Wednesday, August 09, 2017

We celebrated our FOURTH (wow!!) anniversary a few days early this year and decided to bite the bullet and finally commit to visit Boston!  I had mentioned our desire to travel to Boston at the very end of this post 2 years ago and we almost made it happen in April, but plans fell through.  Thanks to expiring airfare credit (we had lots of trouble getting back home from our trip to Austin last year) and no summer schedule, we had a bit more motivation to get the ball rolling... we booked two tickets, an Airbnb, and were off.  

We stayed in the North End one stop from the airport.  I didn't know the area well enough to commit to other parts, and with an early departure time when we left, I wanted to be as close to the airport as possible to essentially roll right out of bed and hop through TSA pre-check without having to wake up at 3:30 am like we did on the way to MA.  Our Airbnb was very quaint and just what we needed.  We got in around 9 in the morning, checked in, and took the train into the city.  It was so misty/rainy and pretty darn dead for the better part of the day and in an odd way, made it perfect for our welcome to Boston.  We didn't have to fight crowds and just wandered aimlessly around the town.  Nick and I had a few stops on our must-do list, and knowing that our trip was only going to be 48 hours (really, less!) we got going.  

The food:
We ate our faces off and loved every last delicious bite!  We ended up getting cannoli (original, mint, & chocolate mousse) at Mike's Pastry, a lobstah roll/oysters at Neptune Oyster, pizza/pasta at Quattro, grab-n-go lunch on day 2 at Quincy Market, and dinner outside of Fenway Park.  Let me just tell you, the lobster roll was the most incredible lobster I've had.  Serious heart eye emoji right here.  The cannoli also ranked as equally as amazing and I wish we could have boxed them up and taken them with us in our carry-ons.  

The attractions:
The first day we were there, we just were little wanderers.  We wound up at the sight of the Boston tea party, little Italy, downtown, and Harpoon Brewery (see: drinks) to name a few stops.  Day two, I woke up with the WORST blisters on the bottom of both of my feet.  Serious #rookiemistake - I wore flip flops the previous day like a total amateur.  Nick was wonderful and walked the half mile there and half mile back to/from the closest Walgreens and bought out all the supplies for me.  There was no way I was sitting through day 2!  Once I was all patched up, we found the start of the Freedom Trail and did a self-guided tour of all the stops.  It was pretty neat seeing all these historical landmarks...  We were eating it up and reading up on every stop along the way.  The weather wasn't warm/sunny, but the rain had cleared up and made for beautiful walking weather.  Once we got to the end (the location of the Battle of Bunker Hill), we decided to head over to the Fenway area and pregame the game.  The Red Sox were playing the Yankees in their first game return from the All-Star break, which made for some added excitement.  Admittedly, I am more of a football fan and neither of us are Red Sox/Yankees fans; however, it was really exciting to root for the home team without the pressure/stress of being a diehard fan!  It was a late game and we had an early flight, so I tried to convince Nick to leave early (the Sox were down), and he shut me down lickity split.  He has this thing about staying until the last second of every sporting event... and he was completely right- the Yankees closer blew it!  He walked the last two batters, which ended with a game-winning walk/run (?? not sure what to call it??).  The other VERY exciting part about our visit to Fenway Park?  Running into a former student of mine!!  I knew he was interning/on the grounds crew for the Sox, but wasn't sure if we'd see him or not and lo and behold - we did!  After his shift, he met up with us for an inning, took us up on the Green Monster, and caught me up on his life!  I work with/for his mom, so I knew to be on the lookout and was so excited/proud of his accomplishments!  

The drinks
The drinking part of the trip was also noteworthy...  I could have lumped this in with "attractions," but figured it could handle it's own category.  On Thursday (day 1) we ended up at Harpoon Brewery per recommendation of friends of ours that frequent Boston.  We did their $5 brew tour and sampled way more beer than our $5 fee probably bargained for ;)  I'd say both of our favorites was the Wannamango and would definitely recommend the stop.  We tried to go to Trillium Beer Garden, but because of the rain, they didn't open it up that day.  When we were in Fenway on Friday, we made the rounds at Boston Beer Works (Watermelon Ale + Blueberry something or other are must-tries - they have fresh fruit garnishing and/or in the beer itself!), Game On (dinner + more Wannamango), and The Bleacher Bar to watch batting practice at eye level "in" the bleachers - must stop/see!  We were off to Cask n' Flagon to end our little bar crawl before going to the game, but there was a long line, so we opted to return to Game On...  the upstairs was packed, so we headed to the basement bar to ride out our time prior to the game.  The reason I mention this, is that all of a sudden, Nick looks over to the side and sees an old coworker of his from back home in VA!  We couldn't believe that we were in Boston, but were running into people we knew :)  It was a really neat experience and further contributes to the mantra that, "it's a small world."  

I would absolutely love to go back and see more of the city - I feel like we saw a lot, but I know that we likely didn't put a dent in all the things that Boston area has to offer (the aquarium, Harvard area, Boston University, etc. just to name a few!).  If it were closer, I could see it as a convenient/fun weekend destination!!  

Who knows where our travels will take us... but hopefully we'll be able to maintain this annual tradition of visiting somewhere fun to celebrate our anniversary!  What I do know; however, is that I love this guy and am so grateful to be able to do life with him!!  Here's to many more anniversaries to come!!  

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