Wednesday, June 21, 2017

3 If By Air - Our first trip to Beantown, Boston, MA

Unintentionally we've kind of started a new tradition of visiting places that neither have ever been to, or one has only been to briefly. This time was Boston. While I had never been there period, the wife had only passed through when she was younger. Similar to our trip to D.C. we just used it as a long weekend get away.

We started out at 3:15 a.m. Friday morning and got to the airport for our 5:45 flight to our connector in Atlanta. From Atlanta we were off to Boston. During the flight I couldn't pass up a chance to watch one of my new favorite movies.

I didn't get a picture of our hotel for some unknown reason, but we stayed at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf on the harbor. I hate that we were there for such a short time, as there was a lot going on in this area that we weren't able to take in.

Everywhere you turned in Boston was an amazing structure. If you've ever been to Charleston or Savannah, I would put Boston in line with those towns, but clearly with a larger city built into it.

After we checked in, we headed to Anna's Taqueria for lunch.

I had 2 tacos with chicken, rice, and cheese.

And she made a bowl, with rice, chicken, black beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, and hot sauce.

We both enjoyed our food, but neither were really blown away. Honestly, my chicken was a little on the dry side.

After lunch we headed to Cambridge for a stop at our 10th Goorin Bros. Thanks to their rewards program, I walked out with a Blue Notes premium straw hat.

From there we went over to Harvard Yard where trees and chairs enjoy in depth discussions together on the lawn.

I can now edit my resume to read "went to Harvard"

After Harvard you'll never guess what we did. We went down to Newbury St to visit our 11th Goorin Bros shop. There the wifey actually got to pick out and hat and got the Allison, which she had been looking at for some time.

We went down Newbury doing some shopping, and randomly stopped in at Joe's American Bar and Grill for a drink.

I couldn't go to Boston and drink anything else before I had my all time favorite beer ... Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

While we were enjoying our drink we decided that we could eat a little something. We looked at the appetizers and were eh, then I looked at desserts and noticed the Butterscotch Bread Pudding and the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie.

The burnt roof of my mouth was well worth it.

One of the stops we made was the 2 level Under Armour shop at The Shops at Prudential Center.

After we left the Prudential Center the clouds opened up ... a lot.

Edgar Allen Poe statue.

Dinner for the first night was at Buttermilk and Bourbon. I didn't realize it was considered a Tapas restaurant, but the portions were a lot bigger than I was expecting after hearing that.

I had to get a picture of the water glasses, since they had a rooster on them. It actually worked out, because I had my rooster lapel pin on too.

We started with their Warm Honey-Glazed Biscuits that came with Smoked Cinnamon Butter, and Pimento Cheese Spread. These biscuits were phenomenal by themselves, but the cinnamon butter was so good. I didn't try the pimento cheese, but heard it was good too. We'll just take her word for it.

We weren't starving (since we just had dessert at 3), so we ordered the Aged Gouda Mac & Cheese with red hot cheeto crust. Once it cooled down temperature wise, it lit you back on fire heat wise. It really wasn't that bad once you mixed it all together, but if you took a good bite full of crust, it'd get the tongue tingling.

I had the Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken, and it was delicious. When I think of fried chicken, I do think of a crispier skin, but I think the sauce may have softened it a little.

She chose to go with the soup of the day. Can't remember the actual name of it, but the waiter described it as a cross between a chili and gumbo with yellow rice.

Our check came with it's own Voodoo doll, and although I saw some reviews that said you get to keep it, our waiter took ours when he picked up the check. Who knows, maybe he didn't like us or something.

After dinner we went to Wink & Nod an old speakeasy turned new restaurant/bar.

I had the Frontiersman ...

and the lady had the Far East.

They were both probably the best mixed drinks that we each had the entire trip.

Unfortunately the hat that I had purchased the day before stained. Graciously the nice people at Goorin agreed to let me bring it in and exchange. Due to this I had to get move a few things around on our agenda list and amazingly, it all worked out. I had Flour Bakery on the list for Sunday, but found one right around the corner from the Goorin shop that we needed to go back to.

I ordered a slice of Banana Nut Bread for our Freedom Trail walk later in the day,

she had a plum and ginger muffin that she absolutely loved,

but the main reason we went was for the Pecan Sticky Bun. Let me tell you right now, it was worth all 400 thousand calories. I have no clue if that's an accurate count, but I really don't care. It was worth however bad for me that it was.

After breakfast we headed to possibly my most anticipated part of the entire trip ...

A competition in Australia gave Samuel Adams an award for winning the most awards.

Summer Ale while at Samuel Adams Brewery. I was in heaven.

After the tour we headed back Inbound to have lunch at Sam LaGrassa's

I've mentioned it a few times, but I spend a ton of time planning our trips out so we're able to see and do as much as possible, and that there's as few of hiccups as possible. Well, I apparently failed to look at one thing for Sam LaGrassa's ...

They're closed on the weekends ... 

Ok, so we decided to just head up towards the Boston Common, where the Freedom Trail starts, and see if we can find anything along the way.

I glanced across the street and almost sarcastically said Beantown Pub. The wifey noticed the Samuel Adams Tail Ships sign on the door, and since we were told on the tour that it was only being sold at 13 bars in town, we decided it couldn't be too bad.

We were met at the entrance by Bostonian Jack Daniels ... good sign #2.

As we ordered I noticed our waitress had an interesting accent so I asked where she was from. She responded, Ireland. Eating at an Irish Pub and being waited on by one of their 2 Irish employees? Good sign #3.

Yes, you can have a Samuel Adams across the street from Samuel Adams.

Cheers Mr. Adams. Thanks for the Freedom and the beer.

She had the John Hancock with baked beans, because "I can't come to Boston and not get beans, right?"

