a fuller life

adventures… eats… laughs… life

Rock, rain, beer, and baseball in New England

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1This isn’t really an uncommon trip for us, since we tend to make a trip down to Fenway at least once a year… we left in the wee hours of Friday morning… breakfast at a truck stop in Houlton after an uneventful border crossing, a stop for coffee at the start of the I-295, overpriced seafood lunch in Kittery (and a chocolate stop 🙂 … and on to spend a couple of days visiting the in-laws in NH. Weekend was uneventful… spent most of the time amusing two toddlers… we went to some uninteresting farm thing that doubles as a state park…though the trails up and around it might have been interesting, we didn’t see much of them… and to some indoor play place/science center because it was raining… (great idea if you are a kid, less interesting when you are an adult without kids and starving… but the kids loved it, and that’s all that matters really)… Sat night we headed to Mansfield MA to catch Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (my favourite!!) at the Comcast Center. I love that venue for a concert (well, I don’t love the hour it takes to get a car out of there afterwards, but otherwise I love it). I also find it amusing that Americans tailgate at concerts…and that we don’t really… and I’m not sure why… I blame the gov’t. Went to a place called Five Guys for burgers one afternoon… really great, with ingredients sourced local and stuff…

2My Morning Jacket opened for Tom Petty… they were pretty good… I don’t really know them at all, and honestly would have preferred Crosby, Stills, and Nash (who is opening some of the other shows)…they played a fairly long set… Tom Petty came on around 9:00 and played for about 2 hours… playlist was decent (included You Don’t Know How It Feels, I Won’t Back Down, Free Fallin’, Learning to Fly, Runnin’ Down a Dream, American Girl, Refugee, Breakdown, a few newer songs, and some covers)… the set was perfect for the Boston area, since musically they tend to remain stuck a few decades behind 🙂 I didn’t take a single picture… too busy enjoying the show… Honestly, I have no idea how many people that venue fits… but there’s always something great about having the entire place singing along and mostly knowing the words to entire songs.3

Monday mid afternoon, we headed into Boston… technically, we stay in Somerville because there’s a decent enough hotel pretty much right off the interstate that has free parking and is close to a T station… checked in, cleaned up, and headed into Boston to grab a bite to eat before heading over to Fenway for the game… ate at Boston Beerworks… yum watermelon beer!! We had tickets on the green monster – 3rd row, section 2… some obstruction… like the scoreboard, most of center field, and most of left field, but it’s fun up there. We didn’t get completely drenched, but it did rain on and off throughout the game… we had some weird Mariner fans beside us with annoying signs… and the Sox won

Tuesday morning we decided to go and do a tour at the Sam Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain… It’s a free tour where they just suggest that you make a donation to charity… we sampled a couple of beers that they had people voting on and then were off on the tour (something rye and an IPA – I didn’t love either of them)…it’s a very short tour… got an explanation about the ingredients that go into beer, and then some explanation about what all the big vats are for… they don’t hire actors for their commercials, so we saw the guy with the bald head and beard (Bob) that is apparently in them… Greg recognized him… I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Sam Adams commercial… and then off to the sampling… we 4got to try three different ones… Boston Lager, their summer one, and Boston Brick Red… didn’t care for the first that much, others were pretty good (I’m a porter drinker, so I don’t get excited about beer I can see through 🙂 … the red one is interesting though because it’s a charity beer… it’s only sold in pubs and bars in Boston, and the some of the proceeds from every pint sold go to local charities… nice idea… we also got to smell (but not drink) another one they have on the go called Utopia… which has an alcohol content in the mid 20’s or something crazy… smells like maple syrup and can compete with cognac….

Technically, they aren’t allowed to give out more than 21 oz of free beer according to MA state law or something, but if you happen to be at the back of the room and the pitcher isn’t empty yet… well, someone has to drink it (someone named Greg even possibly)… we got a free glass with the tour… There’s a gift shop there as well, but we’re not really gift shop kinda people

Once we finished the tour, there was a trolley outside running back and forth to Doyle’s Café (why it’s called a café, 5I’m not sure because it’s definitely a bar) … so we decided to check it out… Jay gave us a bit of history on the area on the the way there… we also got another free glass there (I don’t really even care about free glasses, but apparently this is a big thing), but we had to pay for the beer inside it… I tried a Sam Adams cherry wheat… pretty tasty… had lunch there as well… pastrami and swiss on wheat with garlic fries… delish… and I don’t really like fries… Greg had a bison burger… it was all delish… apparently they’ve shot some movies there (more than one person told us this, and list always went something like… “Mystic River, 21, The Brink’s Job… ” and then they hang their head in shame and mention Celtic Pride… apparently the bar is often used as the typical Irish pub kind of setting… after this the trolley dropped us back at the T station and we headed to Quincy Market to grab dessert and a coffee… and then back to the hotel…

6We had another game Tuesday night, and since it had been raining all day, we didn’t hold out much hope that they were going to be playing it… went down towards Fenway early, had some supper and beer… went over and sat in our conveniently covered seats in the right field area and watched it rain… then watched them put more tarps out on the field… and then pull up the tarp stakes (accompanied by cheering) and then put them back down (no cheering)… and then delay the game for an hour (even less cheering)… and then postpone it for a day (BOO!!!!) … so out of two games and a tour we had booked for Fenway, we got one game… stupid rain… oh well… we managed to sell the game tickets on StubHub once we got back to the hotel… I don’t really love how they let you come in and spend all that money in there (well, we didn’t spend any besides buying the tickets) when they know there’s a good chance they won’t play… it’s kind of crummy… but I understand how business works too.7

Headed back home early Wednesday… it poured from Somerville to Portland or so… breakfast at a interstate-side thinger… lunch in Bangor at some chain… rain stopped before Bangor… was sunny by the time we got up to the border…Another adventure complete… and I think I’d like to chase the Red Sox to Seattle next year…. another city we haven’t been to… and happy to not have to eat at anymore chain restaurants for a while.

Safe travels…

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