We got into Boston VERY late on Sunday night after a huge trek 7000 miles across the pacific ocean.
We took a cab to our hotel - we were in the cab line for about 10 minutes, it was very smooth and orderly. The cab ride was about $20 with tolls which was well worth it for the convenience.
We are staying at the Holiday Inn Boston at Beacon Hill on Blossom St. The front desk staff are very courteous, when we checked in the only room available was a Standard King. They were very apologetic and said they'd switch us to a Double Double the next morning. They also gave us a coupon for two full American breakfasts for our trouble. Very professional.
we crashed into bed and slept till about 5am when all the runners for the marathon started to get up and get ready for the race - the bathroom noises really carry. We went down and had our breakfast - shared the breakfast room with lots of runners which was very cool. The breakfast was delicious and staff very attentive.
Even though it was only about 7:45 we decided to head out and explore. I got horribly lost trying to head towards Beacon St until I realised Will07 had given me beautifully simple directions so I got my little book out and we were fine. Beacon Hill is so lovely. we went down Joy St for the most part and took lots of pictures of various window boxes and wrought iron fences. We are looking forward to seeing Acorn St for some more of the same.
I should say at this point that it was FREEZING - the wind was icy and quite strong. There was a bit of cursing as we walked along!
We came upon the Boston Common which was lovely - we looked back at Beacon Hill and sighed due to the vista!
Boston Common is still bare from winter, but I could imagine the most lovely scene in full spring. We walked through and then through the Public Garden which was even nicer than the Common!! We crossed Charles St and could feel the excitement of Marathon Monday as we approached Boylston Street. When we got to Boylston there were lots of volunteers getting everything ready for when the runners finished.
Marshalls had just opened so of course we did a bit (actually a LOT) of economy stimulation. Then we did a bit more at Filene's Basement. I got some Calvin Klein if you don't mind!
By this time the marathon was in full swing - it was very moving to feel the buzz in the centre of town. We saw the wheelchairs come in and were very chuffed today to find out that the guy who came second was Australian!!
Then the trouble started!! We decided to head down Boylston a bit further to see what was happening (or if there were any shops that needed our attention!) and got a bit stuck. There wasn't enough room between the spectators and the shops for the five million people trying to go both ways! It took us about 20mins to go 30 feet! But we made it with only one minor detour for mental health reasons into Crate and Barrell :)
After all that and having woken up at 5am we were a bit exhausted - it was about 2pm by this time... we went back to the hotel via cab and got a quick lunch at the Whole Foods behind our hotel (by the way, what an awesome shop!)
We were booked on the 5pm Duck Tour so headed over to the Museum of Science (again via cab because our legs were sore!!)
We LOVED the Duck Tour. Our tour guide (some Guru guy, didn't understand the name..Frim maybe??) was very entertaining. He really knew his stuff and had lots of interesting things to say. I was worried about being cold on the DUK but there was some sort of heater going on so we were fine. Due to all the disruptions due to the Marathon and construction on the river the tour was longer. I appreciated that gesture. He even taught us to speak like a Bostonian!! I can now say 'My father parked his car in Harvard yard' very well!!!
After the tour we headed to Quincy Market via the T and LOVED it. we had a quick dinner and some more economy stimulation then walked to Modern Pastry for some cannoli which was delicious. Another cab and I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Today was meant to be Freedom Trail day but Mother Nature had other ideas. We toyed with lots of ideas but decided to head to the Prudential Centre as Mum wanted to get some Pandora jewelery (which she did). We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory which was great and struck up a conversation with two ladies at the table next to us. One of them was a teacher too so we chatted to them for about half an hour about lots of things. It was a lovely way to finish lunch. It was still raining when we finished so we went to Cambridgeside Galleria (I know, more shopping) and then came back to the hotel. Dinner in the hotel (sore legs again) and mum is napping as we speak!! Poor thing.
Tomorrow is Salem day, we are heading out early in the hopes of getting back late afternoon so we can do a self guided, shorter tour of the Freedom Trail - depends on the weather.
Having the BEST time, everyone we have met is so lovely (except the cab drivers who are nice but crazy drivers!!!)