Last week I had the pleasure of going to Boston, paid for almost entirely by my company. I went for an Android developers conference and even if that was the only thing that I got to do while I was there, I still would have been excited about that. The conference itself was a lot of fun. But even better than that was the fact that I was able to tack two extra days onto the front of the trip and explore a city I’ve never been to before. On the way home I also got to have a day layover in Baltimore and got to hang out with an old friend from college. I consider myself lucky to have had the whole experience even if it did fall at a rather busy time in my life.
Now, there are quite a few things that I always look for when I pick a new city to explore. I greatly enjoy cities where I can get around entirely by walking and using mass transit. For one, it’s cheaper and easier than dealing with a rental car. Plus I just find it fun to figure out transit maps. Boston gets an A+ for awesome mass transit. $18 for a 7 day pass that got me everywhere easily? Yes please!
I enjoy cities that have historic value and as such have enjoyed cities like Washington DC and Philly so Boston was no exception. The Freedom Trail was a great way to start off my Boston experience. I highly recommend taking the leisurely way of doing the trail. There were quite a few times where I’d look down and go “Shoot, where’d the line go?” because I’d spotted something off the path and left it to peruse.
I also enjoy cities that have universities that I can check out. I’m not really sure why but I really enjoy seeing what other college campuses are like. So getting to visit both Harvard and MIT was a double treat for me. I have no plans to get a master’s degree but I think I’ll put MIT on my short list for if I ever do. ;)
One thing I would recommend when visiting someplace like Harvard in May is checking what day graduation is. As much fun as it is to see everyone in caps and gowns with happy parents it’s definitely a bit congested. But oh well, the red brick buildings were still fantastic.
And the #1 thing I look for when traveling within the US? A baseball stadium of course! But I’ll write more about that in another post.
Something else that I just recently started to enjoy while traveling is beer. I’m still pretty picky about what beer I do like and I dislike way more beer than I like, but I’m enjoying the process of figuring it all out. While I was on TripAdvisor looking for things to do in Boston I discovered Harpoon Brewery and that they had hour long tours of their brewery that concluded with 20 minutes of being allowed to taste all of their beers. For someone who’s still learning what kind of beer she likes it was an awesome idea! I didn’t get to try all of them but I tried quite a few and was surprised by what I did and didn’t like. Of course, a cider ended up being my favorite of all.
The best part of this story? It turns out the brewery was less than half a mile from where my conference hotel was. I walked over and got a pretzel (which was incredible) and a pint of Harpoon Honey Cider after the end of one of my work days. Seriously amazing on so many levels. If you enjoy trying beer I recommend giving Harpoon a visit if you’re ever in Boston. And make sure to get a cinnamon sugar pretzel (which comes with maple cream cheese dipping sauce and a peanut butter flavored dipping sauce…once again…so incredible). Or you could get a regular pretzel and choose from numerous dipping sauces. But nonetheless, you should go.
I lucked out by having two sunny days in which to explore the city of Boston. Other than it being a tad bit windy the second day, the weather seriously couldn’t have been more perfect. I was told that it had rained a lot right before I’d arrived so I avoided all of that by about 12 hours. Later in the week the temps and the humidity increased and I confirmed that I do indeed hate humidity, although my hair does look better on the east coast than it does in Phoenix. =)
To sum up my trip to Boston…I loved Boston. If I wanted to move to the east coast I think I’d want to live in Boston more so than any of the other cities I’ve visited thus far on that end of the country. So who knows, maybe if I ever make the move from Arizona I’ll end up picking Boston over Seattle. But for now, I’ll enjoy living the amazing life I have here in Phoenix and spend my limited free time exploring cities as I’m able! God is good!
If you’ve never heard vegetables sing about going to Boston in the Fall, please see this.