Saturday, June 7, 2014

23/52: Four Days in Boston

It was an amazing trip to Boston!

We arrived last Friday night and hit the ground running, checking into our Seaport area waterfront hotel and searching for food and beverages (while dodging constant rain showers).

Drinks at Jerry Remy's Sportsbar!  Packed with 20-somethings (Ray Lamontagne concert just down the street).  At least 20 TV's including one TV wall (New England's monster 32 foot HD video wall) playing nothing by sports (sawks, preferably).

Dinner was next door at Legal Seafood Harborside.  A beautiful 3 story bar/restaurant that had a two hour wait for dinner!  Luckily, they had one table for two downstairs that we snagged for dinner.  Afterwards, we checked out floors two and three, opting for a nightcap on level two.

I managed to eat three lobster rolls in 4 days!  Not bad!

On Saturday we had a full day planned.  After breakfast, we started walking the Freedom Trail.

Red socks for the Red Sox game

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long red (mostly brick) path throughout downtown Boston that leads to 16 significant historic sites.  

It ranges from Boston Commons to the USS Constitution.  Simple ground markers explaining events, graveyards, notable churches and other buildings line the trail.  Most sites were free to enter and some had suggestion donations.

 Founded in 1660, the Old Granary Burial Ground is Boston's third-oldest cemetery.  It is the final resting place for many notable Revolutionary war era patriots, including three signers of the Declaration of Independence, Paul Revere and the 5 victims of the Boston Massacre
The trail was originally conceived by local journalist, William Schofield, who since 1951 had promoted the idea of a pedestrian trail linked together with historical landmarks.  By 1953, 40,000 people were annually enjoying the sites and history of the trail.

 The Massachusetts State House is the state capitol and house of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The building is situated on 6.7 acres and was built on land once owned by John Hancock.

For lunch, we stopped into the Union Oyster House, established in 1826 and is America's oldest restaurant. 

Open to diners as a restaurant since 1826, the building dates back to 1704.  The Union Oyster House has had its shares of famous people in history as diners, including J. F. Kennedy and Daniel Webster.  Webster was known for regularly consuming at least 6 plates of oysters.  I had a wonderful cold seafood plate with 2 oysters on the half shell, two cold shrimp and two cherrystone clams.

 Boston Common is a central park in Boston dating from 1634 and is the oldest park in the U.S.  The Common's purpose has changed over the years.  During the 1630s it was used by many families as a cow pasture. The Common was used as a camp by the British before the Revolutionary War.  Today, there are concerts, ice skating (on frog pond) and baseball and softball games.

Along the way we ran into Ben Franklin!


In the city's north end is the Paul Revere House, built in 1680, making it the oldest house in Boston.

The Old North Church is the location from which the famous "one if by land, and two if by sea" signal is said to have been sent.

Not on the Freedom Trail (but close enough to explore) was the Cheers Beacon Hill (formerly the Bull & Finch Pub).  Founded in 1969, the bar is known internationally as the exterior of the bar seen in the NBC sitcom, Cheers which ran from 1982-1993.

 Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name....and there always glad you came!

A bucket list for both Brian and I was a chance to see a Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Saturday night.  Fenway opened in 1912 and is the oldest ballpark in MLB.

Because of its age and constrained location in Boston's dense Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, the park has been renovated or expanded many times, resulting in quirky features including "the Triangle", "Pesky's Pole", and most notably the "Green Monster" in left field.

It's the 4th smallest among MLB ballparks by seating capacity, second smallest by total capacity and one of 7 parks that cannot accommodate at least 40,000 spectators (today it seats 37,071 for day games and 37,499 for night games).

We kept out eye on Stubhub and I bought tickets a few weeks ago.  They were expensive ($110 each), but we both knew it was a once in a lifetime experience.

 Teammates lockers - Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams

The tickets gave us access to the Royal Rooters Club, a restaurants and Red Box museum at the Lansdowne Street entrance to Fenway Park.  The original Royal Rooters were a fan club for the Boston Americans (who changed their name to the Boston Red Sox in 1908).  They were led by Micheal T. McGreevy, who owned a Boston Saloon called "3rd Base".  For a time, Boston Mayor, John F Fitzgerald (the maternal grandfather of John F. Kennedy) served as chairman.  

Unfortunately, Brian left for Seattle at the crack of dawn on Sunday and my conference was in full swing by lunchtime. 

As far as conferences go, the Boston Renaissance Waterfront (Marriott) Hotel was beautiful!  The area of Seaport is fast growing and has at least a dozen restaurants all within walking distance.

I had a chance to get outside in the evenings and had a wonderful dinner on Monday night and a goodbye lunch on Tuesday before flying home.  I even took a lobster roll on the plane home with me!