I don't want to change the world; I'm just looking for New England

I always thought those were the lyrics. In my head this poor girl (I'm more familiar with the Kirsty MacColl version of "A New England" than Billy Bragg's original) was wandering around North America trying to find an elusive area of land, fervently explaining to each passer-by whom she asked for directions that she most definitely did not have a political agenda.

As I sit in our Boston Airbnb which is owned by a political adviser for the Democrat party, having spent the afternoon at the JFK Presidential Library, the day before walking around Lexington and Concord where the American Revolutionary War began, and a few days prior to that in Plymouth where the Mayflower landed and the Pilgrims built themselves a new life away from (Old) England, I'm not surprised they questioned her: it seems Massachusetts is all about people who want to change the world.

Hold up, I hear you say: you're in Boston now? Yes. After a few months in the UK we've resumed our itinerant lifestyle, starting off with ten days in Boston. We're not getting quite as imbued into the fabric of the city as we did when we were in one place for a month or more, but for various reasons we decided a touristy ten days would suit just fine on this occasion. And so on Easter Monday we set sail for the New World... on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner complete with noise-cancelling headphones.

headphones

First things first: find a park! Luckily this great Cambridge Common playground is right by Harvard, which is a 15-minute walk from our apartment, so on our first day the little ones were able to have a good run around before we took in one of the world's most famous universities.

park-swing

cambridge-common

harvard-building

harvard-building

We warmed up inside the Natural History Museum (on the campus) and saw some fairly impressive dinosaur fossils and stuffed animals, though the space itself feels rather small. Having been to other museums since then I'm not sure I'd place this one high up on the list, but as a stop to get inside and speak to the nice Bostonite lady on the desk (our first proper exchange with a local) it was the right decision at the time.

We took a slightly different route back to take in more of the streets, and marvelled at the architecture, size and space each house enjoys on the main residential roads. The houses looked grand but not showy. The people we encountered smiled briefly but then were on their way. Everyone here seems to have their own thing going on, so they'll quietly get on with it and leave you to yours. We'd only been here a day, but already we liked the place.

The next day the weather was rather miserable, so it was an optimum time to visit the Museum of Science. (The historical stuff comes later.) The electricity show involved a bit too much listening for the younger members of our party but we did manage to embrace the "science" element to some extent, as Master H manoeuvred a ball around by shifting his balance, and Miss H merrily posted balls up a vacuum tube.

shifting-balance

vacuum-tube

After the typically terrible on-site cafe lunch experience (#shouldhavebroughtapackedlunch) we took a final turn at the things we do best: dinosaurs, and exhibits you can climb into (in this case a space module).

dinosaur

space-module

The following day was set to be clear blue skies, so we headed to the Skywalk Observatory. The audio tour and great visuals of the city made for an excellent introduction to Boston and helped us plan what else we wanted to see in our time here, so if you're considering a trip to Boston I'd highly recommend doing this.

skywalk-observatory

skywalk-observatory

skywalk-observatory

Afterwards we had lunch in the area known as Back Bay, snapping the impressive Boston Public Library as we walked past, then strolled up to Boston Common where the kids had a play in the park.

boston-public-library

back-bay

back-bay

boston-common

boston-common


Coming up: we delve into the historical side of Boston...

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Cheerio, Chicago