Monday, June 17, 2013

Boston Trip Part 2

Day 2 of my Boston Trip started with a road trip to Salem!

We parked in a lot next to St. Peter's Episcopal Church so we stopped inside to check it out. They were actually having a service so we didn't stay too long. This really nice lady tried to get us to stay, but we told her we were short on time (which we were, we had to leave no later than 2:00 to get back to Boston in time to get ready for the concert that night). She gave us a brochure that had information about the church, as well as the bulletin for that day's service. If we had more time, we would have stayed to check out the service. It wasn't very crowded, but everyone seemed really nice. 

We only had a few hours to spend in Salem, so we stopped by the visitor's center to see what were the "must see" places in town. We met this really nice gentleman named Bob who drew on a map of the best places to see. It saved us from wandering around wasting time (and seeing some really cheesy witch museums- which he confirmed were NOT worth the price of admission). 

Bob- super nice guy!
Our first stop was the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. There are 20 granite "benches" with the names of those who were executed for being a "witch". Across from the memorial was the cemetery where most of those involved in the witch trials are buried. It's the second oldest burial ground in the United States. 

I really enjoyed walking around Salem, it seems like a neat, peaceful little town. I really wish we had more time to spend there.

There were a lot of places we didn't have time to tour, like the Custom House and the Friendship, but we went by them anyways.

We were able to go by The House of Seven Gables, which is a mansion that was built in 1668 and was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic The House of Seven Gables. I'm just going to go ahead and confess I've never read it. But maybe I should. We didn't have time for the tour, but the nice ladies at the front desk gave us a "visitor's pass" so we could at least look around the outside of it.

The most important stop of our trip was at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companiewhich is America's oldest candy company. Sadly it was too hot to buy any of the chocolate (we were afraid it would melt), but I did pick up some mints. 

This nice guy took our picture by the harbor.
We met this cutie during our walk around Salem, his name was Sampson. 
We made a quick stop at the Witch House, which is the only remaining structure that has ties to the witchcraft trials from the 1600s. Jonathan Corwin was the trial judge and he lived here. Next time I go to Salem, I'll take the tour inside!

We continued on to Chestnut Street, which is a registered national historic landmark. There were some beautiful homes there! There was one called The Phillips House which is one of the mansions you can actually go in and tour.

We stopped for a quick lunch before heading back to Boston. We wanted to rest for a while before heading out to see New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, and 98 Degrees!!

Thanks to Jodi for letting me borrow a dress...and shoes...and jewelry, for the concert! :)

On our way to meet Jodi's cousin for dinner, we went by TD Garden (the arena where the concert was being held) and just randomly saw Nick and Drew Lachey (from 98 Degrees) getting into a van. Nick waved at us.
Nick Lachey
Dinner before the concert
After dinner, we headed to TD Garden. Our seats were pretty much at the top of the arena, but we didn't care! :) I wonder if Joey could see us?? Yes, 25 years later, I'm still all about Joey McIntyre (don't judge). :)

The three pictures on the left are ones I took. The better other ones I stole borrowed from each band's Twitter and Facebook pages.

I didn't take this video, but this was the night we were there. NKOTB and the crowd singing "Sweet Caroline".

During the concert we met these two guys who were sitting next to us. They were funny and they knew ALL the songs from New Kids on the Block. We actually hung out with them for a while after the concert. Jodi and I didn't get back to her place until 3am. Good grief, I can't remember the last time I was out that late, I'm DEFINITELY not as young as I used to be! I was so ready to go to sleep!
New friends we met at the concert.
Stay tuned for part 3 of my recap!!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Boston Trip Part 1

I know, I know, I'm such a SLACKER with my Boston recap. I really need to find my blogging motivation again, I just don't seem to have it these days. Anyways, I had a BLAST on my trip!! I did so much that I'm gonna have to break this up into a few posts to recap it all (don't want to overwhelm you!) :) Although I'm pretty sure Day 1 will overwhelm you anyways.

I have to thank my sweet friend Jodi for being such an awesome hostess and tour guide while I was in town. Boston is a great place to visit, I am definitely going to go back because there is so much more to see! BTW, Jodi's recaps are SO MUCH more detailed than mine so be sure to check out her blog here. :) I'm too lazy to type out all the historical information about each place. :) I'll just provide you with a link to check it out on your own. :)

Text from my sister before boarding the plane. :) I saw some pretty cute guys in Boston, but nothing worth leaving home over. ;)
I flew out of DFW on May 31. I flew JetBlue for the first time and I must say, I had the best flying experience with them (despite the minor delay, which I believe was weather related). BUT while we were waiting, they had free drinks and snacks for us at the gate. And the delay was only about 30 minutes or so. Everyone with JetBlue was so nice, from the people at the check in gate to the flight crew. 

One thing that I really loved about JetBlue is that each seat has a TV on the back of it (it helped me forget I was on a plane). I believe there were about 35 channels to choose from. You could also rent a movie if you wanted to. That Friday was the day some tornadoes hit Oklahoma so I was glued to the news stations and The Weather Channel watching the reports on that. Glad that all my Oklahoma peeps were okay!

Jodi picked me up at the airport a little before 11pm EST. Despite knowing we had to get up kinda early the next morning, we were up late talking and catching up (I hadn't see her since her Texas trip earlier this year).

