First-Time Traveler: Walking America’s history in Boston


My travel buddy and I arrived in Boston at 8 a.m. today. I can’t say that we were very enthusiastic to go anywhere yet because we were so tired. 

But the moment we stepped out of Logan Airport, both of us were awakened by the frigid weather. It was about 28 degrees outside, a temperature I don’t ever recall experiencing in Los Angeles. 
Before the trip, we used Yahoo! Travel to map out the locations of the sites we wanted to see. I typed up an itinerary for hotel and transportation for each city, while my travel buddy put together a very intricate (and extremely impressive) spreadsheet that outlined each site we wanted to visit (down to the hours of operation, addresses and descriptions). Needless to say, we were very prepared.

Our first task was to check in and drop off our belongings at Radisson Hotel Boston — free lodging courtesy of credit card points I’ve accumulated in the last six years. Then, we set off to find food.
Using Urbanspoon and Yelp mobile apps, we found Mike and Patty’s. It’s a small corner restaurant the size of a bedroom — maybe even smaller, my travel buddy says. It fits about eight people uncomfortably and a four-member staff less than an arms distance from each other. There may not be space in there, but the food is absolutely delicious. Patrons are willing to wedge themselves in to the tiny alley shop to order. They are even willing to wait outside in the cold until their food is ready.
Scarfing down our food, we finished just in time to arrive at Boston Commons for The Freedom Trail Tour, a 90-minute guided tour hosted by the Freedom Trail Foundation at $12 per person. The historical tour was led by a guide in character and costume from the 18th Century, who was entertainingly informative about the days leading up to the Revolutionary War. We visited historical sites like Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s grave, the location of the Boston Massacre and more. My buddy and I agreed that it was the best part of our city visit. 
We used our Boston CityPass, a booklet of admissions and coupons for the local attractions at a discounted price, to visit the Museum of Science next. There, we played around with interactive presentations to learn about nanotechnology, optical illusions, bending light and other scientific wonders.
Once we grew weary (and hungry), we went in search of food at Quincy Market, a large shopping center and home to Cheers. Everyone recommended we eat lobster while in Boston, so I was determined to try it.
Thanks to the Yelp app, we visited Boston Chowda Co. and ordered the best New England clam “chowda” and lobster roll we’ve ever tasted.
Once we ate, we took a break at the market’s food court to give our legs a rest before our next stop to Boston’s observatory at the top of Prudential Center. We were going to use our CityPass admission to visit the SkyWalk Observatory, but to our disappointment, the site was closed off for a private function when we got there.
A little discouraged and very tired, we retired for the day. Tomorrow we fly to New York, where we will spend the bulk of our trip. Good night, Boston.
(Photos: From top, Historic Old City Hall in Boston, where the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time to the masses; Croque Madame with salad at Mike and Patty’s in Boston; First-time travelers with The Freedom Trail Tour guide, center, who plays John Hancock’s friend and hatter, Nathaniel Balch)

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