a fuller life

adventures… eats… laughs… life

Boston 2012 – Red Sox rebuilding edition

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1We’re back from another baseball in Boston adventure, and we had a great time… we made a point of seeking out places we’ve never before and it was nice to see some other parts of the city.

Left Thursday morning in beautiful sunny weather. Stopped for coffee, gas, lunch (Whole Foods… mmmm smoothie), etc in Portland and that was pretty much all the stopping we did. Got to our hotel in Boston (same one as always – Holiday Inn Somerville) around 4:00. Rested a bit and played on our devices, and then wandered off to find some food. We walked from our hotel down to Union Square and found a thai place (Sweet Ginger). Food was fine. I’ve never been to Thailand, so I have no idea if it was even remotely authentic, but it tasted good. Stopped and checked out the Swirl & Slice market on the way back to the hotel, and got some tasty kale juice. We didn’t do much else for the rest of the night… just some relaxing, which was much needed.2

When we left the hotel Friday morning, we were planning to stay gone for the entire day. It was pretty hot on Friday and we were pretty tired by the end of it it, but we did and saw quite a lot. We took the T to Hynes Convention Center and walked over to the Mary Eddy Baker library to check out the Mapparrium. It’s a big, stained glass globe that you walk inside and it shows how the world looked in the 30’s. It was neat, but likely not neat enough to merit the $6pp entrance fee. You couldn’t take any pictures and couldn’t even really talk (there’s amazing acoustics there and everyone would here what you said, even if you thought you were whispering). Our guide was dead boring, and the whole thing only lasted about 20 minutes. But it was cool being inside the globe, and it was really neat seeing different places light up as they were mentioned in the presentation (recorded, not by the boring guide). After that, we walked around the Christian Science Plaza. It’s quite pretty down there, even though we really have no connection with christianity at all. The pool and the church make for nice pictures, and we sat in the park and watched people playing in the fountain for a while. I love just sitting and people 3watching. Then we walked over to the Prudential building… i wanted an iced coffee and I knew there was a Starbucks in there… but I also knew you could buy tickets to the duck boats there, and Greg mentions them every time we go to Boston – so I figured it was time. Got our drinks, bought our tickets, and off we went on our tour.

Our duck boat driver was Paul from Revere, and he was actually really funny. Otherwise I wouldn’t have listened to a thing he said – much like i do with most tour guides. Tour was about 90 minutes and we spent a bit of time in the water. The novelty there is the vehicle driving into the water I guess, but mostly it’s loud and smelly (fumes). But I did get to see my bridge closer up (long story, but I long ago claimed that white bridge in Boston). After the tour, we walked to Copley Square to check out their farmers’ market that was going on and took a quick look at Trinity Church. From there we walked to Jerry Remy’s restaurant to have something to eat before the game. Food was as expected – pub-ish food and some beer. Then we headed over to Fenway (it’s literally 5 minutes away). Walked around the outside of the park for a bit, and then headed over to Yawkee Way to go through the lines. We stopped in the store for a sec and had a good laugh at the sales on Crawford and Gonzalez clothing.

4We had pretty amazing seats for the game – the second section back behind home plate. The weather had been beautiful and super hot all day, but just as the game was about to start, it started to pour. So we waited in the concourse for a while until that ended (and I had some ice cream, since it was there and delicious… and overpriced). The water that was running down the ramps was pretty crazy. The delay was maybe an hour, and then we dried off our seats and enjoyed (well, as much as you can when your team sucks this bad) the game. Because of the delay, the game ran pretty long, and it was about 1 when we got back to the hotel. That was a lonnngggg day! But fun! Beer was also involved.5

Saturday we decided to take it a bit easier on ourselves. We headed down towards the water to check out the Greenway market. Had some food truck deliciousness from Roxy’s (gourmet grilled cheese), Red Bones (bbq), and Kickass Cupcakes. Sat around in the park for a bit. Super nice out again, but windy (and the poor artists at the market had a hard time keeping their tents standing). After that, we walked along the water. Got a drink, checked out the boats. Around by the Marriott, we found another market type thing going on – the Boston Ahts Festival. It was awesome (we had so much fun finding these markets every where we went). Checked out all the stalls, bought a few things from one of the vendors (even that’s not normal for me), and then kept trucking. Hit the produce market (all looks imported) at Haymarket and then back to the hotel to rest for a quick bit and change.

6Back to the T station (we’re becoming intimately familiar with the Sullivan Square stop at this point) and on to Boston Beerworks for something to eat (or more importantly, drink) before the game. Food here is fine, but we like the beer. And it’s close to Fenway. It was pretty packed and the watermelon beer was already gone for the season (boo!!). I tried the Blue ’92 and it was quite possibly the worst micro-brewed beer I have ever had in my life. Greg finished it for me and gave me his Pumpkinworks instead. It was better, but doesn’t really taste-pumpkiny. I think they try and trick you by rimming the glass with a spicy mix. I switched to Muddy River Porter after that (I often can’t remember the name of places I go, but apparently I’m good with beer names :). Off to the game after that with dark clouds rolling in. It just wouldn’t be Fenway if we didn’t get soaked.7

We had great seats for the game again, about in the same section as the night before. We watched some pregame stuff, it started to rain a bit. Greg toughed it out, and I went in and chatted with some other girls that didn’t want to get drenched while watching the game on the TV. Went back out when it stopped and watched some more game… until we saw the giant wall of water start to walk across the field. We didn’t have covered seats, so we both went in then. Waited about an hour and there was no real sign of it stopping, so we decided to just call it a night. Back to the hotel and we watched the game on TV.. it didn’t resume for another while yet and it ended up being a long one. We just missed another wall of water that started right after we got into the hotel, so that was nice.

8Something I’ve wanted to do in Boston for a while is to visit the SOWA market, but we never seem to be free on Sundays. This time, we made a point of fitting it in before the Sunday game. So we took the T out to Chinatown and then walked from there. Great market! There’s a farmers’ market on one side of a building and then crafts and loads of food trucks on the other side. I had some tasty lemongrass chicken and soba noodles from the Bon Me truck… Yum!!! Greg had tacos and a hot dog of some variation. Explored the artsy vendors, bought a gift for someone and some cookies, and then headed to catch the T to Fenway.

It had been all kind of dark and cloudy so far today, but no rain yet. Our seats were decent (near first base) and the park was maybe 2/3 full. The sun ended up coming out and the Sox almost made an effort, but still lost… they lost all three games we were there.. and when we left on Monday, they were tied with the Patriots for wins in September. We also learned that small children are like hoovers!9

After the game, we decided to go check out the Public Garden. We had walked around Boston Common before, but hadn’t gone to the garden. It’s quite nice in there. We got hot drinks and sat on a bench and just watched for a while… lots of families, people with pets, and old people feeding the squirrels and ducks. Lots of wedding pictures being shot there too. The sun was in a pretty great place as we were there, so did a little shooting of my own (though I only brought the wee camera and mobile for the weekend). Headed to Rock Bottom Brewery for supper – again, typical food. Porter beer was good. Back to the hotel after that.

10Headed back home Monday morning pretty early. We stopped briefly in Portland – good to stretch the legs and in Freeport (Greg bought shoes, it’s a miracle). Stopped in Bangor at a Mexican place a friend recommended – food was good, portions were way too big, which was pretty much the theme of the whole weekend. Home early evening, no border-related debachles (though the wait was a bit long), and back to the normal swing of things after that.

Fun trip!

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