Twenty Four Hours in Boston

By The Flying Pinto

“Do you get to stay here?” A passenger asked me as they deplaned in Boston. “Well, I hope so! Considering it is one o’clock in the morning” I laughed. “Well, I mean do you have enough time to actually spend here?”

This is actually a pretty common question, no matter what time of day or where I happen to be landing. The answer is, yes! Sometimes Flight Attendants have long layovers. A long layover is about 24 hours. You still may think that is too short to really do anything but, you’d be surprised at what I can accomplish in a day. When I first started flying, I used to have a thick “Go USA” book that went everywhere with me. I was able to find out everything I needed to know about seeing a city in a day. Today, there’s the Internet so it’s even easier to make a game plan. I’ve gotten so used to sight seeing in a day that if I go on vacation for a week it ends up feeling like an eternity!

I’ve also been getting emails lately with questions about a flight attendant’s lifestyle so, I thought I’d share my long layovers with you. I’ll have 24 hours in each city, and I will stay on budget with my allotted per diem of about $50. (At my airline we receive $2.08 per hour for each hour spent away from our home base.) So what did I do with my twenty four hours in Boston?

My hotel is located in the heart of the Back Bay, so I start my day out with a run along the Charles River. The trail is a 5 mile loop that links around to Cambridge and back. I think if I had an area as beautiful as this to run at home….I might just exercise more! (Ok, I might have walked part of it) Free

Next breakfast. I am famished. My Mom who lives about forty miles south of Boston came in for the day and met up with me at The Paramount Deli in Beacon Hill. A restaurant rich in history (the last victim of The Boston Strangler was killed in an apartment above the restaurant) was opened in 1937. The food is yummy and the attitude is New England, i.e., be sure to order before grabbing a table but, don’t expect anyone to explain the rules. There is a sign but, who reads signs? Breakfast is hectic but, fun and social. And, when things slowed down, Gabe, the executive chef took time out for a photo op and even invited me behind the counter where all the magic happens. I spent $8.50 for a feta, spinach and tomato omelette.

Next up? Shopping. With our bellies full we head over to Newbury Street. “What?” You say, “That’s the street with all the expensive boutiques, right?” Yes, that’s true. But, it’s a great street to stroll down while getting fashion ideas for shopping at The Closet and the other consignment stores in the lower blocks of Newbury Street.  (and the people watching is almost as good as the airport) The Closet is a hidden gem located at 175 Newbury Street, between Dartmouth and Exeter. (Bostons Back Bay is laid out in grid form and the streets that run perpendicular to Newbury are in alphabetical order as follows: Arlington, Berkely, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, and Gloucester. The further away from Arlington, the more affordable the store) Once inside The Closet expect to find in season designer clothing and accessories that are not more than two years old. Although I usually find a treasure or two I was out of luck this trip….being on my tight budget…but, I did find a funky bracelet at Second Time Around located at 219 Newbury Street. $10

Satisfied with our shopping spree we head over to the North End (Boston’s Little Italy) for some sightseeing and lunch. A day in Boston would not be complete without a bit of history. One of my favorite spots, The Old North Church is part of Boston’s Freedom Trail. This quaint little church is tucked away in The North End behind the Paul Revere Monument. Take a seat in one the boxed pews for a ten minute history lesson. It’s so cool to realize this is actually where the lanterns were hung for Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. Talk about bringing history to life! A donation is suggested for the presentation. (recommended donation, $1)

Lunch time! What better place to grab food than Little Italy. My favorite pizza is Regina Pizzeria, located at 11 1/2 Thatcher Street so we head there. We order a small original North End Recipe Pizza for $8.39. Mmmmmm…I’m ready to go back just looking at the picture! After lunch we sight see some more and walk the waterfront area. It’s a beautiful day and Boston is one of the best walking cities.

