Boston Celebrates Africa’s Independence

July 22nd, 2010

Part II of II

Mamadou in Boston

The 1st Annual African Festival of Boston – July 17, 2010

As I mentioned previously, we stumbled into an array of color, music, and excitement as Boston celebrated the 1st Annual African Festival. Hosted by the Shalupe Foundation, the city was alive with entertainment to celebrate the 50th birthday of 31 countries celebrating Africa’s independence. It was also an opportunity to celebrate our city’s diversity and to educate Boston African’s on their rich history.

We were greeted with the sounds of Mamadou Diop, a local African artist, who’s rich music filled the plaza and provided the backdrop for one of the featured speakers, Ayana Pressley, Boston’s At-Large City Councilor, and the first African American elected to this post. International African artists headlined as well including performers Teeyah from the Ivory Coast and Bouro Mpela from Congo.

The organizers hope to turn this into an annual event. Based on the turnout I’m sure they will succeed in their endeavor.

Visit Boston as a Local Tourist

July 22nd, 2010

Part I of II

Newbury Street, Boston

This past Saturday, my husband and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by visiting Boston as tourists. So we strapped on our backpacks and took a delightful 40-minute boat ride into town on the Salem Ferry. Boston is definitely a walking city and I highly recommend leaving the car at home or skipping the rental if you are staying in the city.

First stop off the ferry—The Landing Bar. Given that the temperature in the city was pushing 90 °F, a frozen Mango Margarita was just the thing to cool us down and prepare us for our two mile hike to the Back Bay. We wanted to spend a day in our city as if we had never visited here before so we chose to walk from one end to the other.

A short walk to City Hall Plaza brought an unexpected treat. We found ourselves in the middle of the 1st Annual African Festival, hosted by the Shalupe Foundation. Music, dance, food, and lots of color transcended us into another world. (More on the festival in part II.)

Boston Swan Boats

We continued our walk down Tremont Street, past the historic cemeteries and landmark buildings, stopped for contemporary ice-cold refreshment at Starbucks, then off through the gates of the Boston Commons and the Public Gardens to visit the swan boats. My husband had never experienced the swan boats so we enjoyed a romantic ride along the pond. Next, onto Newbury Street, with its plethora of sidewalk cafes and shops, it’s always a sensory experience.

Time to eat again? We headed to Uni at the Eliot Hotel for some of the best sashimi I’ve ever had. If budget isn’t a major concern I would highly recommend it, as it is quite pricey. Our chef, Christopher, tickled our palates with the most amazing array of fresh fish and sauces (not the standard picked ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce) and a delightful Riesling to compliment the taste. We couldn’t resist heading back to Newbury Street for an ice cream sundae at an old time favorite, Emack & Bolios. Yum!  Finally, we stopped in at Crossroads, a local Irish pub for a cold Guinness and to take in the Red Sox game.

On the walk back to the pier the next day we ran into some friends heading to the swan boats with their children. Just goes to show how small a city can truly be. Over Beacon Hill we stopped to enjoy the amazing architecture of a bygone era, with beautiful brownstone townhouses and quaint gardens tucked in between, and through the North End for Boston’s rich Italian heritage…not to mention more amazing food.

Now it’s your turn. Head to Boston, whether you are a local or a tourist, and experience all the rich history and culinary experiences this spectacular city has to offer.

Aerosmith and J. Geils Band at Fenway Park

July 9th, 2010

Fenway Park and the entire Boston Fenway neighborhood will be rocking out on Saturday, August 14, when Aerosmith and The J. Geils Band take the stage together in this amazing open air venue. This Boston concert is part of the “Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock US Summer Tour that begins on July 23rd in Oakland, California.

According to Aerosmith’s official Aero Force One web site Steven Tyler said, “I thought it was time to get my MOJO back, by rockin South America and Europe with a little HOME RUN at Boston’s Fenway Park thrown in and then off to the rest of America to do what we do best! We’re gonna rock you into the middle of next week!”

So get ready to rock and roll, Boston style with Aerosmith and The J. Geils Band. And if you want to spend the weekend to soak in the entire Fenway Park experience, check out our Fenway accommodations near Fenway Park and Kenmore Square. It’s a night you won’t want to miss.

Marblehead, MA Fireworks Makes Top 10 List

June 27th, 2010

Marblehead, MA is a sleepy coastal town on the North Shore of Boston and my home for nearly 20 years now. Each year Marbleheaders gather in and around the harbor to take in our local fireworks display and harbor illumination, complimented by music provided by some of the most talented performers at Crocker Park. The 4th of July celebration in Marblehead is a weekend long event, showcasing the Marblehead Festival of the Arts, culminating in the Marblehead Harbor Illumination.

Given such a fabulous event, it’s no wonder that this month Coastal Living magazine ranked Marblehead 5th in the “Top 10 Places to Celebrate the Fourth.”

