when it’s twilight in boston

We finally made our way to Boston. A city we’ve been wanting to visit for a long time, a city my sister hadn’t even been to, and she lives in NY. We planned to meet my sister and her fiance while they were there for a wedding, and Drew and I figured we’d celebrate our 3rd year anniversary while we’re at it. It wasn’t until a couple days before we left that we found out our good friends Tiffany and Luke would be there at the same time. Seeing them made the trip even better. We had a fabulous time.

We arrived at the Omni Parker House on Thursday afternoon. It is the longest continually operated hotel in the U.S. It has a lot of charm and character and its central location is perfect for tourists—in fact, it’s a stop on the Freedom Trail. I highly recommend this hotel for anyone staying in Boston.

First sight of the day was the Granary Burial ground, right across the street of the hotel. There lies Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Ben Franklin to name a few. We stopped and listened to a reenactor tell the true story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride.

We then met my sister after she arrived off the bus from New York. The three of us headed back out and walked by the Old Corner Bookstore (a meeting place from the days of Longfellow, Hawthorne, and Emerson) and the Old South Meeting House.

We stopped and looked at the birds perched on the Irish Famine Memorial.

Later we walked towards Faneuil Hall and Christopher Columbus Park and took some photos of Boston Harbor.

We stopped at Salty Dog Seafood Grille for dinner alfresco. Ahh – that is what vacation is all about.

Afterwards we all grabbed giant cookies in Quincy Market.

All these historic sights were within walking distance of our hotel, which is one of the things I love about Boston. We walked and walked and saw so many things. It’s a quaint little city with a lot of mixed architecture—old and new. The skyscrapers really dwarf the old historical brick buildings.

Day two began in Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. We leisurely strolled through the park on a gorgeous sunny day, and we came upon this hill covered in American flags for Memorial Day. Lisa and I had fun snapping pictures—we joke that we end up with almost identical pictures when we travel together.

A very shy State Capitol building – trying to hide behind the tree.

Boston Common is the home of some very friendly squirrels.

Then we walked down Commonwealth Avenue Mall and through the neighborhood around Newbury St.

From there, we walked back through the Esplanade along the Charles River Basin, then down Charles St. and through the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

And, believe it or not, this was all before lunch.

It’s amazing how much you can see in Boston in a few hours of walking. As if this wasn’t enough for one day, after lunch we took the train out to Boston Public Library and had a look around. The library has a very grand courtyard in the middle.

Later that night, we met Tiffany and Luke at Anthony’s Pier 4 for dinner. It’s a scenic restaurant right on the water. Seafood, wine and friends are the best combination! We ended the night with a night cap (or two, or three) at Lucky’s Lounge.

Enjoying drinks while on vacation. We take this job very seriously.

These guys, not so much.

And thus ended our first full day in Boston. But, wait! There’s more!

The next morning Lisa’s fiance, Branden, flew in bright and early and we headed to the Sam Adams brewery, only to find that there was a long line for the tour. We didn’t have enough time to wait for it since Lisa and Branden needed to head to a wedding later that day. So we did the next best thing – we sat outside at nearby Ula Cafe and tried some specialty Sam Adams brews. Well, they did. The one in my hand was a prop—I still haven’t acquired the taste.

Then L & B were off to get ready for the wedding and Drew and I were off to spend the afternoon in Cambridge. We jumped off the train in Harvard Square and looked around for Herrell’s ice cream. I’d passed through Cambridge briefly for work about 4 years ago and my coworker took us to Herrell’s. Sadly, it is now closed; no wonder it took us forever to find it. Instead, we found a goodbye note in the window. So, we walked through the Harvard campus where they were just wrapping up that day’s graduation ceremonies (good timing to visit…).

The Harvard Coop bookstore had a great collection of hard to find books, so Drew picked up a bunch and we sat on the steps of the Harvard Library. I thought maybe I would soak up some of the smart vibes floating around the place.

