Before we get to Boston, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I will not be writing about our time in Chicago or Denver. Before you put me on blast in the comments screaming I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ARE NOT WRITING ABOUT DENVER ON FOUR TWENTY I NEED A FULL REPORT ON THE BEST FIVE DISPENSARIES IN THE MILE HIGH CITY. ALSO YOU SHOULD PUT THE HIGH IN MILE HIGH IN GREEN BECAUSE WEED. I’m not dropping you a full synopsis because more than anything, the first two stops on the tour were a time for both Renee and I to say goodbye to friends and family; I don’t think that the average reader is interested in how cute Geoff and Tom’s kids are (Spoiler alert: Super cute), or the professional backpacker’s review of Joey’s couch (Pro Tip: Bring an eye mask, he has no curtains in the living room), or how hurt I was when my five year old niece didn’t like the Dave Matthews CD I bought for her (Me: What didn’t you like about it? Her: The songs. OUCH ALICE WORDS HURT). So we’re skipping over Chicago and Denver, let’s just say they were both super fun, and you can always check the facebook page for some pictures of Chicago. I’ll only say this about Denver:
Purchasing marijuana legally is extremely fun. I’m not someone who smokes anymore, but just the ability to walk into a well-lit store named something like “High Medicine” or “Green Thumbs”, be greeted by an exteremely-excited-to-be-there hostess, given an extremely in-depth tour of their available “flowers”, and ultimately choose to buy 3 professionally rolled joints for $20 all in the span of the time it took for an Uber to arrive means we are living in an extremely exciting time to be alive. I didn’t even smoke them, just gave them as parting gifts to a couple of my friends before we left, but having the choice to purchase something that is illegal in most of the country is a surreal experience. Here’s a picture to make eighteen year old Josh reading this jealous. IF YOU’RE READING THIS JOSH DO NOT MAKE OUT WITH THAT GIRL THE FIRST THURSDAY OF COLLEGE FAT DAVE WILL NEVER LET YOU LIVE IT DOWN.
DAY 1 BOSTON
So onto Boston. We landed at Boston Logan in the early afternoon and took the Green Line to our AirBnB in Allston, a neighborhood bookended by Boston College and Boston University that we ended up loving. Extremely vibrant and diverse, plus bars and restaurants on every corner, exactly what we look for in a place to visit. After dropping our bags and some intense Yelp searching, we grabbed a quick lunch at Whole Heart Provisions, a vegetarian restaurant a couple of blocks from where we were staying. As you’ll see the more you read, Renee tries to keep vegetarian as much as possible, and I try a little bit less hard, partly because I have very low self-control, and partly because meat is delicious. Great, fresh taste in both bowls we had, and for only $18 total for both bowls, incredibly filling.
We then took a jaunt down Brighton St towards Fenway Park, as it was only about a mile and a half away.
OH WAIT SIDE NOTE: If you are ever trying to recreate our itineraries, you will notice that we both eat and walk A LOT. We love to walk, especially in a foreign city, as it gives you such a great lay of the land and allows you to see things you never would as you fly by them in a bus or train. Our first day in Boston we walked about five miles, second day it was closer to ten. Calf muscles are going to be ON POINT by the time we hit Sarasota, plus we need to do whatever we can to work off all the food we eat. SIDE NOTE OVER.
Really interesting area between Allston and the Fenway area, an inordinate amount of ethnic restaurants (We made a mental note to come back and eat in this stretch, and we definitely did,) not to mention the Boston University campus. As we got closer to Fenway, we started taking our time, exploring all the side streets and the Boston pubs in the area, before chancing upon Bleacher Bar Boston, which is actually housed inside the historic baseball yard. We couldn’t help but grab a drink, and my favorite part was that even the bathrooms had a view of center field. There was no game that day, I would assume that when there is that place is packed with a lot of Sullys and Macs eating chowdah and discussing the finer points of where to park their car near Universities in Cambridge.
As we were pretty beat after our early morning flight and the thousands of drinks we had put down the night before in Denver, we headed back to Allston, quickly discovering that we were not the only people looking to eat a delicious ethnic meal on a Saturday night. The first four places we had earmarked on our walk to Fenway had long waits, so we eventually settled on Le’s Vietnamese Cuisine, where Renee had the Vegetarian Pho and I had Tofu Vermicelli. Both were really good and they had some of the hottest chili oil I’d tasted in a while. While I’d love to tell you we stayed out killing the Boston nightlife, we went home and went to bed and slept for twelve hours. It was great. We love sleeping.
