A Weekend in Boston

This is the first spontaneous trip I’ve ever made. I never do anything last minute. But I have made it a goal to be more quick and decisive about things. I wouldn’t have been able to take this trip without having my airline miles so check out my post on using those! Soon I will be leaving for South Korea for my teaching job, and I had enough miles to head out to Boston for a show for free! This is my weekend in Boston ~

Day 1: Freedom Trail 

I spent around two and a half days in this city and was absolutely shocked by just how much I got to see. I started off with the Freedom Trail. Now, those who know me, those who read this blog, may not be totally surprised by the next statement. I got lost. At this point I just assume I could get lost when walking in a straight line. The Freedom Trail is around a 2.5 mile walk. It takes you to some of the most interesting historical sites in Boston. It’s an incredibly easy path to walk (supposedly) annnnnd yet. At first I just started Google Mapping each individual landmark, walking in circles until I gave up and just started wandering the city.

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Just walking by history at Paul Reveres House.

This city is wonderfully easy to walk around – and it’s not that big. There’s only about 800,000 people in Boston. I wound up seeing almost everything on the Freedom Trail just by this vagabond method. It was actually super cool to just…wander by Paul Revere’s House. My highlights were the King’s Chapel – so boring from the outside and very interesting on the inside. It still has the pews, which I’ve never seen in a church, and it also has some very informative historical posters (and it’s free!). My other highlight is the Old Granary Burial Ground. I’m normally not fond of anything dead, in fact it is my singular phobia. But I’m working to overcome it. This was a nice enough stop. Peaceful, but it is honestly hard to remember the actual people are buried there. It had a nice feeling to it, if that makes any sense!

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A bird at the Old Granary Graveyard 🙂

Be aware that if you are heading through Little Italy – or honestly a lot of places in Boston, they do not take card. This is one of the few places I’ve ever been in the US that places don’t take card. I stopped at George Howell Coffee, and while I just got a London Fog, they definitely seem to know their coffee. They were presenting a little taste testing lesson while I was there which looked interesting!

Day 2: Attempt at the Boston Tea Party Museum and Salem

One of my favorite things about Boston was that the entire city felt like it was in on some kind of joke. The particular sense of humor the city had was clear at almost every turn. Just check out this little variety of signs!

One thing that wasn’t so humorous was the state of the tea at the Boston Tea Party Museum’s little cafe. I willingly admit that I am a tea snob, but that doesn’t mean I won’t drink most tea. The tea at this cafe was so, so bad. It ruined my plans to explore the museum after my breakfast. The Lapsang Souchong must have been made with artificial smoke and everything else was just plain awful. Add to this that lack of plain scones and Devonshire Cream that was syrupy sweet and it was all in all not good. The museum costs an outrageous $30 to enter anyways. So I see it as a bonus that I was no longer interested.

But there’s better food in Boston, don’t worry!

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On the way to Oysters at the Oldest Restaurant in the US, Union Oyster House!

After wandering a little more I decided to head for a clam chowder lunch. I grew up in Florida regularly consuming some amazing seafood – I have certainly not had access to that in the midwest for the past 3 years. I was becoming a little desperate. After some light research I headed to the Union Oyster House because they had good reviews for their chowder. Unfortunately I don’t eat a lot, so there was no way I could eat their delicious sounding cod lunch option. At the first bite I thought “Oh, it’s just normal chowder” until the second bite when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to stop eating. I don’t know if I’ve ever finished something in a restaurant as fast as I did this chowder. The clams were absolutely perfectly cooked.

In addition to the amazing food, the setting was also fascinating. Because I’d stopped there after only cursory research I had no idea it was the oldest restaurant in the US. On the way out there was a plaque about how French King Louis Philippe I had actually lived above the restaurant while in exile and taught French in the restaurant below. Crazy!

I then decided to head to Salem via ferry. I have long wanted to visit Salem and I’ll have a separate post on this journey!

Day 3: Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and A Show

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The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the lovely courtyard in the middle was my favorite architectural feature

Before I headed to the Museum I wandered around Boston Public Market, perhaps my favorite food option of my time in the city. There’s a huge variety and it was fun to kindof collect a nice breakfast. Latkas from Inna’s Kitchen and a chai tea latte from Soluna Garden Farm made for a lovely meal. I then wandered near the Quincy Market area and wandered into Michal Negrin’s shop. I don’t know if I’ll buy jewelry from anywhere else ever again. They are just absolutely gorgeous pieces – expensive, but for once I could see the value in the craftsmanship, not just the expense of the gems. I couldn’t resist and I wound up with a pair of earrings!

With only a weekend in Boston I didn’t really have time to see museums so I had to prioritize. Out of all the museums in Boston this is the one I chose to go to. And I am so glad I did! This is probably one of the best museums I have ever been to. I really identified with the creator of the museum and I think I have a new female role model. Isabella Gardener designed the whole museum and lived on the forth floor. Everything has been preserved exactly as she intended it. So while it is a museum of some fabulous art pieces, it’s also a museum about a specific person. Her curations are very inspired and different from your typical large museum creations. Highly recommend giving this museum a stop! It’s also not all that busy even after the first hour of being open.

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Another image from one of the oddly curated rooms in the Isabella Gardener Museum

Then I headed to a cute little café nearby called Pavement Coffee House. If I had more time in Boston I would have loved to explore more of their cafes because they seemed to have so many! Their bagels are delicious. 

Finally I headed to my show at The Wilbur to see Katya’s Help Me I’m Dying. Since Katya is from Boston it was really fun to see how people react to a home grown favorite! I might do a separate post on this show as this was the entire reason I went to Boston 😀 So this has been my weekend in Boston, and I think I got to see a lot!

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