After a break at John Harvard’s Brewhouse, we headed back to chill before our dinner at Troquet for our anniversary.

Oh. My. God. That was the best meal. And the dessert! Three types of sorbet. To die for.

Our final day in Boston was another gorgeous one—good thing, since we had tickets to see the Red Sox. We started the day at the USS Constitution in Boston Navy Yard.

We walked up to the Bunker Hill Monument, and then followed the Freedom Trail through Charlestown, across the bridge and back into the city where we hopped on the train to the game.

A Phillies fan at Fenway

After the Red Sox win, we went to dinner at Woodward Restaurant in the Ames hotel. It was really cool – they serve the entrees to share. So we got a variety and all tried a little. Then I realized: “Woah I haven’t tried Boston Creme Pie yet!!!” So we made an emergency stop at Cheers for dessert.

Great way to end a great trip; Boston is now one of my favorite cities. Can’t wait to go again. Drew would head back to the bookstore and I’d head back to Troquet to get me some more of that sorbet.

Luckily, I don’t have to wait another 6 months to see my sister. We have a once-in-a-lifetime girls trip to Napa in July with our mom where we’ll probably spend more time talking about wedding stuff than wine. 🙂

See all of my pictures from the trip on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Twilight In Boston” by Jonathan Richman

al fayed take me home, to the place where i belong…

Craven Cottage
By the river
Al Fayed
Take me home!

Our last morning in London brought us to Hyde Park for a leisurely stroll towards Prince Albert memorial and the Princess Diana memorial. There was a lot of activity going on the in the park – footy games, lots of runners, and a boot camp workout class.

Towards the west side of Hyde Park is Round Pond and Kensington Palace. Round Pond attracts lots of families, sailboat enthusiasts, and every kind of bird you could think of.

You could literally walk right up to these giant swans.

Kensington Gardens, next to the palace, are some of the most lush and colorful gardens I’ve ever seen.

Then it was off to the Fulham game! Drew’s soccer buddy has a friend who works for Fulham (our favorite English Premier League team) and was able to get us tickets and passes to McBride’s lounge. The game is the real reason why we planned this trip – we planned the entire agenda around this game. So yeah, we were looking forward to it. We took the train out to Fulham early so we could walk around the stadium and shop in their team store.

Craven Cottage is right on the bank of the Thames, to the west of residential Fulham – lots of quaint little streets that look like this:

The grounds didn’t even have a parking lot, and only a little two lane road passed in front of it. A far cry from the stadiums we’re used to frequenting here in the States.

A whole store of Fulham stuff? Drew thought he was in heaven. He picked out a new Pantsil jersey for the game and I wore his Davies jersey.

Before the game started, we walked through the stadium and got a good view of the empty pitch on our way to McBride’s Lounge for some pre-game drinks.

The game was beyond exciting. Craven Cottage is a pretty small stadium and the fans get really into it. They played Everton and won 2-1. It was amazing to be at the game and have them win.

After the game, we took the train back to London and grabbed an Italian dinner. And thus ended our stay in London. 😦 London is a pretty spectacular city. For realz.

Next up – the Paris leg of our trip! I didn’t think I could handle any more excitement. But I was wrong. 🙂

Check out all my pictures from London!

*Blog post title is from a Fulham Football Club fan song

try to set the night on fire

To celebrate Drew’s birthday, we tailgated at the Chicago Fire game vs. Toronto this past weekend. The rain held off for our cookout of burgers, dogs, and brats – and of course my mother-in-law’s famous homemade birthday cake! It was Blanco bobble-head night – even though the bobble-head looks nothing like him. Luckily, for the first time spectators, the Fire didn’t disappoint! Rolfe scored early in the game and then Thorrington scored in bonus time through the goalie’s legs to win it 2-1! GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!

Lined up in our second row seats ready for the game!

Blanco decides where to put his corner kick.

Mapp holds off his opponent.