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Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

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Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Ok, as promised (did I mention that I get a little wordy in my trip reports?)…

My husband and I (mid-30’s) traveled to Boston from Phoenix for a quick weekend. The main purpose of the trip was to see The Saw Doctors perform at the House of Blues on Saturday night. We had rewards on Southwest Airlines and free nights at Kimpton Hotels to use, so when The Docs announced their US cities, we chose between NYC and Boston. We decided to go to Boston because we often travel to NYC, but have only been to Boston once about 15 years ago.

We flew up on Friday, arriving at 7:30pm. We decided to use mass transit instead of cabs for this trip and found the shuttle from the airport to the T to be very simple to locate. We took the T to Park St. and walked 1-2 blocks to our hotel, the Nine Zero. Nearly door to door service for only $2 each, what a deal!

We checked into our hotel, which was fantastic. We love Kimpton Hotels. They gave us a “view room” on the 18th floor, with a view of the cemetery (ahhh, should have noted the name) across the street, where Sam Adams, Paul Revere, etc. are buried, also a great view of Boston Common and beyond. Loved the old mixed with the new. We were hungry and thirsty, so we set out in search of a bar. The front desk recommended a few in the area, we ended up at The Hub Pub where we watched the Bruins lose…wow. I’m a Red Wings fan, so to my Boston friends, I feel your pain! Darn it. Nonetheless, we enjoyed a few pints of Guinness (which tastes SO MUCH BETTER on the East coast, I swear, it is true about the closer you are to Dublin, the better it tastes), and a bowl of NE Clam Chowder. We thought we’d split a burger as well, but the chowder filled us up enough that we didn’t want to over do it. Back to the hotel to chill out and watch the rain outside the window, with a few great flashes of lightening every once in a while.

The next morning was just beautiful. Blue sky with sunshine pouring through big puffy white clouds. A great New England day. We didn’t really have a plan, other than to head over to Fenway area around 4:00ish. Hubby wanted to see Quincy Market (as we used to call it, I think it’s changed?), the Fleet Center, again, showing how long it has been, now called The Garden, of course, and the Cheers bar. I wanted to see/ride the Swan Boats. So we grabbed Dunkin Donuts (always reliable) and headed out in the direction of Faneuil Hall. We had been here before and I do not remember the shops in Faneuil Hall. We thought you walked in to the meeting hall. So, we were surprised/disgusted to see that they had taken out the meeting hall and put in shops. Since we got home, I looked it up and read that they meeting hall is on the second floor. So please reassure me that my memory had simply failed me and they meeting hall is still intact and well? I don’t know how we missed that one, must be the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. :)

Anyway, walked thru the area and thru the market, eyeing all the food options, but we thought we weren’t hungry yet, so we passed. We walked out by the water, down by the aquarium, just wandering thru the streets. Then something funny happened, our hunger mysteriously grew as we saw signs tempting us with lobster specials, fresh lobster, lobster plate, lobster this, lobster that. All of a sudden we couldn’t eat soon enough!!! Normally, I research the heck out of things, but on this trip we decided we’d wing it, so we wandered until we found an offer we couldn’t refuse. A $10 lobster lunch special at The Purple Shamrock. Perfect. A great table, a couple of Twisted Teas, a plate of fried clam strips w/fries & slaw to share and two $10 lobster plates, please. Oh yum. Yum, yum, yum. We even wore the bibs…with pride. When all was said and done, our server commented on how neat we were with our shells, I owe that to my hubby and his New England childhood. It’s like riding a bike, I guess, you just don’t forget how to properly eat a lobster. I grew up in the Midwest, and well, you’d be ashamed of my former lobster eating ways.

Happy from lunch, we set off to wander more, end goal being The Fleet Center – er, the Garden. We found it, took the obligatory picture in front of Flying Bobby and went inside in search of a Bruins shirt. Now, was it because of their loss the night before that hubby scored a great Bruins shirt marked down to $9.99? Hmmm. Either way, he wore it the rest of the day, even had some people offer condolences.

