Love and Food in the Big D

Monday, June 11, 2012

New England Adventures - Day 6 in Boston

Day 6 of our trip... and our last official FULL day in Boston. By this point in our sight-seeing tour of Boston, we had been averaging about 7-8 miles of walking a day....EVEN when we slept in and started later in the morning!  Needless to say, I didn't feel the SLIGHTEST bit guilty for any of the fabulous foods that we ate.. (Giacomo's TWICE, Mike's Pastry... TWICE and J.P. Licks ice cream.. yup, that's right, you guessed it.. TWICE :) 

On this morning, we started out on the Freedom Trail again.. this time at Paul Revere's house. 
Paul Revere's house, a wooden structure, dating back to 1680, is downtown Boston’s oldest building still in existence. Paul Revere purchased it in 1770 when he was 35 years old. He paid 53 pounds, 6 shillings, and 8 pence with a mortgage of 160 pounds. Revere was living at this house the night he set forth on April 18, 1775 to make his momentous ride to Lexington that would be immortalized by Longfellow’s famous poem Paul Revere’s Ride.

The Ebenezer Hancock House is located along the Freedom Trail, just past Faneuil Hall. The building is the only dwelling still standing in Boston that can be associated with John Hancock.

Paul Revere Statue near the Old North Church

Old North Church (officially, Christ Church in the City of Boston), at 193 Salem Street, in the North End of Boston, is the location from which the famous "One if by land, and two if by sea" signal is said to have been sent. This phrase is related to Paul Revere's midnight ride, of April 18, 1775, which preceded the Battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution.

Taken from The Old North Church's website: "The pews are called box pews. Now, we let visitors sit wherever they would like, but at the time of the Revolution, members of the congregation would have had to purchase their pews if they wanted to worship here. Different pews had different prices, the most expensive being the most desirable. Those on the center aisle would have cost significantly more than those on the sides or in the galleries on the second level.

Families, as long as they kept up their pew rents, had exclusive use their pew and would decorate them to their own tastes with fine fabrics and furniture, similar to the Bay Pew. These decorations and where families sat were indications of a family's social status. Many accounts exist in which a family, who arrived late to this country, would purchase a back pew, but would reserve a front pew when one opened up, and thus, in many ways moved up in society. Which is why, for example, General Thomas Gage, Commander of the British Forces, had to sit in the far back pew. "

When the Charlestown Navy Yard closed in 1974 after nearly 175 years of serving the fleet, 30 acres became part of Boston National Historical Park. The National Park Service now maintains an important part of the ship yard, and as part of the Park Service's interpretive program, USS Constitution, in connection with the United States Navy, and USS Cassin Young are preserved as representatives of the kinds of vessels built in this yard. Together they represent a 200-year-old tradition of building fine ships for the Navy.

View from the top of the Monument (Chad did this trek up the monument solo...this preggo was NOT in any condition to hike up that 221', I-don't-know-how-many-steps, granite monument.)  Great job love :) 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New England Adventures - Day 5 in Boston

Our second official day in Boston began where we had left off the day before...on the Freedom Trail.  Seeing the red brick trail during our casual stroll around the city on Saturday, we started Sunday on a mission.  To tackle at least a good part of this 2.5-mile, brick-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites throughout Boston.

To learn more about the Freedom Trail and get a map of its historic sites... Go HERE

The State House, built in 1798, is located across from the Boston Common on the top of Beacon Hill. The land was once owned by Massachusetts first elected governor, John Hancock.

Founded in 1660, the Granary is the third oldest burying ground in Boston proper. In 1737, when grain was stored where the present Park Street Church stands, the burying ground was renamed the Granary. Along with Massachussetts Governors, Clergymen, and Mayors, three signers of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine, are buried here.
Approximately 5000 people are buried at Granary even though there are only 2300 headstones. Since funerals were expensive, there would be one headstone per family. Each grave contains at least 20 bodies.

And although not TECHNICALLY on the Freedom Trail, one thing that Chad and I wanted to do before our trip was over was to ride one of Boston's Duck Tours :) It did, after all, take us by some historically significant places.  :)  Quack, Quack! 

Our captain, Paul Reverse :)

Taking the tour to the Charles River :)

The Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

Site of the Boston Massacre - March 5, 1770

The Old State House was the center of all political life and debate in colonial Boston. On July 18, 1776, citizens gathered in the street to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the building's balcony, the first public reading in Massachusetts. The Royal Governor presided here until the new State House was built on Beacon Hill in 1798.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

New England Adventures - Day 4 in Boston :)

It’s no secret for those that know us well, that for the most part, Chad and I are planners. We can take any idea from a tiny seed and just run with it. Most of the time, it’s WAAAAYYY in advance. Sometimes even a few YEARS in advance. We plan. We sort. We work our plan over and over…then start from the beginning and rehash all decisions that have been made to ensure that our plan is where we’d like it to be. Sometimes, it’s just general concepts that will eventually need refinement..(This is usually how our trips go.  We just go with the flow once we get to our destination, having only a general idea of the places we’d like to visit during our time there). Other things… like… CREATING LIFE…and naming said miracle ;) have been written in stone for quite a while now. ;)

So it’s actually quite fitting for us that our very first stop as we drove into Boston on this Saturday afternoon, was a quick visit to our daughter’s future University. Harvard. ;)

For the record, I'm only partially kidding.. we'd never put that kind of pressure on our daughter (before she was even born ;).. but I DID tell Chad that IF (and when ;) our little smarty pants decided she wanted to come to school here, I'd gladly sell a kidney.. eyeball or whatever really, to make this happen for her.  ;) All for the sake of a good education.  ;) 

And since we were in the area... we thought it wouldn't hurt to tour the campus of our next choice in Universities... MIT.  :)

For those with sensitive stomachs... I won't go into great detail about how I got PELTED by the biggest bird poop I've ever felt as we were ending our little tour of the MIT campus.  I SWEAR it felt like a PERSON was knocking on the back of my shoulder!  I even went as far as turning around to see who was trying to get my attention... only to realize there was no one behind me... except for a nice poopy surprise.  YUCK!! I took it as a sign of GREAT luck to be hit with such a whammy.. lol.. Luckily it was just on my sweater and there was a bathroom nearby to clean up.  What a NICE farewell to this tour.. lol..

Crossing over the Longfellow Bridge and the Charles River.  :)

Taking a breather while watching the swan boats float by...

Finding ourselves in the North End, after our fair share of walking on our first day in Boston, we headed to one of our MUST-try-on-this-vacation restaurants... Giacomo's.  We had been warned about the wait at this tiny, itty bitty, italian restaurant... but we were also told by several people that it was completely worth it.  And BOY. WAS. IT. EVER?!?!  After nearly an hour of standing in a line that wrapped around the building, we finally made our way inside.  To our suprise, we got the two best seats in the house...the two only bar seats in the place, over looking all the action in the tiny kitchen!  Chad and I were thrilled.. at not only having a front row seat at all the restaurant chaos, but at the super TASTY dinner we had in store.  YUMMMMM!!! 

Butternut Squash Ravioli - My selection for the evening..

And Chads.. Frutti di mare-shrimp,scallops,calamari,clams and mussels over linguini
Then just down the street...
Mike's Pastry called our name for some of the TASTIEST cannoli's I'd ever had.

Treking our way to this little park.. to enjoy the sunset and our tasty dessert..

SIMPLY AMAZING!! My favorite, BY FAR was the Florentine Cannoli

BEST way to end the evening.. Stay tuned for day 2 in Boston as we hit the Freedom Trail :)