June 22, 2011

Boston - You Got Me Again

After our first night, I was too excited to be back in Beantown that I couldn't find time to log our activity.  We had such a great time.  I would highly recommend our hotel, the Charlesmark Hotel, in the back bay.  It is an old town home turned into a store and some apartments and then in 2000, a man bought it and turned it into a beautiful boutique hotel in a great part of town. 

We had some wonderful food.  I ate crab cakes and lobster for the first time.  The claws were fantastic - easily the best part.  We had fruit tart and chocolate cake at "Modern Pastry" in the North End.  We ate a few times at Quincy Market and had some great canoli's and mac & cheese.  There was some fantastic greek food and bbq.  It was all fantastic.

Justin & I did the Sam Adams Brewery tour on Thursday and had so much fun.  Poor Dan & Rhonda went on a whale watch and Rhonda and 95% of the other passengers threw up the entire time.  They still had some fun, but I can't imagine puking that much would be fun for anyone.  We made it to the JFK Library & Museum and that was very well put together.

We walked around the Harvard campus and the Boston Common and the public gardens.  We took the tour of Fenway Park which was SOOOO worth it for any baseball fan... even if you like the yankees :)  We ended our fun adventure with a nighttime ballgame - Red Sox vs. Brewers and the Sox won 10-4.  Here are some of the photos from beantown...

this is the front of our hotel - it overlooks the finish line of the boston marathon
boston bruins were playing game 6 and 7 while we were in town which was AMAZING.  the whole town had decorated themselves including the paul revere statue you see here.  the bruins ended up winning the stanley cup on wednesday night.  it was awesome!

fenway park - it was all ours
dan, j & i with our lobster bibs on
j & i in the courtyard behind the old north church

June 15, 2011

Boston... You're my Home

We returned the car and took a crazy cab ride to our hotel.  It's a beautiful place with small but functional and updated rooms.  J & I are on the 5th floor and our window looks out back of the hotel to the alley so it's fairly quiet.  We picked up our trolley tour pass and jumped aboard.  We went through the Cambridge side of the river and ended up near the aquarium.

We got off and had some lunch at the Cheers bar - I was a little upset because I really like carla's meatball sub and they were out of meatballs so we had a grilled chicken sandwich and garlic cheese bread - interesting combination.

Upon leaving there, we headed over to North End (my second favorite part of Boston), we walked through the Old North Church and then grabbed a cocktail at Goody's.  We crossed back over to the gov't center area and had a drink at Bell in Hand Tavern - the oldest operating tavern in the country.  They were doing a Budweiser supports the troops promotion and J recorded a video to thank the troops and we all got free beer and can coozys.

The wait at the Union Oyster House was an hour and we weren't exactly interested so we walked a few doors down to an irish bar and decided to eat there.  They had a $12.99 lobster special that we couldn't pass up so I enjoyed lobster for the first time in my life.  I had a blast putting on the bib and cracking the claws open.  The claws are BY FAR the best part.  We had so much fun eating.  We followed that up with a beer and some live music and by 10 we brought Dan & Rhonda back to the hotel and went out exploring in the back bay.

We found a place called Whiskey's and met some new friends - Joey and his girlfriend who live in Boston but they are from Connecticut and we also met Brian & Sanjay - flight attendants from London.  We had a great time chatting and drinking and we made it back to our room at about 1am.

We were up bright & early today - more on that later.  For now, I'm sitting in our room resting my feet and watching the 1st period of game seven for the Stanley Cup.  They have shut the streets down in downtown Boston and brought in an additional 2000 police officers to help stop a riot if the Bruins win - even though they are playing in Vancouver.  Lines to get into bars are around the block.  This night is going to be CRAZY.

Hyannis, Mass (round 2)

We enjoyed the remaining full day out on the Cape.  We started our day with breakfast at this perfect perkinsesque restaurant.  We took a horrible duck tour around Hyannis and the tiny little harbor... the lady that narrated was not super good at her job, but it was something to do.  I got a great new t-shirt and a sweatshirt - both red sox obviously, although now I think I should have gotten at least one piece of Bruins apparel since they are in the Stanley Cup Finals and J is a huge fan.

After the duck tour, we walked through the JFK museum that had lots of good photos of him and the Kennedy family.  There were some beautiful pictures of him & his kids.  After the museum, we ate lunch at a place called the Black Cat Tavern.  It was all pretty good.

We took a harbor tour after that.  The ship we toured in was called the Prudence and it is 100 years old this year.  This tour took us out to see the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport.  It is a beautiful cluster of houses in the middle of a neighborhood and it's beautiful.  We strolled over to the JFK memorial fountain that overlooks the Nantucket Sound.

To end our day, we ate at a place called Tommy Doyle's on Main Street and had a super friendly bartender and the BEST food.  I had homemade mac & cheese with the breadcrumbs over the top and Justin ordered a grilled cheese & tomato/basil soup.  We arrived back at the hotel and Justin & his dad went to the bar and watched the bruins take game six.  I went to bed early.

The drive back to Boston was quick and painless.  We returned the car and I felt at home again.

