As summer winds down and we gear up for a getaway to San Francisco next week, I thought it'd be nice to reflect on the vacation that kicked off this amazing summer: a much anticipated trip to Boston and New England. So, why Boston? A number of reasons, actually: the boy wanted to drive through small American towns, of which there were plenty in New England; we wanted a city we could explore on foot; and we wanted a low-key place that felt comfortable. Boston happened to tick all the boxes.
After a cramped red-eye from Seattle to Boston and unprecedented in-flight claustrophobia (seriously, I'm never flying Alaska Airlines again), we arrived early and exhausted at the newly refurbished Onyx Hotel. I couldn't resist a photo op with the Wicked Smaht pillow on our bed, but it was a shower and tasty pasta lunch that truly revived our spirits before we set out on our first planned activity of the day: a Duck Tour of Beantown.
The Duck Tour turned out to be a great idea. Not only were we able to get our bearings in a new city, the boy
completely passed out snuck in a nap. Our tour guide had wild red hair and spoke with a thick Bostonian accent, and everything she pointed out was the site of the first or the oldest something-or-other in America. And even though we knew the Duck was an amphibious vehicle, it still felt pretty odd when this bus we'd been riding in for about an hour entered the Charles River and stayed afloat.
We spent the rest of the afternoon aimlessly wandering around Newbury Street and Back Bay, marveling at the age and charm of the historic townhouses and red brick buildings, hiding on people's stoops to avoid the on-and-off rain showers. When evening rolled around and we ventured into Little Italy, seeking dinner at one of the dense neighbourhood's 100+ restaurants, we were exhilarated. Our vacation had officially begun.