Have you ever felt emotionally drawn to a city? It called to you, felt like home the second you stepped off the plane, and you knew your way around even though you’d never been there before. That’s my Boston.
I let my eyes browse across the beautiful wedding invitation I had received in the mail from one of my close college friends. The envelope contained a thick, cream invitation tied with a burlap bow and a small postmarked RSVP card. I saw the location was going to be in Boston and I let out a high-pitched squeal of joy. Cain and I didn’t give it a second thought, we were Boston-bound and had to act fast on our accommodations. Thank goodness for our travel reward miles and points. The wedding was planned for the beginning of fall, and the forecast called for a cool breeze, with a hint of back to school bustle and an abundance of changing leaves crunching under our every step.
I’ve always had a tinge of regret that I never applied to Harvard, or any Ivy League school, during high school. This was finally my chance to visit Harvard’s campus, explore Boston and most importantly, see one of my girls get married.
Our first night in Boston was perfect especially for two introverts. We stayed at the Boston Park Plaza, located close to Boston’s Back Bay. We were right across from the famous Boston Common Park (known as Boston Commons) and it was a hop and skip to our Airbnb the next day.
Our flight from New Orleans arrived fairly late in the evening, so instead of finding a restaurant, we went down to the hotel lobby and noticed they had a magnificent bar and seating area. We made quick friends with our bartender, as if we’d known her for years, and shared appetizers and small plates until we lost track of time. The hotel had a large selection of draft and local beer, and I was quite content with my never-ending supply of bubbly.
We were surprised with a room upgrade, and to make our stay even better, the hotel was dog friendly! A Frenchie took the elevator up to our floor with us, and that, my friends, is how you go to bed with a smile on your face.
The whole next day was ours to explore, so we began the day with a hot cup of coffee and a walk around Boston Commons. We ventured downtown a bit for some pizza and then made our way to the harbor. At one point, we looked over Boston Harbor and felt the slight breeze of September consume us. If you let yourself think about it, it’s like holy hell, so much of our nation’s history is right where I’m standing or looking. It’s an exciting, yet overwhelming, experience.
After our walk along the harbor, we requested an Uber to take us to our Airbnb in Cambridge. There’s way more to do in Boston, but we had limited time. Our next stop of the day was Harvard, which is technically in Cambridge, not Boston. They are not one in the same.
Even though my first choice of fairy tales is to live in England, second would be Boston (or very close to it). If you think about it, how ironic, right? Anyway, Cambridge was a short trip over the Charles River, and I absolutely loved the quaint college atmosphere!
All we had planned was to get Starbucks, visit Harvard’s campus on our own terms (no tours, even though those are available) and go with the flow until it was time for the wedding. We walked everywhere. I don’t think we missed a gate, tree, or building. We walked through bookstores, rested in Harvard Yard, and even bought tickets to the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
The museum was out.of.this.world!
I’ve been to the Natural History Museum in London, and Harvard’s museum is absolutely on par. The exhibits are remarkable, and they take you through the earth’s history with wonder and awe. My favorite part was the dinosaur exhibit. I’m an enormous Jurassic Park fan and my childhood was scattered in fossils right before my eyes.
The wedding wasn’t until later in the evening, so we stopped at a little restaurant called Grafton Street and enjoyed some cocktails and authentic New England Clam Chowder. The patio overlooked the campus and Cambridge-life passed us by as we took our time enjoying the food and scenery.
After a cocktail or two, we left the campus and had to get ready for the wedding. It was lovely. Her venue was right on the river, Boston provided a beautiful background as the sun set, and the couple looked blissfully happy.
My friend’s wedding festivities were during Labor Day Weekend, and we didn’t have to fly home quite yet. We felt the most American thing to do while still in Boston was to go to Fenway Park and watch the Boston Red Sox play some baseball. We were ridiculous and cheesy about the entire experience. This was FENWAY PARK!
Our seats were probably worse than the nosebleeds, but we were ecstatic. I bought a hat with a big red “B” on the front, Cain stocked up on our concession stand food and we each had a large beer in our cup holders. It was game time and it was incredible.
From the minute Cain and I stepped out of our Uber, I felt an overwhelming happiness in my chest. Has anyone else felt this way about a city? Boston is one of those cities that truly affected me, and I didn’t even realize it at the time.
I’m currently working on my debut novel, and when I had to choose my main character’s location, I thought of Boston. I was only there for a short time, and I didn’t even experience everything there is to see and do, but I loved it. It felt right, it felt like home, it felt like I’m meant to be there.
I can’t wait to go back…