Days 2: Boston, MA
Since we had arrived in Boston so late at night, our first view of the city was not so exciting. However, I did learn that if you want to avoid traffic in Boston, drive the streets at 2:30 a.m. ;)
First thing we did after waking up was to meander downstairs and meet our B&B host - a very sweet, quiet, small lady with a little voice and a talent at making coffee and muffins. Seriously. She was the best. She gave us a couple city maps and some tips for places to see and sent us on our way full of yummy baked goods and hot drinks.
The weather was a bit cloudy and cool but warmer than we expected for NE in early April. We started off at the Charlestown Navy Yard and the USS Constitution Museum.
I'd never seen piers like what we saw in the Charlestown Yard. It was fascinating, and we spend some time walking along the edge and just looking. Northern waterways definitely have a different feel than Southern waterways. And a vastly different smell. I loved experiencing the new scents and sounds!
We then made our way to the USS Constitution Museum that's all about the history of "Old Ironsides," a national icon for over 200 years of American history. It was fascinating to learn about the battles she was in, the transformations she underwent throughout her career, and about some of the more famous crew members during her seafaring years. There were so many fascinating exhibits at the museum, and I would definitely recommend a visit there if you're ever in Boston.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to tour the ship itself since tours were closed the day we were there, but it was still awe-inspiring to see it from a distance.
After touring the museum, we decided to walk part of the Freedom Trail and make our way into the North End of Boston. As usual, I was so focused on the map that I missed one of the most obvious parts of the Freedom Trail until multiple blocks into our walk - the famous Red Brick Trail Blaze. I know, I know. Can't see the forest for the trees.
I totally had a nerding moment when I finally realized it and made a complete, excited spectacle of myself in the middle of a public street. Thank goodness I have such a good-natured husband who simply put his hands into his pockets and smiled at my freak out.
Boston is beautiful, by the way. I loved the old architecture and the overall feel of the parts of the city we were in.
We passed by the Warren Tavern, the oldest tavern in MA and founded in 1780. Notable people such as Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington used to frequent it. We then made our way up to the Bunker Hill National Monument commemorating the famous Battle of Bunker Hill fought on June 17, 1775. It was a bit shocking to have such open green space in the middle of crowded brownstones, and it was so quiet so far above the rest of the city. We spent a while just walking around and taking it all in.
We then walked back down from Bunker Hill and crossed over the Charlestown Bridge and into the North End. The North End is known for its mostly Italian American population and its old history. People have continuously lived there since the 1630s! We followed the trail through Copp's Hill Burying Ground, by the Paul Revere House, and to Old North Church where Paul Revere hung his two lanterns warning the Patriots of the British advancement into Boston during the Revolutionary War on April 18, 1775.
After that, we kinda got off the trail (since I'm known for being distracted and wanting to "go over here and look at this! Oooo! Look at that!") and "got lost" in the North End's Little Italy. It was amazing! We felt like we had stepped over the Atlantic Ocean and ended up somewhere in Italy. Beautiful, olive-skinned women and children dashed in and out of doorways, laughing and shouting something in Italian back to an unseen person standing inside, pasta ristorantes around every corner, and lovely, understated clothing stores tucked here and there.
We happened upon a WONDERFUL, small Italian bakery called Bova's Bakery. We walked into the door and were instantly overwhelmed by the heavenly smell of fresh bread and a whole display of cannolis and colorful cookies and pastries.
We're instantly greeted by an exuberant Italian man smiling widely and booming "Whaddya have? Huh? Want some canoli?!? Some bread?!? Get the scali! Fresh! Hot outta the oven!" So we got scali. And Oh. My. Goodness. This bread. Just look at it.
We got a HUGE loaf for like $2.50, and I was in foodie heaven for the next few minutes as we continued to wander aimlessly through Little Italy. We walked by a cute, little Italian grocery, and as I glanced through the open doorway to look at the rows and rows of sausages and olive oils, I heard a voice calling me.
Bella! Bella signora. Benvenuti! Vieni dentro, bella donna.I looked back into the store to see a little, old man dressed in a black suit and a grey golf cap sitting on a stool in the corner behind the door holding his cane in one hand and gesturing to us with his other. I usually don't let old men hit on me, ESPECIALLY now that I'm a married woman, but he called me "beautiful" in Italian!!! I grabbed Levi's hand and dragged him in the store before he could protest too much. ;) The sweet old man kept murmuring about how lovely I was the whole time we walked around, and we ended up buying Italian chocolate and San Pellegrinos from the guys I assume were the old man's grandsons.
Excellent marketing ploy, gentlemen. ;)
We finished up Day 1 of Boston and Day 2 of the honeymoon at The Daily Catch seafood restaurant on Hanover Street in the North End, a little hole-in-the-wall place with almost no seating and even less room to move around. A Boston local, decked from head-to-toe in "Boston Strong" and "Boston Red Sox" gear recommended it, and he definitely did not disappoint. We had the clams linguini, the fried calamari, and more soft and fresh Italian bread. Again, I was in foodie heaven! I wish we had remembered to take a pic of our gorgeous pasta, but alas. We did not. You'll just have to take our word for how beautiful it all was. :)
Next "Our Story" post: Boston to Portland