Ava just got back form her second big trip. Hot on the heels of our trip to Mexico in September, we packed some warm clothes and headed to Boston to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary. It was a trip we had been wanting to take for several years, and we took Ava and Auntie Em (who is also our new nanny) along for a long weekend.
Once again, Ava handled the airplane flights like a champ, without any appreciable fussing. We flew out of Jacksonville with a brief layover at Reagan airport (and a very scenic descent past the Washington Monument) in D.C., we arrived in Boston late Thursday morning. We took a water taxi across the bay to a stop close to our hotel, and Captain Greg was very nice, giving us an impromptu tour of the bay. He also let us wait out a short rain squall in his boat.
A short cab ride brought us to the Langham Hotel in downtown Boston, and it was very nice. We had a lovely view of a neighboring park from our third-story window. After we were settled we did a bit of exploring on foot and then asked our concierge for a recommendation on a family restaurant nearby. His accent was very thick and nearly unintelligible, so we headed a couple blocks away, towards "Prancing Pete," Tranny Pete," "Pretty Pete," or whatever he said. Turns out it was called "Brandy Pete's," and it was a bar and it was LOUD. We tried another spot that was equally packed, and then stumbled on a restaurant that looked closed at first glance, but was open enough to serve us dinner. It was kind of nice having the whole place to ourselves. We were a bit worried that the bartender/server/cook was going to go into labor right then and there, as she was very pregnant. She said "Nah, I've got two more weeks to go."
After dinner, Marie and Ava went back to the hotel while Tam and I took the Ghosts and Graveyards tour, which was 90% theater and about 10% history. It was entertaining, though, and we did get to travel around Boston and visit graveyards containing the resting places of folks like John Hancock, Sam Adams, and Mother Goose. Probably not quite worth the price, but still a good time.
The next morning Tam and I headed out on our own to visit the Samuel Adams brewery and take the tour. We got there in time to join the 10:00 tour, and I was amazed to see the bald guy with the beard that's in all the commercials actually there working. His name is Bob, and I did not manage to get a picture with him. The tour was great, especially since it ends with a trip to the tasting room where they give you a 7 oz. tasting glass and then fill it at least three times with three different beers. Yep. Tipsy on a weekday before 11:00. And then to get out you have to pass through the gift shop. Tam has no idea now why she thought we had to have two Sam Adams bottle koozys, but they seemed necessary at the time.
We spent the next two days touring Boston by trolley. Some of our highlights included: the Old North Church, Copps' Hill Cemetery, the original Cheers, the State House, the Old State House Museum and Boston Common. On Saturday the three of us made our way to Harvard to snap some photos of Ava. Unfortunately she fell asleep on the subway ride and didn't wake up until we were on our way back into the city proper. We found it interesting that she could sleep through the noise of the subway station and yet we tip-toe like ninjas around our house anytime she's sleeping!
Upon returning to the city we visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. To call the place stunning is still an understatement. In the very first room we entered Tam noticed a sketch by Degas (her favorite artist) on the wall mixed in with various other works. The interior garden was awe-inspiring. Ava apparently wasn't as thrilled with the place as we were. She made raspberries the entire time even causing one of the security guards to laugh and confess that he felt the same way.
On Sunday we grabbed a cab to the airport where we picked up our rental car and headed to The Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast. We were going to meet up with Michael's cousin, Michael, and meet his family. Their place was gorgeous! It was the epitome of a New England B&B. When we approached we saw orange, red and multi-colored leaves scattered across the front lawn. It was our first time meeting Mark and Sean but we all became fast friends. Sean is an adorable little boy and has every child's dream bedroom! Ava enjoyed all the attention Mark and Sean gave her but for some reason cried inconsolably every time her cousin Michael spoke or laughed. We're going to chalk it up to her being over tired. She stayed up until nearly 11:30 that night! The next morning both Michael and Mark were her new best friends and all was good. Michael baked us homemade scones and packed us granola for our trip home. The entire visit was awesome! Seriously, if you are ever in New England and are looking for a charming place to stay check it out : http://www.thedragonflybb.com/
Check out the pics below and stayed tuned for where Baby A is off to next!