I haven’t been to Boston since my senior trip in high school, in which we rode six hours on a bus, wandered around a market (during which several of my classmates pocketed more merchandise than they purchased), took a boozeless booze cruise, and then rode six hours back home.
Jeez, when written out, that sounds like the worst senior trip ever. But, really, it was more fun than it sounds. I mean, getting out of my tiny town with the rest of my 74 person class, with NO parents? There’s no way that couldn’t have been fun.
Suffice it to say, howevs, that it didn’t leave me with lasting impressions of Boston as a city.
So, when I decided to return there this fall, I was excited. I couldn’t wait to experience the city as a grown-up — there are just so many things to do in Boston. Woohoo!
The first thing I noticed were the accents. They are real. (I have a feeling some of you just said “Duh!” to your computer.)
I don’t know why they took me by such surprise; that doesn’t happen when I visit, say, London. I think it’s because I seriously thought that the accents in all the Ben Affleck movies were made up to make Boston more interesting. I was wrong.
(Hint: do not give me booze and allow me to talk to people with Boston accents. Remember that scene in “Love Actually” where the Wisconsin girls make Colin say “bottle” and “straw”? Umm, yeah.)
Unfortunately, I was so busy harassing people in bars (and every other establishment) about their accents that I didn’t have time for many other activities.
But that’s okay; I went for the sole purposes of visiting my buddy, Ace, and seeing one of our favorite bands, STS9, in concert. (Dressed as a glittersaurus, obvs.)
Speaking of bars, though, another highlight was visiting the oldest pub in Boston. PAUL REVERE used to drink here. I geeked out about that, hardcore. The poor waitress probably (maybe?) sees that all the time, and gave me the wannest of smiles when I got over-excited. Oh well. I guess not everyone can lose their shit over where some dead dude drank beer.
What made my stay really special was where I slept.
I was lucky enough to stay in an apartment booked on Wimdu. This accommodation website’s motto is “Travel like a local,” and they have more than 50,000 properties in 100 countries. It’s a great service for travelers and residents alike; travelers get an alternative to a characterless hotel, and residents make some side money by renting an extra room or an entire apartment.
There were several choices of places to stay in Boston, but Ace and I knew the place we wanted when we saw it. Luxury suite with Moroccan furnishings? Sign. Me. Up.
You can click on the link to see more photos, or you can just let your eyes feast here. The apartment was not only unique and lavish, but also absolutely spotless, and the intricate decorations made us feel like we’d been transported straight to Morocco.
Our host, Elizabeth, was friendly and gracious. She gave us a nice tour of the apartment and was available for questions, but allowed us our privacy — unlike a creepy B&B, where you feel like you have to hang out with the owners and hear about their teaspoon collection.
Even better than the funky decor were all the personal touches strewn throughout the apartment; Elizabeth had thought of every last detail. A bottle of wine, a binder full of Boston info, a container of Moroccan shampoo, and a fridge stocked with bagels, eggs, and juice.
It really felt like home. (That is, what I hope my super rad future home feels like.)
I thought that using Wimdu was a great alternative to staying in a hotel. The apartment had so much character that it was a vacation just to hang out in there. You’d pay double for that kind of luxury at a hotel, and it wouldn’t have all the personal touches. (And, if we’d been staying a few nights, having a kitchen would be a big money saver.)
Though Ace and I will never forget “the time we went to Morocco,” I wish I had had more time in Boston. Being from New York state, NYC will always have my heart — but, I think this city’s got potential.
Lucky for meeee, I’m headed back there in early January. (Accented people, beware.) I’m looking forward to further exploring the city, though I just might end up spending the night in Morocco!
Have you tried Wimdu, or any similar accommodation site? What did you think?
Thanks to the great folks at Wimdu for sponsoring my stay. All opinions are my own.