Flying into Boston in the middle of a New England blizzard involved a series of flight delays, with one colleague stranded in Toronto for 2 days while the other was stuck in Boston trying to get home. What can you do? Unpredictability is all part of the adventure of travel!
We made the most of the (stormy!) time we had here. After setting up for the show on Friday morning, Boston guide Alan met me (my colleague Tomas was keeping the departure lounge seats warm in Toronto's Pearson International...) for a casual walking tour of historic Boston. I was interested in seeing the North End - home to waves of immigrants in the 19th century, and now the city's Italian neighbourhood. So after a short walk past the original State House, Faneuill Hall and the Haymarket, (an outdoor fish and vegetable market that operates in all weather), we crossed over to the North End.
Early on, Alan seemed to sense my obsession with all things sweet, and showed me three of Boston's best Italian bakeries. Apparently they're rivals, and everyone in Boston has their favourite. Obviously the only way I'd be able to pick my favourite was to sample cannolis from all three of them - challenge accepted! (If you love desserts and have never had a cannoli from Mike's Bakery before, you MUST come to Boston.)
After warming up with Cappuccinos at Vittoria's Caffe, we braved the windchill to wander the narrow streets of the North End. Alan showed me Paul Revere's House, the Old North Church and Copp's Hill Burying Ground, before the icy streets called a halt to our exploration. The day was cold but the company delightful, and I left Alan a couple hours later full of appreciation for this storied Boston neighbourhood.
Over the course of the weekend we also met our Boston guides Neal, Lee (Smitty to friends!), Ted and Peter, who came by our booth at the Boston Globe Travel Show to chat with each other and explain the ToursByLocals concept to curious travellers. Tomas eventually arrived, and in the evenings we braved many an ankle-deep slush puddle to explore the neighbourhoods of Back Bay and Beacon Hill.
I'm sure I'll visit Boston again...although next time I'll do it in summer.