I reached Boston Thursday night and met up with a great friend of mind from my time living in Madison, WI. He graciously offered to let me stay at his apartment with his two other roommates up in Cambridge, MA, not too far outside of Boston and the home of Harvard University. I've been to Boston once before, but only for a short period of time. I certainly didn't have any time to do much of the tourist stuff while here, so I was looking forward to having that opportunity over the coming few days.
Friday I spent the day doing all of the "touristy stuff" in downtown Boston. In all actuality, I'm not one for cities (shocking, I know), and I can typically do a city in a day or two if I really set my mind to it. Boston is small enough that I easily did everything I needed to do in a day. What's great about Boston is that they have the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile walk that covers all of the major landmarks and historical destinations within the city. Boston, one of the oldest cities in the U.S. is full of history, from the Paul Revere statue and Old North Church to the State House to Bunker Hill. Numerous historical moments in American history occurred here and it is really interesting to see all of these destinations in person. Even still, Boston's a city that you could knock out most historical landmarks in a day (two at most if you take your time).
I walked the Freedom Trail starting at the Old State House and made my way through a number of important districts of the city. The trail takes you past Boston Common, the first public school in America, the Old South Meeting House, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Paul Revere House, the Old North Church (1 if by land, 2 if by sea), Bunker Hill, and many other important sites in the city. What's great about it is that along the way there are several places to stop, grab a beer, relax, or go inside the historical building for a deeper look at Boston's past. What else is great about it? If you're visiting friends who are from here, it's an easy trail to do by yourself and get a quick history of the city which your friends may or may not have already done or seen.
It'd been a while since I'd really read anything of substance surround Boston's history so knocking out the Freedom Trail on the first day was a great decision. Boston was a key factor in the start of the American Revolution and is the birthplace of several signers of the Declaration of Independence (including John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Benjamin Franklin). Walking through Boston is sort of a strange feeling as your really taken aback at the incredibly important American history it beholds. There is so much historical significance to the city so Friday was a really fun day since I was able to remember a bit of that history I'd once learned long ago in grade school.
On Saturday my friend and I decided to make a day out of going to the Harpoon Fest beer festival. I'd never had Harpoon's beer, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's a beer drinker. We spent a few hours there, played some carnival-esque games they had, and drank. By the end, we were both pretty spent so we decided on a movie followed by a night in with pizza and more beer. Not a terrible day in hindsight.
On Sunday we met up with another good friend of mine from Boston who spent the day taking us around the Mt. Auburn Cemetery and Arboretum which was quite possibly one of the most beautiful cemeteries I'd been to. With perfectly manicured lawns and gardens, it was an easy place to spend a warm spring day at. Some appetizers at an oyster bar, tennis, and an episode of Game of Thrones later, I was ready to call it another day.
Today I spent the day inside a Harvard Starbucks just catching up on some life stuff. It's easy when traveling out of a suitcase to forget about some of the day-to-day stuff that doesn't really disappear even when you're unemployed and road tripping across the U.S. despite how much you wish it did. Tomorrow I'm heading down to NYC for a couple of days with family followed by a few more days in the city for the long weekend ahead.