Boston, the largest city in New England, is full of history. Founded in 1630, it was the location of some major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.
Although Boston boasts of a well connected Subway/Train system (they call it the T), walking around the city is a lot of fun. And boy did we walk! All our vacations seem to always include a walk-a-thon! We landed in Boston on the morning of 11th at 7.30, reached the Boston Sheraton hotel at 8.30. Since check-in wasn't until later that day at 3 PM, we had some time to kill. As people check out at around 12 PM, usually most hotels let you have the room at 12 or so even though check in is at 3. That's what we expected here as well. We were told by the receptionist that she would call if a room frees up early. Since Vijay had some last minute work to do on his poster, after a quick breakfast, we headed back to the hotel. There was yet another conference called Sleep 2012 happening at the Sheraton. Everyone around us seemed to be carrying a Sleep 2012 bag with them.
I was so zonked from lack of sleep that as we sat down in the lobby, I was out. So there I was with my mouth wide open in the lobby of the hotel sleeping like I hadnt slept in years. We saw a number of people checking out when we were sitting in the lobby, so the first thought that came to our mind was that atleast one room must be available. During my forty winks, Vijay asked them atleast 3 times if our room was ready. The reply was as you know, not very pleasant. The "Sleep" people would surely have found an interesting subject in me! We headed out again for lunch and a little bit of sightseeing. The viewing gallery on top of the Prudential Tower was a treat! One can see the whole of Boston from 50 floors above the ground. Finally after a lot of waiting, we got our room at 3.45 PM. After a quick shower, we headed out to see the First Church of the Christ Scientist, walked along the chic Newbury street (lined with boutiques and eateries) and had delicious crepes at a quaint little crepery.
Since Vijay was busy at his conference, I had to entertain myself. Vijay's uncle & aunt came to my rescue. They took me to the Museum of Fine Arts and showed me around the city. They also gave me their museum pass to attend a "Drawing at the Gallery" session; which was a lot of fun. A bunch of people gather to draw/sketch from life. It was different for me since I haven't really done a lot of sketching, but it was a learning experience nevertheless. One of the things we found amusing as well as quite enjoyable was the Duck tour. They are sort of like open top buses which show you around the city, except that its not a bus, its a duck :) The interesting part is that they travel on land as well as on water. So the first half hour or so we were driving along the roads of Boston, the second half of it was on water - on the Charles river! It was a lot of fun.
We spent the weekend in New York City. NYC has a vibe to it that no other city has. Its always bustling with wide variety of people. Its one of the few cities where one can travel safely by train/bus in the middle of the night. We did whatever sight-seeing we could in 2 days. All the walking aside, the places we saw were memorable. Times Square, The Empire State building, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, The Statue of Liberty - I've seen these only in the movies. It was so exciting to see them up close.
In all, I enjoyed my trip to the east coast. I made new friends and saw a lot of interesting sights. I also realized that NYC is infectious. Makes me wanna leave the confines of sweet old Mountain View for the Big Apple :)