Saturday, October 6, 2012

the great bostonian adventure

So, my trip to the north - Boston, MA to be specific - was a success. Farthest north I've ever been in my life, first time in New  England, but not the first time I've flown solo :) Anyway. I'm home with over 200 pictures to share - we'll see if I can condense it down a little for a blog post so I don't keep you here all day :)

I went to Boston for a week to spend time with my cousin Jessica, her husband Tom, and their brand-new baby girl. Some of you may not realize the rather large age difference between Jessica and I, since the gap has definitely "closed" over the past several years. But Jess was our favorite babysitter and "grownup" all throughout her highschool and college years.

on the left: 1998....on the right: 2012

Just so you realize how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING it is to have a cousin so much older than you who really isn't and even though we don't live in the same city anymore we're still super close. Anyway. Just for context. Onto the trip! Let's goooooo....

Day One // Monday:
My flight was early afternoon from DC, so even though the morning was spent traveling, I still had a good part of the day in Boston - well, late afternoon and supper time.
I managed to bumble the baggage check pretty effectively - he asked if I had any bags to check and I said no. Then he asked how many bags I had. Two. Which he proceeded to check and charge me for. Without thinking twice, I paid him. And then realized he was checking them and I wanted to carry them on but he'd already gone to put the cash away. So when he came back and I had to explain our mistake. Oops. But it was cash so they have to mail us a refund. AHHH. Craziness. Will I ever learn? International travel is easier, in my humble opinion. After that the trip was easy. 
we live in a beautiful country.

Jessica picked me up at the airport, and I got to see Lily for the first time! Super exciting.

I bedded down in Tom and Jessica's TV room for the week on a super comfy sofa. For the record, I can and will sleep anywhere. Well, pretty much anywhere. *hehe*

Day Two // Tuesday:
A quiet day, spent mostly at home in the apartment, hanging out and settling in - also included a little excursion out to Porter's Square for coffee at the cute bookshop/cafe.

On the way home, we grabbed middle-eastern take out - yummy!

And also started our daily afternoon teas. I think we only didn't do it one day :) Tea, shortbread, cookies, pie, was kinda different everyday. Cozy tea it.

Funny story from the day...this is *classic* me, by the way. So I wanted to buy the song "My Immortal" 'cause it's pretty and I like it. No problem with that, right? Just go buy it on iTunes, search it, find it, click buy and you're listening to it in thirty seconds, right? I go onto iTunes. "Rats, it's $1.29." Look a little more. "Oh, look! There's a $.99 version!" Buys it. Job done, saved 30 cents. Until I realize it doesn't have the harmony part that I love so much....that's in the "new" more popular $1.29 version. "Fine, fine, fine. I'll buy the other one too. I want it that badly..." *cough* Except I accidently hit the buy button on the Live band version. Yuck. Not gonna settle for that one. Finally bought the one I wanted, ended up spending $3.57 all because I wanted to save $.30. *sigh* Welcome to my life, people! I crack myself up. Jessica and I definitely had a good laugh over it :D ANYWAY. Moving on....

Day Three // Wednesday:
the start of my "daily routine" with my new little cousin. While Jessica got ready for the day, the two of us would hang out and "play" and snuggle. She didn't really know me at first, but by the end of the week we were friends ;)
In the late morning, we headed out to do the art museum. Turns out, Jessica and I do museums the same way: fast. We looked at the guide and saw that the special exhibit "Art of the Americas" included some Singer Sargent paintings that we (my family) studied for art study about two years ago. Actually, those of you who were following my blog in 2010 may recall I used the painting "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" as my blog header for a while. Anyway. So I wanted to see those. And there were some Renoir and Monet paintings in another gallery too, so we decided those are what we'd look for ;)
we got kinda lost at one point (it's a BIG museum) and ended up in the contemporary art section. It was actually pretty interesting, although a couple pieces were a little creepy. This neon sign was fun, though.

Lily and Monet on the left, original study from "Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose" on the right

We also had lunch at one of the food spots in the museum. The food was *very* good - and they actually gave us fair-sized portions for the price we paid - always appreciated. And while we were sitting eating, I realized that all the lit "exit" signs were green. Since when are Exit Signs green???

In the afternoon, it was a little dreary so we snuggled down and watched The Lorax, which neither of us had seen before. It was hiiiilaaaarious. That little Zac Efron character is classic. Anyway. We enjoyed it :D

Day Four // Thursday:
This was the first of our two sight-seeing days. Lots of walking. And with all the crazy cyclists, it felt like Nica all over again. :) The picture below is my foot up against the gold horseshoe marking the route of William Dawes - the fella who finished Paul Revere's ride after the latter got caught. One of those, "Wow...he was *right here* in this spot" moments. Love those.

the train station. we rode a lot of trains. And I got to be there for Lily's first train ride ever. Pretty neat.

