Return to Beantown.
Each year, during the last week of March, students of Oregon are given the week off during an annual ritual commonly known as Spring Break.
Spring Break, for most, usually entails a raucous good time in some warm, balmy climate, a wonderful way to end the frigid – or in Oregon’s case simply wet – season and commences the countdown to summer vacation.
Spring Break was never utilized much when I was growing up, so it was usually filled with hours and hours of being glued to the computer or television for twelve hours a day. My mother was either a stay-at-home mom or a teacher, so she always had that week off, but my dad worked full-time and we usually saved up his vacation time so he could take a week off in the summer and a week off around Christmas. Although my mother, now a full-time second grade teacher, tends to spend most of her vacation time working on lesson plans and anyone who knows anything about being a teacher knows that the job is does not end when the bell rings at 3:00.
It wasn’t until I was in college that I actually did anything during Spring Break, and that was mostly because I was finally old enough to travel on my own and had the funds to do so – my college spring breaks included trips to Georgia, Philadelphia and New York.
Now I’m a grown-up.
With a full-time job.
And all the wonderful restrictions on how much time I can take off to boot.
However, last year I was given five days of vacation plus two personal days, and didn’t end up using any of them until my vacation home to Oregon in December. I ended up with two days to roll over to the 2008 calendar year, so instead of only ten vacation days this year, I actually have twelve.
The two roll over vacation days go kaput on March 31. Which means I have to go on vacation before then, or I lose them.
And I’m still young enough to think, “Give up vacation days?! Are you crazy?”
After much discussion with my parents and a bit of flip-flopping on what we were planning to do, the final verdict is that my mother and I are going to Boston. We initially thought about her coming to New York City, but my mother has been here twice and I live here (well almost) and it’s really not all that exciting anymore (oh dear God, did I just say that?) so we wanted to try someplace that she hadn’t been to before and that I had only minimally experienced.
She’s flying to Boston in about two weeks and will settle into the hotel (which I’m told is near Boston Commons) on a Friday, and I will drive up and join her the next day. We’ll be in Boston for practically four full days and we’ll head back down to New Jersey around Tuesday evening. We’ll have a full day in New York City (I mean, we have to do some New York).
Now here’s the thing. I saw quite a bit of Boston, but most of it was accidental touristing. I love to walk around. I’m perfectly fine getting lost and trying to figure my way around. I find it enjoyable and you usually see some pretty interesting things you normally wouldn’t otherwise. But I’m going to be with my mother and I don’t want to spend the entire day trying to figure out what to do. I want a plan. A good plan. A mother-friendly plan.
I need suggestions.
I know quite a few of my readers are either from Boston or have been there a lot, so I need ideas. What kinds of restaurants, stores, museums (art or historical preferred) should I be looking into? Are there any events going on? I was thinking about taking her to a spa, has anyone been to a good spa in Boston? What about outside of Boston? I have a car so we’re quite mobile (I even know how to pump gas now, though I’d probably have my mother do it since she grew up in California). We’re thinking about Salem and Gloucester on Tuesday on our way back – is there anything in there that we should make a plan to see?
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