or... where everyone knows your name...
06.06.2010 - 08.06.2010 74 °F
Room 2614, Hilton Back Bay, Boston, MA: 4.54pm, 8/6/10
Was this your hotel, Brien & Jan?
Lucky with our room again. 26th floor and lots of space and great view
What do we think of Boston? We like it! On our list of favoured cities!
Boston's finest await Arthur's limo
When you arrive in a busy, new city, it seems you are never going to get to grips with it. But when we went out for our walk on Sunday evening, it started raining a little so we escaped into a bar on Boylston St, sat down at the bar, got a drink, looked around and, gosh, we were on the set of Cheers! Quite amazing.
We ate in another bar/restaurant called Charlies where John left his credit card. A heart-stopping moment the next morning when he realised there was an empty section in his wallet. At 7.40 am the Manager answered the phone and confirmed they had the card. We could call round anytime to collect it. Phew!
So Monday, with a free map from the hotel we took a wander round Back Bay and it's tree-lined streets and their luxury Victorian mansion flats; as we did, we felt we were getting to grips with the city and liked it.
We also determined to do the Duck Tour which seemed to be the best-recommended tour. So went to this huge shopping & eating complex, round the corner from the hotel, under the ghastly sixties Prudential buidling. Other towers have since been built and the centre (The Prudential Center) is obviously a huge success.
There we bought our tickets for the Duck Tour. And wondered at it all. The shops. the restaurants, the people.
Boston appears to be a prosperous and friendly city and seems to have a lot of Brits living and working here. There are also an awful lot of young children and obviously the parents have enough money for them to be nannied or otherwise child-minded.
Arthur is NOT amused. He is on to his lawyers now!
After a well needed pee and litre of coffee (the smallest size) in Starbucks (why are these places so popular?), we wandered on into the theater district, across Boston Common and into the Beacon Hill area, another lovely place to live, should you have a few million. (Dunkin' Donuts provided another convenience stop on the way. The reason there are so many Dunkin' Donuts in Boston is that they were invented here. I am reliably advised by Arthur).
Any ideas what this is??
These toddlers, mostly Chinese were being taken for a walk by minders, tied together on leads!
For Ian (T)
Result of the storm, Sunday night
Then on to the fairly extensive subway to the "Aquarium" where we got a ferry round the various Boston Harbor Islands. An excellent 80-minute cruise.
Buy a ticket here,
Then back on the subway to the hotel. This time we had to get on the Green Line. Unlike the first line we got, which had proper subway trains, the Green, and perhaps other colour-lines, are operated on underground trams or "trolleys". Presumably they emerge in the suburbs and operate as tramlines. But in the centre, these trains are really weird as are the stations. They come in at all angles and at one stop, the lines were actually in a triangle around you. They also squeak a lot as they go round impossible bends.
Monday night, on Brien's recommendation, we ate at "Legal Seafood" local chain of restaurants. The number of staff working in these places is just incredible. A constant stream of servers coming out of the kitchens and guiding people to tables.
Today we were up early for another uninspired yet free "continental" breakfast downstairs, then round the corner to wait for our 9.30 Duck tour. These operate in WWII amphibious craft (or replicas thereof) so they cover both land and river sections of the city. An excellent and well worthwhile 80 minute tour with a great guide. The moment we drove into the river was something to be remembered. Arthur says he's going to buy one.
Last night we'd got the car out for a heart-stopping practice run to the airport. The driving here is most aggressive and the tunnels under the harbor are like fairground rides, but more dangerous. The lane markers are all faded and taxis sit on your tail and cut you up all the time. Anyway, we should have topped the car up with fuel then, but didn't. So, after the Duck Tour, we got the car out again to find a gas station to fill up. TomTom first took us to a gift shop with no gas but then she found a Shell garage and we filled up with little bother. Then back to the hotel and car put away. We didn't really need a car here but have an early flight to London tomorrow, so, on balance, it's best to make out own way to Logan airport which is not far but is on an island in the Harbor.
After a walk to the city library and Copley Square where local office workers were out for lunch and there was a small farmers' market. We then got the "squeaky tram" to City Hall for Fanal Meeting house. Round here is very reminiscent of Covent Garden. Not our cup of tea, really. So back for a cup of tea here.
Bob has all-but packed and so I will sign off here and catch up with you with a final round up of this trip once we are back in Bag End, where we arrive Thursday night. (We have out 9.05 AA Flight tomorrow then Iberia LHR-MAD-ALC on Thursday).
Thank you very much for paying attention to this rubbish. One thing for pretty-sure: we won't be back next year. Maybe 2012 or 2013 once John is an OAP? Who knows?
Have a nice day!