Beacon Hill. With it's original buildings and authentic gas lamps. 

Brick, brick, brick!

Love the diversity of the doors. This was my favorite contrast - dignified wood and chic pink.

Annnnnd....THE BOSTON COMMON. You have no idea how long I have wanted to be here. And it's beautiful, and sunny, and peaceful. I actually would move to Boston just to be able to visit the Common whenever I wanted.

Cemetary where Revere is buried, and then lunch time at the Barking Crab with Tom

See those boats? After lunch we decided we weren't really up for going into the North End of Boston, where the Old North Church, the Tea Party Museum and all that historical stuff is. So we went home. Well, when I looked up on the map where exactly Fish Street (Johnny Tremain) is today, Jessica and I realized that that's where those boats are. We had literally been five minutes away. Oh well.

This picture is for Ms Julia. Because I'm still chuckling about when Mr. Rob and I stood the loading patio at Burnley and made her yell at us for standing too close to the edge and putting ourselves at risk of falling. :) If you can't tell what the picture's of, it's a seven foot drop off the concrete wharf into the bay. Kinda cool and kinda scary at the same time :D

After lunch, we headed home (to the train station) via the Public Gardens. Another beautiful spot with a special place in my heart.

Reason? Make Way For Ducklings.

Picture of the week! Lily and I with the famous Mallards. And Lily's sweater is bunched up and making her look like a linebacker :P

Day Five // Friday:
I don't exactly remember what all we did on Friday. I know we stayed home in the morning and watched Gnomeo and Juliet - very cute and fun since Jess hadn't seen it before.

I'm pretty sure this is the day we went to go pick up the CSA vegetables, and the one thing we *definitely* did was Lobster For Supper. Important. I have never had lobster before, so Tom was eager that I do it while I was in Boston.

Right before we were about to eat, my iPod starts buzzing and singing and jumping around. I look over to see I'm being Face-Timed by my family...crazy bunch that they are :D

While it wasn't my favorite thing I've ever eaten, I did thoroughly enjoy it and would have it again for sure :D The method of consumption is very similar to that of crab, which I love and am quite familiar with, so getting to the meat was no problem. Of course, Tom bashed mine with a sledge hammer so I wouldn't have to do all work (okay, okay, it wasn't a sledge hammer...) but still. :D

Day Six // Saturday:
Relaxing stay-at-home snuggle day. Love those! Tom had to go to a business meeting in the morning, but when he came back in the afternoon, we watched Cars 2 and then went out to dinner at the lounge where Bettina (Tom's sister) works.

Jessica and I sauntered out to Porter's again in the morning for coffee, croissants and muffins. I also picked up two birthday presents (gotta keep the siblings in mind wherever you go!) - so all in all, very productive.

my pumpkin spice latte (oh, how I love seasonal drinks!) and Jessica and Lily getting ready to watch Cars 2. We realized as the week closed, that the only movies we'd watched were The Lorax, Gnomeo and Juliet, and Cars 2. Yes, all animated. Tom's response, "Well, 'cause that's all we watch anyway." Truth. Very funny though.

Another favorite picture of the week. This was at the restaurant :) Love my cousins!

Day Seven // Sunday:
Sunday was lovely and quiet. We went to my cousins' lovely old historic church, and I really enjoyed the Episcopal liturgy - something I grew to love during our brief stay at St. Stephen's, and wonderfully familiar from my fifteen years growing up in a Presbyterian church. Afterwards we had brunch with close friends of my cousins, who are also Lily's godparents.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the Patriots football game, snippets here and there of the Ryder Cup, and whatever other football games were on - and talking and eating and hanging out, drop in visits from Tom's parents and friend Melissa, napping and resting, and all that good stuff that comes with lazy Sunday afternoons.

Day Eight // Monday: 
My last day in Boston. On Sunday evening, Tom asked, "So girls, what are you doing tomorrow?" We had no idea. Jess asked if there was anything left I wanted to see. Deep down, I still *really* wanted to go to the North End, and since there'd be no harm in suggesting, I did. And turns out, it would work perfectly! So we spent several hours wandering around the North End of Boston - and I got to see all those historic spots I've read about for soooooo long. Definitely worth it.
The day started with a train ride (Lily slept) and a quick little look around Boston's theater district. Turns out they have a Paramount theater too!

Tucked away near the Paramount is the gorgeous Boston Opera House...told Jessica that someday I want to preform some place where people come 'cause they have season tickets, some place fancy like this. Somedayyyy.....

Next stop - first historic one: the Old State House, and the site of the Boston Massacre.

