And now for a post about one of the best things about studying abroad…..TRAVEL!
Last weekend I spent a rather chilly three days in Boston with the international students society. I went alone as my main objective was to have a great weekend meeting new people, which I definitely achieved, so high fives for me *high five*.
Our bus left at 12am Friday morning and we arrived in Boston at around 9.30am. I’m pretty sure we spent about three hours at the border (no surprises that a bus full of international students in possession of various visas/waivers would take a while to process) but then we ploughed on through Vermont and into Massachusetts. And yes, I was asleep for most of the journey.
Once we’d checked in to our hotel, the first item on the agenda was breakfast. Myself and my new Aussie friend Natalie (see mum, I’m making friends) stumbled upon the aptly named ‘The Hungry Traveler ‘ and ate a ridiculously cheap breakfast. Then it was back to the hotel for some more sleep and ‘quality’ TV before heading to MIT and Harvard.
A quick note on American TV, I haver never seen that many adverts informing me that I could have very specific health concerns and that I should definitely call <insert name here> to discuss my options.
MIT had some of the coolest architecture I have ever seen (left), and the low winter sun made for some beautiful images. We didn’t tour MIT, but instead spent time outside admiring the crazy buildings before heading to Harvard for a scheduled campus tour.
Harvard is a place that will leave you thinking ‘what could I have done if I had just applied myself?!’, but it is also a must on any list of things to see in and around Boston. We took ‘the T’ to the university, and Boston let me tell you that your public transport is great, super easy to navigate! Anyway, back to Harvard.
The campus is stunning, and the tour was full of interesting facts and anecdotes, as well as several Harry Potter references which were much appreciated. 🙂
The only downside to this day was that it was freezing. My phone said it was only 0 degrees but I’m pretty sure it was lying to me. Of course this is no one’s fault, the weather is the weather, but I should have known this would happen when I decided not to pack my thermal socks!
The theme of the next two days was definitely food and sport. On Saturday, Natalie and I covered all the basics of American food
not true but we ate a lot by breakfasting at Dunkin’ Donuts, eating lunch at Wahlburgers, having an afternoon snack at the Cheesecake Factory and finishing the day off with chips/fries and the Habbs vs Bruins game in a sports bar. I did say we ate a lot!
My favourite of the day by far was Wahlburgers! However it did seem like the food gods were against us when we had successfully navigated the T and a replacement bus service, but then overshot our actual bus stop by a mile. Luckily, there was a Starbucks near by, and where there is a Starbucks there is free wifi (thank you Starbucks). A Google search later and we discovered that we just had to walk a mile up the road, but once again it was freezing! When we arrived at Wahlburgers we must have looked like pink nosed, flushed cheeked, cold tourists (see above photo) but the staff were kind enough not to bring this up….. No seriously, the service was amazing! We got seats at the bar, and within less than ten minutes had ordered our food and drink (Our Burger, Yukon Gold Fries and a coke if you’re interested), and what felt like only minutes later it arrived. And yes, it was delicious, but also so reasonably priced! Before this becomes an advert for the restaurant, I want to point out one of my favourite things about the dining experience besides the food and service, the puns. Just look at what’s on the kids menu……
Ok, I will stop talking about burgers….. now cheesecake! (Just kidding)
On Sunday we had a tour of Fenway Park, and I learnt a lot about the history of the Red Sox, Baseball, and the structure of the game. The tour was really interesting, despite me having no real prior knowledge or enthusiasm for the game, and it was great to have this iconic symbol of Boston as our last stop in the city before heading back on the road to Montreal.
But that wasn’t the last stop in the US, before crossing the border we took a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont! Although they were not making any ice cream that day, it was fun to see the stages of production and the values of the company in terms of being socially and economically responsible. And eating ice cream. Can’t forget the ice cream! 😀
And then that really was it. Back on to the bus, across the border and back to Montreal. I had an absolutely fantastic weekend with lots of fun people, and while nearly all of the things I did revolved around food and being a tourist, that’s ok! Don’t let anyone tell you being a tourist is a bad thing! 😀
(If you made it to the bottom of this post, I appreciate you reading such a long ramble that was mainly about food. But I hope you enjoyed the photos!)