Easter Weekend in Boston: Part 1

I still intend on blogging more about my March Break in NYC soon. It is, after all, one of my favourite places to visit. However, seeing as how I just spent my Easter long weekend (a four day weekend for us teachers!) in Boston, I’ve decided to blog about that first (while it’s still fresh in my mind). This is the third time in my life that I’ve visited the lovely city of Boston. The first time was as a kid during one of numerous family summer vacations and the second time was with my then boyfriend, now husband, a of couple years ago. Virtually every time we visit a new place together, he and I both leave wanting more. We always say to each other that we have to go back one day. The problem is that there are so many other places we want to see! Unless it’s relatively close by, it’s difficult to justify a second visit to ourselves when we have yet to see so many other cities. Luckily, Boston isn’t too far away! The flight is just under two hours long and we enjoy the convenience and comfort of flying Porter. Also, it worked out nicely that my husband had to be in Boston for work the Tuesday and Wednesday after Easter Monday anyway. We figured we would make a long weekend of it and spend some time exploring Boston further together.

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View from the plane as we approached Boston

The last time we were in Boston, we explored as we typically do. We walked and walked and walked some more! We also coincidentally ended up staying in the same hotel as last time, the Omni Parker House. My husband and I are fans of bidding for hotels on Priceline. We actually like the element of surprise that comes with bidding somewhat blindly on a hotel knowing only the zone in which it is located, the star level, and the price. It has given us the opportunity to stay in hotels we had either never heard of and therefore would not have know how great they are. Our favourite hotels aren’t necessarily the ones with the largest rooms. In fact, our favourites consist of the hotels we think of as “funky.” These are the ones that have unique, contemporary and artsy decor – the ones that just make me feel so good when I look around the room. Sometimes they have features that make me laugh. Of course, comfy beds always help too!

The Omni Parker House is a nice enough hotel. It has been around since 1855 and is a historic hotel, complete with old world decor. The lobby is decorated with wood panelled walls, lush antique-looking furniture, chandeliers, and elaborate ceilings. It’s not my preferred aesthetic but nice enough. We were in a standard room (both times) and these are quite small with only a double bed. That’s really the largest sized bed that would fit in these rooms. The hotel is in a great location in downtown Boston within walking distance of many sites located along the Freedom Trail, including Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, and Boston Common. It is also very close to a subway station and the Theatre District.

A free map of the area we picked up along the way: The red line represents the Freedom Trail.

A free map of the area we picked up along the way: The red line represents the Freedom Trail.

On our first visit to Boston, my husband and I wandered around many parts of the city and even managed to walk from the downtown area all the way to the Harvard campus, stopping by MIT along the way. This time, we were only around from Saturday to Monday so we had a bit less time. We spent some time window shopping along Newbury Street (site of many upscale designer shops) and Boylston Street in the Back Bay neighbourhood. We also wandered along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall which is lined with pretty Victorian brownstones, and past the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.

Victorian brownstones line Commonwealth Avenue.

Victorian brownstones line Commonwealth Avenue.

The central branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square

The central branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square

We walked through the touristy Faneuil Hall Marketplace and had lunch from the Boston Chowda Co (which was okay although I thought the chowder should have been creamier and thicker) at a packed Quincy Market (part of the marketplace).

Quincy Market

Quincy Market

From left to right: Lobster mac and cheese; Lobster roll; Chowda

From left to right: Lobster mac and cheese; Lobster roll; Chowda

We admired the many beautiful churches that could be found at what seemed like almost every block. There was quite a line-up of people in their Sunday best waiting to attend the 11 am Easter service at Trinity Church in Copley Square.

Churches in Boston

Churches in Boston

We cut through the lovely Boston Common and the Public Garden (which I’m sure is much nicer once the flowers start blooming) a number of times.

From left to right: Public Garden gate; Boston Common

From left to right: Public Garden gate; Boston Common

I’ll end Part 1 here! My next post (Part 2) will include some details and pictures of the sites we saw as we followed the Freedom Trail. Also, stay tuned for a post about the amazing Island Creek Oyster Bar. I can’t rave about that restaurant enough!

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