From there, we wandered thru the Beacon Hill Neighborhood. Every corner was a photo. Really, it was. I have the photos to prove it. Loving the old architecture, we wandered our little hearts out, eventually making our way to….that place, you know, the one where everybody knows your name. Cheers!

A tour bus had just stopped out front to dump everyone out for the picture you’re obligated to take, you know what I’m talking about. Standing under the Cheers sign by the stairway. While we waited for the crowd to thin out outside, we went down the stairs and had a look around. We are that couple that collects shot glasses from our travel destinations, and on the way to Boston, we talked about what type of shot glass we’d get, Bruins? Celtics? Red Sox? Nahhh, we just couldn’t decide. Then when the nice gentleman at the door at Cheers said, “feel free to wander around, our gift shop is back there”, that was it! Shot glass was chosen and purchased. We went upstairs to check out the “set bar” and made our way back outside for our turn for the photo shoot under the sign.

Walked across the street to the park where I spotted the Swan Boats! Except, I think I may have said a bad word and stomped my feet a little, because they weren’t boats that you could drive yourselves. Darn it! I didn’t want to hop on a bench on a boat with 20 other tourists and a person hiding behind a swan in the back, pedaling the boat. I wanted my own boat. So, we passed. Enjoyed walking thru the park anyway and decided we needed a drink. Found Emmett’s pub and had some adult refreshment. Again, it tasted so much better on the East coast.

We regrouped at the hotel and then made our way to the T station and headed for the House of Blues to pick up our tickets at will call. While waiting in line, Leo, of The Saw Doctors, came walking down the sidewalk. Some of us in line knew who he was, but I thought it was funny that some people didn’t know that was actually one of the men they were there to see. A few people asked for a photo with him, which was no trouble at all. I should have, too, but didn’t. Yep, I regret that one.

Got our tickets and had time to grab dinner before the show, so we just headed up to the corner. I think the place was called Cask and Flagon? It wasn’t busy, but there was a little confusion on where they were going to seat us, I guess they don’t like putting parties of 2 in a booth. Too bad. That’s what we wanted and that’s where we ended up. We ordered drinks and burgers. Our drinks came out, mine was good, but hubby’s tasted watered down. Burgers came out – HUGE and very good. They never came back to check on us, so it’s a good thing the food was good. They did come back to clear our plates and take our drinks even though we weren’t finished with them yet!! Ah, it happened so fast we didn’t even notice. Oh well. Paid the bill and went outside to take a gander at The Green Monster. It doesn’t look too scary to me. :)

Ducked into the concert – standing only, ground floor. We were in early enough to stand second row front and center. What. A. Show. This was my first Saw Docs concert and will NOT be my last. They are a blast. I knew I wanted to get Davy’s set list after the show, so I asked and I received. Score. Also want to note that the warm up band was great, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams…something rather. They mentioned that they’re going to be back in Boston soon at the folk festival, so if you like folk music, go check them out!

Happy with my set list and my first Saw Doctors concert under my belt, we hit the streets, headed to the T station, got underground and they told us it was closed, we’d have to take a shuttle bus to the next stop. Oops, we got on the wrong bus and went the wrong way. Found another T station that was also in the process of closing, something about a snapped cable. At this point, hubby was ready to get a cab, but it was SUCH a beautiful night and we had the energy….so we started walking, with every intent to go to the next available T station. But we ended up on Commonwealth, which was such a beautiful street, and it was so quiet and peaceful…we walked all the way back to our hotel. Stopped in Emmett’s for a pint first though.

The next morning, we had brunch at the hotel, checked out and took the T back to the airport. Quick trip? Yes. Will we be back to Boston? Yes, for sure. I would like to take a formal tour and then have a couple of days to wander. So, until next time…

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1. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Hi, you managed to hit some local favorites while here! The Cask n Flagon is a key Red Sox bar. You mentioned the shops in Quincy market and the "meeting hall" that might have disappeared. Not sure, but I think you are remembering Faneuil Hall, which has some shops on the ground floor, but the historic hall is up one flight. It's still there, it's a beautiful place, and really has not changed. So I think you probably did just forget about climbing those stairs. That hall (right next to Quincy Market -- both names get used to indicate this part of Boston) is the site for special things like political debates, and U.S. Naturalization ceremonies. It is just loaded with layers of U.S. history . . . and it's still there! I think a lot of tourists miss it, and are just distracted by everything at the ground level. Very nice trip report, thanks!

