Tuesday, September 23, 2014

twenty-three. boston trip recap.

Last week, I visited my friend Katelyn and her husband David in Boston. We had the best time.
Prepare yourself for pictures and details overload!

Thursday:
Boston
I escaped Houston on a very rainy, gray day and landed in Boston to a perfect 70 degree sunny day. I packed pretty light for this trip, just a backpack and large Vera Bradley tote bag, since I knew I would be carrying my stuff around the city our first day. It was a little tricky to take the T (Boston's subway) from the airport to Katelyn's work at first (first took a bus and then connected via the blue, orange and green train lines!) but once I figured it out it was pretty easy. IPhone's, Google Maps, and Charlie cards make things 100x easier!

Boston
Katelyn and I meet for lunch at Sweet Greens (so yummy - I had the Kale Chicken Caesar salad) which is conveniently across from the Boston Public Library. I loved this library. A historical library with stunning architecture, famous paintings, a coffee shop, reading rooms, and a beautiful courtyard - what's not to love?

Boston
We explored the library quite a bit and landed in the rare book room where John Quincy Adam's personal collection is held!
Boston
After lunch and library time, we headed back to Katelyn's work so she could finish up a few things. She works in the infectious disease lab at the Harvard School of Public Health. Right now, she is working with malaria samples from Senegal. Basically, she is awesome and super smart.   

Boston
While she worked, I explored the area - Harvard Medical School is right next store, along with some pretty awesome hospitals, a bunch of other college campuses and a lovely park.

Friday: 
Boston
We took the T together Friday morning, she headed to work and I went to mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral. It was finished in 1875 and is the largest cathedral in New England. Mass was actually in a small chapel to the left of the altar and the ninth grade theology teacher from the high school next door brought his whole class, which was really funny to watch. After mass, the whole church just happened to be unlocked so I explored! I found two more chapels, lots of stained glass, old statues and the church's original safe.

Boston
After mass, I had an hour and half to kill before meeting Katelyn for lunch so I headed to the closest CVS and found mini dry shampoo - be still my heart! I also found a bakery called Flour down the street and sipped on a chai tea latte while reading.

Boston
Katelyn and I meet for lunch at a tasty pub called The Squealing Pig (loved the lobster grilled cheese). She went back to work and I explored the neighborhood a bit more and then parked myself in the courtyard outside her building to charge my phone and finish my book. After work we headed to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (have you heard about the 1990 art heist that is still unsolved? craziness.). Loved this place, I didn't really think I was a fan of art museums before but I definitely am now.

Boston
Katelyn got free tickets from work for a Harvard football game so we took the red line over to Cambridge. Their football stadium is actually the oldest in the country and it was the first game of the season but oh boy, it was definitely different from a Texas football game - no body paint, pretty empty stands, minimal tailgating. We stayed till halftime and then left to grab dinner.

Boston
After the game, we headed to Shake Shack for a very tasty dinner (get their Crimson Red Velvet custard concrete!). We also hit up one of my favorites - Lush. Everything smells so good, we settled on dry shampoo for me and a lip stain for Katelyn and a dark chocolate mud mask (made our skin so, so soft) for our girls weekend.
Saturday:
Boston
We slept in on Saturday morning and then baked cookies, totally necessary, before heading out the door to begin our road trip. First stop, Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Twas beautiful. We dipped our toes in the Atlantic, snacked on still warm cookies, and walked on the beach.

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Second stop, Coolidge Reservation also conveniently in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Basically, you hike through the forest and past a pond and through a giant field and arrive at the OCEAN. We climbed down the cliffs and just sat down on the rocks taking it all in. We live in such a beautiful world.

Boston
Next stop, we arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for lunch. Yep, we were already in another state! We ate lunch at a tasty place on the square called Popovers on the Square and then wandered into the cutest letterpress store called Gus & Ruby. I might have picked up a few Rifle Paper Co. items, I just couldn't resist! Paper goods speak to my soul.

Boston
45 minutes later and we arrived in Portland, Maine (be sure to bring lots of quarters, Maine tolls are pricey) AKA lighthouse capitol of the world! I loved Portland. Totally would consider moving there but don't know if I can handle the winter or the necessity of parallel parking. Alas, we drove straight to Portland Head Light located in Fort Williams Park. This is the lighthouse of lighthouses, commissioned by President George Washington in 1787, it is straight up adorable and historical. We frolicked in the surrounding park, climbed down a few more cliffs, explored the forts, and just basically loved it. We spent the next few hours of daylight hunting down two more lighthouses and power walking through Two Lights State Park.

