Friday, April 11, 2014

Family Trip to Boston

With stress on the word "family" has been three years since the three of us have traveled together! Adrian boarded at the vet's while we were away, and was terribly missed but is now happily home with us again.

Day One - April 6

Our first stop was the Boston Harbor Marina area where the floating Tea Party Museum and replica of the Eleanor allow tourists to relive the highlights of the Boston Tea Party. Kiddo pretended to be Samuel Adams at the entrance to the Tea Party Museum and later took a turn at the Eleanor's helm. We also stopped at the beautiful USS Constitution, fondly known as Old Ironsides. The visit to the USS Constitution was very timely as we have been listening to Six Frigates in the car.
The tour bus drove us past the original "Cheers" bar as well as sights like the gold-domed Massachussetts State House in Beacon Hill. The state house was built on land owned by John Hancock. Before its gold leaf exterior, the dome was covered with copper from Paul Revere's company! After the tour, we took the T to Harvard Square for a quick peek of the Harvard campus. The T by the way, though not as clean, was to us, very reminiscent of Singapore's MRT system. We saved a ton of money and it was so convenient that our hotel was a five-minute walk to a red line station. Kiddo "presents" the John Harvard statue that is not really John Harvard. The seal on the statue is an older version of the current one displaying three open books. That first day in Harvard, we walked through Harvard Yard and took photos at the statue and in the vicinity of the science center, planning to return the next day for a student-led tour.

Day Two - April 7

This trip is memorable for me for another's the first time that kiddo was wearing shoes with laces! :) His dad was in a conference so kiddo and I took the T in the morning to further explore Boston Common (we didn't get off the tour bus the day before), admire the Beacon Hill brownstones and take snaps of birds, including this proud-chested robin. We continued on to the Museum of Science where kiddo spotted a Kilroy on one of the Duck Tours vehicles. We were too cheap to pay admission prices so we opted to just visit the museum store (where kiddo discovered Shakespeare's Star Wars...always difficult to drag him away from a book) and watch an Imax movie on Jerusalem (very well done and narrated by the Cumberbatch himself!). After lunch at the museum cafe, we headed to Harvard's Smith Center where the walking tours begin. Harvard's student-led walking tours are free and very conveniently scheduled. I enjoyed the tour immensely. Our guide, Sean, was pleasant and knowledgeable, and inspired me to ask many questions about student life. He also suggested we try J.P. Licks when we asked about good ice cream near campus. I am so glad that he did! I am a coffee ice cream addict and this is the best one I've had by far.

Day Three - April 8 

Our hotel being located just opposite MIT, and it being an overcast day, we decided that it made sense to spend the day discovering MIT like we did with Harvard the day before. Among the first buildings to greet us was the Seuss-like Stata Center. After taking snaps, we rushed on to the Rogers Building to join the student-led tour. Unlike Harvard, MIT's student-led walking tours are held only twice a day and we just made it to the one at 11am. Our guide, Michelle, walks backwards as she speaks and was a font of knowledge, regaling us with many tales of the famous MIT hacks. After the tour, we treated ourselves to ice cream at Toscanini's then visited the very unassuming but totally fantastic MIT Museum. Kiddo was besotted with the kinetic art displays, especially the gestural engineering sculptures by Arthur Ganson (who hosts the popular, annual Friday After Thanksgiving chain reactions).

Day Four - April 9

Our last day in Boston was spent reading at the MIT Coop while waiting for dad to finish his conference. We obviously couldn't get enough of books while we were on this trip. :) Pictured here are two books I want to buy online (because they are cheaper) and books whose tempting calls we couldn't help succumbing to while we were there.

I know I missed home and Adrian while we were there but now I miss Boston. It is such a vibrant, character-rich city and Cambridge itself is like heaven to me. So many book stores, such lovely ice cream and the promise of the gorgeous New England architecture and intellectual stimulation everywhere I turn. I used to be a city person once, now preferring our slightly rural, small town atmosphere, but I think given the choice, I might really enjoy a move to Boston to become an ardent city dweller once again.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, I really must go to Boston one day. It looks amazing! And Harvard AND MIT - heaven :) Looks like you had a great time!


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