Boston: Trip Recap (May 25 to May 28, 2014)

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Prior to my trip to Boston, I had never made it out to the East Coast before. So, you can definitely say that I was super excited about this latest vacation! I arrived on a Saturday night, and checked into a 4 Points Hotel (Revere, MA) that was not only cheap (paid for with SPG points), but conveniently located next to Logan Airport. After 7+ hours of flying, the only thing I wanted to do that night was SLEEP!

May 25: Day 1 – Uber Taxi to Boston

I got my first real taste of Boston on Sunday morning, when I drove into town using Uber taxi service. This was my first experience with Uber, and I must say, it was a real positive one. Prior to ordering a taxi, you can get a rough quote of how much it will cost to take you to your desired destination.

Uber is extremely easy to use (download Uber app on your smartphone), and I found it really neat how you can track your taxi as it’s driving to pick you up. I could see, in real-time, how far away the driver was, so I didn’t have to stand outside the hotel, waiting for them to arrive.

Uber-Cool:

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With Uber, you pre-register a credit card, so you don’t have to worry about paying the driver. Uber takes care of all that, but you’re still responsible for the tip. Also, if you cross any tolls, Uber will add in the costs to your final bill.

I got my bill within minutes upon arriving at my destination:

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I received a $10.00 credit for being a first-time user. Uber offers a lot of promotions to try and entice new users, so it should be relatively easy locating a coupon online. Now that I’ve tried Uber, I can’t imagine going back to using a regular taxi… Total cost was $35.88 to get from Revere to Boston. Not too bad!

May 25: Day 1 – Sheraton Hotel

I arrived to Boston from Uber around noontime. The first thing I did was check into the hotel, Sheraton, which is a Starwood property (I pay for most of my hotel stays using SPG points accrued through credit card spend).

Here is a picture of the Sheraton hotel which is conveniently located next to Boylston St.

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Free upgrades are always welcome! Here’s the inside of the hotel room I stayed in:

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I love staying at some of the larger Sheraton properties since they always have a lounge on the top floor. You get a great view, and of course complimentary drinks, breakfast, and snacks. A great place to hangout after a long day of sight-seeing.

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May 25: Day 1 – Berklee College of Music

I’m into music, and a school you always hear about is the Berklee College of Music. I had no idea that it was located in Boston, let alone 5 minutes away from my hotel. I had to take a picture…

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May 25: Day 1 – Fenway Park

Fenway Park is also an iconic landmark and the oldest stadium in MLB, opening in 1912. Even had my hotel not been within walking distance to Fenway Park, I would have tried to find a way to get here, regardless. Seeing the Green Monster in person was definitely on my checklist of sights to see while in Boston.

Sadly, the Red Sox were away from town during my visit, and playing the Rays in Tampa. There was a long line for the tours, but I did the frugal thing this time around and didn’t join in. Instead, I just walked around the perimeter of the stadium and took a ton of pictures. 😉

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May 25: Day 1 – Atlantic Fish

Atlantic Fish is a highly yelped dining experience in Boston, and even though it’s on the pricier side, I decided to give it a shot during lunchtime. I had the lobster roll, which set me back around $21.

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In addition to the lobster roll, I decided to try some Boston clam chowder:

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The meal was good. The lobster roll reminded me of the one they serve at Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, which is located in the Bay Area. There were some good chunks of lobster, and enough spread to insure the roll was moist and not too dry. The clam chowder was just average, and not as good as I was hoping.

May 25: Day 1 – Boston Commons

I was in town during Memorial Day weekend, which was pretty cool because I got to see the 37,000 flags they had planted to honor our fallen service members. It was a spectacular sight…

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May 25: Day 1 – The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is one of the most popular attractions for tourists. Boston is a historic city and this 2.5 miles long path will take you through Downtown Boston, letting you experience a lot of that heritage.

Just follow the red brick road…

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Massachusetts State House:

State capitol in Beacon Hill and in 1997, the dome was re-gilded in 23k gold. It cost $300,000…

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Park Street Congregational Church:

Founded in 1809 and still active today, with 2000+ members…

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Old State House:

Built in 1713, another historic building and landmark on the Freedom Trail.

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Site of the Boston Massacre:

On March 5, 1770, British soldiers killed five male civilians and injured six others. One of the most important events that led to growing sentiment against British rule.

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Benjamin Franklin:

Standing right next to a Ruth’s Chris steakhouse… A blend of old and new… 😉

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Faneuil Hall:

A marketplace and meeting hall since 1742. Lots of tourists here…

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Quincy Market:

Constructed in 1824-1826. A produce and shopping center. Lots of food to try inside here…

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Paul Revere’s House:

April 18, 1775… Paul Revere’s ride… I first read about it in 4th grade. 20 years later, I arrived at his doorstep.

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May 26: Day 2 – MIT

While Day 1 was spent touring around Boston, I decided to use Day 2 to “get my learn on”. For the majority of the day, I ventured out into Cambridge to check out two of the leading institutions in higher learning…

First stop was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…

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Engineering can be a really rigid and “stiff” discipline… To inject some life (and humor) into the atmosphere, perhaps this is why they constructed the following?

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May 26: Day 2 – Harvard Square

Next up, Hahvahd University… Harvard Square is a really neat place and bustling with students and life. Definitely made me nostalgic as I reflected back upon my old college days…

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The great thing about being in a college environment is there are a ton of food choices nearby… and most of them are affordable too! Here’s my under $10 meal at Border’s Cafe.

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May 26: Day 2 – Harvard University

The statue of John Harvard is a main attraction at the university… I did some digging online and found that there might be 3 lies associated with the statue…

1) That isn’t actually John Harvard… but Sherman Hoar, a model, whoever that is…

2) John Harvard was not THE founder of the university, but a founder… He was a major benefactor.