Boston
After exploring the wilderness of Maine, we picked up pizza from Otto's (mashed potato, get the mashed potato. also make sure you place your online order to the right store...might have made that mistake) and settled in for the night at our amazing Airbnb loft.  The place was so, so nice - think crisp sheets, lots of hot water in the shower, complimentary hot cocoa mix, and adorable throw pillows.

Sunday:
Boston
We slept in Sunday morning and after surviving a terrifying parking garage fiasco (turns out some parking garages are CLOSED on Sundays) we arrived at The Standard Baking Co. for some baked goods. This place was amazing, like so amazing that their cookbook is currently in my Amazon cart amazing. It was a bit rainy outside so we sat on their one and only bench inside to devour our baked goods (and try to memorize their cookbook) and people watch.
 
Boston
We both share a love of history and wanted to learn more about Portland so hit up the Portland Observatory and toured the Victoria Mansion.

Boston
After the tours, we headed back into the Maine wilderness and explored Crescent Beach and dined at the famous Lobster Shack. I experienced the lobster roll, which is basically lobster and mayonnaise on a hotdog bun, so lame. I'll take a lobster grilled cheese any day! Afterwards, we headed back to Boston for a candlelight yoga class and big bowls of Double Dunker.

Monday:
Boston
Katelyn and I took the T together again in the morning and while she worked I explored the Boston Commons (oldest park in the USA), public gardens, and settled on reading out on one of the docks by the river.

Boston
Before heading back to meet Katelyn for lunch, I explored the Beacon Hill neighborhood and just happened to stumble upon Anthropologie - let the window shopping commence!

Boston
Boston's Basilica just happened to be a mere five minute walk away for Katelyn's lab. We all know how much I love exploring churches and I made it just in time for the 12:10 mass. Coincidence? I think not.

Boston
I love the details of old churches. The surprises in the ceiling murals, the sparkling mosaics behind the altar, the peeling paint on statues, the creaky wooden pews, the flickering of candles, the stations of the cross carved out of marble, the glimmering stained glass windows, the slight smell of incense that never fades. I think God speaks to me in the details. Letting me know He is there, that in the quiet, in the stillness He is always there waiting for me.

Boston
We meet for lunch at Lilly's Gourmet Pasta (fresh, yummy homemade pasta) and ate in the park across the street. Katelyn headed back to work and I explored the Mission Hill neighborhood a little more. After work, we headed to Museum of Fine Arts which unknowing to us closes at 4:45 on Monday's. Instead of being disappointed, we basked in the free tickets and explored the museum very briskly for the next 45 minutes. Such a beautiful museum filled with truly amazing works of art, one day I'll spend more than 45 minutes there. Before heading home we stopped by Katelyn's favorite coffee shop, Pavement, for some iced coffee and a heart to heart. We dinned on homemade Indian food that night and snuggled up with more Double Dunker while watching The Young Victoria (a must see, ranks in my top ten all time favorites).

Tuesday:
Boston
Tuesday morning I headed back to Houston. I left Boston feeling renewed. Six days earlier, I had left Houston after working three extremely stressful days. I was training a nursing student and all my patients were dying. Boston was a much welcomed break. I experienced a bit of fall. I got to wear my boots and scarves. I explored the city and conquered the subway. And most importantly, I reconnected with one of my best friends. Katelyn was the perfect travel buddy. We both love road trips with frequent stops, exploring nature, Indian food, Boden, and British miniseries. She didn't mind me Yelping our restaurants or monopolizing the Spotify so we only listened to The Old Hello's. She is honest, and vulnerable, and real. She reminded me that marriage isn't always the rainbows and sunshine that I imagine. She constantly reminded me to be thankful for this time in my life. The freedom of singleness is something I take for granted all too often.

2 friskies:

Caitlin said...

What an amazing trip!! Thanks for recapping it here for us!

Mare Bear said...

OMG sweet Allison! I am so awful at these types of things. I'm so jealous of your adventures! And you always take such sweet pictures. <3

My residency is insane, but thankfully it's over now. Hopefully I'll blog every day, but I'm also going to try to go back to a few memorable days of residency. <3