After taking a year long hiatus from blog writing I was inspired to start writing again based on this incredible trip. Although the trip was only 7 days long and we experienced some horrible flight delays on the way home it made me remember what I love so much about traveling and photography.
Now that my brother and I are older our family could basically only find 1 week in the entire summer that we could all leave town and travel so we book our plane tickets to take the best advantage of time and set off. This trip was a little unique for a family vacation. Unlike most of our trips it was quite spontaneous and not meticulously planned. The only advanced planning we had done was buy plane tickets and reserve hotel room in each city we planned to visit.
Day 1 Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is an incredible city that perfectly blends of old historic buildings with towering glass skyscrapers. Although we only had about a 36 hours in Boston we tried to make the most of our time there. After landing and checking into our hotel late in the afternoon we decided to head to the North End for some great Italian food and try the famous cannolis from Mike’s Pastry. The North End was incredible. With tourists and locals, young and old walking about the streets I felt right at home. Although we did have to wait for quite a long time to get a table at the restaurant we chose we were able to use that time wait in the long line at Mike’s Pastry and pick up our cannolis. If I were to do it again I would have definitely ate somewhere with less of a wait since there were so many other great places near by. Nevertheless it was a great evening of food, exploring and getting a really good sense of Boston’s Italian heritage.
Day 2 Boston, Massachusetts
On our first full day and last day in Boston we decided to start out on the freedom trail to see some of Boston’s most historic buildings. Rather than paying a lot of money for a guide we decided to buy a self-guided tour map ($3) and just follow the red brick road to all the sites on the trail. The map gave us a little background on each site we were seeing and then the sites themselves often had placards where we could get some more background on the history behind some of the most important buildings in American history. Decided the way we wanted to do the tour also allowed us the take a break mid tour and set our own pace. Seeing many of the sites that we all learning in high school US History was pretty amazing. I still can’t believe that the very buildings revolutionaries use to express dissent still stand for us to see today. The Freedom Trail covered sites like the Boston Commons, State Building and U.S.S Constitution just to name a few. Even though you could spend up to a two days just walking through all the sites and learning about them we decided to condense all the sites on the south side of the Charles River into one jam-packed morning.
In the afternoon I met up with a friend at the South End Market and then we headed over to Chinatown to grab a late lunch. From the Freedom trail to the market to Chinatown most of Downtown Boston was quite walkable. Chinatown was much larger than I though it was going to be and we had a great meal at a very authentic tasting restaurant with boba tea afterwards as dessert.
In the evening I met back up with my family and we headed across the Charles to the North side of Boston. We quickly checked out the U.S.S Constitution which is free to go on board and the adjoining museum was admission by donation. Finally we rounded up our busy day by walking around Harvard Yard and campus. We also ate dinner at a cute Thai restaurant nearby since there were so many options near the Harvard campus.
Day 3 Newport, Vermont/ Quebec City, Quebec
This was mostly a driving day since the distance from Boston to Quebec City takes more than 6 hours. Even though we were driving most of the day we tried to make the most. The drive from Boston through New Hampshire and the White Mountain National Forest was beautiful. For lunch we made a pit stop on Newport, Vermont which was a picturesque northeastern town right on the lake. We had lunch in The Newport Grill which was hipster farm-to-table heaven.
Then it was back on the road straight to Quebec City. We made good time and were into the city by about 5 pm. Since we had less than a day to spend in Quebec City we immediately got out into Old Quebec to explore the historic European style part of the city. Old Quebec was a like someone transported a little piece of France straight into Canada. From gorgeous hotels and cathedrals to cute little shops and pedestrian streets the whole city was incredibly European. I could hardly believe that I was still on North America!
Quebec City also has street performers that will periodically put on shows near large tourist attractions. We had the chance to watch an entertaining duo juggle knives and jump through hoops of fire. After seeing the main tourist sites we grabbed dinner at one of the cute restaurants a little ways from the center and topped off with some amazing crepes. Because when you’re in French- Canada you have to have crepes.
Watch out for part two where we go to Montreal, Toronto and Niagara Falls.