Fall Break: Baahsten

11.04.2013

Let's just talk about how much I love Boston.

Seriously? I LOVE BOSTON.
As in I want to move there.
Pronto.

Its a big city with that small city feel. It has great food. It's clean. The people are nice. There are hardly any homeless people. It doesn't feel super touristy, and it's not really busy.  It's home to a million historical sites and is the birth place of the U.S. Constitution. Compared to San Francisco, this place is a dream in the fall; you really can't beat the old, beautiful buildings and architecture in Boston. The best part about this city is the lack of traffic. We were a little worried about having to drive in to the city, get out of there before rush hour, pay for parking without breaking the bank, etc.

But! listen to this: we accidentally left Boston right at "rush hour" traffic on a Friday, on the freeway at 5. and there was NOTHING. Traffic moved the entire time. We got home in 30 minutes instead of the usual 20, and we rejoiced the heavens. In SF, it would have taken us 2 hours to get home.

ANYWAY....tangent over.

I have always wanted to go to Boston, mainly because of all of the Revolutionary movements that started there, and also because it's close to Salem and witches and all kinds of New England. So when the almighty and infamous #fallbreak loomed on the horizon, I made Dale drive me the 6 hours so I could revel in it. We booked a hotel about 20 minutes outside of the city and explored our tails off...because we love exploring new cities.


We hit up Boston Common, learned about all the unknown dead people buried there. We paid for a Freedom Trail tour which I was pretty mad about until I realized it was totally worth it. almost 2 whole hours of guided tour led by a staunchly patriotic woman dressed in 18th century garb, yelling at us in the nicest way possible. Nothing has ever made me feel more patriotic than she did.


We walked and walked. We found a graveyard dedicated to Paul Revere with a few headstones bearing his name. Samuel Adams was there and so was Mother Goose (supposably). 





Funny bit of trivia here: Sam Adams was reportedly ugly, and you know that Samuel Adams beer? Ya...well, Paul Revere's face is slapped onto it instead. Weird, right?

Either way, I was honored to be standing in places that such brave and inspired men walked and talked and stood for their beliefs in.


We hit up Old City Hall, which is the site for the first public school in America, established by Benjamin Franklin.




We kept walking around Boston, passing by the Old State House, which is the oldest standing building in Boston, and it most definitely has a unicorn on it (proof that unicorns once roamed this great land). Close to this building (pictured right), was where the Boston Massacre took place, which, if you know your history, was not quite a massacre at all, but more of a tense tragedy with both British and Colony members at fault. It all becomes more real when you're standing in places where such proclaimed historical moments have happened.

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Oh, and a nice Boston man gave Viv a little pumpkin for free from his street vendor since she wouldn't stop biting it or wearing it on her head.



We checked out Feneuil Hall (still don't know how to pronounce it), Quincey Market, and where the Boston Tea Party started. We walked by the little building that Nathaniel Hawthorne penned part of The Scarlet Letter -- which has now been turned into a Chipotle. Random.  Thanks to my friend and Bostonian virtual tour guide Maddie, we stopped in at Al's State Street Cafe for lunch. Their chicken salad sandwich is supposed to be the very best in the city, and though I'm not much of a chicken salad sandwich fan, I got it. When in Rome, and all that stuff.

Let me tell you...it really was the very very best sandwich Ive had in a long time. And I found a new brand of potato chips that rock my world, and the staff that works there are SO NICE with the thickest Boston accents you can imagine. They fawned all over Vivian and gave her 2 suckers, just because. They were the sweetest, and are a major factor in why I want to move there.




We got some ice cream from the acclaimed Emack and Bolio's (which really was amazing...we miss great ice cream!!) and wandered around the great architecture downtown while Viv slept in her stroller.


Everyone told us that Boston = Cannolis.
So we strolled to North End and bought Cannolis from Modern Pastry and Mike's Pastry, both said to be the best in the city with an ongoing taste war ensuing between the two. We had to try both, of course, and the winner was Mike's Pastry, by far. Better staff, better taste, better location. 

     

            

By that time it was late afternoon and we were beat from walking all day.  We wandered across the street to a little cobblestone road leading to Paul Revere's house. We sat in a church courtyard, ate our cannolis and took selfies because that's what we do when we get an unexpected sleeping baby date.


This day reminded me how much I love exploring new places with this family of mine. It's one of our favorite things to do; get immersed in the culture and eat all the food we can get our hands on. Ever since Viv was tiny we made it a point to take her wherever we went, even if it was hard. As a result, she is a really great traveller right now, and we couldn't have had a better day.

So, go to Boston. Eat a Cannoli from Mike's. Get a sandwich from Al's. Sit by the waterfront and watch the water, get all patriotic and marvel at the beautiful buildings. Go in October to see it in all of its New England glory. I hear there's a pumpkin tortellini at North End to die for, and a Mr. Bartley's Burgers that is a must. Thank me later and you're welcome.


Next up: Salem!...and it changed my life. More on Fall Break and witches to come!

Ps: thanks Maddie for your recommendations! They made this trip worth it!

4 comments:

  1. man I'm so jelly right now!!! Boston is on my bucket list! and when I go someday, I'm gonna come back to this blog post and go to all these spots

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  2. Oh I love all of this. So glad you got to experience Boston! It really is one of the greatest cities. And I'm so glad you magically missed the traffic... sometimes it is insane!

    You should go back for the fourth of July :) That's a day that gives fall in Boston a run for its money.

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  4. Boston is my favorite city also!! Went there in college with a girlfriend and have loved it ever since. There is so much character and history...Jon and I wanted to live there but it was just too far from family. Glad you guys had such a wonderful time!! Miss you...Timme

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