A few weekends ago on a Friday afternoon, my friend Sasha and I took a train up to Boston for the weekend. We only stayed two nights and our itinerary was pretty spontaneous (a.k.a. nonexistent) as we hung out, explored the city, and enjoyed the nice weather.
Our Friday night was pretty packed: we missed our train, ate some pretty delicious Thai food, got into Back Bay Station at around 10:00 PM, caught an Uber to Boston University, met Bailey at her dorm, ate some midnight pizza at T. Anthony’s Pizzeria, and still managed to go to sleep before 1:00 AM or so.
Saturday morning, we woke up not too early and not too late — at about ten– and ate brunch at the dining hall across the street. And then it was finally time to head downtown into the city. We took the green line on the T and got off at the newly-built Government Center station and from there walked to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall and all the shopping around it. All three of us had already been there on previous visits to Boston, and found it extremely uninteresting so we walked right by and headed to the Harbor Walk. It was a clear day and the water looked calm and the harbor beautiful. We just enjoyed the views for a bit, but although the sun was out, it was extremely windy, so we headed inland, unsure of where we were going next.
So while we were busy admiring the architecture, we happened upon the Custom House Tower. We didn’t know it at the time, but it’s actually a Marriott Hotel. But we thought it looked historical (the original part of the building was built in 1915) and there was a plaque so we just walked inside. Looking back, I have no idea why we did this, but we followed an elderly couple to the elevator and when the man, with his hand over the buttons, expectantly asked which floor we were going to, Bailey nonchalantly told him, “Not sure.” So after a confusing elevator, and six exasperating flights of a spiral staircase (I’m so out of shape), we reached the observatory at the top — it was totally unexpected and completely empty. The views were stunning! Bailey said you normally have to pay like $20 bucks to see a similar view, so it was pretty cool that we found this on the fly and it was completely free.
We left the tower and started following Bailey’s direction. Eventually we reached a historic looking building. So Sasha and I took a picture in front of it. And then we looked on the ground and realized, oh hey, this was the site of the Boston Massacre. The three of us felt really ignorant at that point and, after buying some postcards, decided it was time to move on. So, after a quick stop at CVS to pick up miscellaneous items, we walked over to the park!
The park we visited was the Boston Common, of course. It’s a pretty famous public green space… you’ve probably heard of it. If you’ve been to Boston, you’ve probably been there. We ended up sitting on a bench in front of a pond which gave me the chance to write a bunch of postcards to family and friends. Receiving a postcard always brightens my day and so I always try to send them to others — plus it’s fun to write them and put the stamps on and all that.
This Saturday afternoon in the middle of April was perfect. The cool breeze contrasted perfectly with the vibrant and warm rays of the sun. The skies were completely clear and the air felt fresh. The park was bursting with life — college kids strumming guitars, four-year-olds sprinting after each other, families strolling on sidewalks. People were sitting everywhere and there was a lot to look at. We were there the weekend before the Boston Marathon, so the city was more crowded than usual which added a ton of life and activity to the sidewalks. It just felt like such a beautiful day and a wonderful time to be in Boston!
The Boston Public Garden was just as beautiful as the Common. In fact, it was probably a bit more beautiful because of all the tulips that were beginning to bloom. If we had come just about one week later, I bet they would all have been in full bloom, but even in their beginning stages they were absolutely gorgeous! This picture does a wonderful job capturing the essence of the day:
While we were at the park, we met up with Emma and she and Bailey insisted that we do the most touristy thing possible and go to Acorn Street and so we wandered around the surrounding neighborhood of Beacon Hill. I was very impressed by the pristine curb appeal of those houses, especially the little window boxes that made it feel festive and like spring. Apparently Tom Brady lives in that neighborhood which isn’t hard to believe.
After grabbing some coffee at Tatte Bakery, we started wandering around, unsure of where to go next. When we walked past Trinity Church, Sasha suggested we go in; she’d been before and found it to be the prettiest church she’d ever been in. I’d have to agree; it’s definitely up there on my list of coziest churches (Pittsburgh’s First Presbyterian Church at Christmastime is number one)!
Next, it was time to get dinner. We headed to Little Italy in the North End of course! I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we ate at because it was pretty standard. All four of us agreed that we wouldn’t really call it “great.” But it wasn’t bad either.
What was much better than our dinner was the cannoli I ate for dessert from the world-famous Mike’s Pastry!!!! It was so good!!!!! The long line was so worth it!! We ate our desserts at North End Park on a bench swing as the sun got lower and lower in the sky and the moon higher and higher.
Dusk in the park was pretty breathtaking. Impressive skyline.
Our adventures in Boston were brought to an end with bellies full of Italian pastries. We headed back to BU’s campus slouched on the seats of the T, everyone pretty exhausted from walking around all day. Sasha took a nap as soon as we got back. We left early Sunday morning, the day before Marathon Monday, but ended up having to wait two hours on our delayed train….. Typical Amtrak. We got back to reality eventually, though.
Thanks for having us, Bailey, Emma, and Sonia! Sasha and I had a blast. Can’t wait to visit Boston some other time. It’s definitely one of my favorite American cities.