Tyler and I try to make frequent trips since we both love to travel.  We were ready for another vaca and had a healthy number of points on our credit card from all the wedding spending, so we decided to take a little trip to Boston - neither of us had ever been and we've heard nothing but good things from several friends that have either been or that are from there. Our goals were to see as much as possible and eat as much as possible - both of which we accomplished.  Here are the details of our trip:

Day 1
We woke up SUPER early to catch our 7am flight, which we barely made.  But so glad we left that early because that meant we had the entire afternoon to spend getting acquainted with the city. Super cute, see for yourself:

View from our hotel
 The first thing we did was walk down to the harbor area to get some lunch.  Of course I was getting a lobster roll.  I heard James Hook had some delicious lobster rolls and they didn't disappoint.


Then we walked back to the hotel and discovered Boston Commons, where the Frog Pond is - so cute.  Its a huge wading pool and there were a ton of kids playing and swimming in it.  They freeze it during the winter and turn it into an ice skating rink.

Fishing frog

We decided to do a Boston Duck Tour that afternoon as a way to find out where some of the cool things were that we could go check out later in the trip - a "duck" is one of those vehicles that is able to drive on land, then go straight into the water.

Waiting to get on the duck

Super excited to start the duck tour!

Going into the water!

Officially in the Charles River. Wowzer.
The duck tour was a hit, and worked up an appetite, so we headed to the Atlantic Fish Company for dinner.  It was on Boylston Street right around the corner from our hotel - did I mention what an awesome location our hotel was in?  Right in Copley Square, near two subway stations, easy to get to everything.  We were a fan. So back to Atlantic Fish Company - this place was yum. So many delicious sounding options, and our waiter's name was Max. :)

So many delicious sounding choices!

Super excited for dinner

Lobster bisque

Boston Clam Chowda, duh
Day 2
The next day was lovely in the morning, so we decided to walk to Fenway Park since it wasn't that far.  Here's a cute little bridge we saw on the way there.


And then we turned a corner, and TA DA!  We were there!

We decided to take the tour, which, I know, Nikki on a baseball tour?  That's like an oxymoron, but I really enjoyed it.  I told Tyler later it was one of my favorite things that we did!

Tyler got a Red Sox hat.  He's super excited here to start the tour

I'm super excited too!

Tyler on the Green Monster - apparently that's what they call the big green wall.  The Yawnkey guy's wife picked out the green color. :)

Me on the Green Monster.  Seats up here have been voted the best seats in baseball.  Look at that view!

Green Monster. The green is made by Benjamin Moore and is licensed by the Red Sox.  To purchase rights to use it costs $9 million.

All that baseball trivia worked up an appetite so we headed inbound (per subway speak) to Sam LaGrassa's.  You may have seen it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Super yummy.

Tyler's roast beef

Nom nom nom nom...

Corned beef for me, please.
Then we decided to head south to visit the Samuel Adams brewery.  Now this was fun, and FREE!  It was really neat to learn about what beer is made of (I'm clueless when it comes to beer, so it was pretty interesting) and to learn about the brewing process.

Our tickets

Oh, and we learned about how to taste beer.  There are four steps - smelling, clarity, tasting - and there's one that I'm missing.  I must have been just drinking the beer when our tour guide was talking about it.  Oops. Four free beer tastings! And we got to keep our glasses!

Free beer!
After beer tasting, it was dinner time.  We did not decide on a dinner place, so this obviously freaked me out because if you haven't already figured out, I had the trip planned down to the minute.  Sigh.  However, we did decide to head down to the Little Italy area, so cute.  This area was super eclectic - college kids, old people, families, super Italian men hanging out in windows. 

The iPhone came in handy as we tried to navigate the city. That's the Government Center behind him.

The old Italian men that we made friends with took this picture for us.  They also rattled off four different Italian restaurant recommendations that their cousins, uncles, and brother's nephews owned.

Spaghetti and meatballs - the angel hair was fresh and might be the best pasta I've ever eaten.

My next mission was to get cannolis.  There are three places that kept coming up in my searches - Mike's, Modern Pastry, and Maria's.  The first night we tried Mike's - here are some pics:

Day 3
The next day we went on a Boston Freedom Trail walking tour - it was free!  Have I mentioned that all the tour guides we had were great?  I mean, these people are super knowledgable and all obviously love what they do.  I overheard some Bostonians saying that tour guide jobs are super hard to get, because everyone wants to be one - sounds like its a pretty desirable job.

One of the stops on our tour was at this cemetery.  I think cemeteries are super scary, and this one was no different, but there were some pretty cool dead people buried here.  Back in the day you had to have money for a proper burial, or else you were just plopped in the ground and covered in dirt, unmarked.  The tour guide said that when they went to build the first subway station at Park Street, the hole they dug up had over 900 bodies in it - I mean, that's so gross!!! Imagine how many people you're walking on, all over Boston.  Eeek.

John Hancock

Sammy Adams - he sounded like he was a pretty cool guy, always starting trouble! :)

Here are a few more pics from our tour:

Democratic Donkey - I just liked him because he was cute. Politics are dumb.

This hotel is super haunted. My boy JFK proposed to Jackie in the dining room here, and he also had his bachelor party here.
After the tour we headed over to Cambridge for lunch and to check out Harvard.  We stopped at this place, Alive and Kicking, which is literally a little restaurant run out of a house and they have a huge thing of lobsters in their garage.  The lobster roll was pretty good though.

Yum yum
Then we headed to Harvard where they were having Freshman orientation.  Now, I'm all for being smart but these kids seemed kind of dorky - whatever, they'll probably be millionaires in 10 years and I'll be super jealous.

Fun at the Science Center on campus

Trying to be smart and have intellectual conversations like the rest of the kids hanging out on the lawn.

We headed back to Boston and decided to check out the Boston Public Library that was right across the street from our hotel.  This place was pretty impressive. 

Dinner time!  I really wanted to go to Giacomo's (ja-kim-o's) but the line was WRAPPED AROUND THE CORNER. Tyler said no, hmph. We went to this place across the street, Panza, and it was really good!

Then we went to Modern Pastry for another cannoli - Tyler went all out with a chocolate covered shell, dipped in chocolate chips.

I just got a plain shell dipped in chocolate chips.  Yum.

Day 4
We woke up early on our last day to take a whale watching tour.  The entire tour was about 4 hours. It was overcast, and COLD.  I whined the whole way out to where the whales were.  Next time I'm wearing my Uggs, ear muffs, and 3 sweaters.  I thought my maxi dress and jean jacket would do the trick, but lesson learned.

Heading out to sea
We're on a boat

Tyler excited to see some whales

Me, pre-freeze.


Tail shot, thanks to my 200mm zoom lens that I brought with me

Tyler scanning the Atlantic for whales

Two humpback friends

More tail

Back to land

Pretty successful whale watching trip.  We saw a total of 7 humpbacks, some hole blowing, lots of dorsal fins, and some tail. We were headed back to the hotel and saw that Maria's was open!  Maria's was closed during the evenings, so we stopped for one more cannoli.  Don't worry - I'm starting up spinning class again first thing Wednesday morning.

Tyler enjoying his last cannoli
And what's a trip to Boston without a stop at Cheers?  Here's Tyler hamming it up in front of the famous bar.

Overall, we really loved Boston and are ready to move there.  The weather was awesome, the locals' accents were funny, there was a ton to do, and the food was awesome.  The first thing I said when we stepped off the plane and into the 91 degree heat (at 11pm at night) was, oh look, we're back in Hell.  Sigh.  Here's to another great trip!  Thanks Boston!

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