We left Philadelphia, via Amtrak, on Saturday midday and arrived about 6pm that evening into Boston. Doing a multi-city trip like this, I did some research and planning, but left a lot of our trip to just a whim. I had planned for us to walk from the Amtrak station at BackBay to our guest house and it worked out. I’m so thankful for our iphones because we’ve used them to guide us all over the place from walking directions to restaurants. It’s pretty sweet to be able to get the subway apps and know when the next train will arrive and what it’s supposed to be labeled as when you get on it… pretty sweet.
So we walked to the Union Park Guest House and arrived in our warming yellow room. The house was impressively updated and yet these beautiful lights and many antique features remain. The entire time I was at the home I not once saw anyone. They provided coffee, but no other food. It was really nice to just come and go as you please and just feel alone even though I could hear that others were there. It was super clean and a totally enjoyable place to stay. It was near all kinds of formal restaurants in the south end. We didn’t want to eat at a fancy restaurant. We really wanted a bar atmosphere and chill spot after traveling for 6 plus hours. So we wandered around looking for a place nearby that didn’t require reservations and was relaxing too. We just so happened to come upon Picco Restaurant. Luckily, we got in the door with no wait and had a great server. We split a calzone and a salad with beer and wine. Yum. We really enjoyed it and walked around afterwards burning some of it off. We knew we had big plans for Sunday so we crashed. I am having no trouble falling asleep on this vacation…. but staying asleep is a different story… seriously waking at 4am.
Sunday started early around 7 and we were hitting the streets with some serious walking ahead. We really enjoyed the South End Buttery for breakfast. They have a few locations in the south end, but they had fresh fruit cups, chobani yogurt and coffee- I’m in. By 9am we had walked to the Prudential Center and walked by the tragic bombing locations down Boylston Street. So sad but it was important to take a moment and reflect on it and appreciate what a beautiful city we were in. John remarked – you understand while you are there the sense of community and embrace Boston Strong. Boston is absolutely the following- clean, historic, amazing water views, beautiful gardens and parks, and an organized subway system that actually makes sense. Visiting Boston is worthy of more future trips. By 10 am we were ready for our Duck Tour. We needed a quick rundown of the history of Boston knowing we only had this one full day so what better way to do that than to go in a real WWII amphibious vehicle- I can’t think of one!
It was nice to just sit and listen to our conducktor, Jersey Shorline, tell us all kinds of facts while sitting and relaxing. I wore 60spf and got quite a few freckles during that tour. It’s awesome to go into the water and drive around the Charles river… I’d have more pictures but I was 1 enjoying it and 2 afraid I’d drop my phone in the Charles…
I did learn however that John does not know how to make duck lips and instead does a good kissy fish face….
After the tour, we attempted to hit up the Sam Adams Brewery and take our first outing on the subway- only one problem- Sam Adams was closed and the restaurants nearby were packed. So we rode the subway back and walked aimlessly looking for past due food.
I did manage to get a picture of it. I bet it’s amazing and fun- definitely an excuse to return… not on a Sunday- travelers moronic mistake.
So with my tail between my legs and a very hungry belly I was off for food. So we walked and walked and walked okay no freaking kidding we walked forever! Finally, made our way back to the south end and no one had lunch they were still eating brunch- the last thing I wanted was eggs and toast. Please— after my Sam Adams tour debacle, all I wanted was a midday cocktail and a burger. So we went into Aquitaine with white tablecloths- I really didn’t want to go there I was sweaty and covered in sticky sunscreen…
I didn’t fit the part but thankfully they allowed me in the door. They were still serving brunch- but they had a burger… Oh my it was amazing. I got my burger and cocktail that I was searching for. I ordered a $10 Beesknees- made with gin, citrus and honey. It also happened to be the tiniest drink and didn’t last long in its delicious glory.
We departed our absolutely filling and tasty lunch still exhausted and headed back to the room after no kidding- 2 hours of walking even with the duck tour and subway ride as well.
Sunday evening, we headed out for a long walk and again in search of food before our evening reservations. Places were packed and no where was really appealing to us as we walked. We headed on towards the Esplanade a park by the Charles. We took a turn and found the Cheers bar. No wait… no fuss… no fancy- we’re in. It felt cheesy, touristy, and dumb – it pretty much was, but we weren’t starving this time! We took a stroll through Boston Common which we saw on the duck tour and it’s breathtaking. My mom would love all the flowers.
We walked and got lost a little exhausting ourselves in yet another walk. Seriously- Sunday we probably walked at least 3.5 hours. It allowed us to see Boston though and work off that burger too. Finally, we made it to the Esplanade and relaxed by the water. It was just overwhelmingly relaxing and calm. I enjoyed the atmosphere of runners, cyclist, and kids feeding ducks.
The weather was perfect for our romantic evening plans. We decided to do something we’ve never done before and something completely different and made reservations for a gondola tour along the Charles. Our gondolier Anthony was fabulous and honestly just left us alone. We had the 9pm tour so it was dark out and there was cheesy Italian music on, but other than that it was seriously amazing. We had cheese and crackers, mouthwatering chocolates and split a bottle of wine. The gondola is a real one made by hand in Venice with very ornate carvings. The tours required kiss under every bridge was easy to follow. The ducks were floating by, while frogs jump from lily pads along the waters edge and this only added to the atmosphere. The Boston night skyline reflecting onto the water made for an impressive viewpoint… John remarked that even traffic looked peaceful from there.
We left the tour completely relaxed and walked our way back from the Esplanade to Union Park. Monday, after much confusion, we rented a car and drove down to Cape Cod. We will be here for a few days at the Lamb and Lion Inn in Barnstable, Massachusetts.