Friday, March 6, 2015

JLTakeBoston || East Coast Ventures

Oh Boston, I have been wanting to visit you for ages and you did not disappoint!!

Boston has been at the top of my  long and rather growing list of "places to visit." So when I decided to go to Connecticut for the photography workshop, and Boston was only 2 hours away, then I just had to visit, right??!!

To describe my Boston experience in three words it would be:

1. Full of History
2. Amazing + Old
3. Snow. Lots of snow! And a damp cold!

Boston really underlined that when travelling one needs to be flexible! I convinced a good friend of mine to come to Boston with me and we decided to both take red eye flights (we live in different cities) and arrive in Boston early Saturday morning and meet in Terminal B (I had the earlier flight, so I joked that I'd be in whatever coffee shop was in Terminal B!!). We cooked this scheme up at Christmas and then g-chatted and planned our trip out. We had a general schedule for Saturday and Sunday and then a couple things on Monday, but decided to leave that day a little more open!

Wellll....good thing we did!! My friend's flight was delayed due to weather so 7ish am on Saturday morning, I quickly changed at the airport, pulled myself together, and headed out to brave Boston solo for a day! The plan was to go to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Fenway, the Mapparium, and then maybe the public library and the aquarium. I navigated from the airport to the hotel via bus and metro, and thankfully our hotel stored my bags for me. However, I almost missed the hotel! I got out of the metro, crossed the road, and reached into my bag to grab my mitts. When I looked up, there right across the street in the opposite direction that I was going to head, was my hotel!! But without grabbing my mitts, I would have missed it!! 

Because I was so early, nothing was open yet. So I grabbed breakfast at a coffee shop and headed out on an adventure!! The MFA was AMAZING and overwhelming! But a definite highlight. Then I headed out, wandered around the park, and went to Fenway Park. No view inside Fenway, but I learned a little bit more about baseball. I navigated myself around pretty well up to this point and then it went downhill!! This is also known as "Jocelyn wandering around Bostonian neighbourhoods and having no idea where she is, but thinking that she might know!" After asking for directions twice and wandering around a bunch, I decided to skip the Mapparium and find the library. Also to know avail. By this time, my friend was in town, so I decided to call it a day and meet her.

Sunday was just as momentous! One of the things I was SO excited about was the Freedom Trail - it's 16 historically significant sites in Boston for the Revolutionary era. As someone who likes politics and history, this was fascinating! Paul Revere stood here!! ahhh!!! :) But really, so great! And you know what else was great, before we hit the trail, we went to church and then to The Thinking Cup to fuel up. It was the BEST - amazing coffee and I still dream about (and *drool* thinking about it!) their sticky buns! All parts of the Freedom Trail were fascinating, but a few stand out:

  • Boston Common - America's oldest public park! How old is that? Created in 1634 old!! (I went for a run in it the one morning!)
    • I always think of the "Tragedy of the Commons" now when I think of Boston Common Park. At one point, the governor's wife faced a shortage of milk, so she improvised and borrowed some milk from people's cows who grazed in the park!
  • Massachusetts State House - it was just beautiful! 
  • Old Corner Bookstore - except there was no bookstore there!!!! (somehow I thought there would be...oops)
    • many famous authors were frequent visitors and this bookstore also produced their books; including ones by Laura May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Charles Dickens
  • Old South Meeting House - remember the Boston Tea Party? On December 16, 1773, the famous words "Gentleman, this meeting can do nothing more to save the country" were uttered here before that historic event occurred
  • Old State House - ahh, so much history here! It is 300 years old and the oldest public building still standing from the original 13 colonies. It's also beautiful! We had this great tour by a wonderful history student. She really stressed how there were two sides to this Revolution (which was great, because some Loyalists did go north!), but I will always remember how she added a very human aspect that part of history. It was no longer about names, but now about people that had fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. You can read more about it here
  • Old North Church - remember Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride? And how it said One if by land, two if by sea. It was the steeple on this church that lanterns were hung from to signal how the British troops were coming. Ahhh!!! I remember reading that poem years ago. I'm not into poetry, but that poem I clearly remember!   

What a great day! It snowed at the end and was cold, but it was amazing!

On our final day, a big snowstorm hit the city! As big snowstorm as in the city basically shut down - schools closed, museums closed, universities closed, etc. Buuuuuut, Harvard was a priority, so we decided to go anyways, even though there were no tours and not many buildings open. I'm SO glad we did! Maybe not the ideal experience, but a very memorable experience!! And the buildings are amazing and old.

And so wrapped up our 3 days in Boston, also knows as #JLTakeBoston !!! :)

Thanks dear friend for "taking Boston" with me :) :) :) 

Memories of Boston:
  • finding a Degas ballerina in the MFA
  • getting lost, asking for directions, and twice the people grabbed my arm as they pointed me in the right direction!!
  • meeting up with my friend (things are better together!)
  • ordering pizza (!!!)
  • americanos and sticky buns at the Thinking Cup
  • hiking the Freedom trail
  • the snowstorm that shut the city down
  • visiting a tech-savvy vegetarian place in MIT
  • all the SNOW at Harvard and the amazing old buildings
  • not able to go on the Skywalk, so trying to find another view (and failing!)
  • catching the last metro train on Monday night back to our hotel
  • going for a run in the Boston Common
  • catching one of the only trains out of Boston to CT

And now...drumroll's some photos!!


First Boston coffee shop

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Park bordering the MFA


Park Street Church (bordering on Boston Common)

The Thinking Cup!

Granary Burying Ground (behind Park Street Church)

Park Street Church, Massachusetts State House, + Boston Common

Old South Meeting House + place of the Old Corner Bookstore

South Market, Quincey Market, + Faneuil Hall

Old State House

Old North Church (in the background)

Old North Church

USS Constiution

Bunker Hill Monument




Crossing a bridge, Harvard

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