Boston

Long story short…I’m still trying to figure out this iPad. I wrote my entire Boston posts with links and photos and proceeded to discard the entire thing. Yup, I’m an idiot. Trying to go off memory, I proudly introduce you to Boston…

Sorry for the late post, but I wasn’t able to access wi-fi in Alex’s house. George and I were lucky enough to have spent 4.5 lovely days exploring the Boston area and Portland, Maine.

Here is a backlog of our time spent there:

Day 1
We left Phoenix on August 9, 2013 with our 60L and 65L backpacks in tow ready to begin our adventure. Only, our plane was delayed an hour and we wound up not even taking off until 11:30pm MST. After packing, repacking, planning and working the entire week, my brain, body and energy were just zapped. I thought, ‘perfect, red-eye, I’ll be able to get some shut eye on the plane’. I did pass out pretty quickly, but I was stark awake after my hour doze. George got no sleep. So, to say that we were a little brain-dead when we arrived in Boston at 7am is an understatement.

One of my best friends, Alex, was gracious enough to wake up early and pick our ragged asses up from the airport and bring us back to her house to get some coffee running though George’s veins and to let me at least attempt to look like an acceptable human who could be seen in public.

We freshened up, jumped in Alex’s car, and…I completely passed out 10 minutes into our 45 minute drive. No, I swear I wasn’t tired at all. Well, upon my waking, we were in Portsmouth, NH for some yummy and much desired brunch at this place called The Friendly Toast. I, a notorious carbo-loader opted for the drunken French toast and home fries. George got the smoked salmon Benedict. We would give the place 4/5 stars. We then decided to stretch our legs and take a walk around the town, where we heard the friendliest protest I have ever heard complete with marching band music.

After having our fill, we headed back down to Alex’s house for a quick, minor…3 hour nap. We apparently were pretty tired. Who knew?

Next, after waking from the dead, we all went to the bewitching town of Salem, known for its witch trials, and the town definitely lives up to its name from hokey tours (Segway included) to actual buildings of historical importance. We opted for the latter since George and I pride ourselves on being amateur history buffs. We ate at this delicious restaurant where I started my European diet of bread and cheese (look Ma, more carbs!) and smoked salmon for good measure.

Heading back to Alex’s, we caught up, baked chocolate chip cookies and hit the hay.

Day 2
So we slept in until 10am completely making up for our 3 hour nap the day before. Much needed and well deserved for sure. We decided to make it a light day since it was Sunday and on the 7th day (if you’re Christian), G-d commanded that we rest, and we didn’t want to break any rules, so we obliged. We took a nice walk through Alex’s neighborhood, visited with Omi, Alex’s amazing German grandmother (who makes the BEST Nutella strudel and baked us some!),checked out the local mall and took in the suburb life.

That night, Alex, Alex’s brother, Andy, George and I all checked out a new place called Portland Pie Co. for our own individual pizzas, mine had spinach and broccoli while George just had a meat mess. Then, just in case my lactose intolerant body had not yet had its fill of dairy, we went for some custom frappes (new England version of milkshakes) and frozen yogurt. Delicious, but wreaking havoc on my delicate digestive system.

Returning for the night, we promptly said our goodnights and passed out.

Day 3
Today was our big day to head into the city aka Boston! We woke up and went for some coffee and chai lattes at a local favorite, Heav’nly Donuts. I swear, New. England makes the best coffee/hot drinks. I want to bring it to the West Coast ASAP just so everyone I know can have some. Anywho, bit of a tangent. So, we headed into the city where we checked out the North End with the old North church and the Italian area of the city, then we headed down to Boylston St. for lunch and some walking around. For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, Boylston is where the finish line of the Boston Marathon is and where the 2 bombs went off. Alex showed us where it all happened, which is definitely a very eerie feeling. We even went to o e of the restaurants that was affected for lunch. It was this insanely busy, but healthy and delicious salad place called Sweet Green, which I highly recommend for anyone visiting Boston. You get to make your own salad and they mix it right in front of you. We squeezed our way past the downtown lunch crowd and took a walk around Copley Square and down Newbury St. A quite lovely afternoon, until we walked back to the car. Which had been promptly towed after we unknowingly parked in a handicapped space. Way to ruin the mood, Boston.

We quickly located and recovered the car from a sketchy ass lot in South Boston. After all, we did have dinner plans with Omi. We went for some Italian food and good company,said our goodbyes to Omi and went back to the house since we had a big day in Maine and Alex had to head back to work.

Day 4
After some initial trepidation about the weather (it was supposed to thunderstorm), we gathered our tired asses and Alex took us to the bus station on her way to work. We grabbed a quick bite at the station + 32 oz. of coffee for George and headed to get on the bus. I have learned very quickly that George + no sleep + no food = worse than Ebenezer Scrooge. I was constantly carrying snacks and pumping him full of caffeine to keep him alive and uncranky. I was lucky enough to take an hour nap on the bus, but George was wired from all the coffee. After a quick 2 hour bus ride, we were finally in Portland, ME! Another state to check off the list. We found a great cabbie, Jerry, who took us to Fort William Park where there is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country, commissioned in 1790. We explored the area and then decided since it was only threatening to rain to take a short 3 mile walk to another park with a great viewpoint of Portland city and the water. We were tired and hungry and Jerry was a quick phone call away. We had already settled on lobster, since duh, it’s Maine, so Jerry scooped us up and took us for the delectable Portland Lobster Company. George got the lobster roll while I got the clam chowdah. Very New England of us. After a quick sprinkling, the rain ended after we finished our lunch, so we felt safe enough to venture into the tourist land known as downtown Portland. I did find a great thank you gift for the Tighes made by a local artist. I was quite pleased with myself.

We felt that we had spent a significant amount of money on Jerry for the day, so we decided that in order to get back to the bus, we would take the local transport. Talk about crackhead city. I swart that bus was a walking PSA for never wanting to do drugs. You know what? When I have kids, I’m just going to take them on the city bus and just let them ride it for hours until they are convinced that drugs are a poor choice. Cheap and effective. But I digress…I don’t think George has ever squeezed my shoulder so tight trying to be protective, but I just found their behavior amusing. We finally made it to the bus station unscathed and headed back down into Boston. We were meeting up with Bug and her boyfriend, Gabriel!

They were kind enough to pick us up from the station and take us to a delicious dinner at Grafting Street in Cambridge. One of the best chicken sandwiches I have ever eaten. They took us around Harvard Yard and Cambridge a bit before they took us back up to the ‘burbs so we could pack and get ready for our next destination.

Day 5
Our last day in Boston. We had to get up early to finish packing and catch a ride with Alex into work. We got in and decided for an apparently Southie must, Flour, which had some freaking awesome pastries. We took the morning to check out a few last minute sights like the Boston Tea Party harbor, the oldest tavern and strolling through Boston Common. Quite a lovely morning and the perfect send off. We said our goodbyes to Alex, who was an amazing hostess, hopped in the cab and went to the airport.

On to our next adventure in Iceland!

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