Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Great Escape.....part 1 of a 3 part series

At the first part of February, Matt and I were going over our 3 month schedule, as is our routine.  After reviewing February, March and April, Matt asked me why we didn't seem to have much going on that month.  I said that I had no idea but that I was sure something would come up.  Then, he said that he had been thinking and that he had an idea....honestly, I thought, here we go with another project;)  But, no, my sweet husband had something else in mind......a trip.....to celebrate my 30th birthday (which is coming up at the end of July) and our 5th anniversary (which is in November). 

I thought it was a great idea to do a trip in late spring because we didn't like the sound of traveling in the heat of the summer and the fall is absolutely insane around these parts.  So, it was absolutely a great idea!  Then, we had to decide where to go...hummm.....Europe, obvious 1st choice, however, not in the budget.  Neither of us have any desire to do the "tropical resort thing".  So, we went back to the drawing board and within 15 minutes, we had decided that Boston and some parts of New England was a great choice for our trip!  Tons of Colonial and Revolutionary History, lovely scenery, and most important......great food....specifically, great seafood:)

We flew out bright and early this past Tuesday and landed in Boston right after lunch.  After taking the T to our hotel, we dropped off our bags and headed out!  First stop, Quincy Market.  Very historical but very touristy.  Think really old buildings with upscale food courts and bars.  You can wander inside and out and just shop, people watch and eat.    We wanted to grab something yummy, eat and get back to sightseeing, and Quincy Market is perfect for that purpose.  This is what we spotted about halfway through the 2nd section...... 
Let's just call this "heaven on a stick"
Broiled Bacon wrapped Diver Scallops on a skewer
One skewer was served on a styrofoam plate with handcut Belgian-style fries....utterly divine.  The perfect snack....in our humble opinion.

After inhaling  enjoying our snack, we walked around Quincy and decided that we needed to take a city tour.  Luckily, there are 6 companies that offer such tours.  We decided on a trolley tour which was perfect for the weather.  This tour also allowed us to "hop on and hop off" at all designated stops and be picked up again at 15 minute intervals.  Because we purchased our tour so late in the afternoon, the kind ticket man gave us a 2 day pass, free of charge.  This was wonderful because we were able to go back the next day to the places that we wanted to spend more time and "hop on and hop off" at our leisure.  Our trolley tour also included a Harbor Cruise.

So, we hopped on the trolley.

We decided that we would just use the afternoon to relax and enjoy the trolley ride and get a quick Boston history lesson.  It was great because we were able to make note of some things we really wanted to see the next day while we walked the Freedom Trail.  After our ride, we started walking and ended up here....

The Green Dragon Tavern  This placed opened in 1657.  During the time of the American Revolution, The Green Dragon Tavern was deemed "the headquarters of the Revolution" by Samuel Adams, Daniel Webster and Paul Revere. 

And of course, because we were at The Green Dragon Tavern, I had to have a green drink.
And of course, because we were out of the state of Alabama, there was Guinness of tap....he couldn't resist.

Next stop was the Bell in Hand Tavern
America's oldest continuously operating tavern.
It was in this fine establishment that we discovered this...
AMAZING.
My favorite beer EVER.  So completely refreshing.
We had entirely too many of these.
The infamous Summer Shandy.


After all those Shandys, Matt decided that I needed to have my picture made by the statue outside of The Green Dragon Tavern.  I'm thinking that the only way I consented to this is because of the Shandy...it was soooooo good.
I'm such a tourist.  A dorky, sippin' on too many Shandys tourist.

After a few rounds in some historic taverns, we talked over to the North Side of town in search of food.  Italian food.  The historic North Side of Boston has a fantastic Italian American population that has been there for generations.  We ate all of our Boston meals, except snacks, in the North Side.  Our first night, we went on the reccomendation of Uncle Rut.  He sent us to Restaurante Limoncello.  It was good, really good.  I forgot to take pics (probably because of the Shandy) but I had the squid ink pasta with lobster and Matt had something else that wasn't as good as mine.....not that his wasn't good, it was, but after he tasted mine, he wished he had ordered the same:)  We finished supper with the house made tiramisu and the house made limoncello, an italian lemon liquour.  It was really strong but good.
After our meal, we walked back to our hotel and crashed.  It had been a long day!

We slept in a little the next day, which we never do and it was really nice.  Mid-morning we headed across the street to the Boston Aquarium.  They have a 3D Imax Theatre and Matt had never seen an Imax movie.  I thought it would be fun to go see a show.  The aquarium shows about 6 different Imax shows a day and the first one that morning was Hubble 3D.  So, we bought our tickets, got our 3D glasses, and headed into the theatre.  It was a great show and we both really enjoyed it.  After the film, we decided to hop back on the trolley and get dropped off on the Freedom Trail. 
Our first stop was the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides.
Did you know that the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world?
She is also undefeated in battle.
Pretty neat!


Here is a pic of her from the water.  Notice Bunker Hill in the background.

Right across from the USS Constitution is the USS Cassin Young. 
She saw lots of action in both WWII and the Korean War.  This ship is staffed and maintained by National Park Service and volunteers and serves as an example of the type of ship built, repaired and modernized in the Charlestown Navy Yard. 
Matt couldn't resist getting behind the gun;)

From the shipyard, we walked back towards town and saw these things...

The new bridge in Boston....I think its the widest steel cable supported bridge in the world. 

The Old State House.  From its balcony, the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians, on July 16th, 1776.


Beacon Hill.  Home of the most expensive real estate in the United States.  It was lovely, but not that lovely;) 

Boston Common. 


This is where all the tea was dumped into the Harbor.  The Tea Party Ship was closed for renovation, so we weren't able to see it, so, this was all we saw concerning that matter.

After seeing all of those sights, we walked back to our hotel and gathered up our coats because we were headed to Back Bay.  Oh yes, home of the world famous Filene's Basement.  It was an experience!  Oh, yeah.  We also went to Fenway Park;)  More on those adventures in Part 2 of this 3 Part series:)

Hope everyone enjoyed the "Chicken Thigh" post I scheduled to pop up while I was out of town.  I wanted to try out that scheduling post business and I think it worked pretty well.  I feel like it kept me caught up on posts and I didn't feel a ton of pressure to post once I returned from my trip.  Hope everyone is having a great start of their week!  We are settling back into the swing of things.
I missed my Bubba sooooo much!  But, he had a wonderful time with AnnMother, Opa and Sessy.  He hasn't quit talking about everything he did up in Sheffield.  AnnMother gave him a good report and I think they had a very good time together.  I hope to post Part 2 tomorrow!


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