Of course, the display can’t really compete with Boston’s spectacular, as I wrote about in a previous post, however if you are looking for a more quaint, folksy, and authentic experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Marblehead may certainly be the place you’ve been looking for.

And, as always, we have wonderful North shore accommodations including B&Bs and historic inns so you can explore this beautiful coastal town that is  steeped in history.

MA lodging and more at BostonFinds

June 23rd, 2010

With the launch of our new web site we felt it was time to relaunch our blog. So we at Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony are proud to introduce you to BostonFinds.com. We’ve retained all of our old posts but we are committed to providing you with insights into fabulous Boston accommodations and lodgings throughout greater Boston and the surrounding neighborhoods north, south, and west of the city. We’ll also write about other great Boston Finds including restaurant gems, major happenings (like the previous post on 4th of July in the city), special events…basically anything we find in and around Boston that we think will be of interest.

So bookmark us, subscribe to the feed, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter too.

We love Boston and enjoy discovering the hidden treasures of the city. Now you can too.

Harborfest is 4th of July in Boston

May 17th, 2010
The top 5 things not to miss.
I am a Bostonian. My friends say there is no mistaking that. So perhaps I’m biased when I say the only place to celebrate our nation’s independence is right here in the city of Boston during Harborfest. No other city in the country, as far as I’m concerned, can boast more history—architectural, nautical, educational, and colonial. After all, the American Revolution was fought here; “Old Ironsides” still resides here; and communities north and south of Boston are world renowned for their contributions to our country’s history as well.

Independence Day is truly one of the magnificent celebrations Boston has to offer. For nearly 30 years, Harborfest, a non-profit organization, has been sponsoring an “award-winning festival that strives to honor and remember the past, celebrate the present, and educate the future with reenactments, concerts, historical tours and much, much more.”

This six-day long festival boasts over 200 daily events throughout downtown and the waterfront, with several sponsored events hosted on City Hall Plaza.

Top 5 things Not to Miss at Boston’s Harborfest.

  1. Children’s Day in the city. Take in all of the family friendly entertaining and educational activities Boston has to offer for FREE on July 1st at City Hall Plaza. Insider tip: Free admission does not apply to all Harborfest activities. Stop by the Hood Milk bottle in front of the Children’s Museum for ice cream and snacks to replenish those active little ones.
  2. Music, music, and more music. Amazing performances are happening all across the city in virtually every musical genre—classical, rock, disco, country, and of course, fife and drum. Insider tip: Pop into some of the local pubs for more entertainment choices around the city like The Black Rose and The Burren.
  3. USS Constitution Turnaround. See “Old Ironsides,” the oldest commissioned warship afloat, leave its berth to salute the nation. July 4th, 11:30 am at the Charlestown Navy Yard followed by the 21-gun salute at noon off the US Coast Guard Base in the North End. Insider tip: Take in the sites around Charlestown when you visit the Navy Yard. And don’t forget lunch or dinner at the historic Warren Tavern or Todd English’s Olives.
  4. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Boston Esplanade July 4th, featuring our favorite conductor, Keith Lockhart. By land or by sea, this is a show you don’t want to miss. Concert starts at 8 pm (oval opens at 9 am). Insider tip: See the entire Pops performance, sans the fireworks, at an open rehearsal on July 3rd – (oval opens at 4 pm; concert at 8:30 pm) A smaller crowd but still busy so get there early.
  5. Can you say chowdah? The fun isn’t over on the 4th. Tickle your taste buds and try your best Boston accent on Monday, July 5th when you sample authentic New England clam chowder from Boston’s finest restaurants as they compete for “Boston’s Best Chowder” at the 29th Annual Chowderfest. Insider tip: Just drop the “r.” Who needs it anyway?
Join us June 30 – July 5th to experience 4th of July the Boston way!
If you need a place to stay, no problem! We have plenty of Boston B&Bs, vacation rentals, and furnished apartments in the heart of the city, waterfront, and surrounding neighborhoods to meet every budget. Visit Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony online today and book your Boston accommodation for this memorable event.

Earth Day April — A Way to Say Thanks!

March 3rd, 2010

Earth Day falls on April 22nd this year, right smack dab in the middle of school vacation and Marathon week. Needless to say, tourism Boston will be abuzz, and giving back to the earth may be the last thing on your mind. Well, we here at Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony want to give pause in the middle of our busy season and consider that forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future. Check out http://www.earthday.net/earthday2010 to learn more about this important topic.

As one of many very important Earth Day projects, for EVERY reservation made during the week of April 19th at one of our GOING GREEN properties,a $5/reservation will be donated to Sierra Club Boston. That’s big bucks, so to check out hotels Boston downtown, visit our site  and be in touch. One of our agents will be happy to let you know which ones are going green and available for your dates!

Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony
PO Box 57166
Boston MA 02457 USA
781-449-5302
fax: 781-455-6745
Toll Free: 888-486-6018

College hunting is upon us!

