10 In Massachusetts/ Travel

Wandering in Boston

Happy Independence Day, to all my American friends and readers!  Today’s post is actually a little related to the 4th of July because Boston is one of the places where our independence began!  So, here’s post one of two on Boston:

Zach and I made it to Boston from Maine in late afternoon, which meant I got to drive through Boston during rush-hour.  That stressed me out a lot, but we made it alive!


We parked our car near our Couchsurfing hosts’ house and walked to Harvard- which was close by, maybe a 15-20 minute walk.  On our way to the campus we stopped for bubble tea and a look in a used book store.  The campus was absolutely beautiful!  It was really fun to walk through such a well-known campus, and of course we had to stop by the Philosophy building!




That night our hosts invited us to a BBQ at their friend’s house.  We had a good time eating good food, drinking wine and talking.  This is one of the cool parts of Couchsurfing– you meet interesting people and do things you wouldn’t do unless you were staying with locals!

The next morning we woke up and got ready.  We were about to make our way out the door to take the subway into the city, but our host suggested that we bike into the city.  I was a bit leery of biking in a strange city, but our host strongly suggested that we bike in anyway, and I’m so glad they did!  We followed the river into town through a really beautiful park.  It took us around an hour to get into town, but it was a great start to day and a beautiful ride!


We chained our bikes up, and walked into the city.  We went into the Boston Commons to get a map and relax for about 30 minutes before we met my friend Izzy for lunch.  (I met Izzy on my trip to Italy in 2011 and I’m so glad that I got to reconnect with her in her hometown!)  When we met up with Izzy, she went into full-on tour guide mode.  It was awesome and she was incredibly sweet!


Izzy took us to the Boston Holocaust Memorial, which was really beautiful.  The glass towers represent the concentration camps and the numbers of the victims were etched into the glass.  As you walk through them steam rises up from the ground which represents the gas chambers.  It’s a really interesting and moving memorial.


Then, the three of us walked us through Faneuil Hall and Qunicy Market.  There were a lot of kids there on field trips and a lot of families on summer vacation.  We walked by the waterfront and that was pretty cool to know that we were standing where the Boston Tea Party happened.  I loved being in such a historical city.

We made our way to the North End which is like Boston’s ‘Little Italy’.  Izzy told us that people here still speak some Italian, and we passed dozens of Italian restaurants and pastry shops.  We had lunch at an Italian restaurant; we had a really great lunch with even better conversation.  After lunch stopped at the Modern Pastry.  Izzy got us an entire box of pastries to share- so good! IMG_1429
After lunch we decided to walk off our delicious lunch and Izzy took us to Chinatown.  She had to get some tea, noodles and order a roasted pig for her graduation BBQ.  We stopped and got bubble tea, and then hit the city again.  We went through the Boston Commons and the Public Gardens.  It’s really beautiful and a great escape from the city (even if we were only passing through).


I had seen on a travel forum that the Boston Public Library was really spectacular and that the artwork inside was beautiful, so Izzy took us there, but before going into the library we went to the site of the Boston Marathon Bombing.  People made a memorial from a few of the gates of the marathon and tied their running shoes to them.






Zach was talking about the two skyscrapers in Boston and Izzy told us that it was free to go to the restaurant on the top of the Prudential Building.  So we had to go up there!  We got to the building, just checked in to say we were going to the top, and when we walked up they told us we had to buy a drink or some food to walk around.  So Izzy ordered us a couple drinks, Zach and I walked around to look out, and then we joined Izzy at the bar and enjoyed our Amaretto sours.


Izzy had to head back home, so we took the Green Line (the oldest subway in America) to get Izzy back to her Subway stop and it took Zach and I close to the Freedom Trail.  It was so great to see Izzy, and she was one of the BEST tour guides I’ve ever had.  We really expected to meet up for lunch, but she took her whole afternoon to show us Boston.  We had such a great time with her, and I’m so glad that I got to spend this time with her!  Thanks, Izzy!


Once on the Freedom Trail we made our first stop on the trail at the Paul Revere church where he lit the candles to notify that the British were coming!  Again, it was so cool to see such an amazing historical site.


After seeing this we made our way to the U.S.S. Constitution, as recommended by our Couchsurfing hosts- stay posted; it’ll be here soon!

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  • Reply
    July 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    i am totally digging how thoroughly you are documenting your trip!! and for the record, i love boston! xo

    • Reply
      July 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks, Liz, and thanks for following along through the whole thing. I just feel like we saw so many cool things to skip over anything.

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    July 26, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I don’t think I ever got to read this piece of yours Paige so to be able to return to this day has been really special for me 🙂 I wish you could see how much Boston has shapeshifted. It’s the same but they completely redid BPL and its even more glorious than it was, merging the modern with the old. There’s now a Boston Public Market next to Quincy Market offering only locally sourced food. I think the memorial is gone, which is strange since they’re now making movies of the Boston Marathon. I’m so happy to hear that the tour was special to you, it’s really endearing to find someone with such a grateful heart as yours <3 Hope to see you again soon, even if its a meet-up during your world tour!

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