Another idea when checking out a city is to check out the local real estate market, if you like that sort of thing. I do, and when I saw this sign:  in a real estate office on Charles Street (Beacon Hill: 86 Beacon Street #4 $3,600,000.00) I decided to add it to the day. We even scored a glass of champagne out of the deal! Free, unless of course you put an offer in: )

Feeling relaxed from our champagne we head back down to the water front for a sunset harbor cruise. A 25 minute cruise to Charlestown and back for $1.70. How did we catch a boat trip for so little? We actually took a shuttle, subsidized by the MBTA. You can sit up on the top deck, and even buy snacks down below. (You can choose to stay in Charlestown and tour the U.S.S. Constitution for free, but the trip back will be another $1.70)

We decided to walk through Quincy Market on the way back to the hotel for dinner. Clam chowder was heavy on my mind so even though there is a plethora of food choices, I bee lined it for Boston and Maine Fish Company. I got a lobster roll for $14. added clam chowder for $3. and topped it all off with a Sam Adams Summer Ale for $3.50 for a total of $20.50.

There you have it, Boston in 24hours for a grand total of $50.09. Ok, I went a tad over but, that’s pretty good! Proof you can still get a lot of bang for your buck in an expensive city.

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  1. Aviatrix @ 2010-08-08 06:43

    I love this one! I might copy your idea, but 24 hours in Fort Nelson isn't going to be quite as pretty.

  2. freeflyingmom @ 2010-08-08 13:35

    "A Grand Time Was Had by All"…Thanks for a beautiful day Darling Daughter!

  3. Gailen David @ 2010-08-08 13:47

    Love this!!!! You guys really layover the way it was meant to be. No slam clicking for you. I am embarrassed at myself now. You inspire me!

  4. Love this post, I went to school in Cambridge and know the area well! You did a great job explaining why Boston/Cambridge is a great place to visit and live!

    One clarification:

    "the streets that run parallel to Newbury are in alphabetical order as follows: Arlington, Berkely, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, and Gloucester"

    The streets are parallel to each other, but are PERPENDICULAR to Newbury street…if they were parallel to Newbury street they'd never insect it…

  5. oops..insect should have been INTERSECT…Guess we all having math issues today!

  6. The Flying Pinto @ 2010-08-08 21:15's what you get for correcting me;-)Actually, I appreciate it, thanks. I know the difference, it was late as usual when I was writing it.

    Aviatrix…I would love to hear what there is to do in Fort Nelson, lol. My next adventure won't be as easy, Boston was a bit of a cheat. (I used to give tours of Boston)

    Gailen, we need to meet up somewhere…then we'll have a whole $100 between us;-)

    Thanks, mommy:)

  7. Joanna Jenkins @ 2010-08-11 04:52

    What a great post. I'm printing it out and saving it for my next trip to Boston.

    I'm heading to NYC soon– Any tips for the Big Apple 😉

    And I can't wait to hear what you have to say about the Jet Blue Flight Attendant who grabbed a few beers and "jumped".

    I'm taking a 3 week blog vacation but i'll be checking in to read. Have a great rest of August. Cheers, jj

  8. Anonymous @ 2010-08-11 14:11

    I saw that pic of the pizza and drink. I am sure that the restaurant where you bought that has been inspected by the health department. To avoid transmission of disease-causing germs, the ice was put in the cup using a SCOOP. The scoop must be kept OUTSIDE the ice bin because the handle has the germs from the workers' hands. If it is kept IN the ice, the germs would get on the ice. If ANY restaurant in The US did not do this, they would be cited and fined. So why, in EVERY flight (I am a frequent flyer) do the flt attendants scoop the ice with a cup, plunging their hands into the ice & contaminating it? There was twice I saw a scoop used, but the scoop (handle too) was left IN the ice. All the other times, the attendants, after touching all the seat backs, credit cards, overhead bins (all touched by everyone else)& passenger's fingers – do they NOT do what every restaurant has to do? Yuch!
    And we wonder how the flu spreads around the world?
    I have been very nice and not said anything, nor complained. I just ask for "Water please – NO ICE!"
    Thanks for letting me vent

  9. So write a letter…and don't drink the ice, it's not a restaurant, it's a bar cart.

  10. This series is great. I am on pins and needles for another installment and more cities. Nice work!

  11. Skywaitress @ 2010-08-15 05:00

    Sounds like it was so much fun! I've only ever gotten short layovers in Boston. Glad that I have ideas if I ever get a long one now though.

  12. Postcards and Coasters @ 2010-08-15 16:22

    I need to get a layover there. Thanks for the info and the running site.

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