everytime I've gone. Thanks for the reality check.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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I think you meant the Copley Mall, as there is no Commonwealth Ave Mall.

Glad you had fun!
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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The big, wide, parklike island down the middle of Commonwealth Ave. is the "mall" (like the "Mall" in Washington DC). No shopping there, though. Also, the Aquarium has their own subway stop right in front, difficult to get lost. Anyway, a nice report.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Thanks Anonymous, I got it now. But I think the poster may have been referring to Copley Square? I don't know, I guess it doesn't matter, just didn't want anyone to get confused!
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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Glad you visited the Isabella Steward Gardner, it is one of my favorites...was it all decorated for the holidays? they usually do a lovely job of that and I haven't been able to get there yet, but hope to next week after Christmas.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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wyatt92 I took the address off of the church's website, since i'm not familiar with the area.

The Stewart museum was not decorated when we went (about a month ago), bu tit was certainly very cool
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