Trips to Boston, across into Canada are common when you live in Maine.
The latest trip to Bean Town was not because of a Red Sox game. Everyone in Red Sox Nation is still smiling from this year’s team World Series title. The Bruins, the Celtics are good replacements for time spent in an summer outdoor seat at Fenway. But this trip a pre-holiday to visit with daughter number one, her husband, little dog Paco. When you have lots of children, it is fun to spend time with just one once in awhile. It’s only a little over five hours drive all down hill from my home town location in Southern Aroostook County.
Food not sports with a museum or two, some local sights like the North Church was the plan. Walks along the Charles River. Eating at a few venues where sampling and sharing were the order of the day. Meg and I stayed at No. 284 on Commonwealth Avenue
and Gloucester Street.
Mez the guy on the desk of the 23 room B&B / mini-hotel property in the Back Bay of Boston was a peach. So was Aphrodite. Both on the small team that signed us in and out on each end of the weekend stay at the 1881, six story brick boutique hotel.
The No. 284 went online this year after delicate renovations. It all combines a smaller corner neighborhood location that’s ideal for walkers with an emphasis on art. Large center stairway but there is an elevator for the less athletic.
No. 284 was built by a textile owner in the needle and thread trades who only stuck around to live here as a residence for a short time. Later the building transformed into a home to a music school, another time to educate and house those with disabilities. Think I read all that in a blurb over the weekend somewhere. Don’t hold me to it. All I know if the smaller platform place to stay and corner lot tucked away in an classy neighborhood location felt homey and special. Way way different than a hotel chain leaves for a taste from your stay in the sea of sameness and predictability.
We had been down to a Red Sox game or two and the handy extra parking space at my daughter’s place proved to be very valuable then and now. Walking to Fenway, anywhere in the Back Bay of Boston is sure a lot easier when your parking situation is a positive one. The No. 284 is only missing the giant parking open lot or tall concrete garage that the bigger Goliath hotels must possess.
The Uber, Lyft pick up and drop off when not just walking made the need for a parking lot go away in Boston MA.
Aren’t mobile phone apps neat when you can see your ride is six minutes away, here is another one just four blocks distant. The grass was green and the air decorated with festive Christmas trimmings as retailers did there best in lots of creative ways
to lure shoppers into their operations. All store hammering away and announcing big discounts to create a call to action. A sense of urgency. To signal waiting paid off for all you last minute holiday shoppers. But let’s get down to business.
Friday night the dinner reservations were made at Alden & Harlo in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Saturday night we ate at Myers & Chang. When you have four people, ordering six to eight dishes to share makes it better than settling for one choice off the menu. Sampling at your table like a private buffet with out the sneeze guard and no standing in line. Get the cooking book so you can apply what you sample at home with friends.
In between for lunch Saturday the healthy fare was provided by Dig Inn in Copley Square. All locally sourced, fresh, organic which made Meg smile as the bowl was created by pointing to select this and that. Wally’s Cafe & Jazz Club provided the live music after we pushed away from grazing. Being this close to Berklee School of Music creates a hangout for lots of up and coming musicians. To bang on the drums, the big bass, to flutter on the flute and for quick guitar fret cord changes. For area residents to jam jammed probably more tightly than the state fire officials would approve of in for the very small but well known Boston MA jazz venue. Everyone regardless of age gets carded this close to all those under age college patrons.
Being a real estate broker, it is hard not to marvel at the buildings.
All the styles, the money put into preservation is impressive. The lack of space makes the abundance of buildings in your
face though and tall structures cause shadows, darkness. Not visual overload for a weekend visit but with time, I am still glad to have the open space of rural small town Maine. The open parks, spaces strategically placed around the buildings helps in Boston. But crowded, too close happens in a city that is so not an issue in the rural Maine countryside where everything gets a dose of sunshine, fresh blue air and S-P-A-C-E!
The open promenade across from N0. 284 was studded with hardwood shade trees. Someone with a bucket truck was very busy like a skilled North Pole posse of elves put in charge of holiday decorating.
Hoisting the strings of Christmas lights up and down to adorn 200 trees that when turned on at night looked like mitten gloves pointed skyward but missing the finger tips.
It gave the illusion that all the trees were dead, with missing limbs and just stumps due to the twinkling clear lights only traveling up so far that matched the reach of the utility truck.
Visiting any new location away from your regular haunts over the holidays is memorable. Did you travel somewhere in or out of Maine this past weekend so close to Christmas? Or what are your plans for New Years? Travel opens the mind, can empty the wallet if not done creatively. But all must remember it is hard to see the World from your kitchen window.
Sharing your travel experiences is so so easy with social media outlets.
Take along your friend list and share your images of where you travel. To show others in your family what you have been up to these days when so many live far apart but not cut off with an Internet connection to keep it current on the what’s up, what’s happening. They all want to know where you been hiding.
Maine is always pretty any season, for any reason and our blog posts try to nail the beauty one venue post at a time. But heading back to where a lot of folks travel from, the Boston area is good to sample and showcase on the other side of the big green bridge.
When was the last visit you made to Maine? Isn’t it over due for you? Maine. Don’t stay away so long.
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