Boston, Massachusetts! The birthplace of our great country! The home of the Boston Tea Party! A place where parking cars within university yards is weirdly accepted! Also where we spent a couple of days exploring and adventuring it up! I had only been to Boston once before, I think in 2002? That sounds right, we’ll go with that. LeeAnna had been a couple times, so at least one of us was somewhat prepared. HOWEVER, much like our other adventures, we pretty much had everything down, directions from the T included, months in advance so on paper alone, it was already going to be a great adventure.
We started out by getting into the city by taking the commuter rail, leaving from Worcester. NOW, you might want to pronounce that city “Wor-chest-er” but you would be openly mocked in New England if you did so. For whatever reason, it’s pronounced, “Wost-er.” I honestly don’t know why, and from my account, nobody else knows either. REGARDLESS, we got up very early, and drove to Worcester to catch the train to take us into the city. By accidental luck, we picked the express train so we had minimal stops, and before we knew it, we were walking to our hotel, across the highway from Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.
We stayed at The Hotel Commonwealth, located on Commonwealth Avenue. Since we took one of the earliest trains into the city, we weren't expecting our room to be ready by any means, as it was around 8ish. Much to our surprise, it WAS ready! After hastily unpacking and a quick nap (no shame) we were off to start our explorations of the city. Our hotel was conveniently located right next to a couple T stops. The T is the Boston subway system, and was incredibly useful throughout our trip. And more importantly than the subway, was our close proximity to a Dunkin'. Now, I realize that almost every street corner in New England has a Dunkin', but this was just very convenient, and we made good use of our location. Once our bellies were full, we jumped on a train and headed out.
So, called me smitten with technology, but I was and still am impressed with Google Maps. Anytime we wanted to go anywhere, we fired up Google Maps and used the subway feature. It told us what trains to take, where to transfer,
when the next train would arrive--it was incredibly convenient and made getting around that much easier. We made good use of Google Maps as we ventured off to Harvard and walked around the grounds for a while. It was cool, fall day and it was perfect weather for walking so we made good use of our time checking out the campus and Cambridge. We stumbled upon this tobacco shop, filled with loose pipe tobacco and plenty of pipes. I resisted buying a new pipe (a wise man once told me you only need one pipe. Any more than that, you're a collector. I have quite the collection at this point...) but I did get a couple ounces of the local's favorite blends.
We made our way back to the T and headed for the heart of the city. I don't know where we were exactly, but we walked around for a couple hours, soaking in the city. I have this soft spot
for cityscapes and did not hesitate to keep my phone handy to snap some pics. It had been years since I last visited Boston, and I forgot how hilly and dynamic the city can be. We made our way to the harbor, around city hall and ended up at this indoor market a couple times. It was made up of individual stalls, and everything was either local or hella fresh, and sometimes both! It was a nice break from the city, and they had free bathrooms so we just couldn't pass those up.
We eventually made it back to our hotel where I went off for a quick run down Commonwealth and into Boston Common. It was quite the highlight as I forgot what running in cooler weather was like. And I'm also a sucker for any type of city running. Once we were cleaned up, we made our way to this pub across the street from our hotel for some dinner. And what trip of ours wouldn't be complete without finding a craft brewery! There was within a couple blocks of our hotel, named Cheeky Monkey. I need to do a better job of writing down the names of the beers I drink, but from what I recall, the beer was good and the place had a really cool vibe. It was only 8ish when we made it back to our hotel, but as we were sleepy from adventuring, we called it an early night. We were going to have quite the day tomorrow...
...because it was all about drinking and solving puzzles! We had booked a tour of the Sam Adams brewery and purchased our favorite past-time, Urban Adventure Quest, this one taking place in the historical district of Boston. But first, Dunkin. And then pulling out my favorite app to get us to the brewery. And although we arrived at hour early, we enjoyed walking around the
neighborhood by the brewery. Our guide was fantastic, as he led us through the brewery and let us hold hops and barely, and went into great detail about the history of Sam Adams, as well as all their different beers. However, the highlight was obviously the taste testing. We tried five different beers and got to keep this fancy cup they gave us! (I will say, a second highlight was when one of the folks working at the brewery thought I also worked there as I was wearing a Sam Adams hat.)
Once we finished our brews, we headed back to Boston Common to start our UAQ! This one, though enjoyable, went by pretty quickly. We realized later that we were more focused on our time than really learning about the city. BUT we still had fun. Our clues took us through Quincy Market, Thaniel Hall, Boston Harbor and just about every major historical marker you would guess. One of the better moments was captured when we were by Paul Revere's house. I'm just going to leave this here--
We finished our game, and though WE thought we had a good time, we were not prepared how demolished we got in the leaderboard. BUT that's okay. We enjoyed our time, and resolved to have fun with them. After a quick lunch at this incredibly Boston bar (I know, I really have to start getting names of places and writing all the details down) we made our way back to our hotel. Another quick run, and we were off to dinner!
NOW. I am pretty good about making reservations. As in, any chance I can, I will. And all of those times I DID make reservations, there were definitely not needed. However, this was a time where they were much needed. We picked out this place, Atlantic Fish Company, got there around 6ish. I figured, eh, it's a Tuesday night, won't be that bad. Well, this is also the city. Of course it was busy. We were quoted an hour wait, which we were fine with, and headed to the Croft and Barrow, right next door. After perusing our dream living rooms for an hour or so, we made our way back. I'll fast-forward at this point, so when we were seated, about an hour and a half later. We wouldn't have minded so much, but I was VERY hangry, and we felt like we wasted our whole evening.
HOWEVER, we had the best meal. Not only was the food fantastic, but the service was absolutely incredible. Our server, Daniel, was apologetic about the wait, and was truly sincere about the issue. He took care of our appetizer, let us try some clam chowder and let us split a dessert, also free of charge. The whole evening was totally rectified, and we left with full bellies and smiles on our faces.
As we were taking the train back, we couldn't believe we had packed all that into two days. We were sad to leave, but also realized there was another UAQ for Boston Harbor alone. It's not a matter of if, but definitely a when we'll be back!
Adventure is always out there!