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Ok! Who knew Boston was such an amazing city?!
I had no clue and no idea what to expect. But whatever I would have imagined would not have come close to what we found.
About two weeks ago, Jeff made the executive decision that we would be heading to Boston this weekend. The why of our Boston trip will be shared in another post but I must pause and share my appreciation for this amazing city.
We arrived early Friday evening, dropped off our bags at our downtown hotel and then decided to head out on a walk-about.
The moment we turned the corner we realized we were in an uncommon downtown. Little parks everywhere populated by people just hanging out, connecting, having a coffee and enjoying a moment in this historic city.
You can almost feel the history inherent in its narrow streets, old churches and cobblestoned markets.
People are everywhere!
What? A downtown, on a weekend, full of people?! Will wonders never cease?!
I can tell this city has done something right because everyone, local and visitor, is sitting outside in bars, cafes and restaurants. People are out, enjoying the weather and the scene. Street performers are gathering crowds of eager onlookers just wanting to be a part of the magic act or to get a picture with the man who seems to create an entire band out of a bunch of plastic containers and a couple sticks.
With map in hand we easily follow the crowd down to the harbor, the pathway to which is unobstructed by any sort of significant traffic due to something they call the “big dig” where they put all the major freeways underground. Whatever it cost, in my opinion, it was a great idea.
The harbor is rockin’! Outdoor bars right on the dock are crowded with young people. Happy hours abound and Jeff and I reminisce, ah, this would have been one heck of a town to be in when we were 10 years younger and single!
Across the harbor we see the reason for the trip in the first place – a tall sailing ship that has roused a motley crew of sailors to come together from all over the country to see what she is made of (but I will save that story for another post).
After hours of walking, exploring and taking it all in, dinner is outside in the center of the action with home-made sangria, Jeff’s very first experience of slurping fresh raw oysters (YUM!) and of course, fresh lobster.
In the morning, it was a quick walk to the aquarium for the Imax show, “Dolphins and Whales, Tribes of the Ocean”, showing these amazing creatures up close and larger than life on the IMAX screen. Narrated by Daryl Hanna we not only get to feel the sometimes haunting, sometimes joyful essence of these huge mammals, but we also get to hear about how human activity, whaling, pollution and development is putting many of them on the verge of extinction. As the music started I began tearing-up. At some point I was sobbing and at the end Jeff and I just sat there, red eyed, sad and a not just a little bit upset by the state of things (to hear about one of the fascinating examples of how money and progress seems to win out over everything else, check out this article to read about the fate of the last three hundred Right Whales (the movie points out they are called that because they are the “Right Whales” to hunt and it seems those characteristics that made them so right has been very wrong for their survival.))
After the show it was on to a day of dining and playing, sailing and community, Irish pubs and fresh seafood and hearing the wonder of how Boston seems to have lost their “R”s (ask a Bostonian to say “Heart” or “Bar” or “Starbucks” and you will see what I mean.)
After two days of perfect weather, we awoke Sunday morning to a rainy day, an easy trip to the airport and a perfect departure from a perfect trip.
There was so much left undone from our trip to Boston and it truly was the kind of place that you could go for no reason, knowing no one, and have a blast!
I see many impromptu weekends to Boston in our future just because.
What a city!