Over the last couple years I have come to realize that quick trips have become my specialty. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, but it’s not always easy to get the time to jet set as often as I would like. However, quick day or weekend trips can curb that need to get “out of dodge.” I constantly am itching to go, do, explore. Some people think I’m crazy, but even a simple 24 hours away is worth it to me. Actually sometimes those trips end up being more memorable than the longer ones. Much like this weekend! For those of you reading this that do not know me personally, I am a sports fanatic, always have been. College. Pro. Football. Basketball. Hockey. Baseball. You name it, I enjoy it. A little over a year ago I decided to start a sports bucket list and made a goal to try to visit all NFL and NBA arenas before I turn 30. I started with these 2 because of dancing in the NBA besides loving the game, seeing how other arenas fill the breaks is very intriguing to me and I grew up in a football loving family! My list started not so empty; I had already been to 4 NFL stadiums as well as 4 NBA. Since beginning I now have 6 NFL checked off and as of this past Sunday I checked off NBA arena #6!
Knowing the NBA season is just around the corner a couple months ago I started looking into preseason games I could attend elsewhere. I noticed the Boston Celtics had a home game 10/13/19 at 3:00pm and since it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from MI to MA I decided to book a day trip. I haven’t been to Boston in several years so not only was I excited to see the arena, but I was also excited to explore the city. Between suggestions from friends and family and online research (I did on my own prior to leaving) I created a list of places, googled their locations and made a plan of action to tackle the day in the most efficient way- right from the moment I landed!
So, here is how I did Boston in 13 hours + 22,937 steps and 10 miles later.
My flight took off from DTW (Detroit Metropolitan Airport) at 6:15am Sunday morning and landed in Boston a little before 8:00am. When I landed I headed right to the ride share location, obviously I had no luggage to wait on, and called an Uber to my breakfast destination- The Friendly Toast. My goal for my first stop was to go somewhere I had never been nor could I go in MI. This place fit the bill beyond looking like an extremely cute and unique little spot. As the Uber pulled up I saw a line out the door and figured it had to be as good as the reviews said; and it was! Luckily I did not have to wait for table since there was a spot at the bar. The bartender was one of the happiest people I think I’ve ever met and I definitely have to say made the experience that much more memorable. Her name was Nichole too, which I found funny! She recommended the Huevos Rancheros + barbacoa braised beef. It did not disappoint.
From there I headed out and started toward the Freedom Trail. While it was a little chilly the sun was shining and I decided to make the 20+ minute and a little over 1 mile walk. There is something so relaxing to me about walking city streets with music playing in my ears, just talking it all in.
I made it to the Old South Meeting House a little before 10:00am. I have always enjoyed visiting museums of every type. The building is not stand alone; it is set right alongside everything else down the contemporary city street with no major signs etc. This factor alone interested me since I am so used to museums being very recognizable as you approach them. As I entered I noticed cases with artifacts and information lining the back wall. Around the room there were different interactive stations. You could choose to walk in order or just go as you pleased. Each station had a sign with a QR code that was scannable by your phone that then linked you to informational videos about certain key times and place. I spent about a good 30 minutes going between stations and artifacts before I headed back out on the Freedom Trail and down to the Old State House.
The next stop was about 3 minutes and .1 miles away which had me arriving a little before 10:40am. Now while this building was stand alone there was still no major signage saying “Hey, historical museum here!” As I came closer I did notice that there was a reenactor out front the side entrance talking to people as they walked by. As you enter you are taken right into the museum gift shop where you can look around and or proceed to the register to purchase the museum pass. There were multiple stories and rooms inside upon entering. I found myself wandering the levels and varies exhibits for around another 30 minutes before heading out a little after 11:00am.
From here next on my list was to head to the iconic Cheers Bar also known as the Bull and Finch Club. But first the route I planned to get me there allowed me to walk through the Boston Common, America’s oldest park, and the Boston Public Gardens, first public botanical garden in America. However found myself making an unplanned pit stop when I passed the first public school site. I mean being a teacher I couldn’t not stop, right?
The distance from the Old State House to the entrance of the Boston Commons was about 10 minutes and .5 a miles. Both were extremely busy which one could expect since it was a beautiful day. I observed families, couples, friends and individuals all from various walks of life. I had a huge desire to just sit on a bench, buy an e-book and read, but there was an agenda to follow so off the Cheers I went! Plus…it was Sunday and the NFL football game in London kicked off at 9:30am on the east coast meaning I had some catching up to do!
