Monday, July 9, 2012
After a week in Cape Cod we headed to Boston for two days. The last time we had visited Boston was about 3 weeks before M was born - I was walking around all big and puffy, but man, a visit in the city was so much easier then.
I find travelling to cities harder with kids than staying at the beach or at a cottage. The crowds, the transportation and the confined space of a hotel room make things just a bit trickier. However, this time was definitely the easiest city visit we have done to date with kids.
We stayed at the Ames Hotel, which is right smack in the middle of Boston - turn the corner and you're at Quincy Market. The Hotel was amazing - the design is incredible. An old historic building with a complete modern design inside. The rooms are on the smallish side, but the beds are super comfortable, the bar was the most stocked I had ever seen with full 365ml bottles of all the large liquor brands (not that we'd spend that money on mini bar alcohol), the accent wall was black and the ceilings were about 15 feet tall. The bath was so deep that the kids heads went to the edge of the tub when they were sitting. Breakfast is included and is wonderful, a great selection and good quality. The staff was super friendly and the location can't be beat - except for the expensive downtown parking. The kids loved the hotel and after a hot day walking around the city we all fell asleep quite easily.
First day we walked around Quincy market and then beat the heat by jumping on a trolley tour around the city. The breeze was welcomed and we got to see a lot of the sites without having to drag the kids by foot (oh my, our kids really don't walk when in the city - they'll run all day at the water-park or the woods, but get them to the city and they just won't walk! An umbrella stroller would have been a good $20.- spent) We ate fresh fish at Legal Seafood, which find is a bit pricey for what it is, but my crab cakes and scallops were really good and the kids ate well and we were seated right next to a huge aquarium. We then walked around the harbour and headed back to the hotel, hours past their bed time.
The next day was another scorcher in Boston, so we walked to the Boston Commons Frog Pond, which has a wonderful play area and the amazing spray pool. We then jumped on the carousel, walked past many historic sites, such as the Massachusetts State House and walked across to the other side of the park where the gardens are and the swan boats. A great ride on the subway (my kids love the subway) was a highlight.
The afternoon was spent at the New England Aquarium. This aquarium is just by the harbour and was about a 15 minute walk from our hotel. I really liked that we didn't have to take a long trek to get there, however, I would recommend that you book your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long line-up in the sun. I'm not sure if it was just that weekend, but I had to wait a least 30 minutes to get some tickets. The kids loved the penguins, the large multi storey fish-tank and all the jelly fish. We should have spent more time there, but after all the heat the kids were getting tired so we had a rest at the hotel.
We spent the evening watching some street performance shows at the market and I managed to get 30 minutes or so at Anne Taylor. Another good night of sleep and we were packing up to go home.
This part of our vacation was not easy - but I love Boston. I love the history, the buildings, the green spaces...My learning here would be that kids ages 3 and 5 need some wheels to get around, having them not walk made everything just a tad frustrating and much harder than it had to be.
Do you rent/buy a stroller when you visit a big city or are my kids just lazy? D gave up his stroller at 18 months, he wanted nothing to do with it here in Ottawa.