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Monday, May 4, 2009

Spilling the Beans...

Hello Beantown!!!


That's right, a few weekends ago, I had the privilege of spending the weekend in Boston with one of my oldest besties (from Jr. High, eek). She is in her last year at Harvard Law School and is set to graduate in June - aka, I had to hurry up and get my butt there to visit! Nothing like a little motivation.

And seriously, you don't have to twist my arm to get me to go on vacation! I hap
pily hopped a plane for the weekend to explore this gem of a city. Upon arrival to Boston International, I already loved it. Seated by the window on the plane proved to me that love at first sight can indeed exist! The terrain was green and backed right up to the blue waters with a sole, quaint lighthouse breaking the waves.

Friday night we chose to bum around Cambridge, seeing as Aminta practically lives on Harvard's campus. After dropping off my belongings and freshening up, we headed out for a tour of the campus. I got to check out the classrooms, musty libraries (where tons of dutiful students were spending their Friday evening) and of course the infamous statue of Mr. Harvard of which Aminta shared all the campus "urban legends." The most notable being that freshmen are required to pee on the toe of the statue, another being it is good luck to touch the toe. I decided to play it safe and stage my "toe touch", haha! Then we were off to Harvard Square or "The Square" if you're a local, in a quest for the best burgers around - which of course led us to Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers. By this time it was near 9pm and there was a line down the sidewalk for this place and I knew we had arrived. The burgers were satisfying (insert: greasy and delicious), but the best part about them wasn't the taste...it was the names. All of the burgers are named after politicians or well-known public figures. Aminta and I both had the Mitt Romney...please note, choice of burger does not neccesarily = political affiliation, haha. To check out the full list click here! Almost forgot to mention that they had the most A-Mazing fresh squeezed lemonade! After dinner we bounced around to a few bars and coffee shops, ulimately settling on the Starbucks in The Garage (not to be confused with a parking garage).

Saturday morning came bright and early. You see, I have started this new workout called the 30 Day Shred that requires you to do a 20min video workout for 30 straight days, thus I needed to get up and do it before the exploring began. I had packed my video and my 2lb dumbbells, ridiculous I know, and was all set to workout when, gasp, Aminta's DVD player that she's literally had since our Sr. Sleepover in High School kept messing up and wouldn't play my workout :( Ok, being a problem solver, I decided that I could work around this. There was a common room on the first floor of the dorms that I could workout in, but would just have to risk there being people down there to ridicule me (at this point I was feeling very legally blondeish)! Making my way into the room I noticed one girl studying and I was not intimidated. So I got the DVD all set up and then noticed that there was no remote. WHAT!?! No remote meant that I couldn't select the workout from the menu, ugh...Essentially, I had spent 45 precious minutes trying to do a 20min DVD and could have been sleeping the whole time! Lesson learned!

After that debacle we set out to conquer the town. Did I mention that it was the most gorgeous weekend in Boston. In the 80's each day with lots and lots of sunshine! Getting to don my new Summer dress made my day! We first hit up brunch at Sonsie on Newberry Street. A trendy French infused restaurant with great atmosphere and unique food selections. I opted for a German pancake puff...but the greatness of it turned out to be fluff. I think i'll stick to American pancakes next time! Crossing the street we headed over to American Apparel. I had been longing for their V-necks for what seems like forever and now they were within reach! An even more pleasant surprise came at the register when the cashier told me there were NO TAXES! Pinch me, I think i'm dreaming! Coming from the city in the US with the highest taxes, this was unbelievable!



A hop, skip and a jump later, we found ourselves on the Freedom Trail. Which if you aren't familiar, is a 2.5 mile path that leads to 16 of the country's most significant historical landmarks. Pretty cool, right.
And the "trail" is even marked for you with a red painted or brick line (they were conscious of the directionally challenged). Some of my favorite stops were:
Boston Common - America's oldest public park and once the site of hangings, duels, public celebrations, plays, ice-skating and other festivities.
Massachusetts State House - The oldest building on Beacon Hill and in
1874, the dome was gilded with 23 carat gold!!! Holla!
Granary Burying Ground
- Final resting place of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and as
luck would have it...Mother Goose, haha!
King's Chapel - First Anglican Church built in 1688 and attended by George Washington in 1789. I
loved that instead of pews there were family boxes with little doors. You don't even have to face the preacher...wonder how many people slept through church???
Faneuil Hall - Served (and continues to
serve) as a public meeting place and open-air market. Housing tons of culinary treats and Beantown souvenirs.

After trapesing around downtown, we ended up in the North End where we stopped for a treat at Mike's Pastries (a reco from my friend Sam). A delicious stop indeed! I actually got two things...one to eat and one for the road! :) At this point we headed to Old North Church making that our final stop on the trail. Tired of walking we found a lovely place in the harbour to sit, listen to the waves and relax. What a day!


Then it was on to a little establishment called CHEERS in Beacon Hill for dinner. I was so pumped about
this. I remember watching the show at my granny's house back in the day. What I didn't realize was that the actual name of this bar was the Bull & Finch Pub! We had a decent dinner - I had to try Boston Baked Beans...pretty tasty, but beware if you have a unexplainable disliking for hot dogs b/c that's what's in them! We hit up the gift shop and were off...swag in hand! Saturday night we met up with some of Aminta's law friends for a wine and cheese party. Which turned out to be pretty fun despite my fear of being a little "too much" for the introverted studious types, haha. They warmed up to me just fine and it was fun to meet her friends. But they did not warm up enough to join us for dancing afterward. So, Aminta and I hit up the Redline bar for a night of dance mania...and that it was! The place was so packed and we got swarmed by a slew of not so gentlemen the moment we hit the dance floor! Fortunately, we could hold our own and had a knack for "saving" each other!
Sunday
we went to church at Aminta's usual place and found out that a couple from her church were actually from Oklahoma! Small world, i'll tell ya! We ate at the church's "Soul Food" meal and then were back to Harvard. Aminta had to pack for a trip to Africa, yes Africa that night and so I took the afternoon easy at the park reading and sunbathing (didn't wear sunscreen and got scorched). It felt so good, I just couldn't leave! Aminta met back up with me for a late lunch and some delicious ice cream at J.P. Licks, mmmm...all homemade! And then she had to depart for the airport.

Of course, I wasn't going to let this stop my exploration, so I made my way to Fenway and found the most awesome place to watch the game called Stadium Bar. You see, it's built right into the stadium and has one wall that looks directly onto the field...you are practically watching the game from the outfield - so cool! And FREE! Double score! Grabbing a sausage from a street vendor on the way out, my weekend was complete. I'm not sure if it was all the history, good food, warm weather or quaint streets, but I must admit...Boston is "my kind of town!"

3 comments:

Erin at Ruba said...

Hi! I’m the Community Manager of Ruba.com. We’re building a website to highlight some of the most interesting places travelers around the world have discovered. We’ve read hundreds of blogs about Boston and we think that this post is awesome! We’d love to highlight excerpts from your blog (assuming it’s OK with you of course) and to discuss other ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested. I’m at erin[at]ruba.com.
Thanks! :)

Katie said...

You are not "too much" for studious lawyer types! Haha you are a joy to us. Big bummer about your Shred debacle. I just ordered it! Here's hoping I don't fly off the balcony...

Thanks for sharing your trip!

Michelle said...

Thanks Erin! I'm definitely interested. Just sent you an email from mslape@gmail.com.

cheers!