crisp Autumn day ... colorful leaves crunching underfoot, college
football fever in the air! What a magnificent way to spend a
weekend. Vacationing in Cambridge, Massachusetts was a delightful
change from our Florida lifestyle. We had forgotten how
breathtakingly beautiful the Fall foliage could be and found
ourselves playing like kids in the fields of amber, red and orange
fallen oak and maple leaves. Assorted size male and female rowing crews
in their shells worked their way up and down the Charles River,
young folks strolled the shore line, joggers ran by, tourists with
cameras kept clicking away, young mothers with strollers walked by
and students were everywhere. This is such an exciting, vibrant,
historic and energetic setting.
We arrived via
Delta Airlines and must say we were pleasantly surprised with our
trip. We knew the flight would be fine but really dreaded going
through the security system at the terminal in Florida. We had our
one bag taken at curbside, went to the security check-through and
moved very quickly through the short line and the checkpoint. We
had packed carefully so we did not ring or buzz going through the
x-ray and moved on quickly to our flight area. Once in Boston, our
luggage arrived promptly and off we went to our hotel in
Cambridge, about 20 minutes from the airport.
home-away-from-home in Cambridge was The Charles Hotel. Listed
among the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, it is known as
Boston’s most original hotel. Located in the heart of Harvard
Square and a short block from the Charles River, this Four Diamond
award-winner is simple, stylish and smart. It was the perfect
place for us as we intended to be at the Dartmouth/Harvard
football game and could easily walk to the stadium from the hotel.
After check-in we
went right to our room to freshen-up so we could begin our
Cambridge adventure. Walking into the room we were overwhelmed
with the spaciousness but quickly focused on the bed! THAT bed!!
It was a king size, four-poster bed with the most luscious quilt
duvets, down comforter and feather pillows ... just beckoning us
to plop down and wallow in its supreme comfort. We did not want to
move away from it.
In all our
travels we have found the bed and bedding to be quite important.
If we cannot sleep
we will not be able to work, relax, vacation or enjoy our visit
anyplace. At The Charles Hotel we found the perfect sleep
companion ... a bed, mattress and linens that would allow us to be
fully re-energized for our daytime activities. In addition, there
were luxurious bath and aromatherapy personal products ... and
fabulous relaxing music from the Bose Wave radio. Of course there
were the bathrobes, TV and housekeeping services for anything that
might have been left out of our packing.
we could get ourselves off that remarkable bed, we toured the
streets with their many shops and restaurants. We found books to
read, anything and everything to buy, street entertainers and food
from any nation ... all within walking distance. Dinners found us
at a Legal Seafood; a popular local restaurant, The Red House and
downing gourmet delicacies at
the plush Rialto restaurant housed in our own hotel ...
Hotel. The Rialto has been
awarded four stars by the Boston Globe and features an
international cuisine enhanced with seasonal New England
ingredients. For breakfast we preferred to remain at the hotel and
engulfed ourselves in the ambiance and great food at Henrietta’s
Table. This restaurant combines a New England Farmers Market with
its “Fresh & Honest” meals.
here, we just had to visit the Harvard Yard where most
undergraduate college classes are held for the Harvard students.
John Harvard’s statue graces the area and is such a photo-op that
they have roped off an area for photographers to be able to snap
their remembrances in front of the statue without hindering the
movement of students going to and from classes. With the glorious
weather and the park-like setting, there were students throwing
frisbies, footballs and just “hanging out.”
took us into the city of Boston to track down a costume store in
the heart of Chinatown. As this was Halloween weekend, a young
lady in our party just had to have that special costume for the
parties taking place around the campus. When we arrived at the
store we were amazed to see a sign that noted they would be open
till midnight, and a line of handsome looking young adults that
curved all around the block several deep. Having made the trip
this far, we ventured onto the line to wait our turn. Fortunately,
it moved quickly and we were welcomed into the crowded, bustling
shop in a little over five minutes. Certainly a new experience for
us. Obtaining the necessary accoutrements for the occasion, we
hurried back to our sanctuary in Cambridge at The Charles Hotel!
every weekend in this area is stimulating and exciting, this
particular one was special for us. It was the time for old
rivalries as Harvard was playing Dartmouth in football. We have
allegiances to both schools through family members and so were
ambivalent about the outcome of the game, but not so most who
attended. The city, the streets, the stadium were filled with the
green of Dartmouth and the crimson of Harvard. It seemed as if the
entire city came alive with football fever as families paraded
over the bridge that crossed the Charles River and onto the
stadium grounds. Tailgate parties flourished, music filled the
air, alums greeted friends and the enthusiasm of the students was
to say the game was exciting. Both teams had their chances and
both scored with remarkable playing. A Dartmouth young man kicked
a 50 yard field goal ... quite a feat for a college student.
highlight for us was half-time watching the Harvard band and their
spectacular twirler. What an
amazing, beautiful, young lady, twirling three batons, tossing
high into the clouds and not missing one catch. It seems that
talent, beauty and brains do go together.
A visit to
Cambridge means you are also minutes away from Boston where you
can watch the Swan Boats in the Public Garden, do some discount
power shopping, visit Fanueil Hall, take a Duck Tour which
features water and street transportation in an amphibious vehicle
or catch a Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell.
choice was to remain in Cambridge, enjoy the luxurious relaxation
The Charles Hotel provided and explore this area in more detail.
extraordinary museums: The Harvard University Art Museums
consisting of three museums that house more than 150,000 works,
ranging from antiquity to the present. Four museums housed under
one roof: The Botanical Museum, including the famed glass flowers
exhibit; the Mineralogical and Geological Museum, the Museum of
Comparative Zoology’s dinosaur skeletons and the Peabody Museum of
Archaeology and Ethnology that houses one of the most
comprehensive records of human cultural history in the Western
If that is not
enough there is the Hasty Pudding Theatre, the Sanders Theatre,
the American Repertory Theatre and the House of Blues ... all
within easy walking distance from the hotel.
We loved just
spending time in Harvard Square, strolling through Harvard Yard
and the John F. Kennedy park area and meandering along the paths
that lined the Charles River. We arrived in the autumn for the
football season but there are special events and activities that
take place many other times during the year.
beckoned us home again, we know we shall be returning to our
“special” hotel in Cambridge, The Charles Hotel ... to enjoy the
Autumn wonders of nature that are only found in this charming New
England city. Incidentally, we loved the featherbeds so much we
ordered a set for our bed at home!
The Charles Hotel
One Bennett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
© 1997-2004 Alese & Morton Pechter
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