Hang on a flippin’ minute! Just before you dive into this post, I wanted to let you know that you’re joining this tale at chapter three so you may want to back up a little. I’ve already covered the mammoth beast that is New York City in chapter one (High Line, the Rock, the US Open) and chapter two (me crying on a ferry, the Brooklyn Bridge, and some up close comedy). So go catch up there, and then I’ll meet you back here for coffee and Boston. Deal?
As our train trundled into Boston Station, I felt a wave of familiarity wash over me when greeted with the sight of a grey, cloudy sky and rain spattering against the windows. After almost a week of unbearable heat in New York, the drizzle of Boston felt like a huge hug from home and I was positively joyous at having a breeze blowing through my hair. This was just the first of many signs that New England was right up my street.
After settling into our beautiful apartment, we headed out in the rain to walk the grounds of Harvard University which was just immaculate. Watching students eagerly taking in lectures, running across campus trying to protect a piles of books and papers from the weather, and collecting in groups at bars and coffees shops made me wish I was a student again. Our meander across campus eventually took us to the busiest Starbucks I’ve ever seen, where we pilfered the free wifi and made the extremely wise decision to spend our evening at East Side Grille. Oh the atmosphere of this place! Like every bar you’ve ever seen in an American sitcom, it was a hive of loud and friendly bar staff, huge plates of food and, since we were there on the first night of the new NFL season, lots of cheering and shouting to boot.
Day two found us standing nervously in the sunshine under a statue of a famous boxer. We’d booked ourselves a tour and were awaiting our tour guide, or in fact any other human being, to claim us. Ten minutes passed and still there was no sign of any life form that wanted to join us on this tour and we were starting to become convinced that we’d been swindled or that we were involved in some kind of candid camera type situation. Finally salvation arrived in the form of a bearded guy in cargo shorts named Jimmy and we quickly realised that it was going to be a very personal tour of Boston. Yep, just me, Greg and Jimmy. The three Boston amigos.
BUT. We had the best time because, what you need to know about this tour is that, not only was it a historically interesting, hilarious, and informative tour, it was also a PIZZA TOUR. Yeah, you heard me right. PIZZA TOUR. Like, the focus of the tour was viewing the sights and sounds of Boston in between stopping at some of the most famous pizza joints in the city.
HOW COULD THAT BE ANYTHING LESS THAN AWESOME?!
Having gorged ourselves on some of the best pizza I’ve ever tasted in my life, we wandered along the main street of Back Bay (to replace the beautiful purple Ray-Bans that I decided to casually leave in New York a few days earlier – I nearly cried) and visited the prestigious Beacon Hill neighbourhood which was way too classy for our shorts and t-shirts affair.
As if a day featuring a pizza tour wasn’t enough, our third day in beautiful Boston was perhaps even more wonderful than the one before. We began a stunningly sunshiney day with a tour of Fenway Park which, honestly, I thought was going to bore me to death as I know nothing about baseball. However, our tour guide was such a charismatic and passionate baseball fan, he managed to get us all involved in the fascinating history of the Red Sox. Suitably full of facts and trivia, we strolled along the gorgeously scenic Charles River and headed to meet my second international blogger of the trip.
Caitlin and I met through blogging and we have so much in common that our first ever Skype conversation was nearly three hours long. Honestly, she is testament to the fact that online friendships can be just as genuine and awesome as those in real life. So you can imagine how overjoyed I was to discover that, coincidentally, she’d be on vacation in Boston at the same time as us. We met for burgers and drinks and just had the most wonderful time that we didn’t really want to let each other go. I had the pleasure of meeting her sister and her mum and she got to meet Greg (who actually loved both of my blog friends which was just so cool) and lots of laughter and joy was had.
As we neared the end of our brilliant trip to Boston, we headed back to our apartment to figure out what to do with our last night. When we arrived ‘home’, we were greeted by Chris and Sarah making themselves some tea (don’t worry, it was their apartment and we were on an Air B&B with them, they aren’t just random strangers who’d broken in to use our kitchen) and they asked if we’d like to join them. We talked about our respective countries, asked questions, and generally got to know each other over food and cocktails which was such a homely and immersive way to spend our last evening. (We also talked about Donald Trump – this is over a year ago by the way – and how he’d never get into the White House but there ya fucking go.)
We crammed a huge amount into our few days in Boston but it somehow still managed to feel leisurely as the pace of life there is completely different to the frantic nature of New York. I fell in love with New England almost immediately and I know that it’s a place I’ll certainly revisit in the future. Boston was a gorgeous break from crazy city life and I think it was probably my favourite part of our entire USA trip. Which, given how much we saw and did during those two weeks, is pretty huge!
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