3) Harvard was founded in 1636, not 1638, as is inscribed on the statue. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S.

Rub the toe of the left shoe for luck…?

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The prestigious Harvard Law:

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May 27: Day 3 – Cumberland, Rhode Island

The morning of Day 3 was spent in Cumberland, Rhode Island. I decided to venture outside of Boston for a bit to visit a nearby aunt, so I rented a car and headed south. It took about one hour to get to my destination.

Here’s the ride I took to get me to Rhode Island:

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A view of some nearby water close to her home… Very serene and peaceful out in these parts…

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May 27: Day 3 – Mike’s Pastry

I arrived back from Rhode Island hungry and in need of some good food. The wait at Neptune Oyster was LOOOONG, so I had some free time to wander around. I stumbled into Mike’s Pastry, which was packed with people.

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Since I was in Boston, I naturally had a hankering for some more lobster!

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May 27: Day 3 – Neptune Oyster

The lobster dessert wasn’t enough to satiate my appetite, so I headed back to Neptune Oyster.

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I ordered the hot lobster roll which was highly recommended by everyone, and the staff there. How could I resist?

The lobster roll at Neptune Oyster has got to be the best lobster experience I’ve ever had. The lobster roll at Atlantic Fish was tasty, but this was in a whole different league. Neptune gives you liberal chunks of lobster, and lots of hot butter to top it off… Probably not the healthiest way to enjoy lobster, but so very, very good! This was my last dinner in Boston, and I went out in style…

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Although the lobster roll was pricey at $28, it was well worth it. I’m all for being frugal, but sometimes I do feel the need to indulge a bit and try out certain experiences… I just make sure to keep things in check. If I splurge on an expensive meal, I simply cut back on the next one…

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May 27: Day 3 – Brownstone

Although I don’t have pictures of the event, another highlight of my Boston trip was getting to meet up with a reader of the blog. Shout out to Matt, and thanks again for the drinks and good conversation! Meeting others who are also on the journey to early FI is always AWESOME… I don’t get to talk to too many people in my day-to-day life who have an interest in either investing or becoming financially independent, sadly.

May 28: Day 4 – Departure

I departed from Boston on a Wednesday, leaving for New York City around 11:00 AM. I took the Amtrak train from Back Bay Station.

Summary

My trip to Boston was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t in town for too many days, but got to visit a good number of places. Fenway Park, Boston Common, The Freedom Trail, MIT, Harvard, and all the good food… Not to mention making a short detour to Rhode Island and getting to meet up with a like-minded early FI enthusiast.

I allocated three full days in Boston to enjoy, and I can say, mission accomplished! Hopefully next time I’m in town, the Red Sox will also be here and I can catch a live game. That’s still on my to do list, but all in all, it was a great trip.

Up next, New York City!

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Preparing For the Future: Indulging In WanderlustStarwood Hotels: The Value of a Starwood Point? (3/5)Happy Healthy and Wealthy GirlFI FighterThe Wallet Doctor Recent comment authors
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MrsFinancialFreedom
Guest

Great photos FI Fighter. I remember following the red brick path and buying my future husband a Boston Celtic baseball cap at Quincy Market. Its a lovely city and I would love to go back one day.

No Nonsense Landlord
Guest

Great recap on the trip. I lived in MA for almost five years, went to high school at Middleboro high school. It was a great place to be, it probably kept me out of jail. Prior to that, I went to school in Hawaii. Not a great place for a teenager in a single parent family.

Not many people understand the FI piece. Everyone is looking for a silver bullet, and wants a lottery ticket, but it is more about taking calculated risks and a bit of sacrifice.

danny
Guest
danny

Do you have to be platinum with spg to get lounge access? those lobster rolls look delicious!

A Frugal Family's Journey
Guest

FI Fighter – Looks like you had an awesome time with many great and memorable experiences that no one can take away. Thanks for sharing and thus allowing us readers to live vicariously through you. 😉 AFFJ

My Dividend Pipeline
Guest

FI Fighter,

One of the things I look forward to in early retirement is the free time to travel. New England is definitely on my short list of travel destinations.

Thanks for sharing the photos.

MDP

Smith
Guest
Smith

So glad that you returned to Neptune Oyster! Fantastic move on your part. Sometimes lines signify tourist traps. And a few times, they signify a bonafide wonderful — and unique — place. Pricey, and totally worth it. As an ex-Bostonian, that’s ALWAYS where I want to go when I’m back in town.

And you’re absolutely right: Boston has it going on. Great city. Glad you loved it.

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life
Guest

Oh wow, the flags on the common look beautiful. I grew up in New England so I may be a bit biased, but I think it’s one of the most stunning regions I’ve ever seen. In a very different way from the lushness of the Carolinas or the majesty of the pacific northwest, but truly a special place.

Dividend Mantra
Guest

FI Fighter,

Looks like you had a great time. And these kinds of experiences are exactly why financial independence is so desirable, right? Great stuff.

And I’m totally watering at the mouth with the picture of that lobster roll from Neptune Oyster. Looks nasty…in a good way.

Never been to Boston, but looks like a really cool town. I hope to make it one day! Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes.

Noah
Guest
Noah

As a Bostonian I can say I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to our city!

Just a heads up that you don’t need to tip Uber: https://support.uber.com/hc/en-us/articles/202290128-Do-I-have-to-tip-my-driver-

The Wallet Doctor
Guest

I’ve never used Uber taxi, but it seems like a great idea to me. I really like the fact that you got receipt so fast afterward. That would be great for those who travel for business and get reimbursed based on receipts.

Happy Healthy and Wealthy Girl
Guest

Hey thanks for sharing! looks like a nice trip. Boston is on my “to visit list”, so it was very interesting to read about your visit.

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