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Trip Report We loved Boston!!!

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I typed this trip report a few days ago, and it disappeared on me!!! Here's another attempt.

We left Buffalo on Thursday, 7/25, around 4:30 a.m. and arrived at our hotel at 11:30. Our room was ready, so we dropped our stuff and off we went. Let me just say that the two days we were there were rainy. It rained, rained, rained with a few breaks. Sigh. We just borrowed some umbrellas and forged on.

Why oh why have we never been there before? It's a 6.5 hour drive, or a one hour flight. I don't know. This two day trip proceeded our annual Cape Cod vacation, which we've been doing for 10 years or so. Well, there's a first time for everything, right?

Our hotel was the Marriott Long Wharf. Nice hotel right on the water. Close to Quincy Market / downtown / North End. We paid $269 per night for four people (our 21 y.o. college aged son and his best friend, who's been going to the Cape with us since day one).

We headed straight for the Boston Common visitor's center, and from there started walking the Freedom Trail. We made our way from the State House to Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market. The rain wouldn't let up, and the hall was wall to wall people. Boys wanted to walk around, and hubby and I went to 2nd Cheers location and had a few drinks. The boys eventually met up with us. We ordered some wings to hold the boys over until dinner. My husband feels the need to order wings whenever we are out of town so that he can taste them and proclaim, "I'm from Buffalo, and these are not Buffalo wings." These seemed to pass the test, and we could all take a sign of relief. The rain let up a little, and we stopped to watch an entertainer outside of Fanueil Hall. OMG - he was fantastic!!! We placed some money in his basket, as he so earned it!

Tia's was recommended to us, and it was right downstairs from our hotel. It's obviously a touristy restaurant. However, they had a $15 lobster dinner special, and two of us took advantage of that. The other two dinners consisted of some sort of fish tacos and a burger. Everyone was happy (although I didn't understand the fries with whole lobster - don't you usually get potatoes)? No biggie. We weren't there for the fine dining. We had a few drinks at the outdoor bar near the wharf (it was cold and rainy and no one else was there) and then off to bed for all of us (even the college boys)!

Day 2: The boys were all about the Sam Adams Brewery - I was not. But I'm a good sport. We decided to go on the early tour - 10:30 a.m. Walked out of the hotel. Rain going sideways, umbrellas going inside out. Forget the "T". We took a taxi. I thought I would hate the brewery tour. I'm certain I would hate and despise the brewery tour. Nope. I LOVED THE BREWERY TOUR! I did!!! It was so much fun. Sure, I got lost when the started talking about hops. But let me tell you - the guides were not only incredibly knowledgeable (not that I was paying attention), but freakin' hillarious!!! The tour is free, and they ask for a $2.00 donation for a local charity. You get to do a lot of tasting. I don't really like beer, but I got pretty toasted for breakfast that morning!!! I highly recommend this tour.

There's an old Irish pub that's recommended after the tour. They were the first to serve Sam Adams beer or something - and it has a rich Irish pub history in general. Doyle's. We took the free party bus over from the brewery. It doesn't run every day. It'ssomewhat walkable (neighborhood somewhat questionable if you aren't a city person). We decided to go and were not disappointed. It was an old school establishment - tin ceilings, wood booths, etc. Love those places. Plenty of them where I come from. But this place seemed special. I regretted not getting a booth or table in the main bar area. It was an open space and seemed to be the best place to be. Our server took us to the middle room and sat us in a very tight wooden booth. Before long I was thrilled that's where she put us.

An older gentleman sat in the booth next to us and started a conversation. Asked where we were from and it turned out that he knew several "Buffalo Irish." We had a long, interesting conversation with him when our adorable server came along and told us that his father had been mayor of Boston for 11 years. Mayor Hynes (1950 - 1961 I think). We were really enjoying our conversation with him when he was joined by another gentleman. Apparently he was the owner. Good times, good times.

We left Doyles and were joined by a family that had been on the brewery tour with us. They were from Austin. We walked to the subway station together and rode the "T" back downtown with them. Nice family - interesting conversation. We got off the train near Quincy Market and off to the North end to visit the Paul Revere House and Old North Church. Awesome history, and we LOVED the North End!!! Narrow streets, Italian-American thing still going on! I love a good Italian-American neighborhood, having grown up in one. They were setting up for a St. Anthony celebration! Whoo - my idea of a good time. Made a mental note to go back that night when the festivities began.

We didn't make it over the bridge to see Bunker Hill and the U.S. Constitution. Next time. The boys wanted to check out a store on Newbury Street. I was hankering to check out Beacon Hill. So we taxi'd over to Newbury. The boys went one way and we went the other, We walked around the corner to Copley Square. Awesome!!! They were setting up for some outdoor concert (husband knew the band, I didn't). What a busy, bustling, awesome area.

I wanted to visit Trinity Church, as Henry Hobson Richardson is also famous for the old Buffalo Psychiatric Center (H.H. Richardson Complex) here in Buffalo. It's one of my top 3 favorite buildings here. For those who are interested in architecture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:H.H._Richardson_complex.jpg

They were just locking up, so we only got a glimpse of the outside. Outstanding!!!!

We met up with the boys and made our way to the "Cheers" bar. Hey, we're tourists. Give us a break. We took a walking shortcut and found ourselves on Commonwealth Avenue. OMG. Beautiful. Huge, honking big million dollar row houses, and a median with trees that make a beautiful umbrella over the walkway with statues. And at the end you are greeted with the entrance to the Boston Public Gardens. It was raining hard, and it was wearing us down by then. So we just glanced over the fence and could still see the beauty of that park. I SO need to get back there. We made our way to the Cheers bar and enjoyed a few drinks.

Taxi back to the hotel. The boys had college friends to meet up with, and I was hoping to make our way over to the North End to enjoy some street food during the St. Anthony festival. But that damn rain would NOT stop. It was pelting us by then. So we gave up. The boys got on the "T" and met up with their friends. We grabbed a slice of pizza or two at Quincy Market and went back to our hotel with a bottle of wine and watched a movie. We were pooped.

Off to Cape Cod to meet up with family and friends on Saturday. Check out wasn't until 12:00. I meandered over the the North End and sorta kinda stopped in Mike's Bakery and had a cannoli for breakfast. That happens.

We left Boston around 10:30 a.m. and then had a wonderful tour of the great state of Massachusetts because my husband ignored my directions from the hotel. But that's another trip report.

Boston is fabulous. It's clean, the people are friendly - I cannot wait to go back!!!!!!!

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