Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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Boston baby! Hitting the Freedom Trail

Slightly-frazzled working mother LAURA McDAID discovers that being a godmother in historic Boston can be just what the doctor ordered.....

BEING asked to be a Godmother is always a cause for celebration of course, but it's doubly so when the christening is being held in a cool American city and you just have to be there. So when my brother asked me to be just that for my little neice Caroline, my first thoughts were of the honour and privilege. Second thoughts were: "Boston, baby!" He moved there with his American wife and son last year.

"So it's definitely no trouble?" he asks.

"Sure what else would I be doing in December? No trouble at all!"

Try holding me back. As a mother of a toddler myself, I haven't had an excuse to leave Belfast for nearly three years. My mum and I touched down as the sun was setting on the city - loving it already. Although we imagined it might cost us a few quid, we gave all public transport options a swerve in favour of a cab. Ten minutes and a mere 15 dollars later, we at the door of the InterContinental Hotel. Things were looking up. Got to our room and saw the view. Now we had landed. Sophisticated, modern, and so quiet you could hear a pin drop, this place knows how to treat its guests. My mum hit the 'bedtime beats' button on the MP3 player and we were asleep well before we finished our bottle of red.

In the morning we discovered we were on the site where the Boston Tea Party took place in 1773. Located on the Boston waterfront, it's the heart of what's described as 'new Boston', despite its historic credentials.

Across the brige, a walk that takes about four or five minutes, is a mecca for kids and that's no exaggeration. The Children's Museum is like Charly's Chocolate Factory, only with light shows, toy work benches, dolls houses and water games instead of sweet stuff. I missed my little boy already because I could only imagine how excited he would be here. This was where we met my gorgeous little goddaughter, but I'm reminded that this is a travel feature so I'll reign in the gushing. So in a word, she was lovely. I got a quick hello from my two-year-old nephew Finn before I was upstaged by the facilities. "Bye!" he shouted roughly six seconds later. How could I compete with a three storey climbing structure? (Very safe by the way).

For my sister-in-law Emily, this place is a life saver - she even has a yearly subscription. Three hours later my mum and I headed back to the hotel and I decided to have a wander around the financial district on its opposite side. Although banks, law firms and insurance buildings might not rock everyone's boat, it reminded me of what used to be my favourite TV series, Ally McBeal, which was set in this very area (although no doubt filmed elsewhere).

And as a slightly frazzled working mother, I found it very satisfying to wander aimlessly around a business area where everyone was hard at work except me. Meandering though its streets dotted with stressed looking people in suits brought me back to my school days when I'd blag a sick day and suddenly the same old bed took on a magical feel because it wasn't a maths class. Maybe I just really needed a holiday.

To read the rest of Laura McDaid's feature on her trip to Boston and see all the pictures, pick up a copy of Northern Ireland Travel News...

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