I had the ... wait for it ... Samuel Adams with cajun chicken and American cheese. I know I took off "all of the good stuff", but it was actually really good.

Now, I do have to gripe just for a second about Beantown Pub. The food was great, the drinks were great, the service was great, but the music was horrible. I'm in an Irish bar in Boston, I don't want to hear some head crushing hip hop. They apparently had it on some random music station, because even country came on while we were there. Guess what? I don't want to hear that either. I want to hear some Irish music.

After lunch, we headed over to the oldest park in the U.S. which used to hold public executions.

The Boston Common.

The Freedom Trail begins at the Massachusetts State House

Park Street Church 

Granary Burying Ground

The 5 men shot at the Boston Massacre 

I have to admit, I love this skull and crossbones and lot more than the traditional pirate one.

I thought it was interesting that they used the ' instead of just using the number 1.

Not a part of the Freedom Trail, but just cool architecture.

King's Chapel

I went to take another really awesome picture of a gravestone, and then this happened. Some kid just ran in front of me. Worst part was, her mom came and they just carried on as if I wasn't even standing there.

More neat markings on headstones.

Read the top right paragraph.

After King's Chapel we made a pit stop for my first ever Boston Creme Pie at the birthplace of the Boston Creme Pie the Omni Parker House. Beside the dessert, this hotel was nothing short of mind blowing. If you want to see what old school class and elegance is, just walk in this place.

I wasn't a huge fan after the first bite or two, and then, well, I approve.

The Old City Hall isn't on the trail, but it's physically on the trail and gorgeous.

Some ladies were taking wedding photos and apparently the photographer wanted them to cover their face ... weird.

The Old Corner Bookstore is now a Chipotle, so you're just getting a picture of the plaque.

Old South Meeting House

One of my absolute favorite stops/buildings of the trip was the Old State House. Not only is it a beautiful building, the history it holds is 2nd to none. To stand in the same place that our first President and the authors and signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution met was pretty surreal.

Out this window, on that balcony, the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time, and we became a free nation.

The view you would have had 241 years ago as it was read.

The site of the Boston Massacre

Samuel Adams looking like a boss. You can almost picture him saying in his fancy form of English, "Bring it on you bunch of Redcoats."

Faneuil Hall

Along the trail we made a stop in Green Dragon Tavern. A bar that isn't just Boston's oldest, but dates back to 1654. It isn't the original location, as bars were known to move around, but Paul Revere had written in his notes about meetings with fellow Sons of Liberty.

A "hidden" feature of Boston that, through my research, nobody really knows the point of it. The most commonly accepted opinion is that it's a marker for the epicenter of Boston.

Paul Revere House

Old North Church

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride. I think it looks like he's about to smack some chick on the butt, but that's just me.

"One, if by land, and two, if by sea."

Oh, a squirrel ... eating an apple.

Thanks to the rain damaging my hat, and having to squeeze that into Saturday's agenda, we weren't able to finish the Freedom Trail.

I don't know if I should tell you where we had dinner, because it's a bit of a secret spot ...

Ok, I'll spill the beans. Our last dinner was at Bogie's Place (similar to my Golf game, but that's more like double bogie). The secret is, there's no signage on the street. Atcually, you have to go in JM Curley to get access to the small adults only backroom.

Although they have 2 completely separate menus and you're not allowed to order from both, I was about to get them to slide me some of the Cracka Jacks from JM Curley.

For dinner we had the potato puree


and Mac & Cheese.

She had the Grass Fed Filet Mignon.

While I, of course, had the New York Strip.

Both sides were delicious, and the steaks were nailed temperature wise. I'm not a huge fan of butter with my steaks, but it was actually really good. I still preferred the steak as is, and ate most of it "plain".

Just before we left we heard about Liberty Hotel and the great drinks they have in their bar "Clink". A former jail turned luxury hotel. We actually walked through the bottom floor, and it's a really neat place. They really use the old jail layout and jail theme to their advantage.

Our final partial day started with a nice walk through the city to the T, and one more trip by the beautiful Old State House. It's such a funny site to see this building just sitting in the middle of these much larger buildings, and knowing if they ever went to the bar together and asked "So, what have you done?" that this little building would blow every single one of them out of the water.

Breakfast was at South End Buttery. I was feeling hungry, so I went with the Banana Walnut Muffin,

and the Chocolate Chip Scone.

She had their multi-seed bagel with cream cheese.

I wasn't a fan of the scone. They mixed lemon into the mix and it was just an odd flavor to go with chocolate. Even the wife said it was a weird combination. Not many ways you can mess up a bagel, but she really enjoyed it ... once they finally made it.

After breakfast we walked down to see the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. We didn't get to tour it, but felt like it was a must after our tour of the Gold Vault in NYC.

This is a little pricey at $25 per adult, but it was a really fun tour. I really encourage you to take it if you're interested in the events that took place on December 16, 1773.

The tour took an hour and 15 minutes, so we didn't have time to check out our last lunch place. We probably could have, but we needed to get out of the room, and wanted to get on to the airport, which was a good idea because it was slam packed.

We ended up eating at Gordon Biersch

Overall, we had a great time and Boston, and can't wait to go back. We loved the historic and almost small town feel it has. It was also nice how walk-able the city was. You think of it as a big city, but after you visit a few places you stop and go, "hey, I know where we're at."

Till next time Boston - 1 if by land, 2 if by sea, and now 3 if by air.

Anna's Taqueria

Joe's American Bar and Grill (desserts)

Buttermilk & Bourbon

Wink & Nod

Flour Bakery

Samuel Adams Brewery Tour

Beantown Pub

Bogie's Place

Liberty Hotel

South End Buttery

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Gordon Biersch ATL Airport