Monday, February 27, 2017

Claire's 10 year old trip with Aunt Kat- Boston, MA

Guessing time is over! We just got back yesterday afternoon from BOSTON! Remember Elaina's trip last year? Well, it was time for Claire to take her trip. I came across some ridiculously cheap flight tickets from Nashville to Boston ($68 round-trip!), compared calendar dates with Kathryn, and started planning. Contour airlines in Tupelo has a thing going on where they do several flights a day between Tupelo and Nashville for about $30. Jason's parents, aka my babysitters for this trip, live near Tupelo (as does Kathryn) so it was a perfect set up for all the traveling details.

We drove to Tupelo on Friday and got there about four in the afternoon. We dropped off the girls and then headed to get Kathryn. We had plans to get our nails painted (you know, since we did that on Elaina's trip and it must be the same, lol) but the one and only place in Ripley was busy and we wouldn't be able to get finished in time to go watch my cousin's basketball game. (Kathryn's youngest brother, Shafer, was the ballplayer.)

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and Shafer was a sweetheart and drove us to the airport. This was the MOST FUN FLIGHT EVER! It was a really small propeller plane that only had nine seats. We got to walk out on the runway and actually go up the stairs into the plane.

The plane was super loud, though, so Claire used her headphones as earplugs.  

We landed in Boston at 1:30 their time and immediately searched out a nail place near our "house" so that we could cross that item off our check list. We only did our fingernail since we still had all our luggage and were wearing our winter boots. We had rented an airbnb apartment in the Beacon Hill area which ended up being the perfect location for walking to the main attractions. Our address was 103 Myrtle Street and we would always laugh at this door as we were walking home. You don't often see ninety-nine and a half as an address. 

There was a lot of this streaky green on buildings around the city and we are guessing it was some kind of metal that had turned. Anyone know?

That first day we went to Boston Commons park and saw a "Bert-from-the-70's" in modern day time. 

We also saw the duck statues from Make Way for Ducklings. Claire and Kathryn each own Polaroid cameras, Kat's is standard size and Claire's is a mini sized camera, so I didn't take pictures with my phone that often. 

After walking around a bit, it was time to go back to the apartment and get ready for dinner. This was our only "nice" dinner and according to The Internets, it was a "hidden gem" and not to be missed. We had Uber take us over to the Italian district of the city and made our reservation. Then we walked up and down the street, going in to various pastry and meat stores. We bought a couple of pastries at the coolest Italian shop from an Italian/Northern lady with the best accent. 

There were a lot of meat shops on this street and there several things like this on the sidewalk. 

We ate at Euno's Restaurant and had the most snooty and snobbish waiter. But despite that, we gobbled our food. It was delicious!

Creme Brûlée. Always get the Creme Brûlée.

On our walk to meet the Uber to get home, we passed a tattoo place that was raising money for Lyme's awareness. So random and funny.

The next morning the weather was gorgeous and after a delicious breakfast/lunch at Tatte Bakery (best food EVER!) we got to the start of The Freedom Trail and then stared walking and walking and walking. The entire trail is 2.5 miles and we walked the whole thing and then back home again. 

So the Freedom Trail is basically a brick path that takes you past the historical places in Boston that played a roll in America's freedom.  I actually think it's a brilliant idea because it allows tourists to easily find all the places without using GPS or a tour guide. 

Sadness. Paul Revere died.

There was a spot to stand if you were a republican that was opposite of the donkey so that you could resist the democrats. 

Fun info on the walls of the Faneuil Hall bathroom. 

Paul Revere's house was a fun stop along the Freedom Trail. They let you walk through some of the rooms and walk around outside in his courtyard area.  We found out later that we could have gone to services at the Old North Church where the lanterns were hung to alert Paul Revere. That would have been a very neat experience and we were bummed that we missed it. We did get to go inside the church and take pictures in the spot where Teddy Roosevelt sat. 

That night we went to see Disney on Ice- Follow your Heart. Claire seemed to really enjoy it and got a plastic sword as a souvenir. That ended up being a blast to carry through the airport. NOT. And then it was left on the last plane and I had to go all the way back to the airport the next day to get it. It has proven to be a popular toy, much more than I thought it would, and I have to say it was worth the drive to retrieve it. The Nemo hat mysteriously disappeared before we left Boston.

Monday we took the Metro to Cambridge to visit Harvard University. It was really cold that day so we were a little hesitant to just walk around outside. Three students came up to us and asked if they could interview us for a class project. One of the students had been a tour guide the previous school year so he kindly offered to take us in the library and show us something cool. Fun fact: You can't go into the Harvard library unless you are with a student. 

There was a family, a billionaire family, who had a son named...something. And this son liked to search for valuable books when he was traveling. One day, in some country (Don't you like how I pay close attention to details?), he stumbled upon a Gutenberg bible. Quite a find, don't you think? Then, he and his parents were on the Titanic and even though they all had seats on a boat as first-class passengers, the father and the son gave up their spots for other women and children. The mother made sure take the Bible with her so it didn't perish on the boat. Eventually, the son's library and the Bible were loaned to the Harvard library. The only stipulation is that NO ONE is allowed past the ropes and into the room except the head librarian. She is to keep the room dusted and every morning must place a vase of fresh flowers on the desk. If this rule is not followed, they can lose the book collection and the library. 

 After visiting the library and saying goodbye to our new Harvard friend, we sat on some steps to some amazing-looking building and tried to warm up in the sunshine. We weren't sure what to do next and finally decided that even though it was freezing, we had to eat some of Toscanili's Ice Cream- the best in Boston! OK, well, I don't know if that was true but they did have some crazy delicious flavors. I had the mint and 3B. 3B was just so good I can't really describe it. It was brownie, browned butter, and brown sugar. YUUUMMMMMM!

After that, we sat and tried to decide what to do next. After a bit of web surfing, we discovered that Boston had a children's museum and right next to it was the Boston Tea Party museum.  We Uber-ed our way over to that part of the city and originally thought we would just glance at the Tea Party place and spend the rest of our time at the children's museum, but after giving it a second glance, we decided to forget that plan and just spend all our time with the BTP people.  That was the most unexpected fun part of the trip. The have a fantastic hour-long tour that is worth the price of the ticket. We had such a great time learning how to say Huzzah!, hiss and boo our objections, and how to pound the bench with great enthusiasm. Then we went onto a replica of The Eleanor and tossed "tea crates" overboard. Then we went below deck and learned some more interesting facts about that night. Afterward, we went to a tea room where you could taste all the flavors of the tea that were on board that night.

At some point (I'm past being able to remember everything) we went to the USS Constitution museum. They had a lot of fun little activities that let you experience life on the boat. 

Scrubbing the deck

Attempting to stand on a rope while tying up the sails. This was risky when you were high up in the air!

Their hammock beds were actually really comfortable.

Tuesday was our last day in Boston and we only had a few hours before we had to head to the airport.  We had two things on our agenda:
1) Eat at Tatte one last time and I was determine to get there before they ran out of their avocado tartine. It proved to be as delicious as it sounded. 
pastries done right

My Beloved Tartine

Every day Claire had been asking to ice skate on Frog Pond and every day we kept postponing it. I PROMISED that we would make it happen before left, so immediately headed there after eating. I think for her it was the best possible ending to our trip. By the time we left, she had gotten pretty comfortable and confident on the ice. The weather was perfect and we left Boston smiling. 

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