Two years after our trip to Boston (and after two weeks of radio silence on the blog), I thought it'd be nice to kick off the week with a look back at the last few photos from our time in New England. The boy and I still think of this as the most magical trip we've taken together as a couple. And after two weeks of on-and-off sickness—a lingering cough from a cold I caught in February, a painful neck spasm that prompted an emergency RMT appointment and several canceled Bar Method classes—I sure could use a little magic.
After spending the second and third day of our vacation day-tripping to little New England towns, we were looking forward to getting to know Boston a bit better on the fourth day. Imagine our dismay when we woke up to a thoroughly cold, miserable, wet day! Nothing would deter the boy from touring the USS Constitution though, so to the Charlestown Navy Yard we went. After three public transit transfers, a pair of soaked Converse, and a meltdown regarding me forgetting my passport, we were there.
Even a naval history neophyte like me was impressed at the sight of the tall masts and rigging, while the boy was in seventh heaven. We toured the ship (along with a ton of kids on spring break vacation and going stir-crazy below deck while hiding from the rain) and marveled at what life must have been like for sailors aboard this historic frigate, which launched in 1797 and is still sailed about the harbour for special occasions today. Our timing on this couldn't have been better: 2014 was the last year before the USS Constitution would be dry-docked for a three-year restoration project.
That night, we met my friend Esther and her then-fiance, now-husband Bob at Neptune Oyster Bar for dinner. Neptune is one of the best seafood restaurants in Boston and doesn't take reservations. Even at 5:30pm, there was already a long line of people snaking from the front entrance, hoping to put their names down for a dinner seating two hours later. We were one of the lucky few to make it there before 6pm to put our names down, so we killed time with drinks somewhere else.
Once we were seated at Neptune at 8:30pm, Esther explained to me the nuances of the lobster roll over oysters and appetizers. The more common ones were the cold lobster rolls served with mayo on a roll, like the one I'd had in Portsmouth. And then there were the ones served warm on a roll and drenched with butter; these were harder to find and Neptune happened to make an exceptional version. Well, of course after that introduction I just had to try one and it did not disappoint. And then despite the epic dinner and the fact our bellies were distended in bliss, somehow the boy and I still had eyes bigger than our stomachs and stopped at Mike's for king-size pastries. I'm not kidding—two cream puffs managed to fill up an entire bakery box. I think I only managed two bites before I groaned and shoved the whole thing in our hotel room's mini fridge.
All the calories we consumed the night before helped us power through the next day's highlight: a tour of Fenway Park! I'm not a baseball fan, but I loved the colourful stories the tour guide shared about the historic park's past and the fact that the old wooden seats had remained unchanged. A Red Sox fan today could walk in with a ticket from an old game and ask to sit in the same seat his grandfather had sat in. As we admired the view from the top of the Green Monster and from the press box, I couldn't help feeling a twinge of regret that we hadn't planned our trip to include a Red Sox game. What an experience to watch a ball game in a park that was so cherished and in a city that loved its team so much.
Our last full day in Boston dawned bright and sunny, perfect for what we'd planned: the Freedom Trail. We walked past historic landmarks, quaint New England cemeteries, and most of downtown Boston before lingering and enjoying the hustle and bustle of Fanueil Hall. (Think outdoor shopping, a public marketplace, lots of restaurants, street performers—all situated in a revamped historic landmark.) A leisurely stroll through Boston Common—where thousands of flags had been planted on the lawn to commemorate fallen Massachusetts soldiers for Memorial Day—capped off our vacation. The next day it would be back to Vancouver and back to reality, but we would relive every memory of this trip in the weeks and months ahead.
More from this trip: