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Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

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Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Goldengirl30 on Sun 19 Feb - 15:31

Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

So, welcome everyone to this trippy which I hope you will find interesting.

Why Boston?  It has been a city I have wanted to visit for a long time and this year we also fancied a break after Christmas, preferably somewhere cold with snow.  We originally looked at a trip to Europe with Austria or Switzerland top of the list but the prices were more than we wanted to pay so shelved that idea.  I then looked at prices for New York but again, they were more than we wanted to pay.  I then found out BA had a sale on and so had a look on their site and Boston was one of the options so I priced it up and couldn't believe the final total, it was cheaper than Europe and New York  Very Happy  In fact, we could even add one more night and upgrade the hotel to a nicer area for still less so a few clicks of the mouse and we were all booked!  We had never flown with BA and so this added another new angle to the holiday.  

Lots of planning later, we had booked the Thistle Hotel at Heathrow with parking for the night before, a Go City Boston Card which brought entry in to most of the key attractions, tickets for basketball to see Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76s and printed off various maps of the city and subway system.  We also kept a keen eye on the weather as the week before they had had a massive snow storm and Boston Airport was shut down so we were slightly apprehensive we wouldn't even make it but thankfully, it passed in time for us.  So after finishing work on the Friday, fish and chip takeaway for dinner before packing, we were on our way and too excited for words......  Very Happy

Saturday 11th February 2017:

Heathrow is only about 1hr45mins from our house and our flight wasn't until 4.30pm on Sunday but we decided to add an extra day and stay overnight at the airport.  Heathrow is just next door to Windsor which is a lovely place to visit and so we decided to head there for the day beforehand.  We left home at about 9am and stopped at services for some breakfast - we really wanted a McDonalds but had to settle for some porridge from Pret which I suppose was slightly healthier!  We arrived in Windsor about 11am and parked up easily.  The weather was particularly cold and slightly snowing but all good practice for the forthcoming few days  Very Happy Windsor has a lovely mix of well known shops but also some really nice unique little boutique type shops.  We spent a few hours mooching around before heading to Zizzi for lunch - this is one of our favourite places to eat; we both had pizza and I had a celebratory glass of prosecco  drunken  




After lunch we headed to Windsor Castle which is in the heart of the city.  It cost £21 each and is well worth a visit if you have never been.  The queue was huge to get in and I was surprised how busy it was bearing in mind to was winter.  There is also an airport style security check you have to go through.  The Queen was home so there were some parts which we couldn't enter.  It really is a fascinating place and we spent a lovely few hours wandering around and taking it all in.




















By this point, we were freezing (should have worn our thermals!) and so headed to Costa for a warm drink and a cake.  We then had a slow walk back through town towards the car before the 15 minute drive to the Thistle Hotel.  I booked the hotel, car-parking, pod transfer to the airport, 3 course meal and breakfast via Hotel Extras (thank you Christine for the tip about not immediately booking as they then frequently send you discount emails) all for £150 which I thought was a great price.  The hotel is the only one with direct pod transfer to Terminal 5.  I was slightly worried when we pulled up as from the outside it looks really run down but inside it is lovely and I thoroughly recommend it if you are ever flying from Heathrow.  The rooms are lovely - slightly on the small side but clean and there is a really nice bar in the lobby area.  We somehow timed it to perfection to watch the 6 Nations England vs Wales so grabbed a beer from the bar and settled in to watch it (great match which England probably didn't deserve to win!)



After a freshen up, we headed for dinner in the restaurant.  This has absolutely fantastic views over Terminal 5, the runway and incoming flight paths.  There is also an outside terrace which on a lovely summers evening, I bet it is amazing sitting outside with a nice cool drink just watching the plans come in and out.  Dinner was really nice; as we had pre-paid we got to choose from the fixed price menu. We then sat and had another drink taking in the views (we really are sad geeks as we love plane watching study ).  We then headed for bed, super excited for the following day.

Sunday 12th February 2017:

We woke up about 8am and headed for breakfast - this was as much as you could eat and there was plenty to choose from.  We again got a window seat and enjoyed more plane watching action.





We headed back to the room and I was getting restless, I just wanted to get to the airport and despite Paul insisting we would be too early, I won the argument (naturally  Laughing ) and we left the hotel about 10.30.  The hotel has access to the fantastic pod system which serves Terminal 5.  These are cute little pods which run on a monorail and take about 5 minutes travel time.  








The ride was great fun however no Spanish announcements like some other monorail a few of us have been on Laughing The pod drops you in business parking area and this is just a short walk from the terminal.  So it was now about 11.00 and for the next hour, I lost count of the times Paul said to me "told you so" Laughing Rolling Eyes As he predicted, we were there way too early and there really isn't a lot to do before bag drop - I don't think I've ever spent so long in WHSmith!  Numerous paper reading and coffees later, the bag drop time finally came up on the screen as 1.40pm!!  A few more "I told you so" conversations later, we finally dropped off our bags and headed through security.  Terminal 5 past security is very nice; lots of shops but all high end so we only did some window shopping.  We had a latish lunch in the terminal pub before heading to the gate.




