As a general rule I never like to visit the same place twice. While there are still so many cities, countries and even continents I have never even touched on it seems an inefficient use of time (and more importantly money) to return to the familiar. However I knew when embarking on this road trip there would be a city that I would let that rule slide for- Boston. A firm favourite of a destination from those summers spent in MA many years ago I knew Tom would love it and going slightly against what I started this paragraph with, I can see reason in returning to places with new people to make fresh memories. Boston in winter is a different place to the scenes of summer I had previously known and it was a delight to wrap up warm and watch skaters on the frog pond rather than run around in shorts making use of the paddling pool. After our short stays in Niagara and Vermont it was lovely to settle down somewhere for a few days and see the city through a new pair of eyes.
We stayed at the Lenox Hotel which to date is still one of my favourites. After parking the car and whisking our bags away we were led to a beautiful room with fine furnishings and even finer micro toiletries (i.e the true basis of my hotel judgements.) The Back Bay location was also idea for us and meant most places were only a short walk away. Upon returning to the hotel in the evening after bracing a day of wind chill guests were greeted with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies which made for the perfect warming snack before trading in the cocoa for cocktails in the hotel’s City Bar. The whole ambience of The Lenox was one of cosiness with just the right amount of luxury. No pretence, just great hospitality.
The days were spent walking around the city and taking in some of the highlights including Boston Common, the waterfront and the ever lively Quincy Market. Of course no trip here would be complete without a customary visit to the Cheers Bar which is yes cliched but also a good spot for people watching. And beer drinking.
Where Boston really varies from other big East Coast cities like New York is that in amongst the modern skyscrapers and glass laden financial district you’ll also find cobbled streets and the rich history (comparatively) of years gone by. Walking the Freedom Trail is a great way to spot lots of iconic monuments as is taking a trolley tour, for those who understandably see appeal is being driven around with a guide to point out all the key sites.
Taking a trip out to Cambridge to see the hallowed halls of Harvard is always recommended, especially when combined with a visit to quintessential cupcake shop Sweet to curb any sugar cravings. We also visited the Museum Of Science which wasn’t quite as good as other similar ones I’ve been to but may be of more interest to families looking to occupy children/genuine science enthusiasts. The city comes alive at night with fairy light draped trees making for picturesque walks home. We passed on ice skating at the pond but did enjoy watching everyone else embrace the season.
We had an incredible meal at Island Creek Oyster Bar which I can’t recommend visiting enough. We were completely new to oysters but enjoyed choosing which ones to sample and from what I remember the main sea food dishes were also excellent. The restaurant is particularly spacious inside (yet notoriously hard to get a reservation for) and boasts a relaxed vibe. Perfect for a chilled evening.
From Boston we drove through Connecticut to stay with some friends and explore the local areas of Weston and Westport (all very Gilmore Girls and wonderful) before heading back to New York. A relatively short road trip but an exciting one none the less with a route that took in some varied and beautiful parts of the country. Next time I go the the US I’m determined to make it California and I think hiring a car would allow us all the freedom we need to get across the country/give us some picture perfect photo opportunities with big sky aplenty. I suppose now all I need to do is undertake that small task of learning to drive that I’ve not yet got round to. Maybe this will finally be my year. After all, there’s no incentive quite like a Route 66 incentive…