Thursday, August 2, 2018

Boston: Part 3

It's Fenway time!  The impetus for our trip was the Twins being in town to play the Red Sox.  Fenway is a dream for any baseball fan who likes to travel with their team.  We arrived pretty early, but the atmosphere was still electric!  They had a large amount of shops and vendors on the streets outside the stadium.  Jersey street was closed off and you actually went through security outside.
We got inside in time to catch the last bit of batting practice and were able to stand by the dugout for a bit.
I got a fun shot of Jimmy with Dozier in the background.  Too bad he was traded 3 days later.
I'd never heard of the "Jimmy Fund," but there were several references to it around the park.  It was started in 1948 to raise money for cancer patients.  A radio broadcast from the bedside of a young cancer patient launched the project.  He was called "Jimmy" to protect his privacy and a legacy was born.  Millions have since been raised to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
The concessions were very reasonably priced. A Fenway frank was less than $5 and a souvenir pop with unlimited refills was $8.75.   That's the same you'll pay at Target field without any refills.
We participated in a tribute to the troops during the 4th inning where we wrote down names of those who have served in the military.
A couple of folks in our section started the wave and eventually got it to go all the way around.  They tried again a few innings later, but most of the fans weren't interested by then.
We were stuck in a concession line for a bit, but did catch the end of Sweet Caroline, an 8th inning tradition at Fenway.  It started as as a tribute to an employee would had given birth to a baby girl named Caroline and was played every game starting in 2002.  It is simultaneously beloved and loathed by Red Sox fans.
It only took us 45 minutes to get from the stadium back to our hotel, another perk of a smaller metro area.  

Sunday was out last day of vacation.  I got us early, ran to CVS for some snacks and grabbed Jimmy a sandwich at Better Bagels, just down the block from our hotel.
We dropped out bags with the concierge and took the bus and train to Boston Common.  From there we walked to the original Cheers bar, formerly the Bull and Finch Pub.  It served as the inspiration for the long running TV show.
We walked along the Charles River and found our way back to Kane's Donuts, where I got a breakfast sandwich and we split a couple more donuts.
Our activity for the afternoon was a tall ship cruise on Boston Harbor.  The Liberty Star was our boat for the trip.  She was built in the 1980's and has been around the world twice.
I took part in their signature drink, a Dark n' Stormy, which is dark rum and ginger beer.
I also got to help raise one of the sails with my buddy Sean from Canada!
It was steamy hot again with barely a breeze, so we had to use the motor to cruise around, but it was still a fun ride.
We needed to burn a few more hours before going to the airport, so we went to the Boston Public Gardens.  We came across the iconic swan boats.  It was only $4, so we went for a ride!
Both of us were ready to go home by the evening.  I got to relax in a rocking chair while we waited to board the plane.
Thanks for a fun weekend Boston, see you next time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Boston: Part 2

After finishing the freedom trail we walked to a nearby mall to check out another Apple Store (as we love to do.)  Mall ones are pretty generic, but Jimmy never minds getting his hands on some new aluminum.
We had a late lunch at a popular seafood spot near our hotel, The Barking Crab.
We knew there would be at least one lobster roll on our trip and I quickly decided this would be our splurge meal for the weekend and I got a whole lobster.  I can't think of a much better place to get a whole fresh lobster than siting on Boston harbor.
It was a very fun experiance and very delicious, but I probably won't get it again.  The roll was crazy tasty too!
We went back to our room for an afternoon nap (it was glorious.)  We grabbed a quick dinner snack before heading out to our night walking tour.  We visited 7-11 a lot for pop since we didn't have a fridge in our hotel.  The walking tour was a combination of historical and paranormal stories.  Even the guide admitted he was skeptical, but it was very fun.  One of the victims of the Boston Massacre alledgedly made some appearances for a few years while the intersection was under construction and the original owner of the Omni Parker House Hotel is known to hang around to keep an eye on things.  The Parker House is the one place our guide truly believes is haunted.
My favorite story was about the Falafel King.  This building used to house William Mumler's photo studio.  He was a highly sought after spirit photographer.  Hundreds of patrons sat for pictures in the hopes of seeing deceased loved ones appear.  This only occurred about 20% of the time, but people still paid $5 for a chance. That equals about $150 today. 
Old State House at night.
We hit up another great breakfast spot on Saturday morning.  Scali Cafe had great reviews and seemed to be popular with the locals.  We split the Local 2222 with 2 eggs, 2 sausage, 2 bacon 2 pancakes and home fries.
We then took the subway out to Cambridge to walk around Harvard and MIT.
The Harvard Coop was a cute little bookstore we cooled off in.
Public transit was pretty robust and easy to take.  The city itself is very walker friendly too, so we found ourselves on foot a lot.
From MIT, we took the bus towards the Prudential Tower to go in the observatory.  On our walk we came across a Tesla showroom.  Jimmy's eyes lit up so bright!  We've seen them driving around town, but have never had an up close look.
Just across the street was our second Apple Store stop, Boylston Street.
The Skywalk Observatory is on the 50th floor of the Prudential tower.  It's in the Back Bay neighborhood with 360 degree views of Boston and the surrounding communities.  It's hard to see, but the finish line of the Boston marathon is on the street in the lower portion of the photo below.
Fenway from the west side.
We walked to Fenway for an initial look at the park before heading back to our hotel for a break.  We grabbed a late lunch at Shake Shack and it was one of the best burgers I've ever had!  The Shack Stack is a cheeseburger topped with a muenster stuffed deep fried portobello mushroom!  We have a Shake Shake near home now, so this will be happening again soon!
Up Next: Fenway and sailing on Boston Harbor