We woke up at a reasonable-ish time, grabbed a couple of bananas that we had bought last night, stopped for a coffee and a donut (Hey, when in Boston, right?) before catching the 57 Bus to the Green Line (not hitting our transfer and paying twice, of course) where we started walking the Freedom Trail. I’m not going to bore you with every stop, as there are sites which will do a MUCH better job than I will, but needless to say, it’s really interesting to see all that American History in real life, and the simple fact that there is literally a brick line on the sidewalk directing you makes it incredibly easy to see the whole thing. We did the whole shebang in about five hours, that was skipping the museums that charge admission fees (We’re poor backpackers now!), but going into every other structure we could.
We changed it up a little, beginning in the North End at the Paul Revere Statue, going up into Cambridge, then back down to the more tourist-y stops such as Fanueil Hall and Boston Common. I would recommend doing this, as it allows you to do most of your walking near the beginning of the trail instead of at the end, and consolidates the last few stops (Boston Massacre Site through Boston Common) into a few blocks. If you go the other way (South to North), you’ll be exhausted by the time you hit the Bunker Hill Monument, and miss out on the coolest thing you can do on the Freedom Trail, climb up that bitch.
Yes, that’s right, you can climb the Bunker Hill Monument, which is completely free (just get your ticket in the museum across the street), 295 steps to the top, and incredibly rewarding when you hit that terrific view of downtown and the surrounding areas. Here are some suggested jokes while you’re making the climb:
- Why don’t they put some steps in this thing?
- Almost there! (At the very bottom)
- I heard they’re giving away beers at the top.
- Let’s race!
- Giving updates every 25 steps (1/12 of the way there, ⅙ of the way there, ¼ of the way there, etc.)
Special Bonus: When you get to the top, there’s a grate in the middle where you can look down to the bottom of the entire monument. Or, if you’re like me and scared of heights, just ignore it completely and die a little bit inside when another tourist jumps up and down on it.
Once we’d climbed that thing, we were ready for some EATS. So we did some yelping about the best Lobster Roll in the area (Again, when in Boston. Yes, I know I said we try to eat vegetarian, but come on. LOBSTER ROLL IN BOSTON. Don’t think we’re not having Clam Chowder next.) We grabbed a Lobster Roll at Pauli’s in the North End, and it was absolutely fantastic, we walked out to the park across Hanover Street and ate it under the sun, which I would highly recommend if the weather is even halfway decent. Great park, great lobster roll, great chips, great day so far.
We continued to roll through the Freedom Trail, basically skipping Fanueil Hall entirely (Our thought is, if it’s the most famous site in the city, it’s probably the most tourist-y. And we were right. BUT HEY, free restrooms!) until we got down to the Boston Public Gardens, which were absolutely beautiful and probably Renee’s favorite part of the day. We would absolutely recommend spending as much time as you possibly can in the Gardens, simply soaking up some beautiful weather, catching some naps on the lawns, or riding in the ducks. It was a great place to rest our aching calves/feet for an hour or so. Plus, right across the street, you can take a picture like this
Take the pic, but please please please don’t go into Cheers. They will not know your name, Norm is not there, and Cliff Claven was a real creep if you think about. Don’t go into Cheers.
After the Freedom Trail had been freedomed, we met my cousins for a quick dinner in Back Bay (Sorry Back Bay Harry’s, you weren’t good enough to get a full review.) and then had some drinks with our brother-in-law and a friend at Piattini on Newbury Street (Super cute, and we had two separate people at the bar tell us it was their favorite restaurant in Boston, so go there? They poured our Negronis stiff, and that was all we wanted). Newbury Street was referred to by Kaylan as the "Rodeo Drive of Boston", so if that interests you, go to it. Otherwise, it's the same expensive shops you'll find in all the other cities in the world.
We slept in a little bit, as we didn’t have a ton to do before heading to the airport, but we wanted to walk across the bridge and check out Harvard’s campus before we left. I’m going to keep this short and sweet: We walked over. The campus was there. People looked smart.
Not a whole lot to tell, because if you have seen one incredibly old and famous college campus, and we didn’t actually attend school there, I’m less than interested in touring the campus. Oh, that’s where they teach English? Tell me more, future Mark Zuckerberg.
But we did have a cup of Clam Chowder and another Lobster Roll at Alive And Kickin’ Lobsters in Cambridge. While I’d love to say it was awesome, it was just OK. Cards on the table, I wish we had gone to Chinatown instead of Harvard. Every Jewish Mother's dream sentence.
I OFFICIALLY DECLARE PAULI’S THE BEST LOBSTER ROLL IN BOSTON!
Please note: We only had two, and I really only put that last quote in all caps in the hopes that Pauli’s might somehow find it and use it as a pull quote.
PAULI’S? MORE LIKE FALL’I'S IN LOVE WITH THIS LOBSTER ROLL!
Eh? Was that good?
See you in Iceland.