I love travelling, and in preparation for any trip I find that planning helps ease my anxiety. Sometimes I’ll print out maps or buy all tickets online in advance, lately I’ve been embracing technology more and more by making myself OK with the idea of e-tickets or downloading guides as PDFs on my phone. This past American Thanksgiving weekend on our way back to Toronto, Marco and I stopped in Boston for a 6 hour layover and rather than plan, plan, plan like I usually do, I left a lot of the trip to chance. This caused some stress early in the day before arriving in Boston, but as the day unfolded I started to relax and I did my best to stay present and push out the thoughts and feelings that allow anxiety to take hold. Everything turned out great and I didn’t have to worry as much as I did (which is always the case…).
We arrived in Boston at 7am and took the free Massport Shuttle Bus #66 to the Water Transportation dock from Logan Airport (about 20-35minutes). At the dock we caught a BHC (http://www.bostonharborcruises.com/) Water Taxi across the Boston Harbour to downtown. I worried about what we’d do with our luggage as there weren’t any storage options at the airport, but that worked out too. Our Water Taxi driver let us know that at the Long Wharf Marriott Hotel we could pay to leave our suitcase and duffel with their doorman and pick it up when we were ready to head back to the airport.
After dropping off our bags, we set off on foot for Boston Common where based on the little bit of research I had done is the starting place for the city’s Freedom Trail. We arrived at the park around 8:20am and decided to have breakfast at Boston Common Coffee Co. on Washington Street. We split our food so we each had a half a breakfast sandwich and an onion bagel with cream cheese and of course I paired it with a chai latte.
We quickly finished breakfast and headed back to Boston Common to check out the visitor’s centre and discovered that their 9:30am walking tour was about to begin. We quickly purchased tickets, and joined the group. It was an awesome 90 minute walking tour filled with tonnes of information that I didn’t know and to top it all off it was led by a Red Coat!
The walking tour took us on a portion of the Freedom Trail from Boston Common to: Park Church; the Granary Burying Ground; King’s Chapel and burial ground; Benjamin Franklin Statue and Boston Latin School site; Old South Meeting House; Old State House; the site of the Boston Massacre; and ended at Faneuil Hall. Marc and I are big history nerds so thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Our guide was extremely informative, but he had a great personality and cracked jokes as he provided us with information which made the tour both informative and extremely entertaining.
The tour ended at Faneuil Hall near Quincy Market, and we wanted to seize the opportunity to try clam chowder in Boston so Marco did a little research before hand to find out the best spot in the area to grab a beer and chowder. We settled on the Salty Dog, a tiny hole in the wall kind of place in Quincy Market with a great New England ambiance and friendly staff.
Afterwards we walked back to the Marriott to get our bags, and caught the Water Taxi back across the harbour to get the #66 shuttle back to Logan airport. All in all our layover in Boston was a great success! It felt like we got two trips out of one! We found that it was extremely easy to get from the airport to the city, and we also found Boston to be an extremely visitor friendly city!
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