Saturday we left later than we had planned, but we finally got ready and were on our way! We took the bus to our first stop of the day (okay, we actually missed the stop, and had to walk about 10 block to where we were going). Thus starting a very long day of walking! :)

Our first stop was the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (yes, I go on vacation and check out museums, that's how I roll). I'm gonna be lazy and not write out everything about it, but check out the website here for more info! It was really nice. Jodi had never been, so I was glad she got to see something in Boston she hadn't been to 100 times! :)
There was a sign that said you could not take pictures inside the museum. Of course we found that as a challenge. We were only able to get one (I stood guard while Jodi snapped the picture on the left). :)
We did A LOT of walking (and I mean a lot of walking). Mental note: my next Boston trip I invest in comfortable walking shoes! :) After the museum, we headed out to start our adventures on the Freedom Trail (click for more info). I know it says the trail is only 2.5 miles, but trust me, we walked about 10 miles that first day. I had the blisters to proof it (don't worry, no pictures of those!) :)

There is a red line that leads you around town on the Freedom Trail, it's kinda cool!
Our first stop was the USS Constitution at the Charleston Navy Yard. I have to admit, it was kinda cool actually being on the oldest naval vessel afloat (I have family that served in the Navy). And the best thing about it-it was free! We were hoping to take a picture with one of the cute sailors, but we decided not to interrupt them while they were working. :)

Anchors Aweigh!
You can leave the Navy Yard by taking a boat across the harbor (which means we didn't have to walk ALL THE WAY back around). There was a slight breeze to help cool us off. Normally June in Boston is still fairly cool (well, cool to a Texan). That day it was 95. I felt right at home with that kind of heat! The boat ride was nice and relaxing, and we got a great view of Boston!

Once we got across, we walked around looking for a place to eat along this new location called the Waterfront (I must have gotten about a month's worth of cardio in that day, at least that is my story and I'm sticking to it). This nice Boston Pedicab driver offered to give us a ride (after we had been walking for a good while). We told him we only had a few more blocks to go, but he said he just wanted the company and gave us a lift. He gave us his card so we could call him after our meal to take us to our next location.

Our new friend Brewster. He was funny!
We had lunch at this sports bar called Jerry Remys (Remy is a former Red Sox player). We probably drank about ten glasses each of water (we were so thirsty).

I know, not the healthiest of lunches, but hey, you don't go to a sports bar and order a salad- sheesh! :)
After lunch, we called our new Pedicab friend Brewster and he took us to the North End. It was a nice ride, he was very talkative and polite. I was able to take pictures along the way, and the best part, we weren't having to walk! :) It cost us $25 but hey, to not have to walk, we gladly paid it!

Our first stop at the North End was the Old North Church. You know, this is where the lanterns were hung for the famous "one if by land, two if by sea". The two lanterns let Paul Revere know the British were coming by sea and this was the start of the American Revolution.

As we kept walking around the North End we came across this beautiful Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in 1873. We went inside for a few minutes (they were about to start mass/services, so we didn't stay long).

We went by Paul Revere's House. They give tours of it, but it was about 15 minutes until closing time, and I didn't want to be rushed (I like to take my time when touring historical places, especially when I'm paying), so we just took pictures from outside of it. It was still cool.

As we continued on our walk we passed by The Bell In Hand Tavern (the oldest tavern in American). We didn't go in, but I snapped a few pictures. We also went by two famous cemeteries, but they were closed since it was after 5pm (so we took pictures through the gate). Many famous and historical people are buried there, including Paul Revere. Another one of them is Samuel Adams. I'm gonna admit it's been a while since I took American History. I totally forgot he was a real person, I hear Samuel Adams and I think of beer. And I don't even like beer! :)

We walked through Boston Common (oldest park in the country) and headed over to Beacon Hill. We took pictures along what is known as the most photographed street in Boston (well, we could only get part of it because there was a photo session going on near the top of it).

Even though I have never seen an episode of Cheers, I HAD to get a picture by the most famous bar in Boston. This is the sign and stairwell they filmed for the show (obviously the inside on the show was a set).

I wanna go where everybody knows my name...
After that, we headed to the Public Gardens, where I was able to get my picture with the famous Make Way for Ducklings statue. We also went by the Swan Boats and then stopped by the Boston 9/11 Memorial.
Regarding the bottom right picture: Yes, I see a sign that tells me to stay off the grass, I take a picture by it. I am a rebel!
We had plans to meet a friend of mine from high school later that evening, BUT we had to stop and rest our feet for a while. So, funny story. We didn't have time to go back to Jodi's to freshen up before meeting my friend, and mine you, we had been walking IN THE HEAT all day. We weren't looking (or smelling) our best. We possibly stopped by a CVS and bought some stuff to freshen up with. Oh, and I saw a Dr Pepper. I HAD to get one!

There is nothing that deodorant, body spray, and Dr Pepper can't fix! 
On our way to meet my friend, we stopped by the Boston Marathon Memorial. Words can't really describe it. After seeing it all happen on TV, it was strange actually being at the place where it happened.

We finally made it to Mass Ave Tavern (who for some reason did NOT have the air conditioner on), but that was okay. We were sitting down and not having to walk. We were ready for some relaxation and little Boston Bruins hockey! My friend Caitlin met us there. I hadn't seen Caitlin in over 15 years! Crazy! We were in Color Guard together in high school. We've agreed to NOT let 15 years go by before we get together again!
Me and my friend Caitlin
I can't even remember what time we got back to Jodi's, but after a hot shower, I pretty much collapsed and went to sleep. So yeah, that was ONLY DAY 1. See why I told you I had to break it up into different posts. I'll try and work on the recap of day 2 this weekend. Hope you are all doing well. Miss you guys! :)