It was a long journey to get from Detroit to Boston. Just a lovely early flight to NY then a 4 1/2 hour bus trip to Boston which was pretty much the whole day. Pretty much all I did on arrival was sort out what I wanted to do in the 2 full days coming up and sleep.
On the first full day I ventured onto the Freedom Trail starting from Boston Common. This is all about how the Americans gained independence from great Britain back in the 1700s. It was quite an interesting walk even though I did get misplaced a few times along the way, especially when the trail lead to a dead-end and the map was pretty well useless. As I walked it back in 2001 I didn’t do the full trail just up to Faneuil Hall then just wandered around the markets, shops then off to the Waterfront to just sit and watch the world go by for an hour or so.
From there I managed to find my may back to Boston Common which was founded in 1634, according to the signs posted anyway, strolled around there and the Boston Public Gardens taking in the lovely autumn (I refuse to call it ‘fall’ as the americans do) colours on the leaves before making my way to the Prudential Tower Observation Deck. It’s not the highest observation deck I have ever been to (only 50 floors up) but the views were great, looking over downtown, down the Charles River, MIT, Fenway Park and the Harbour itself. Also wandered around Copley Square which is pretty small, checked out the farmers market before making my way back to the hostel.
Back at the hostel, one of the staff was offering free tickets to a college basketball game that night. How could I refuse? For crying out loud, he used the important word ‘free’. The game was between Boston Uni and George Washington Uni. I wouldn’t say it was the greatest exhibition of basketball I have ever seen but the atmosphere was still good. I was still managing to keep up my losing streak for home teams at this stage. There was a bunch of us from the hostel who went along and some of us went out for drinks after with our host Livvy. She was more than happy to drink as she wasnt working in the morning. As you could imagine, we were most happy to oblige!
Next day I headed out with James, who I met the night before. Yeah I know, another James!! What is it with this name on this trip? If I am not sharing a room with one, I end up hanging out with them!! First stop for us was the JFK Museum and Library out near the University of Massachusetts. I found it quite inspiring and found out a lot more about him than I ever realised. As an Aussie most of us really only know he was assassinated and that’s about it. It was good to see that the Presidents after him continued on with his dreams such as getting a man on the moon, etc. It was a most surprise to visit this place and would fully recommend it to anyone who ever heads to Boston.
From there we headed over to Harvard, home of the University, where we strolled around aimlessly pretending we were students on this campus, intermixing with the regular students. The campus itself isn’t as big as one would imagine but you can sense the history and knowledge once inside.
Harvard the suburb is such a relaxed area. There seems to be no rush or stress anywhere to be seen. You can also imagine that you would need a fair bit of money to live out here too. One stop I had, thanks to James, was at LA Burdick Chocolatier. Oh my God, it was the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my life. The chocolates themselves weren’t bad but the hot chocolate was to die for!! You could tell it must have been a good store as how many chocolate shops do you know that have a velvet rope leading you to the entrance? That was a pretty sure sign of the quality and it seriously did no let me down one bit. Who knows, it might even push my beloved Haighs Chocolates from Adelaide to number 2 on my favourites list.
That night I had my ticket to see the Boston Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA at TD Banknorth Garden. It’s still Boston Garden in my eyes. Somehow I ended up with a club ticket which allowed me early entry to the stadium, visiting the museum of boston sports, which was only available to people sitting at my level, along with a great seat with a waitress looking after food and drink orders from our section. You could sense the history and tradition of the Celtics within the stadium. I guess having 17 Championship Banners hanging from the ceiling is proof enough.
The game itself was great, especially seeing future hall of fame players like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in action. The atmosphere was awesome, with good music played through the time outs and you could feel the passion of the supporters with every call and basket. By far the best game atmosphere I have been involved with. This time a home team finally won so my losing streak is over!! Was a bit of nightmare getting home and got the wrong train..oops. that’s what happens when you are surrounded by thousands of overjoyed Celtics fans!! At least the train wasnt too far out-of-the-way, just a small bit of backtracking to do.
Well that was Boston. next stop is back to NY and another 4 1/2 hour bus trip.