Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mike's Pastry (Boston, MA)

There's a reason why the line snakes out the front door and around the building.

As you walk around Boston you see the trademark white cardboard box with blue lettering and white twine. Yep, Mike's Pastry. You'll see people carrying the boxes on the Harvard Campus, on various parts of the Freedom Trail, in Boston Common, the Gardens, in Cambridge....everywhere!

Yes, it is THAT good.

A Teaser

Stop #1 on our whirlwind tour of the Southwest....the Grand Canyon!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Boston Common

Boston Common is a beautiful park located in central Boston. It was established in 1634 and is known as the oldest park in the United States. The Common had many purposes over the years including a pasture for grazing cattle, a camp site for the British Army and even used for public hangings.

A few pictures from Boston Common and the adjacent Boston Public Garden...

The famous bronze ducks in the Gardens, which is based on the book Make Way for Ducklings.

The bridge in the Gardens and the sight of the Swan boat rentals.

Pathway up to the bridge in the Gardens.

My sister Kasey and the Ducks.

Massachusetts State House

Really cool tree in the Gardens.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Boston and the Freedom Trail

The 3rd annual girls getaway ended with two days in Boston. We stayed at the Hilton in the Financial District in a suite....and what a fan.tas.tic suite! This is a great hotel to explore Boston. It is about a 5 minute walk to the wharf and the aquarium; a 5 minute walk to Quincy Market; and about a 15-20 minute walk to Boston Commons. Rates are reasonable, especially on the weekends because it caters to more of the business traveler during the week.

One of the must-see tourist things in Boston is to walk the Freedom Trail. You can easily walk the trail (red line/red brick) solo with the aid of a map and a print out of the major sites, you can travel it with friends and family from the area or you can even join a historic walking tour, complete with docents dressed in period pieces.

Mom walking 'on' the Freedom Trail.
Quincy Market, essentially a food court filled with lots of tasty treats!

Faneuil Hall

The old State House

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Touring the Cape

In pictures....

Hyannis Harbor

Hyannis Harbor

Fireworks over Lewis Bay in Hyannis (taken from JFK Park)

Cape Cod National Seashore Park

An old General Store in Brewster, Massachusetts

Hyannis, Massachusetts

Mom and sister in Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3rd Annual Girls Getaway

Last year, we went to San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Pebble Beach.

This year, we headed to the east coast for 6 days.

My mom and sister arrived on Monday afternoon, so I picked them up at the airport and we headed south to Hyannis. Along the way we stopped in Plymouth to see Plymouth Rock and walk around.

I didn't plan this stop very well as it was the 4th of July and apparently Plymouth is a great place to see a parade, shop, grill out, and 'hunker down' until the fireworks start. About 5 miles from town we started seeing "$15 park here" signs. Uh, no. I'm cheap. I won't be paying $15 to park 5 miles away and then walk. We drove as far as we possibly could and by some great open metered spot on the main road. I should probably get some sort of award for my magnificent parallel parking ability :-) We plugged the meter and walked around for about 2 hours and then moved on to Hyannis.

Plymouth was one of those 'great finds' destinations. We walked over to see Plymouth Rock and take some pictures of the Mayflower replica. We shopped and this is where we found our best shopping of the whole trip. My sister picked up some great things to use in the classroom and we also managed to pick up a few other trinkets along the way too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cliffwalk in Newport, Rhode Island

I think we chose the hottest day to walk the Cliffwalk. Yikes! It was about 95 degrees and absolutely no breeze. The cliffwalk was lovely, though, and a great way to burn off some energy after sitting in a car. We walked about 3/4 of the trail...just after the paved trail turned to primarily rocks and then turned around.

There are some absolutely beautiful private homes located on the Cliffwalk and there are some gorgeous public buildings too. The Breakers and a University occupy some of the most beautiful spaces. I'd love to go back and spend more time (on a cooler day) walking the trail and then head into Newport, which looked like a great little town. Next time!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Martha's Vineyard...and the fog

We decided to take a day trip over to Martha's Vineyard. We took an early morning ferry out of Woods Hole. Parking is extremely limited in town, so your best bet is to park just north of Falmouth and then take the shuttle bus in to the ferry terminal.

About 15 minutes before we were to depart, the fog rolled in to Woods Hole. It cleared up a bit just as we arrived in Vineyard Haven. We picked up our Mini Cooper convertible and then headed southwest to see the painted cliffs of Aquinnah. But, the fog rolled in...there were to be no sights of painted cliffs or the lighthouse. We moved on and headed east to Edgartown. Thanks to the compact size of the Mini we were able to score a great parking space! But, alas, after walking around town for about 45 minutes, the fog rolled in.

We hopped back in the car and headed north to Oak Bluffs. The sun was out and we were ready to do some shopping and find a nice spot with a great view for lunch. We stopped at Nancy's, ate upstairs on the open deck and watched the boats in the harbor. Nancy's was a great place for lunch and the food was quite tasty....the grilled chicken sandwich was actually nice and juicy....not the usual dry jerky at some places!

After lunch we did a little shopping, saw the oldest carousel and headed out of town, back toward Vineyard Haven, just in time for the fog to roll back in!

Our time on MV was lovely and my pictures would have been much better had the weather cooperated and the fog stayed away, but that was not to be. Oh, and as we arrived back in Woods Hole, so did the fog!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!

On Monday, July 4, Chuck headed back to Chicago and my mom and sister flew into Boston for the 3rd annual girls' getaway.

Our itinerary for the week included Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Newport (R.I.) and then back to Boston for a few days.

On the 4th we stayed in Hyannis and watched the fireworks at J.F.K. park near Lewis Bay.


Travel Bucket List

Phew, I seem to be ticking destinations off my travel bucket list, so I'll have to add a few more locations. Any suggestions???

Back up to July 2011 for Boston

So....I'm a little behind on blog posts. I guess I will blame it on (insert best excuse here).

Rewind about 3+ months and that brings us back to July, which was a fun and exciting trip to the east coast.

Chuck and I spent 3 days in Boston seeing the sights and meeting up with his sister and family. They moved to the Boston area several years ago and this was the first time we saw them since our big move across the pond to Denmark (in 2008) and our return (in 2010)....well, except for Steph, whom we flew to Paris for a long weekend in 2009.

In 3 days we managed to see all the major tourist sights...
  • We walked the Freedom Trail.
  • We showed off our scholarly side (at Harvard and MIT).
  • We went to the Science Museum.
  • We shopped (and ate) at Quincy Market
  • We had a canoli at Mike's Pastry
After the whirlwind weekend tour of Boston, it was time for Chuck to head back to Chicago and my mom and sister to arrive for the 3rd annual girls' getaway.

Chuck and his sister at the Coop at Harvard.