Back in April, Rob had a conference in DC. Well we always like to extend it out so he can have a little vacation before he’s at work at the conference. Well, we got a crazy idea to start our trip in Boston. Being that Rob is a huge baseball fan, he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see the Red Sox. It worked out for us to fly into Boston and spend a little less than 24 hours there before venturing towards the DC area.
We flew into Boston Logan International Airport late Friday night, got to our hotel (Comfort Inn & Suits), slept, got up, and headed to see all that we could see before heading to America’s oldest ballpark.
First stop was Harvard. We decided to park and walk around even though it was bone chillin’ cold to us southerners. In fact, when we got out of the car we saw a few snowflakes. Visiting such a prestigious college as Harvard, I’m not sure I can accurately define my feelings. It was almost like being in a movie or something. (Although, in my research I see where Harvard doesn’t allow commercial filming of any kind!)
I didn’t do much research about the campus, so I didn’t have any pinpointed places or buildings for us to check out. Considering that, looking back I thought we did a good job of finding the highlights of campus even though we were freezing. (Harvard map)
Here we stood in front of the John Harvard.
Brightly painted chairs sat lonely in the midst of such hallowed buildings in the middle of Harvard Yard. Since it was early on a cold Saturday morning, we didn’t see too many students as we strolled around campus. We made our way over to Harvard Square and considering we hadn’t eaten anything we decided stopped at JP Licks for some oatmeal and danish.
This is Memorial Hall known today as Sanders Theater, which is a beautifully built gothic building dating back to the 1870’s.
Harvard has many, many different libraries and since I work at a university library I find this quite fascinating. We happened upon two of them. Here’s Lamont Library, which primarily houses the undergraduate collection in humanities and social sciences. Interestingly enough, it was the first library in the U.S. specifically planned to serve undergraduates.
This is Widener Library, which is the Harvard’s main library. It’s their largest library with 3.5 million volumes, which is comparable to the library I work at.
After leaving Harvard our next stop was Bunker Hill. To get there we journeyed along the Charles River and we got to see the Harvard’s Heavies competing against Brown University.
The Bunker Hill Monument was erected to pay tribute to the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was one of the 1st major battles between British and Patriot forces in the American Revolutionary War, June 17, 1775. The monument is 221-foot granite obelisk was built between 1825 and 1843 in Charlestown, MA. There are 294 steps to the top. (more info)
Here’s the Massachusetts State House (Capitol). As we walked around we continued to see lots of tour groups.
Boston’s Public Garden is a large public park in the heart of downtown Boston.
Make Way for the Ducklings statue located in Boston’s Public Garden. Neighbors traditionally dress the ducks in seasonal decor. As you see they are dressed for spring even though when we were there it felt more like winter!
I laughed at this squirrel who was checking out this street vender. I think he was disappointed to see it wasn’t a food cart.
Granary Burying Ground was established in 1660 and is the 3rd oldest cemetery in the state. However it’s notable burials are more well known than the others. As we drove through downtown, I spotted the headstones poking out of the ground and I told Rob we needed to stop so I could check this place out. I am so glad we did. I love visiting old cemeteries and just find them so fascinating. Although, I would recommend anyone going to see this place as you will see this the burial site for quite a few prominent figures in American history:
Mary Goose (aka Mother Goose)
One of our bucket list items for Boston was seeing the Cheers building. It opens at 11:00 and we were there before that and with us wanting to get to Fenway early we didn’t really have time to stick around. The gift shop was open and we were able to peek through and see the bar.
As we drove through Boston, I noticed how different this city looks and feels in many ways to so many other big cities. The underground tunnels that travel under land, not water. The history of everything. I felt like so many buildings and cemeteries dates so much further back than what I’m used to seeing in other places in the U.S. Here’s some things we saw as we drove around.
Rob wanted to make sure we got to Fenway with plenty of time before the game. He gasped in awe and excitement as it came into view as we walked to it. We had gotten glimpses of it as we drove around, but as we gained on it, step by step I thought he might explode.
Something really cool about Fenway is that 2 of the gates enter on to an street called Yawkey Way (now known as Jersey Street – info info), where you will find restaurants and entertainment.
We had such a fun time exploring this old park. It’s Rob’s new favorite park. So many nooks and crannies which gives this park such a historic feel.
After the game was over we were pretty darn hungry so we walked over to Summer Shack. We were mainly going there because we were craving some Clam Chowder and it was rated one of the best places in Boston. We were a little weary about going there because we were concerned about the crowds after the game. However, we got to sit down immediately. We each had a bowl of clam chowder as well as sharing the Lobster dumplings. We looked at the dessert menus and were dumbfounded that we hadn’t thought about getting Boston Cream Pie, so we ordered one to share. Amazing!
After that we walked back to our car and made our way to Montville, NJ. My big camera that I bring has a GPS in it and it tracks where we go, which I think is pretty cool. I always have it import the GPS files, but I’ve never really examined what I can do with the info once it’s there. Today I investigated further, and figured out how easy it is to export the daily GPS logs into google maps. So here you can see where we went. You can click on the map to zoom in and see more detail.
One thing to note about these GPS logs is that depending on where we’re going I sometimes don’t bring my big camera along, like at ball games because they don’t typically allow DSLRs so you wouldn’t see those parts on the route.
Here’s pictures from our stops we made along the way.
If you would like to see where the New England Patriots play, you’ll have to drive about 28 miles southwest of downtown Boston to Gillette Stadium, which is also the home of the New England Revolution soccer team.
As we came up through Providence, RI, we started seeing the capitol from a far. As you can see it the sun was starting to set, which I thought made the capitol look even more grand.
We also made a quick stop in Pawtucket, RI. I had to stop at this old Wilkinson mill (info) for some pics.
First time in Connecticut. We drove through Hartford to see the capitol as well as Storrs to see UConn.
Such a jam packed day and when we got to our hotel in New Jersey, I was quite happy to let my head hit the pillow. Not long as I was out! Look for my next post from this trip, where we do Philly!
See all the pics from Day 1 here.
Read more from this trip…
24 Hours in Philly :: Philly to National Harbor :: Fun Day in National Harbor, MD :: Morning in Old Town Alexandria :: Afternoon in DC :: SAAM & National Portrait Gallery :: Naval Academy & National’s Game :: DC Day 1 :: DC Day 2
So excited to discover this post. I lived in Boston (Brookline) as a child and we are planning a quick trip back this fall. Haven’t been there since I was ten!! We will probably only stay a day or two so will pin this post to help me remember sites we might want to visit. Glad to see you visited Mary Goose! I remember going to the cemetery with my family or on a field trip maybe?
Let me ask you about parking. Did you have much trouble finding places to park? Please let me know. We will be flying into DC and renting a car but not sure either of us is up to big-city driving!!! Thought about joining up for a tour of Boston but I want to see my old childhood home and school, too. Doubt there will be a tour for those!!
Thanks for sharing your adventure. Even though my Prince is a die-hard Reds fan, he says we will take in a game at Fenway. When in Boston…
Hey Leslie, Great question. Our first couple of stops (at Harvard and then downtown) we were able to parallel park along the streets for minimal costs. It was early enough in the day so we had options. As for going to Fenway, Rob had prepaid for parking about a mile away from the park on one of the parking apps that so many big cities have these days. I think he paid $20 or $30 for that spot.
Parking in DC…I drove to a metro station and paid to park there since our hotel was on National Harbor. I took the metro into DC every day, which I’ll talk more about in my DC posts.
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