10 Things to Try in Boston

Okay, I’m going to try to keep this simple, because if I start complicating this by editing photos and what not, I’ll never get to finish this blog post, and I really want to talk about how my week-long trip to Boston was. Apologizing in advance for the lack of post-processing.

Last month, I was given the opportunity to travel to Boston, Massachusetts, for the INBOUND 2017 conference. If you’re a marketer, or have any sort of interest in marketing at least, you’d know that INBOUND is THE MARKETING CONFERENCE to be. Every year, there’s just more and more people flocking to Boston to attend the star-studded event (and when I say stars, I mean icons of the marketing industry. There are some celebrities, too, but that’s completely optional.)

It was my first time going on a 15-hour long flight! It’s a good thing they had in-flight movies and regularly spaced meals to keep me occupied. We arrived at Boston at 10 in the evening on a Friday, despite leaving at 12 PM in Manila (yes, I understand timezones, but it doesn’t make it any less amazing.)

So here’s a rundown of some things I loved about Boston, and hope you’d get to try them out when you visit the city:

1. Embassy Suites Hotel and their world-class buffet breakfast. Our choice of hotel was the Embassy Suites Hotel, just a few minutes drive from the airport. When we arrived, it was drizzling, and the temperature was around 15 degrees celsius. Because I’m my optimistic self, I packed hoping that the weather would be kinder to me, and that the temperature would be around 25 degrees celsius. For the duration of my trip, it never went to as high as 25 degrees celsius =)) Lesson # 1: Always be prepared for cold weather. PS: I didn’t completely leave my jackets home, but the clothes I brought were not heattech in quality either.

What I liked most about the Embassy Suites was their buffet breakfast.

I looked forward to their omelettes and sausages every day. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I can eat this forever.

2. The train/ MBTA’s 7-Day Link Card. For the duration of the convention, there was a shuttle service available to take us to the convention center from the hotel, and vice-versa. There were times when we chose to take the Uber to get to other destinations, but we quickly found that Uber was expensive. An average trip would set us back by $10-$15 + tips! So we decided to get a 7-day MBTA Link Card

We used it four or five times max, but it proved useful because we didn’t need to line up to reload our card.

3. The Lobster Roll and Chowder. Boston is famous for their Lobster Roll and Chowder soup, and we didn’t plan on leaving the city without trying it out for ourselves. Even though these two dishes are what Boston’s known for, they’re not in any way cheap! In fact, a small serving of one Lobster Roll, one small bowl of Chowder soup, and a small pack of oyster crackers cost about $25.

4. Shopping! I spent most of my spare time shopping for pasalubongs. We went to plenty of shopping centers like Macy’s, TJ Maxx, Target, Walgreens, and CVS. Before I did my shopping, I practiced due diligence by asking my friend Oliver. Oliver was one of my fellow nurses in the recovery unit in PGH, and now he’s working as a nurse in Boston. So I took advantage of his knowledge of local shopping spots, and he recommended I go to Primark. And when I got there, I was just so floored to find so many cheap finds! A $1 pack of 7 socks? A dinosaur throw (fleece blanket) for $7? I wanted to splurge my life savings on things I didn’t even know I wanted until Primark.

Lego for $20/ Php 1000 at Target. This one’s Php 2500 here in the Philippines

Aside from that, we stopped by Payless and Bath and Body Works. Payless was okay – the shoe prices were just the same as the Payless prices here in the Philippines. But Bath and Body Works – oh wow. I didn’t even know I wanted so many lotions and fragrance mists in my life. I discovered the Sea Island Cotton BBW lotion, and I was instantly obsessed. During the time of our visit, they had it on their Buy 3, Take 3 discount, so I was able to get it for roughly only $6, of Php 300. They were also selling hand soaps for 6 for $25, and I bought two. Now I’m back in the Philippines, I’m finding out that the BBW lotions are being sold here in department stores for Php 700. I wish I had bought more. I wish I have relatives in the US to send me more BBW things. *Tita regrets intensify*

I also found that there are plenty of products that are so much cheaper in the US than in the Philippines, like shampoos, cellphone accessories, and toys. Clothes are expensive everywhere except at Primark. But I found a huge 1L bottle of Aussie shampoo and it only costs $7 (Php 350). DO YOU GUYS REALIZE HOW EXPENSIVE AUSSIE SHAMPOO IS HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES? Aussie shampoos here retail for a minimum of Php 600 for their smallest bottle. If only I had more baggage allowance, then I would have definitely bought more!

