Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | December 5, 2016

How’ve You Bean Town: A Mini Jaunt #2

After yesterday’s limited tourist-playing, I seem to have gone a little wild on the DO ALL THE THING front today. I’m tired, my feet hurt and I spent a ridiculous amount of money on magnets, but I have no regrets.  (The magnets is because I don’t know why but I threw out a bunch of magnets when I moved and now I only have two on my fridge and had to remedy that, plus small gift for friends. But still.)

I started my day to the sound of my alarm, because as I wrote yesterday, I wasn’t about to waste daylight hours today, even though this hotel has a very, very comfortable bed. As it should, because apparently I got a hell of a deal through Priceline. I paid under $630.00 for the room and my flight, and a quick look suggests this hotel charges about $300 a night. I made my way out to get to the Museum of Science right as it opened. I’m not up for navigating public transit in Boston yet, so I took taxis all day.  Likely made things more expensive than they needed to be, but I just didn’t feel like trying to figure out the metro system. And it was fast and not as pricey as the fare estimator suggested when I researched last night, so that worked out.


A mist tornado at the Museum of Science will not suck your hand in forever. In case you were wondering.

I didn’t bother with breakfast because I wasn’t hungry, and there was barely anyone in line when I got to the Museum of Science. I’d purchased a CityPass on Viator before I left, so I exchanged it for my ticket book and was on my way. The Museum of Science was pretty neat, and I think it would be a really great place to take your kids (if you have them) when you are in the area.  There is a lot of interactive thing geared toward little ones, whether it is a demonstration of how tornados work, experiments with fossils, and all sorts of activities all over. I also spent an extra $6 to get into the Butterfly Garden. As you might have seen on earlier blogs, I very much enjoy taking pictures of butterflies and watching them.  They are so pretty!  There weren’t quite as many as the garden I went to in Australia, but it was still quite lovely. There were also other creatures in the section that you wouldn’t get to see if you don’t go into that part, like a cute little snake, some different frogs, and a tonne of other bugs like giant stick insects, a tarantula (who I didn’t really look at because I am arachnophobic) and even a bunch of cockroaches.  There was all sorts of neat stuff in the Museum of Science (including a section devoted to Leonardo Da Vinci inventions my dad would love), and I definitely am glad I went.

After that, I took a cab to the Skywalk Observatory. It turns out the Prudential Center in which it is located is a mall.  This turned out to be fortuitous, not because I wanted to shop in Sak’s Fifth Avenue (though I could have!) but because it meant I was able to get a noon hour breakfast at the Cheesecake Factory.  I had an omelette with chorizo and avocado and it was very nice, as was the coffee and then Prosecco I also treated myself too.  Then it was up to the 50th floor to get a good look at Boston from up high.


Just one of the skyline shots I captured in the Skywalk Observatory.

There’s a 360 degree view around the city, and there’s a lot more water around Boston than I thought. It’s really beautiful, too. I got my card stamped so I could have returned in the evening had I wanted, but I was pretty pooped because I didn’t go back to the hotel yet. My next stop was the Museum of Fine Arts.

Now I just want to say that I’m extremely happy to have purchased the CityPass. You don’t have to get it on Viator; you can pick it up at the locations it covers as well.  I just really like my Viator experience and tend to go there because I can book things in advance. Here’s the best part, though. The city pass costs $55 USD. It gets you into four of five places (the fifth being a Harbour cruise that isn’t offered this time of year). The Museum of Science (Adult rate: $25), the SkyWalk Observatory (Adult rate: $18), and the Museum of Fine Arts (Adult rate: 25) would already take me over the $55 USD mark, and I get to go to the Aquarium tomorrow (Adult rate: ~$27). So yes, definitely recommend buying it. You don’t even need to cram it all in at the pace I’m going. It’s valid for nine days from first use. Were I staying longer, I’d have stretched it out a lot more!

Which takes me to the Museum of Fine Arts, which was incredible. I don’t even have enough words to say how much I enjoyed all the great work. It’s absolutely enormous and I couldn’t have covered much more than I did even if I had more time for sensory overload reasons alone. There are three “sections” of art: Ancient art, Art of the Americas, and Art of Europe (though there’s also some contemporary installations that crop up as well).



This mummy in her beaded dress would be found in the decorated coffin, which was then put into another, and another, like nesting dolls.

I’m not even sure how much of the place I saw because I didn’t have a map and there’s just so much to take in and drift into in terms of alcoves and winding pathways into rooms that connect to other rooms. I know I didn’t even make it to the third floor because it was close to closing and I was basically done between the incredible paintings, sculptures, installations, pottery, jewelry and more crossed with aching feet and a recovering sprain that wasn’t liking the sheer amount of time I’d spent on it today. But again, no regrets.  My favourite part was probably the European section, because I’m a sucker for a Renoir and there were a few there, but there were some great works from the Americas (including some indigenous pieces) and the Ancients arts were pretty neat. There were even mummies from an Egypt exhibit!

After the Museum of Fine Arts, I took a cab back to the hotel.  After a bit of time to relax, I went down to go for dinner, wanted to hit the Parker Bar downstairs to get dinner and then the Boston Creme pie for dessert. Unfortunately, the place was closed for a private event once again, so I wandered circled the blocks until I found a place called Scholars on my way back to the hotel because I thought I’d struck out and was just going to go to the pub I’d written off.  It was very nice. I had a fantastic cocktail called a champagne supernova then a white wine sangria with dinner because holiday!, and dinner was a lovely turkey and avocado sandwich with fries.  I’m not sure what they barbecue their birds in, but it was spectacular, just the right hint of smoky to complement the tomato jam and buttery avocado. I’m glad I didn’t keep walking, that’s for sure!  And I don’t know what the gentlemen next to me were having, but someone’s food smelled so good and garlicky that if I had ordered after them, I’d have had to ask. Yum!

It was back to the hotel after that, to unwind and write and rest for tomorrow. I’m going to take my sweet time in the Aquarium because I adore the floaty fishes and corals and kelp, then likely do a walk up the Freedom Trail if I don’t get caught up in the drift. It’s my last full day in Boston, and I’m very glad I’m here.





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