Sunday, July 19, 2009


Time to switch gears on the vacation setting - we're leaving our cozy beach town behind and headed for the city streets of Boston for some further East Coast explorations. After grabbing breakfast and wheeling ourselves and our stuff over to the ferry, we settled in for the ride back across the harbor, vanned ourselves to the Onyx Hotel, and set out to grab some lunch and walk the Freedom Trail. Oh, please see accompany shot of the skyline to get an idea of what the clouds and rain were doing to us for the duration of our stay. Not the most lovely weather to explore in, but at least it was nice and cool!

Clam chowda (more commonly known as "chowder," but you won't hear it like that here in Beantown) in a bread bowl at Quincy Market, yum! Strolling through the Public Garden, pretty! Tracking down the Make Way for Ducklings statue, cute! Did you know the swan boats in the Public Garden have been in operation for over 130 years and owned by the same family for all that time? And that Boston Common is the oldest public park in America? Just a couple of trivia bits for you.

Freedom Trail time! The path is marked through the city by a line of red brick laid in the sidewalk...except for the rare instance where construction blocks the trail and they've been kind enough to spray paint a red line along the plywood barricade. Seriously. Hey, whatever it takes to point us in the right direction! We saw some exceptionally old cemeteries, really old churches, crazy old meeting sites of the movers and shakers that innovatively sculpted this great nation, and...old. Lots of old. Which is just so cool! It's always been fascinating to me to think that Very Important So-And-So stood in the very spot where I'm standing now. We did make it across the Charlestown Bridge and over to the USS Constitution but skipped out on the very last section of the trail (it's a bit of a hike, kids!).

After walking up an appetite, we were ready for dinner at Union Oyster House, the oldest continually operating restaurant in America. You know all the lobster I mentioned before? Well, time for the ultimate lobster treat - an entire one. Just for me. Still looking at me with its beady little eyes and waving antennae. Thanks for tying my bib on, Carolyn. And were delicious, even if you were a little messy to rip in half and hack into.

After dinner we headed over to the Bell in Hand Tavern to stick with our theme of "really old" - oldest bar in America! Old old old! This state makes other states look like babies. Karaoke night was rocking the place, too...not quite the same as our drag queen karaoke night in Provincetown but fun all the same. Do you think our forefathers ever engaged in a night of karaoke? Didn't seem very historical, but it was definitely entertaining.

The next morning greeted us with showers, so we slept in and then opted for an event that involved moving around on wheels in a covered device instead of splashing around in flip-flops - a duck tour! These World War II amphibious landing vehicles can take you through the city streets and then splash down into the Hudson and zoom around. Talk about multipurpose. We had a pretty entertaining con"duck"tor (yes, I know) take us through several neighborhoods and share some pretty interesting facts about the city. I didn't realize that a pretty large chunk of Boston used to be...well...water, and that they just filled it in with a lot of dirt and some wooden posts and starting slamming a city on top of it. Crazy, I tell you.

Later on we met up with one of Carolyn's good friends from college (who's currently hitting the books at Harvard) for dinner in the North End (Boston's own Little Italy of sorts...just don't call it Little Italy to a Bostonian) at a fantastic restaurant, the name of which I've unfortunately completely forgotten. Oh, and there's no better way to cap off a great Italian dinner and time with friends than with dessert at Mike's Pastry. Chocolate chip cannoli. I was in sugar heaven.

The next day we donned our umbrellas and walked through the Beacon Hill neighborhood (so pretty!), then escaped the worst of the rainfall by enjoying some rather enormous pizzas at Figs. The rest of the day we explored Cambridge and Harvard, ate some exceptionally tasty ice cream, hung out with our Harvard buddy, ordered in some Chinese, and just enjoyed girl time.

Other observations/comments/silly little things:

  • Kami should totally become a dog walker, just like this guy.
  • It can be a little tricky to extract the edible bits out of a crustacean, but it's totally worth it.
  • I'm somewhat inspired to make my own cannoli. Or maybe buy the flakey, crispy, delicious shells and just fill them with all kinds of goodness.
  • There's something about entering red brick buildings covered in ivy that just automatically makes you feel smarter.

Sadly, all vacations must come to an end, and the site of our reunion became one for a farewell. Probably the only reason I didn't cry was because I knew I would see these girls again in just a few days with my upcoming trip to Dallas (which is no longer's already happened. I'm just writing this so long after the fact. Getting caught up, getting caught up!). Oh, travel, I adore thee.

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