5. Joining community activities. On our first day at Boston, while walking around town, we stumbled upon this amazing community attempt to beat the existing Guinness world record for the world’s largest human peace sign. We registered and joined without hesitation! I mean, how often do you get the chance to participate in a Guinness attempt?

 

Unfortunately, Boston didn’t beat the world record. We were about 3500 people short of beating it. It was a fun experience, nevertheless!

6. Visiting MIT. We visited Cambridge to drop off a special package (which may or may not be a pack of Samyang’s Spicy noodles from the Philippines) from Kyle for his editor, TJ. Initially, we weren’t planning on touring MIT because it was our last day in Boston, and we had errands to run.

In exchange for delivering the “special package”, I got to take home these cool MIT pins to Kyle! He loved them!

But we ended up getting toured by TJ anyway, and we’re glad we got to explore MIT!

7. Chasing Squirrels. Boston is also known for their squirrels. When I first saw one wandering around the grassy areas near the hotel, I got so excited that I chased after it. I didn’t expect to see more of them that day, so I was surprised to find them common in parks and wherever places there are trees.

8. Inbound. Well, that’s pretty much the reason why I was in Boston! I learned so much from the talks and the keynote speeches, and had fun at the same time. There were food trucks serving awesome lunches to the guests, and there were plenty of activities for everyone.

9. The Amazing Food. Food was pretty expensive in Boston, and I have a personal rule when it comes to spending for food: It’s to choose between cheap or healthy, if it can’t be both. If food is expensive, then it has to be the healthy variety for me to not feel so bad after spending so much on it!

Asian Chicken from Moyzilla (it’s free for Inbound 2017 guests!) Delicious!

My drink’s more expensive than my burger. WHAT

Free at the Guinness attempt event!

Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese – again, free for INBOUND 2017 Participants!

Spicy Avocado and Lime Quinoa Bowl from B Good (roughly around $10)

Hotdog from one of the stands

10. Walking around Boston. There’s so much to see in Boston, but it will require some walking around. I made the mistake of wearing my newly bought mid-heels during my first day in Boston, and in a matter of hours, my feet were in pain. I had to stop by a Payless store to buy myself a pair of comfy flats.

The city offers a walking tour (which we didn’t avail to make time for shopping and sightseeing). The tour will take you along the Boston Heritage Trail, where you’ll get to learn more about Boston’s famous historical landmarks. Of course, you can tour yourself around by pre-planning your itinerary and having your Google maps on hand.

Outside Bath and Body Works

Along the port

World Trade Center in Boston

China Town in Boston

To summarize this lengthy blog post, here are some tips for the next time you travel to Boston:

1. If you’re not from the US, make sure to get extra baggage allowance. You’re going to save more by buying more products (like shampoos, medicines) here in the US, than buying products back at home. Products are usually packed and sold in bigger quantities, but a 1L shampoo in the US is still cheaper than a 500ml shampoo back in the Philippines.

2. Go to Primark and Target.

3. Wear comfy shoes. You’ll be walking around a lot.

4. Dress warm.

5. Take the train instead of using Uber to get around town.

Are the people racist in Boston? I got asked this a lot when I got home, and my answer is NO. At least I didn’t feel that way. They were very friendly and helpful.

Was it cold? Like hell yeah. I’ve lived my whole life in the Philippines, where it’s always at least 28 degrees celsius (or 82.4℉). During the time I was in Boston, the average temperature was around 55-65℉.

How bad was the traffic? They say that Boston is one of the worst cities when it comes to traffic. Maybe so, in US standards. Remember, I’m from the Philippines where heavy traffic is part of everyday life. However, I recall our longest trip being at most 30 minutes. It’s not so bad.

I had a fun time in Boston, and would love to come back when I get the chance! : -HANA

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