I attended a conference in Boston at the beginning of summer 2014, and I was so impressed with the city that I made a mental note to keep an eye out for future conferences there. The city seemed to be oriented toward familes, especially those who want to teach their children about the history of our country. I told Gina when I got home all about Boston and how great it would be if we could go there together.
Well, sometime last year I discovered that one of the conferences I had been wanting to attend was actually going to be in Boston, so I applied to be a presenter just to see what happened. Several months later I got word that I had indeed been selected by the program committee to be a speaker. So, now we had some decisions to make. Would I accept the invitation? Would we all go, or just me? Could we afford it? After a lot of discussion, we decided we could afford the trip and that Sam and Nate are at a great age for this kind of thing. They absorb absolutely everything, and there are so many experiences that would stick with them for a lifetime.
Looking back, I can tell you that Boston totally delivered on my expectations, and more! We arrived the evening before the conference began, and we spent some time walking around the Back Bay area. We actually saw Aaron Neville in concert, which was a total surprise. We also took the T to Revere Beach and saw some sand sculptures (as well as a Rod Stewart impersonator). After a late dinner, we crashed in our hotel room for the night.
The rest of the week went something like this: Gina and the boys explored Boston while I attended the conference sessions. There were plenty of free activities for them to do while I was in learning about new strategies and tools for using technology in my classroom. As soon as my sessions ended each day, I would meet the family somewhere in Boston and we would have adventures until late into the night. One such adventure was a Red Sox game at Fenway Park! Oh, I could there to watch baseball every night, and I don't even like baseball that much.
Gina found out about something called the Go Boston card, which is a discount pass to many of the attractions around the city. We did the math, and it seemed like a pretty good deal. Well, I don't have the exact numbers but I am pretty sure we got our money's worth out of this pass. We visited several museums, the aquarium, took two cruises around Boston Harbor, got a tour of Fenway Park, went on a guided tour of the Freedom Trail, and visited several other historical sites. Needless to say, we were totally spent at the end of each day.
There is so much I could write about this trip. It met and exceeded our hopes in just about every way. We learned so much about the early history of our country. We saw some amazing things. We got to spend a lot of time together (even considering how much time I was in conference sessions). We were already making mental notes about what to see next time we visit Boston, even before we left. You can see our pictures from the trip in our online photo album. I took over 1,000 pictures, which still does not seem to capture everything we did and saw. We are grateful for experiences like this, and we look forward to even more.