The flight left about 30mins late but we were surprised that the captain said the flight time was only 6hr40mins as all our research suggested it would be about 7hrs30 so we made up for lost time.  The flight was uneventful, slight areas of turbulence but nothing too bad.  We both watched a couple of films - me; Florence Foster Jenkins and The Legend of Tarzan both of which were very good.  Paul watched The Magnificent 7 and Jack Reacher.  Food was OK too.  The landing was smooth but Boston must have a really short runway as the brakes were hit very sharply!  The captain announced the weather as snowing which meant there was a queue for a stand and so we sat at the end of the runway for 30mins before we could taxi and park up.  Immigration was very quick - we used the ESTA booths and the official was very nice.  Bag drop was a slight nightmare - it took 30mins for our bags to arrive; 2 loads came very quickly and gradually people were collecting their bags leaving about 20 of us just standing there waiting, and waiting and.........  Eventually someone came over and radioed through some of the luggage barcode numbers to confirm they had been loaded and were in the system and just as she was doing that, the belt started again and the remainder of the bags arrived - big fat phew!  

I had pre-booked a car to collect us from East Coast Limo's and had a text to say the driver was outside.  We headed outside for our first taste of the Boston winter weather.  It was freezing and snowing but we were beaming from ear to ear Very Happy We met our driver and took the short 15min ride to our hotel - Sheraton Boston.  The check-in lady was absolutely lovely and said as they weren't busy, she would upgrade us to a nicer, bigger room which was very generous of her.  The hotel is basically a lobby and 2 tall towers and we were on the 22nd floor of the south tower.  The room was fantastic - really big, clean and with amazing views over the back bay area of the city.





It was late by this time - about 8pm local time and we were shattered but hungry so headed to the hotel bar for dinner.  The staff were great.  Paul had his first pint of Sam Adams beer (its is absolute favourite and local to the area) and a burger and I ordered a Smuttynose Beer (just because of the name Very Happy ) and a pulled pork flatbread.  Dinner came out quickly but I was given a pulled pork sandwich by mistake - no great problem but they so were apologetic and gave us a free Boston Creme Pie as an apology which was delicious.  The staff were really great to talk to and we sat watching the Grammy's with them (it wasn't busy so they were watching it) and ordered another round of drinks.  By 10pm we really were tired and headed up to our room excited for what the next few days had in store Very Happy
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by alysond on Sun 19 Feb - 17:10

What an amazing few days. I love the idea of an extra days holiday in this country before you go. We did that by going to Bournemouth before Turkey.... Glenn and I joked we were having a 2 centre holiday!
The photos of Windsor castle are really good, it's not somewhere we've ever been but always wanted to. It's certainly now made me think we MUST get on with going.
The hotel looks good too, I love the view. We'll certainly be pricing it for our September trip
Right, ready for the proper Boston ones now so don't tarry with the next ones..... Really enjoying what you're written so far and loving all the photos. Laughing
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by lovetoshop on Sun 19 Feb - 17:24

Wow love all the photos, Alan didn't believe me when I told him you travelled to the terminal in a pod, so I showed him and he is gutted we won't be able to do that, we are further out in Bath Road, Premier Inn, was your meals included in the hotel price? Loved Boston but there were horrendous road works when we went, they were building a whole new tunnel under the city, looking forward to the next one.
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Goldengirl30 on Sun 19 Feb - 17:36

lovetoshop wrote:Wow love all the photos, Alan didn't believe me when I told him you travelled to the terminal in a pod, so I showed him and he is gutted we won't be able to do that, we are further out in Bath Road, Premier Inn, was your meals included in the hotel price?  Loved Boston but there were horrendous road works when we went, they were building a whole new tunnel under the city, looking forward to the next one.

Yes price included the meal too, it was an add on but included in the price I spoke of. The pod was so cool and nice and easy to use on the way back too Very Happy The traffic in the city was awful, gridlocked most of the time but that's due to the lack of parking.
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Chirpy on Sun 19 Feb - 19:13

Fantastic start to the holiday, really fab pictures of Windsor castle and the runway Very Happy

I agree Wales should have won the rugby. Laughing

Your hotel in Boston sounds really nice, cracking few days. Off to read the next day
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Lildie on Sun 19 Feb - 21:35

What a great start, I went to Windsor castle on a school trip and never been back, it's now on my list of to do's for this country, really enjoyed this first trippy
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by ilovesnowwhitej on Mon 20 Feb - 14:59

Love the idea of a home holiday day Smile We have been to Windsor but years ago unfortunately the Queen wasn't home. I have seen the pods at Heathrow and so want to have a go in one Smile xx How did BA compare to Virgin?
Your hotel room and view looks amazing, cant wait to hear about your adventures Smile Oh i have a coat like yours but in grey so light and warm Smile xx
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by manxies on Mon 20 Feb - 22:42

Great photos, loved the pods, did you just get on them from hotel, do you have to pay. Thanks for posting. Would love to go to Windsor.
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Meadowbankles on Thu 23 Feb - 18:48

What a great start to your holiday. Loved the pod! Very Happy
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by wikklejan on Fri 24 Feb - 0:45

That's some camera Shocked great photo's and looking forward to lots more.. Very Happy

Now how does the pod work as if you were so early maybe you could have rode around in them for a while Laughing Razz They looked like great fun...

The £150 for the room/meal /transfer ect was that total cost or each ?

As you say I bet this hotel is great in the summer for plane spotters... I just couldn't go to an airport if I wasn't going on holiday Suspect No

The room looks nice in Boston... Great view.. Smile

Off to read the next one..... AND a big thank you for these ones...
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by chiricahua on Sun 26 Feb - 19:16

great start and a fantastic set of pics..
thank you............
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by ayrshireboy on Mon 27 Feb - 7:41

Cracking pictures, thanking for taking the time.
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by petetina on Wed 1 Mar - 10:45

wow what a busy start Smile
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Debbie4 on Wed 1 Mar - 15:13

Great start ...lovely pictures
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Re: Boston - Day before and travel day - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 2017

Post by Al the mot man on Sun 19 Mar - 8:36

Great start the little pods are fantastic, and also great photos
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