Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wanna go on vacation to Boston and New England?



That's what I am up to this week!

My husband and I are notoriously poor vacation planners (I like to call us "spontaneous"...that's my story and I'm sticking to it...) but having been to Boston before, we knew the traffic was uber stressful and would be a nightmare.  In all the times I had visited Boston before (15+ times), there has always been a LOUD argument brought on by the road conditions - between construction, tourists, one way streets and jammed roads, it's a headache every time.  Mind you, these arguments often arose between people who knew the city so I couldn't even imagine my husband and I navigating it with our very sketchy knowledge.  So, we decided to do something different in hopes of avoiding world war three.

After brief, hurried and yet careful decision making process the day before we left (ha ha!), we chose the Boston Upper Deck Trolley Tours company - thanks primarily to reviews on tripadvisor.com.!  We had never been on a tour of this kind before but thought it would be fun to try it.  It turned out to be fantastic!

Here's why:

1) Great seats- high up enough to see everything, since for the Boston portion, it's got the upper deck.
2) For the ticket price of $108 for four people, we got two days of trolley riding, with sightseeing/historical commentary and advice for all the stops. There were 21 stops on the Boston loop and just one on the Cambridge loop, at Harvard Square.
3) Also included was an hour long boat ride either along the Charles River or in the Boston Harbor.  We chose the Charles River.
4) We could get on and off as much as we wanted over the two days.
5) Parking was only $4 a day at the Cambridgeside Galleria, with the tickets we got.

The only downside was the sketchiness to the actual schedule (i.e. no times are printed).  Timing is not in any of the brochures BUT there are manned booths and they are pretty good at telling you the accurate schedules. The only reason I can think of for this lack of printed times is the absolute insanity of Boston traffic and the inability to predict exact times.  Trolleys keepscoming by and we never waited more than 10 minutes so it wasn't a problem.

Enough with the commercial (unpaid and unknown by the company, FYI...)!  Onward to the photos:

MIT Co-Op Store:


Cheers (sign and arrow) - that's pretty much where the resemblance to the show begins and ends.


Oldest Fire Station in the Country (built around 1782ish):  Building had to be dug down into to fit today's sized trucks.  Note how the trucks slope backwards into their slots.


John Hancock Tower (Boston's tallest skyscraper designed by I.M. Pei): reflects everything around it, most importantly Trinity Church.  Isn't that cool?


Front of Trinity Church:


Fenway Park (not the best photo, but you get the idea...):


Diner featured in Spiderman - open 24/7, 365 days a year.


My husband and I at Quincy Market:


U.S.S. Constitution, oldest commissioned battleship. Closed for touring on Mondays :-(

Entrance to Harvard Yard off Harvard Square.  Yellow Building is where Washington ran much of the Revolutionary War efforts.


Harvard Yard:

Skyline of Boston:


More to come later.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

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56 comments:

  1. What a fun time you must be having, loving all the awesome pictures..

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  2. Looks like you are having a fun time! I love to visit Boston! I haven't been in a while, I love the history there! The bus tour was a great idea!
    CindyB

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  3. Awesome photos and history lessons.
    Thanks for sharing these with us. Have a wonderful and safe vacation!! :)

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  4. Happy to see you are having a great time on vacation...Boston is a fun city...love seeing the pics! TFS

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  5. Great pictures Joy! Thanks for sharing with us...I've never been to Boston!

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  6. I just moved to Louisiana from Mass, about 20 minuets from Boston. These pictures are like going home, I love them!

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  7. What a great place! I have never been there... you are making me want to go!! Looks like you are having tons of fun!!!!

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  8. It sounds like you are having a great time. I love the tour buses for transporation. We did that the last time we went to Salem, and the tos are far enough away from each other it was pretty speedy.

    The aquarium is one of my favorite p places, and the museum of fine arts. Have you walked the walking tour? We only made it halfway lol.

    Great pictures! Sounds like a great vacation :D.

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  9. Joy...Thank you for sharing your vacation with us..the pics are gorgeous and so informative...enjoyed them very much.........

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  10. Great photos!! Glad you're having fun and not fighting

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  11. Great pictures. Can't wait to see more of Boston. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Looks like fun - what a beautiful city! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

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  13. I am sorry you have such BAD memories, the 15+ times you have been to Boston! Boston is wonderful city with sooo much history!! Looks like you enjoyed yourself!!

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  14. looks like you are having so much fun, lots of pictures to scrap when you get back.

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  15. Thank You for sharing your vaction photos I have always wanted to go to Boston I had a friend who I used to work with who was from there and he would talk about the beautiful and historic sites.

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  16. I love the hop-on / hop-off bus in the cities. It's so easy and you actually see a lot.

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  17. Nice photos! It was nice to see a photo of you and your husband!

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  18. Great pictures. So much history in Boston.

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  19. Great pictures! I am a New England gal and love hearing that you are having a great time in Boston. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. Well, this would be a silly vacation for me, as we live here, but I am SO glad you enjoyed your visit! I love Boston! It is such a wonderful city! Although, I try to take the T as much as possible, as I don't like driving in it, either!

