New England Road Trip 2016: Day 3 (Part 1) – Welcome Back to Boston

(Date: April 23, 2016)

I woke up that Saturday morning with a smile on my face as I was going to be visiting the great city of Boston, Massachusetts that day! Boston is a beautiful city with a lot of great history. I had been to the city a few times before this trip with my friends while attending PAX East in the previous years. I had a light breakfast in the breakfast area of the hotel as I was going to be eating a second breakfast once I got into the city. As soon as I was ready, I got into the car to go to Boston. However, it is not a good idea at all to drive around in downtown Boston due to many winding roads and heavy traffic. The best method to get into the city is to take the train into the city. I parked my car at the Alewife parking garage (located in northern Cambridge, MA) for the Red Line (one of the several MBTA subway lines).

Once I got into the station, I paid about $20 to obtain and add value to a Charlie Ticket for the day to be able to ride either a bus or the subway. I learned at the station that the train from Alewife to Harvard was not in service for the weekend, and we had to take a shuttle to Harvard. Although that was somewhat unfortunate, the shuttle was free of charge. On a positive note, it enabled me to see a little bit of the Cambridge area as well as the area around Harvard. It was quite beautiful; I will need to visit the area on future visits to the Boston area. Once the shuttle arrived at the station at Harvard, I boarded the Red Line subway to Downtown Crossing.

After I got out of the train station, I stepped into the great city of Boston. I had that tingling feeling inside as it felt great to be back! My first destination was to enjoy some delicious smoothies which I had a couple years back when I stayed in downtown Boston for PAX East in 2014. I walked over to Franklin Street to the Equinox gym is located as the Squeeze Cafe & Juice Bar was located inside. The building is across the street from the luxurious Langham Hotel. When I got to the counter, I had to order the Elvis smoothie as it was my favorite from two years ago. Full of peanut butter, banana, cacao nibs, chocolate syrup, and almond milk, it was quite delicious and full of sugar. Thankfully I was going to be doing a lot of walking that day, so I could easily walk off the excess calories!

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After enjoying the sugary goodness, I walked over to Boston Common, the largest park in Boston and the oldest public park in the United States. The park is quite huge (not nearly as large as New York’s Central Park) with a pond, a play area for the kids, and even sights of the Massachusetts State House (1798). Also, Boston Common is the southern end of the Freedom Trail, a historic walk of great historical sights leading all the way to the Bunker Hill Monument. I decided to spend the morning walking (and filming a “Let’s Visit” video) along the Freedom Trail at least to where it crosses over the Charles River. Another reason why I wanted to walk some of the Freedom Trail was because I failed to find the Paul Revere House on my very first visit to Boston in 2012.

Starting off on the trail, I passed by the Park Street Church, and I then entered the Granary Burial Ground home to very old graves. The parents of Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere himself are buried in there. It was quite exciting to be in the same cemetery where Paul Revere was buried!

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As you walk along the Freedom Trail, you will see a line of darker-colored bricks which indicate the path of the trail. Following the bricks will take you by some more historic buildings such as the King’s Chapel (1688) and the burial ground next to it (it is a quick spur off the main trail), the Old South Meeting House, and Chipotle. Okay, Chipotle is not historic, but the Chipotle along the Freedom Trail is housed inside the Old Corner Bookstore (1718) which had the works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Harriet Beecher Stowe published in the same building.

I continued along the trail, and I made it to the original state house of Massachusetts (1713) where the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians. It is also near the area where the Boston Massacre occurred back in 1770. As I was walking around the Old State House, it started to drizzle a little. I decided to keep going however. I then passed by both Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a place I visit on every trip to Boston. I was going to visit Quincy Market for lunch, but I did not want to eat just yet. However, as I walked away from Quincy Market, the rain started to come down harder. As I did not have an umbrella with me, I took shelter under a covered area at a hotel nearby. I decided that fate was telling me to head to Quincy Market to take shelter.

Once I got inside, I was excited to eat the New England clam chowder at Boston Chowda. I ordered a cup of the clam chowder and a bottle of Poland Spring Water, the best bottled water ever. The main reason why I say this is because this was a running gag between my friends and I during PAX East in 2013, so it brought back great memories of that trip. Nevertheless, the water does taste good. Of course, the clam chowder was delicious!

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With my bottle of Poland Spring Water, I left Quincy Market to head over to the North End, home to many delicious Italian restaurants. North End is also the location of the Paul Revere House, the oldest remaining structure in Boston. I was glad I finally able to find it! On my way to the Paul Revere House, I was given a beautiful view of the city skyline!

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I continued down the Freedom Trail walking by the Old North Church (1723) and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. I had then made it to the Charles River to where I could see Bunker Hill Monument in the distance. As I was running low on time because I was going to be attending PAX East, an annual video game convention held in Boston, I had to turn around to head back to the southern part of the city. Before I headed over to the convention, I had to make a quick stop over at Mike’s Pastry in the North End. I remember eating one of the cannolis back in 2013 with my friends, and I enjoyed eating them while looking out at the harbor near the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park back then. When I walked into Mike’s Pastry, I was able to order the Florentine cannoli, and it was just as delicious as it was three years prior!

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As it was still sprinkling outside, I ate it inside of the building. However, after I ate it, I decided to walk over to the park to reminisce the great times I had with my friends in Boston during the PAX East 2013 trip. It was definitely great to be back in Boston!

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In my next blog post, I will talk about the rest of my great day in Boston as I attend PAX East and enjoy the clam chowder at Quincy Market once again! Thank you for reading, and this is Scott signing out!

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