June 13, 2011

Cloudy without Rain (Provincetown)

Our Sunday plan was to explore P-town (Provincetown) and show J's parents where we got engaged.  That town is one of our favorite places.  It is surrounded by water on 3 sides - the Provincetown Harbor to the west, Cape Cod Bay to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.  We had Dunkin Donuts for breakfast - other than the fact that the employee there couldn't understand our coffee orders, it was impressive.  We headed out there using highway 28 instead of 6 (the main route), we cruised through small little nautical towns and saw some of the most beautiful homes and coves.  The fog was starting to thicken, so it gave it a very peaceful and calm feeling.

Once we arrived in town and parked, we navigated the narrow streets until we reached the town hall.  We brought them inside to see and then snapped some photos of the outside.  They have resided since we were here in 2007 and it's green & yellow now.  We caught the trolley tour and froze for about 45 minutes as we cruised out to the national seashore and got the history of the little town.  We ate lunch at an overpriced and underimpressive restaurant where the only thing worth the money was the service.  We then climbed the 116 steps and 60 ramps of the Pilgrim Monument only to find out that with the fog, we couldn't even see the parking lot below us.  Dan purchased 4.97 pounds of taffy that will be following us around for a few days now.  He was definitely on a sugar high the rest of the day.  We browsed some shops and then returned to our favorite pizza place "Twisted Sisters" for a slice and a beer - helped make up for lunch.

We left Provincetown and headed back down 6A.  Once we got back in town, we had a beer at the hotel bar and a snack and then headed to the local movie theater to see bridesmaids.  It was bad weather and that was a great way to laugh and wind down the day.

I think we're going to skip Martha's Vineyard this trip because of the bad weather we've been seeing.  Also, I slept in until 8:00 AM today... that is so crazy for me, but now I'm wired and in need of my usual morning coffee, news and shower.  I'll have my phone with the camera today, so I'll upload some photos.

June 11, 2011

Hyannis, Mass

We arrived this afternoon in Hyannis, Mass.  We had a pretty easy flight into Boston.  The only exciting thing that that happened was the little boy behind Rhonda threw up on his pants and his brother and the older man in front of me had a super creepy ponytail that I wanted to pull on.

Once we got our rental car, we attempted to navigate our way out of Boston and ended up in neighborhoods that we didn't belong, but once we hit the tunnel under downtown, we knew we'd make it.

We drove the Ford Escape until we reached Plymouth.  We had lunch at Mamma Mia's - tortellini for me (it was a HUGE plate) and bbq chicken pizza for everyone else.  We then walked in the rain down the shore for a while.  We checked out the Mayflower 2, but we were unaware that it's not the Mayflower but a replica, so we passed.  I bought a $4 umbrella that didn't really work.  We saw the Plymouth Rock - it's a tiny rock now in a cage because people continued to chip pieces off of it.

We took 3A south to the Cape Cod Canal and then we took 6A until we reached Hyannis.  It was a beautiful drive with LOTS of antique shops. 

Once we arrived in Hyannis, we checked into the Hyannis Harbor Hotel.  It is a great place with a BEAUTIFUL exterior including bar/grill, outdoor pool, fire pit, courtyards and each room has a small outdoor space.  The inside isn't as pretty, but still would recommend to any traveler.  It's across from the harbor and the boats come in and out all day.  It reminds me of Duluth and the lift bridge back home.

We walked down main street and had a beer and dessert at the British Beer company - I tried a Mayflower IPA and then a Cape Cod Blonde.  Justin had a Cape Cod Red and a piece of peanut butter pie.  After snacks, we shopped for a bit - found a great gift for brian & tiff's wedding - the "red-neck wine glass" which is a mason jar attached to a wine glass bottom.  Fantastic.  We had dinner at a nice place called Schooner's and I tried crab cakes for the first time with a glass of riesling.  I will definitely eat those again.  Any seafood put in front of me on the ocean is hard to turn down.  FRESH. 

We capped off the night at our hotel bar where we were able to write on the bar with chalk.  We played hangman and tick tack toe.  Tomorrow, we are bring Dan & Rhonda to Provincetown.

June 8, 2011

I Heart Countdowns

So, I read somewhere that planning your vacation is almost as stress reducing as going on the vacation and it prolongs the positive impacts.  Since I read that, I decided that it was necessary to let the others joining me on my adventure to start getting excited even though I did the planning.  I started at 10 days and today is 3 days away and I'm still PUMPED.  I'm now working on confirming all the confirmations... I know - do I have a control problem or what?  Can't wait to share some photos with you.

Also, family pictures happened last weekend and we received the shots yesterday... here is the lovely family I married into.

i love the face on kenzy.  she was not happy to be taking pictures in the heat
Then, lucky me, last night I got to hang out with Maddy and take some photos of her since she's 9 months old this month.  Here is my favorite of the evening.  It was 103 degrees outside and all she wanted were my Burberry sunglasses and to sit on my parents' fountain in their backyard.

Being an auntie is one of my favorite things.  On that note, Kendra is having her baby any day now.  We went to Eau Claire on Saturday to shop for baby clothes while the boys bonded over beers.  Kendra was sure that she would have the baby yesterday... didn't happen.  She did get to enjoy a mocktail that resembled a sex on the beach and we stopped and got Olson's ice cream.  I really hope she has a little red headed baby... we will find out soon. 

Time to wrap up work stuff and start packing.