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  21. WOW! Looks like ya'll are having lots of fun! TFS and have a great time!

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  22. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! That is a great idea for sightseeing. I might be visiting Boston soon. My daughter wants to go to Harvard

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  23. Glad you are enjoying your time! When you are parking at the Galleria, I am literally a mile away at work! And I have no idea what you mean about our traffic! *snicker* Have lots of more fun and keep posting those gorgeous pics!

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  24. Beautiful pictures Joy! Boston is
    a great city to visit. Those trolley/buses are definitly the way to go. The traffic is a nightmare no matter what!

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  25. Glad you enjoyed our great city!! That is great to know about the trolley. Bostonians can be a little rough around the edges when driving! LOL (Hey, ya stupid moron, don't pahk theah!!) I don't drive there. Loved your photos!

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  26. Great pictures. I have been to boston a couple of times and really enjoyed it.

    Glad you are having fun.

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  27. looks like you are having a great vacation. Keep having fun!

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  28. Thanks for sharing. Boston is an awesome city.
    Susan

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  29. Glad you're having fun in Boston...I'm only 20 minutes south...come by and we'll go to the beach!! About the traffic...ugh...ALL of our family lives north of Boston...what a pain in the behind!!! The bus is a GREAT idea! Have you been to the public garden? Shopped on Newbury St.? Eaten on Newbury St.?? Ahhhh...enjoy!

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  30. Cool! Have a great rest of your trip!

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  31. How cool. You are so lucky. My hubby and I never vacation. Have always worked to many hours and work never allowed enough time. Now that I have retired, I have other commitments that don't allow us to do anything that takes longer then a three day weekend. Living on the west coast means I have seen very little of the eastern seaboard. My son was married in New York six years ago, and we did get to take some time in conjuntion with the wedding to do some site seeing while we were there. It just left me wanting to do more. Maybe some day soon. Boston this time of the year is definitely on the top of my list.
    Enjoy!! Thanks for the oh so cool pics.
    Marcie

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  32. Thanks for sharing such great information and photos of your trip. I'll be there for the first time for labor day weekend to visit my boyfriend, he started his MBA at Harvard. I can't wait to do all the sight seeing!

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  33. Lucky Ducky! It's one of our dream vacations! Husband grew up there, I want to go and see the history! He claims it will come to life and the bus tour, a great thing to do! He admits Limo transportation (TownCars really) or bus, trolley, tours are what to do, even though he grew up there, so much has changed and traffic is always bad!
    Have a marvelous vacation - you showed wonderful photos! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Blessings, Donna

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  34. Sounds and looks absolutely fabulous!! Here you on the decision making process LOL but looks like y'all did a fab job with the tour bus. TFS

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  35. How cool, looks like you guys are having a great time:) thanks for sharing ur vacation pics with us.
    Monica L.
    monita23 at ca dot rr dot com

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  36. Thanks for sharing your vacay with us. We haven't been anywhere in so long. I love the pic of the high rise building reflecting the Trinity Church! And the skyline pic. Hope you get refreshed on your trip.

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  37. Welcome back to the East coast. Boston is a wonderful city. I was just there from Thursday thru Monday attending a literary retreat. Have a wonderful time.

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  38. Great Pics. Looks like fun!

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  39. Looks like fun! I'd love to visit the east coast someday!

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  40. Oh Joy that was so awesome!! I have always wanted to go to Boston and now I feel I got a little glimpse! I really enjoyed that and can't wait to see more pictures!!

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  41. I just went to Boston in May and then on to Martha's Vineyard where my brother owns/runs a B&B. Thanks for the pictures. The Duck Tour wasn't as good as the trolley!

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  42. These pictures are great! Looks like you are having fun....We want to go to Maratha's Vineyard one day!

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  43. Great pics, makes me want to go.

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  44. we love Boston. We just park and walk and walk and go here and there. Beautiful. No complains here.

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  45. Never have been to Boston but an eager now that I see your pics! What a great opportunity for more stuff to scrapbook!

    Angie
    overtherainbeaux@yahoo.com

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  46. Never have been to Boston but an eager now that I see your pics! What a great opportunity for more stuff to scrapbook!

    Angie
    overtherainbeaux@yahoo.com

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  47. Great photos!!! Love the reflection of the church :)

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  48. I've been to many of those places. Boston was a really neat place.

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  49. Never been there. Thanks for the photos. Looks like you're having fun. Have a safe trip.

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  50. Joy, looks like you had a wonderful vacation. Thanks for sharing your pics--they will be so much fun to scrap.

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  51. I've been to quite a few of the same places, Love Boston. If you haven't already you have to walk the Freedom Trail, it was an amazing experience to get to the top. Have lots fun...

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  52. Thank you for all the picures, they are super cool! Can't wait for more.

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  53. I used to live in Boston and I never drove, always took the T. I was amazed at how much nicer it was than the NYC subways! Wish I had bothered to check out all the history while I was there. I was too young to care back then! Looks like you're enjoying it, have a great time!

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