The first part of our "big" summer vacation was a few days in Boston. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and left on Monday afternoon when we boarded the ship. If you are taking a cruise out of Boston, I loved the cruise terminal and the staff! The guys working outside the terminal assisting passengers with luggage, directions, etc, looked like long-shore men but were big teddy bears! They were extremely helpful and talked with and interacted with the kids.
Boston is a great city to visit. We had a wonderful time and are planning to go back in the fall when it is a little cooler and our hotel room won't stink! (In case you missed my post, our first night there my oldest son puked all over the hotel bed and room - hotel was sold out, no where for us to move to!). There were so many things we wanted to do, but did not get to: Children's Museum, Duck Tour, Fenway Park Tour, Bunker Hill (isn't it really Breed's Hill?).
The city is very family friendly and the people are lovely. There is so much history there, too. My kids loved learning about the Boston Tea Party and seeing the spot (from the air conditioned van!) where it took place! We were lucky that when we were there, the Tall Ships were there too! There is a lot going on this summer celebrating the anniversary of the War of 1812! When we go back to Boston we definitely want to explore the Freedom Trail. Due to time constraints and the heat, we did not make it very far. In case you are not familiar with the Freedom Trail, it is a free 2.5 mile walk through the cit. It takes you to 16 historically significant sights to the American Revolution. You can also take a docent led tour of this. But, it is very easy to follow (huge red lines and arrows on side walk!) and they do provide free maps. Be sure to check out: http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Boston:
Visit the Aquarium! My kids loved the penguins and could have stood there for hours just watching them. They also had a great time watching the Seals and Sea Lions! If you plan on going on a weekend or during the summer, get your tickets in advance through the website. This way you won't have to wait in line! Check out: www.neaq.org
Quincy Market! (aka Faneuil Hall Marketplace) A visit to the city is not complete without stopping off here. Now, Quincy Market has changed since I was a child. Many of the "mom & pop" places are gone and have been replaced by chain stores and restaurants. But, it is a neat place. They do have a GAP and Baby GAP, both of which I love! They also have excellent restaurants, stands and bakeries! If you are there without the kiddies, be sure to check out some of the great bars! One of my favorites is the Black Rose. If you are there with the kids, there are some great family friendly restaurants that offer "Yankee" cooking. One of my husband's favorites is Durgin Park. Faneuil Hall is worth checking out too! It has been woven into our Nation's history - George Washington, Susan B Anthony and Oliver Wendall Holmes are just a few speakers who have been there throughout the years! Be sure to check out: http://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/
The North End. We didn't get there this visit. But I love, love, love the North End. This is the "Italian" Neighborhood of Boston. Home to great family owned bakeries, restaurants and shops and a beautiful Church. It is an amazing historic neighborhood and when you walk down the streets, you feel like you are going back in time - I love the laundry hanging outside across the streets! Worth a trip for an excellent meal! http://www.northendboston.com/
While we were in Boston, I received the nicest surprise! My husband's Aunt (Louise of Boston, http://www.louiseofboston.com/) lives in Boston. She is an amazing hair dresser. She had offered to give me, what I thought was going to be a quick trim. I have crazy, frizzy, curly hair and I was very excited about the prospect of getting a "good haircut". (I go to Hair Cuttery!) When I got there, she surprised me and said she would do a Keratin Treatment on my hair. My husband and father- in-law watched the kids (they took them to lunch and the Boston Public Gardens (where the swan boats are) while I spent the afternoon at the Salon where she works, Avanti Salon on Newbury Street (http://www.avantisalonboston.com/). It was an afternoon that was kid free - I got to just sit and do nothing! She is amazing at what she does, she saved me from bangs and transformed my hair. My hair is smooth and frizz free! The entire time on the cruise I did not have to worry about what the ocean would do to my hair! It looked amazing for our trip (and still does!). If you are in Boston please check her out! The Salon is easy to get to. The staff was all very professional and very friendly.
I'm already planning my next trip to Boston. Bruce is playing Fenway Park in September - I think this will be our Roadtrip for my sister, brother and me.
Have a great afternoon! Please feel free to share some of your favorite things to do in Boston!