Cheers was literally right across the street from the Public Garden. So I popped on over and followed the signs down. It was PACKED. There was no seating available in the downstairs area, but I was directed upstairs to the spot that was the actual inspiration for the show! I took a circle around the bar, finding some standing room, which happened to be Norms spot! After ordering a Blue Moon and setting in I began to chat with the people around me. While there I met a couple from Tennessee, a mother and daughter from Michigan (East Lansing to be exact) and a couple from Sydney Australia. Time passed quickly as I conversed learning about them, their lives and why they were in Boston; I found myself there for almost 2 hours. Upon realizing the time, I decided I had to get a move on it!
Now while I was only in Boston for a day I still had to bring the essentials with me, but hit a bit of a quandary a few days before when I realized the arena did not have a bag check (my backpack was too large). After some investigating and finding no options of where to leave my bag a thought hit to search and see if there were any Planet Fitness’ in Downtown and alas there was! From Cheers I headed towards Planet Fitness which was about a 12 minute walk and a little over a .5 miles. I signed in, freshened up, locked my bag and headed off the the arena a little after 2:00pm! 20 minutes and 1 mile later, I was there! Every arena I have visited this far has been a standalone arena, TD Garden literally looked like just your average city office building. Based on the outside I did not expect to see what I did once I walked in, that is for sure! The entrance was darkly lit with fun green neon lights above as you entered and the arena concourse was beautiful with so many options available. After taking a lap around to see all there was to see I found my section and headed on in making it in time to see the last bit of pregame warmups. The Celtics were playing the Cavs and ended up getting that at home W 118-72. Knowing I had to get back to PF to get my backpack and still having at least 2 more stops I wanted to make before heading to airport, I left the game with a few minutes left on the clock.
I almost called an Uber to take me back to PF, but decided based on traffic walking would probably be quicker plus I only had a little more time to do so. I headed the 20 minutes back to PF, I grabbed my things and set out for a restaurant called the Barking Crab– 19 minutes and 0.9 miles. On my way I passed the cutest little pop-up bar. There were picnic tables, music playing and corn hole to play. As I approached, because of course I had to make a stop to check it out, I noticed it was called City Winery on the Greenway which has association to the other locations around the East Coast. After spending a little time there and making a FaceTime call home to show how adorable it was (HI MOM!) I was back on track for the Barking Crab. After passing the most gorgeous sunset I arrived to a packed house again. I squeezed in one seat by the bar and several minutes later struck up a conversation with the woman next to me. She looked to be around my age and in conversation I learned that she was from Toronto, but completing her Ph.D in Munich and was there in MA for short time doing some course work studies. As I said goodbye to Janet to head to my next stop, Trillium Brewing less than 5 minutes away, she informed me that was on her list to check out as well and she would look for me if I was still there. It was now about 7:30pm and I had a little over an hour until I needed to call an Uber to the airport. If you were wondering, Janet did end up finding me and we spent time together chatting until I had to depart!
The Uber to the airport was as easy as pie. I had found out earlier in the day my flight was slightly delayed, which at first I was thankful for because it allowed me to make 2 stops post game as compared to just one! However, upon checking in at the airport I found out it had been delayed even further. I was now taking off at 11:55pm when I should have been landing back in MI at 12:10am. Loving the day I had, but also feeling tired and probably more so anticipating the very early morning I would now have for work Monday, I found a spot by the wall set my alarm and closed my eyes for a bit. With no further delays we took off a little before midnight having me land back in Michigan around 2:30am and home after 3:00.
I landed with sore feet and woke up with shin splints, but with only having so many hours in Boston it was my goal to make sure that every minute counted. However, when I was reflecting on the trip it occurred to me that it becomes easy to do this while we are in vacation mode right? We are only there for a limited time and have so much we want to accomplish, but why is that any different than any day that we live out on a regular basis? While I think I am a person who cherishes the life I’m living, the same ole same old sometimes does get lost in the daily routine. So I have decided to challenge myself, to work to take ownership of all my days, not just the ones timed with a flight back home and I offer that challenge to you.