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2. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Beautifully descriptive. Read every word. Thank you for taking the time to write about the visit, and to promise us a repeat visit!

Next time, we'll upgrade you from Swan Boats to your own boat to navigate on the Charles and we'll direct you to the stairway at Faneuil Hall that leads to the meeting hall area which is still used today as well as another flight up with an Artillery display Maybe we'll even be able to throw in a win from one of our sports teams!

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3. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Thanks for sharing your TR to Boston glad you had a wonderful time,and you got to do and see many sites good for you,hopefully your next trip here will be just as exciting.

Edited: 19 May 2010, 02:26
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4. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Hello, and thanks for keeping your promise!!! =)

I have to say that you are one heck of a writer. You were here for less than 48 hours and wrote a report like you had spent a week here. Very detailed and well thought out.

I'm so happy you had a good time. Myself, and others here, try to explain to advice-seekers looking for that "must see" or "must do" that there's so much more to your experience if you just wander around a particular neighborhood. It could be the South End, Back Bay, North End, Beacon Hill or somewhere else. The neighborhoods are what make Boston such an interesting and beautiful city to visit. It's not just one thing. It was nice to read how much you enjoyed Beacon Hill and the park down Commonwealth Ave. That's good stuff. That's Boston. So, thanks a bunch for a great trip report and come back soon. There's still a whole lot more to explore.

The ancient and honorable burial ground you spoke of is called the Granary Burial Ground. It dates from 1660 and is part of the Freedom Trail. Other notables buried there are Crispus Attucks, Robert Treate Paine, John Hancock, Peter Faneuil, and Mother Goose.

I'll have to youtube The Saw Doctors.

Thanks again..

Edited: 19 May 2010, 03:42
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5. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Long and detailed is great. You sure experienced a lot in such a short time.

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6. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your trip report KJJones, you did a great job with it. You guys certainly hit some of the local 'favorite" places didn't you! You did a terrific job telling us about it here. In fact, so much so, that I'm looking forward to your next TR down the road! Thank you for sharing your 36 hours in Boston, it's a "winner" in my book!

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7. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Thanks for a nice report. Sometimes its great not too have a plan for every minute.

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8. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

One of the better trip reports. Never heard of the "Saw Doctors". the part about being disappointed by the Swan boats was very funny - how you had heard of them but didn't know what they were (it's basically a very old, traditional ride to take toddlers on). It's also funny that people go out of their way to find the "Cheers bar" as though it had any basis in reality - I wonder if people go to Chicago looking for the "ER". :-)

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9. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Faneuil Hall Marketplace consists of Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall many tourist maybe confused with the two buildings. The Historic Faneuil Hall's meeting place's entrance is located behind the building but it is in front of Quincy Market. Please come back soon. Thanks for the Trip Report.

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10. Re: Short trip, Long report! 36 hours in Boston

Thanks, everyone, for the nice words on my report. I'm glad I could share it! Also thanks for clearing up my confusion regarding Faneuil Hall - so glad to hear they didn't rip out such an important historical meeting hall, that would have really been a disgrace! Granary Burial Ground, got it. Thanks! The Freedom Trail is a must do on our next visit, but that's probably the only must do we'll have. It was nice to wander around, but with such a short trip we had to wander rather quickly.

I'm putting together a photo album, will post a link when it's ready if anyone is interested in taking our visual tour. :)

Oh and regarding The Saw Doctors, they're from Ireland, hard to describe their sound though. Irish, but not Irish. Rock n roll, but not rock n roll. Not pop, not folk, not country. Poor guys, I'm not doing them any justice here. To me, they're just a fun group, great songs, fantastic in person, worth making the 7 hour flight over just to see them. Finding a great destination in Boston was just a bonus!

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