Now, on to our getaway! We go on a family vacation at least once a year and we were originally thinking Arizona for this year but each of us had our own trips planned for the spring - Mom and Steve to Charleston, Davey to Palm Beach and Derek and I to Bermuda so we decided we weren't going to get Arizona in before it got too hot and are saving that for this winter but still wanted to do something to hold us over - enter, Boston - a nice city to tour around with a good temperature in the summer. We settled on Boston because Mom and Davey had never been, I'd only been for a Red Sox World Series Parade and one night out in college and Steve and Derek had both been - Steve when he was growing up and Derek during our college years. Three of us had lived in the New England area previously so it seemed like a good fit.
Philadelphia International Airport
Why is this a highlight of our trip you ask? More like a lowlight but Derek and I spent our Thursday evening in our good old airport with a canceled flight - the other three grabbed an afternoon flight and continued on with our evening plans including happy hour at the Landing, exploring the wharf and dinner at legal Seafood. Long story short, there are flights every hour out to Boston so Derek and I decided to wait on the standby list since we were already at the airport (the flight got cancelled between us leaving to meet there and us both getting there) and on the very top of the list and if that failed we were already on the 6am flight the next day and had a free hotel stay for the night. We didn't make it on the first one so grabbed drinks at… Legal Seafood! Ha, looks like if we were stuck we'd still get the dinner we had expected - between each flight option we had a 45 minute window so if we didn't get on the next flight we decided the next window would be dinner, the following window nails/express spa and the last we'd wait for before calling it a night would be dessert/drinks. They got us on the 7:15 flight - separated but we were on the flight and we ended up being delayed twice but made it into Boston by about 9:30, got to the hotel around 10pm and FINALLY ate dinner at 10:30 - we had a table for four people and with two appetizers and two meals completely filled it - our eyes were bigger than our stomachs but we were happy and ready to vaca.
We did some sleeping in Friday to catch up on the extended travel night and then we all set out on a trolley tour to see the city and some sights including the USS Constitution, the North End, Back Bay, Cambridge, Antique Row, Boston State House, the Seaport District, Boston Public Garden/Boston Common and more.
We did an early lunch at the original Cheers bar - we walked through the actual original restaurant and then ended up eating upstairs in the restaurant that was setup like a mock set. I never watched the show but everyone else was happy with it, the food was delicious and the drinks were poured well.
I loved this stop - the square was filled with some cute farmer's markets stands, we got to walk over to the Boston Marathon finish line which was really interesting to see and then strolled through a little of Newbury Street.
I vowed not to shop so we could keep moving but did want to see Newbury Street and walk a strip of it so we picked an area on the way back to the square and it just happened to have Lilly, Kate Spade and a chocolate shop on that block - I guess we picked well.
Prudential Center Sky Walk
Next up was 52 floors up to take in some gorgeous view of the city. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scare at all on the elevator ride up to the top floor.
One of everyone's favorite parts was riding around in the open air trolley and listening to the history as well as facts about the stops - it also helped us to pick out what we wanted to go back and see the next day. For the last five or so stops we just rode along, listened and watched out the open window - when we got back to the area of the hotel we took some time to enjoy the wharf area and have some cocktails before getting ready for the night.
North End Dining
We decided on some italian for dinner and checking out the North End which was just a short walk from the hotel - we're all about good food and convenience so it was a no brainer.
We were able to use a pretty back walkway that was right on the water to get to dinner. On our walk to dinner our southern gal found a little touch of home up in the North. We had a great time checking out this cute neighborhood.
La Famiglia Girogio
We had the best italian meal for dinner and couldn't complain about a thing. Open air dining, fabulous drinks, huge portions and delicious food. We enjoyed sitting down for a dinner together in a city other than ours.
Lulu Sweet Shop
Continuing along on my cupcake tour of America, I saw that Boston had an actual cupcake tour but nobody was going for that so they compromised with picking two bakeries to visit and tonight was Lulu which happened to be right down the street from dinner. We picked a half a dozen cupcakes (two vanilla, chocolate, cheesecake, cookie dough, peanut butter) to try and share and one of us (Derek) indulged in an ice cream cone for the walk back.
Frost Ice Bar
The three of us "kids" finished out the night at the ice bar across from the hotel and it was such a fun experience to try! I've seen bars like this in some other travels but never actually tried it out and this night seemed like the perfect time. We just went in for one drink, got our capes and I had to rent uggs and we enjoyed the unique setting.
We fell in love with the nice dry air and amazing breeze - the first two days the weather was definitely cooler than we're used to in July and it was amazing - I was so excited when I needed to wear a sweater one morning. I'll save the other two days of the trip for tomorrow so check back for the remainder of the trip!