Mayor Thomas M. Menino will be home for Christmas, in a manner of speaking.
After eight weeks in two hospitals, the mayor left Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital this morning, accompanied by his press secretary and his regular Boston police detail officer.
Rather than returning to his Hyde Park home, he will stay with his wife, Angela, for a while at the historic Parkman House on Beacon Hill, where he will continue his rehabilitation and be closer to City Hall, said spokeswoman Dot Joyce.
Dressed in a suit and sounding stronger and more upbeat than in previous interviews while hospitalized, Menino joked with reporters near the Spaulding main entrance from the front passenger seat of a dark-colored SUV.
“I’m ready to run a marathon next April,” he said.
Menino said he was feeling well, but still has to work to regain strength in his legs.
“When you’re laying in a hospital bed for several weeks, you lose some of that muscle,” he said.
Menino became emotional when telling reporters that he hopes to spend Monday visiting children in the Bowdoin-Geneva section of Dorchester, an annual stop for him on Christmas Eve.
“The things we do with those kids that need the most, that’s what I miss the most,” he said.
Menino said he plans to spend Christmas Day with his family. He was coy when asked when he would return to City Hall.
“Now that I’m out, there’s no holding me back,” Menino said. “I might be at City Hall this afternoon at 2 o’clock. Watch the doors.”
The mayor became ill on a trip to Italy in the fall. He and his wife left Boston on Oct. 14 for a two-week trip to celebrate their 46th anniversary. When he did not feel well, Menino cut the trip short, returned to Boston, and was admitted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Oct. 26.
Doctors initially diagnosed Menino with an upper respiratory infection and a blood clot that traveled from a leg to his lungs. In the hospital, he suffered a spine fracture.
Menino had begun to recover from the fracture, doctors have said, when he developed an infection in the same area. Tests showed that the mayor has type 2 diabetes, which can cause greater susceptibility to infections.