I think I look too happy to be on the exact spot of such a tragic event. *wry grin*

Fanueil Hall, where both Tom and Jessica were sworn into the bar. As well as John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and Frederick Douglass. Pretty neat, I must say!

I thought Charlottesville was the only spot with "Art in Place". Guess not...we just had to take a picture of ourselves with the Big Noodle Sculpture. :) The first official "Flat Lily" shot of the day.

Lunch in historic Quincy Market. I got a bagel pizza. So making this at home!

Modern day Commercial Street...known to our history buffs and Johnny Tremain-lovers as "Fish Street". Yup. The real place.

The approximate site of Hancock's Wharf. Hi, Flat Lily!

Flat Lily at Copp's Hill. Which actually doesn't really have any major historic figures buried here. Just the place itself is historic. Still cool, though.

And this is the Old North Church.
" if by land, two if by sea, and I on the opposite shore will be, ready to ride and sound the alarm..."

This was neat!

With the Revere statue and in front of the Revere House. Hi Flat Lily!

Delicious cannolis from Mike's Pastry. Of course, the whole time I was thinking "What do you mean, Obi-Wan Cannoli?" :P

Playing with a very perky Lily at the train station on the way home

I still can't believe my cousin has a baby. So COOL! 

And before we headed off to the airport, Jessica and I enjoyed our cannolis (we'd saved them). Mine was supposed to be mint chocolate chip, but it didn't taste like that. It was good, just not mint. About halfway through it, I decided it tasted more like Yoplait Key Lime Pie - after I'd gotten that squared away I could enjoy fully :D

My flight home was uneventful. Dad picked me up that night when I arrived, and then I actually got to drive home alone in one car while he drove a rental. So that was exciting.

That was my trip to Boston! A full week, very relaxing, and definitely helped reduce the acuteness of my PSD from Birdie, especially since Jessica is an amazing listener and very patiently listened to all my stories from the past few months and gave me wonderful advice and encouragement. Love you, Jessica! I feel very blessed to have you for a cousin.

 Thank you SO much Jessica and Tom for having me up and sharing your baby with me :) It truly was a blessing, and I throughly enjoyed all our conversations and discussions throughout the week. Can't wait to see you all again in November! xoxo


  1. Welllllll *THAT* sounded amazing!!!! Looks like you had a marvelous time, Jo! But you're making me miss Boston! <3 I went one summer with my Uncle and Aunt who live in NY. We were only there one day but we went to the Boston Massacre spot and got to tour the USS Constitution, and we ate dinner at Quincy Market...and took a trolley tour. :) *gah* Love historical cities!

  2. It looks to me like you had a wonderful trip! I love how you got to visit Fish Street, as well as the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's grave, the Old North Church, the Boston Common, and so many other places about which I've read. What amazing memories you made. :)

    Love you,
    Elizabeth Rose

  3. Wow, sounds like you had a marvelous time! ;D Haha, I laughed at your baggage-check story. Sounds like something I would do, actually. ;P
    Ahh, Lily is adorable! I love the picture of you two with the ducks. Sooo cute.
    Boston, Boston Boston. <3 (you know I said that in a Boston accent.) I love Boston, though I've only been once, and that was years ago. So much history made in that place. *sigh*
    The Boston opera house!! Ah, what a beauty! I really want to see that in person. :)
    (And as usual I have a comment for practically everything you've said. My comment it going to end up as long as your post!)
    Bagel. Pizza. Why didn't I think of that? *dies*
    Mmm, cannolis! Be still, my heart! ;D
    Okay, I'm done. :)

  4. Thanks for all the pictures and day by day commentary! :) I'm glad your trip was such a blessed time, and that you got to see Lily.

  5. Looks like you had a great trip! I've never been to Boston before, but I've read a great deal about it. (What American kid hasn't) Little Lily is so cute!

    The three oldest in our family are older than all of our cousins. :-)

  6. I may or may not have read this entire post in a Boston accent... ahem. It sounds like a marvelous trip! Seeing loved ones while touring famous places is always a great combination. Boston is one of my favourite cities because of the history (I visited last fall), and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Aren't the old graveyards just lovely? And Hancock's wharf, and Old North Church, and Quincy Market, and Beacon Hill... I'm a little in love with Boston. Ok, a lot in love. :D


  7. Sounds like a fantastic trip. I love the Mallards photo!

    I could write a really long comment telling you all about the amazing whirlwind trip to Chicago/Wheaton (you know, because Boston and Chicago are both big cities and almost connected enough to respond to a post about Boston with a comment about Chicago), but I'll save it for NEXT WEEK!!!

    Can't. Wait.

  8. Ah! We had such a great time too and Lily misses your morning cuddle time a lot! You took so many great pictures (and Flat Lily still makes me laugh!)!! I can't wait to see you again next month!


    Mrs. FTR