After living in the Philadelphia metropolitan region for the last 9 years, the preparations for my move to Massachusetts are well under way. This past weekend I spent several days apartment shopping, furniture shopping, and supply shopping in preparation for relocating to the Boston area. Despite the hectic schedule, however, I decided to take a timeout for another installment of the Voyage of DH! This week’s trip took me to the site of one of the most storied, successful, and at times controversial, sports franchises in America.
Before I could get to Boston, however, I first had to attend to some car repairs, a parting gift from the New Jersey Turnpike. Driving home from a work event last week, a large stone flew out from under a tractor-trailer and hit my windshield. There did not seem to be much damage at the time, so I shrugged it off and kept driving. The next morning, however, a large crack had appeared in my windshield. After consulting with my insurance company, I decided to get the windshield replaced before I move to Boston. My local Safelite took care of the installation, and after a few hours of waiting, I had a new windshield installed, to the tune of $350. Ouch.
I drove up to Boston on Thursday and began my apartment hunting Friday morning. I had plans to meet friends for dinner on Friday evening, and so with a few hours to kill on Friday afternoon (my apartment visits had wrapped up early), I decided to detour to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, replacing the older Foxboro Stadium, which was the home of the Patriots from 1971-2002. Foxboro Stadium was a no-frills sporting venue, built in the early 70’s to a strict budget and it lacked many of the amenities of the newer stadiums being built in the 90’s and early 2000’s. The team was also lackluster during most of the Foxboro Stadium years, the highlight being “The Tuck Rule Game” in January of 2002, when during a snowstorm, the Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on the way to their eventual first Super Bowl victory (via Wikipedia).
Opening in 2002, Gillette Stadium is not just a sports stadium, but a shopping, dining, and entertainment megaplex called Patriot Place. Besides attending a football game, you can eat at restaurants like 5 Guys Burgers and Fries and Olive Garden, shop at Bass Pro Shops and Reebok, go to the movies, or take a turn at bowling. I chose to spend some time visiting the Patriots Hall of Fame, which celebrates the Patriots’ history. While it has a good overview of football history and the early years of the Pats, many of the exhibits are focused on the glory years of 2001-2017, which has seen the Patriots reach an unparalleled level of success: 14 AFC East Division Championships, 7 AFC Conference Championships, and 5 Super Bowl victories. There was little mention in the Hall of Fame of the controversies that have surrounded the Patriots over the past decade, most especially “Spygate” and “Deflategate.” Overall, however, the museum is a good presentation of Patriots history and general football information.
The Hall at Patriot Place is a great place to visit for both die-hard New England Patriots fanatics, but also casual football fans. There are exhibits both for children and for adults, and you can easily spend an hour or two there. The Hall is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturdays 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, and Sundays 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. Adult tickets are $10, seniors and active duty military are $7, and children 5-12 are $5 (children under 5 are free).
My apartment search has successfully concluded, so much of the next several weeks will be spent setting up my new home and beginning a new job. Stay tuned, however, for new adventures around New England, and thanks for coming along on another Voyage of DH!
‘Til next time.