Boston: Travels with Baby

For Memorial Day weekend, Andrew, baby O and I traveled to Boston for 4 nights followed by 4 nights in Rockport. (I’ll share more about Rockport in a separate post.) I went to Boston once with my family in high school when I was touring colleges, but it was a one-night stay, so I had never really experienced the city. I have to say, I really loved it! New England vibes, plenty of seafood, easily walkable with a beautiful harbor, historic sites mixed with eclectic restaurants—it was a good scene! Here’s what we did:

Where we stayed: In our post-baby world, regular hotels aren’t for us. We have tried and liked home shares, but we decided to try an extended stay hotel for Boston to see how that option would go for us—so we booked the Residence Inn Cambridge. The stay was a wild success! I booked a one bedroom suite thinking that we would let baby O sleep in the living room and we’d sequester ourselves in the bedroom after he went to sleep, but the hotel upgraded us to a two-bedroom, which meant baby O had his own room and we had a living room, bedroom and kitchen to enjoy, PLUS two bathrooms. Ah, luxury. 

Baby O loved the full-length mirrors and crawl-friendly carpeting, and the included breakfast was an easy start to our morning. Baby O chose this trip to really transition to table foods. He had been eating soft solids along with purees, and I brought purees for him to eat on this trip, but he was such a good little eater that it was completely unnecessary. We just fed him off of our plates at every meal!

What we did: When traveling with baby, we usually have slow mornings. We eat breakfast at our hotel or home stay and then allow baby O to take his first nap of the day (10am to 12pm) at the hotel while Andrew and I just relax. We do this to ensure that baby O gets at least one good nap a day. He takes his second nap while we are out and about, so sometimes it can get interrupted. But if he has a good solid nap under his belt (er, diaper) from the morning, I know he’ll keep his sunny attitude throughout the day and I won’t feel guilty dragging him all over the place.

Day 1: We took the ferry to Georges Island in Boston harbor. The ferry is super stroller accessible. The boat ride is 50 minutes with lovely views of the Boston skyline, harbor islands and a lighthouse. If you like airplanes, the ferry also sails beneath the Logan Airport flight path, so at least one plane will soar directly overhead, which certain people onboard seemed to really enjoy. There is also a full bar, so if that’s more what floats your boat, you will not be disappointed.

Georges Island includes Ft. Warren, a rocky beach, a small museum about the fort’s history, a playground (suitable for older kids, not toddlers), and lots of picnic areas right on the water. There is a small concession stand on the island, but they just serve hot dogs and chips, so if I could do it over again I would have brought a more exciting lunch with us. (The stand used to serve lobster rolls, which I would have been totally down with, but we were told they were discontinuing the lobster rolls this year.)

IMG_4600IMG_4598IMG_4583IMG_7433

Day 2: After a full day in the sun and facing another hot day, we decided to try some indoor activities. We started the day at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and then skipped over to the Museum of Fine Art right next door. 

The highlight of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum is the palace section, designed in the style of a Venetian palazzo and containing artwork, objects and furniture collected by Gardener. The flower-filled courtyard with bubbling fountain is the star of the show, but I also really enjoyed the tapestries and stunning oversized fireplaces (one was big enough that we could have walked right in). Every detail of the home is carefully decorated and designed, from the bannisters to the door frames. 

Next door is the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They have vast and varied collections, reminiscent of the offerings at the Met in New York. I enjoyed the European galleries and  Andrew preferred the American wing. We both enjoyed relaxing on the Adirondack chairs outside on the lawn while baby O finished his nap. 

IMG_7468IMG_7474IMG_7477IMG_7480IMG_7495IMG_7503IMG_7504

Day 3: Our last full day in Boston we decided to hit the Freedom Trail. We started where most people end, at Bunker Hill, where baby O enjoyed his lunch. Then we headed to the USS Constitution, my favorite stop on the trail, where baby O decided to practice his waving (hasn’t done it since, but wouldn’t stop the whole time we were on the boat). 

The best part about the Freedom Trail is the design—a red brick line leads you all around the city, so you never need a map, either physical or digital. The difficult part, for us, was the accessibility of the sites. After the USS Constitution, baby O fell asleep, so we needed to keep him in his stroller for the remainder of the trail. Not all the sites were stroller accessible without carrying the stroller up and down stairs, which we didn’t want to do while he was asleep. We still felt like we got a lot out of the trail, but I wish more of the sites had been accessible to us—and I’m sure those with mobility concerns feel the same way! The trail ends in Boston Commons and we enjoyed relaxing in the Boston Public Gardens and grabbing a snapshot at the famous Make Way for Ducklings statue (decked out in Boston Bruins gear in honor of their try for the Stanley Cup). 

IMG_4629IMG_7551IMG_7552IMG_7557IMG_7558IMG_7563IMG_7567

What We Ate:

Little Donkey: Global small plates. Baby O recommends the Grilled Iberian Pork Secreto (we agree with him). 

Banyan Bar: Modern Asian gastropub. Baby O recommends the Avocado Bao. We liked the Korean Fried Chicken and Dragon Noodles. Plus, they had a great outdoor seating section if the weather is nice. 

The Friendly Toast: Cute brunch joint. Baby O recommends scrambled eggs. I preferred the Lobster Benedict.

IMG_7530