February 21st, 2010

This is the time of year when the city is flooded with people coming in to check out Boston schools, from which there are many fabulous ones to choose! College Boston is an event unto itself, so for those of you with teens searching for Boston area colleges, or even perspective graduate students, we have a few tips for the approach you might want to take this Spring. Check out this great blog, http://www.gobostoncard.com/blog/2008/04/14/visiting-boston-colleges/, for a quick overview of what to see and how to go about it. There’s also a website specifically designed to help with these visits, so visit http://www.campusvisit.com/# and click through to colleges and universities Boston. We are even offering a special promotion to help keep Boston lodging costs down because after all, a Boston education will be an investment unto itself…you may as well save money NOW when you’re visiting one of our great schools. And on that note, many of our properties welcome the same Boston area college families back year after year. It is typical to see parents stay at Abigayle’s Bed & Breakfast (M263) in Kenmore square with their junior in high school visiting Boston University, then as a couple during subsequent visits for the next four years for Parent’s Weekend, Graduation, etc. Our hosts are so thrilled to welcome back these returning guests! Wellesley Lodging (IW504) is another great example. This gracious hostess is a favorite among visitors to Wellesley College and Babson College. She never disappoints with her friendly and gracious hospitality, comfortable accommodations, and incredible proximity to these prestigious schools. So, if you’re planning to do some college hunting in the near future, take advantage of what we’re offering over the next couple of months. Families traveling to the Boston area will get a discounted rate at one of our Bed and Breakfasts, or furnished apartments, when visiting the Boston schools. Reserve nights for March 14 through April 30 (blackout dates: April 16-19), and CHILDREN (even teens!) CAN STAY FOR FREE! This is a huge savings! Check out our website for details. Happy hunting!

Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony
PO Box 57166
Boston MA 02457 USA
781-449-5302
fax: 781-455-6745
Toll Free: 888-486-6018

Love is in the air!

February 2nd, 2010

One of the best Valentines gifts I can think of is a romantic trip to beautiful Boston! Surprise your valentine this year with dinner at a cozy restaurant nestled into a cozy Boston street, book a room and get away from it all at at Boston bed and breakfast, or just spend the day exploring all the city has to offer. Boston.com has a great tool for selecting a Boston restaurant that works best for you, http://www.boston.com/ae/events/valentines_day/, and many Boston restaurants are offering special deals on reservations made for February 12th, 13th, and 14th. Check out Open Table http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m=7&pid=102 for great ideas for romantic Saturday dinner or cozy Sunday brunch. You can even make your reservation online with this tool, which is a huge time-saver! Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony is in the mood for love, too, so we’re offering 10% off stays at many of our properties that weekend, as long as you stay for two nights…and who wouldn’t want to?? We’ll even have a complimentary bottle of champagne waiting for you when you arrive to help you jump start the romantic mood, so check out the great deals.
Need chocolates? I highly recommend Teuscher Chocolatier on Newbury Street Boston.
XOXO

Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony
PO Box 57166
Boston MA 02457 USA
781-449-5302
fax: 781-455-6745
Toll Free: 888-486-6018

Chocolate: Here today …. Gone today!

January 29th, 2010

Okay, it’s cold outside, winter is starting to feel long, and yes, Valentine’s day is approaching. So, let’s talk about chocolate. Is there really any better mood lifter? If you’re going to be in the Boston area this weekend, this is one of the coolest Boston events taking place this Sunday, just outside the city in the Newton Boston area.

Death By Chocolate 2010
Date: Jan 31 2010
Event Fee: $15.00 per person
Location: Crown Plaza Newton
320 Washington St.
Newton, MA, 02458

Join The Rotary Clubs of Newton and Waltham for a fun day of eating and tasting chocolate!! Done as a perenial partnership between the Rotary Clubs of Newton and Waltham. There will be local food vendors, chefs, restaurants and caterers competing in 5 categories. Best Chocolate Cake, Best Cookie, Best Brownie, best candy and Best unique Desert. YOU BE THE JUDGE!!! During the event there will be a silent auction too!!

For more information, click on http://www.whofish.org/events/Newton/MA/9th_Annual_Death_By_Chocolate/433179.aspx

My juices are flowing just thinking about this event, so if you call into our office to make a reservation, mention my blog, and say “I love chocolate!,” you’ll get 10% off your stay this weekend!

Need somewhere to stay in the Newton area? Check out our Western Suburb locations.

“A true chocolate lover finds ways to accommodate his passion and make it work with his lifestyle…” –Julie Davis of the Los Angeles Times, 10/30/85, http://www.virtualchocolate.com/quotes.cfm

Enjoy!

Bed and Breakfast Associates Bay Colony
PO Box 57166
Boston MA 02457 USA
781-449-5302
fax: 781-455-6745
Toll Free: 888-486-6018