Day 1: Arrival Day
MARCH 27TH-29TH, 2015 It's taken me so long to upload this blog and the photographs taken from the trip. I'm not sure how much I remember from the trip in detail, but in general I know I haven't forgotten how great of a weekend it was.
SO WHERE TO BEGIN? Before flying into Watertown, NY, Dave asked me where I would like to go for our anniversary. I know it might sound silly to celebrate a year together, but hell, it was an adventurous year. Partaking in a long distance relationship takes a lot of patience and hard work, so it definitely deserved some weekend shenanigans. Our choice was between NYC (which we had both been to together) and Boston (where we both haven't been to at all). Boston was an easy choice, but I wasn't sure what the city really had to offer. I was excited to see the University, but I needed to do a bit of digging online to see what was up.
DISTANCE We drove from Upstate New York to Massachusetts the morning after Dave's military ball. We had an early start and were trying to shoot for a late afternoon arrival. It was a good six hour drive, not including all the mandatory snack and potty breaks along the way.
CAR RIDES One of our guilty pleasures is listening to podcasts. Now, granted we both have our personal tastes we still share an intense desire to learn. What better way to be taught than listening to podcasts on lengthy trips! I highly suggest the following: NPR, TED Radio Hour, RadioLab from WNYC, 99% Invisible, Stuff You Should Know, The Nerdist, and Serial. There are obviously a lot more, but those are a few I'm personally cycling through. It really does take your mind off of how long you're driving for, but not so much the numbing feeling of your bum falling asleep. It's great to have a variety of options in the car besides music especially when you're with company; there's bound to be something interesting everyone can enjoy.
After spending a calm few hours in the car, emotions started running high when we hit the city. Talk about some random road turn-offs and unexpected cross overs. Be prepared for your Siri to get a bit frazzled or for the ol' GPS to get a little "re-routed". It does get a bit confusing navigating. Maybe you won't have as much trouble as Dave and I did trying to find the hotel, but if you're one to give last minute directions as I "supposedly" do, then keep your eyes peeled.
HOTEL We still made it in one piece to The Langham, Boston. Not to boast, but holy crap this place was beautiful. I didn't take too many photos inside because I didn't want to seem too touristy, but 'twas a treat to walk in and be greeted by such shiny floors and welcoming staff. Humungous chandeliers hung throughout the concierge lounge and peppered throughout the rest of the hotel. We were treated with the upmost respect and they made sure we had everything we needed for our short stay. There's a pool, spa, and gym. We didn't utilize it during our visit, but hopefully the photographs on their website are just as good as the real experience! Our room was nice and cozy with lots of room to allow my suitcase to explode... and even if there wasn't room...I'm sure my stuff would have been just as explosive.
WALKING AROUND I ended up planning out a lot of small craft cocktail bars to visit. The weather was supposed to be gross the day we were arrived and the following day was meant to be beautiful (It wasn't but we'll get to that later). So we did a short stroll to the Charles River, which has a lovely view of the city across the water. This is near MIT University. Parking is silly. Be prepared to make a couple loops to find a spot close enough.
A lot of the bars that I looked up were not open. We were in the area around three or four o'clock and most of the places didn't open until six. I was panicking to say the least because 1) Dave needed to use the restroom 2) I was hungry 3) I was mad that things weren't going according to my plan and I felt like I was wasting time.
CAMBRIDGE/HARVARD We made a hasty decision to go to the Cambridge area and explored Harvard University. We of course grabbed some grub to start... but a quick heads up, Border Cafe is NOT a cafe, it' a Mexican restaurant. Talk about craving a chai tea latte and having to revert my palette to crave salsa and Modelos. It was so Mexican I thought we were going to have a Mariachi band playing for us while we dined. I'm sure the waitress appreciated our hit and run tactics.
After a quick snack and beer we walked over to the university. Breathtaking architecture. I was so captivated by the arches, columns, and crimson bricks. I couldn't picture Harvard any better. There's something about that chilly stillness in the air that really intensified the beauty and history of the area. We were able to sneak in one of the buildings to check out some of the classes. It was good to see that the reputation was held.
We walked off the campus and came across a few other churches and older buildings. One of those included the Longfellow House, which was the home of Henry W. Longfellow, a poet from the 19th century. It was also a headquarters utilized by George Washington during the Siege of Boston. Everything was closed off, but we still did enough exploring around the building to feel satisfied we came across it. We both agreed the neighborhood was enchanting (Maybe not so much Dave's choice of words). We were pointing at peoples' homes Oo-ing and Ah-ing at the exterior of the buildings. There were so many homes that I could picture myself snuggled inside with a warm cup of hot chocolate, wrapped in an afghan with records spinning in the background. Once we finished touring, we walked back to the truck to see a coffee shop parallel to our parking spot. Granted it was Starbucks, we still enjoyed what we were looking for from the beginning.
DINNER Picking a place always seemed to take longer than usual for us. We LOVE a good meal and when you're in a big city it takes forever scrolling through and picking one thing that sounded good for the evening. A friend of Dave's recommended Neptune Oyster, but unfortunately the place closed by the time we looked into reservations. I guess we were still used to making reservations around 9PM like when we were vacationing in Europe; people didn't eat until a time most of us should have been in bed.
SOME TASTY CHOICES FROM OSTRA
We were both really stuck on Seafood and Dave chose Ostra on the fly. I threw on a dress and he said I was making him feel underdressed so I hopped into some jeans. Not knowing the ambiance of the restaurant, walking in I immediately regretted changing. Sure, you can get away wearing jeans, heals, and a nice top, but the place was nice and we both weren't expecting it. We were seated in a timely manner with enough time to grab a drink, sit in the lounge, take a sip, and then be redirected to the dining room. We sat at a small table for two with a view of the kitchen and an ice display of crustaceans.
We started with oysters for an appetizer. It was my first time trying them and it was phenomenal. I also learned that Filet Mignon is not fish... I don't know why I thought that sounded like Ahi Tuna to me, but it was an embarrassing moment to say the least. Of course I would end up picking the non-seafood dish at a seafood restaurant. I remember changing my mind shortly after, but unsure of what I decided to eat. I know Dave ended up picking a Salmon or Snapper dish for his dinner because he usually picks that for an entree if it's available. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed our entrees and treated ourselves to dessert. Everything was delicious and the service was fantastic. I didn't care too much for my drink: "The Bee's Knees." I'm sure it was delicious to others, but it wasn't a drink preference I had, mainly because it was very sweet. Regardless, the food and ambiance is well worth the penny.
ONE DAY DOWN It was a very short day together in Mass., but we made the most of what we were able to see given the circumstances. I don't remember if we decided to extend our evening out at a bar, but we truly had a splendid night out and I highly encourage exploring your dining options prior to arriving in the city.