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We unexpectedly found ourselves with business in Boston on a Thursday in early January, 2022 so it only seemed natural to turn it into a long weekend exploring the historic city. Having only visited briefly in the past, our goal was to get an overall flavor for Beantown since we surely could not see it all in 2.5 days. I also planned, and succeeded, in using only my trusty Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G to capture our exploration. We had a surprise almost-foot of snow and freezing temperatures which made us grateful for flexible planning. There are many mass transit options but we chose to enjoy the long walks in the snow and then summoning the very robust Lyft system when we were too far from our destination. One thing to note, Boston is the 4th most expensive city in the US, so plan appropriately. So here is how it went...

THURSDAY

On Thursday afternoon, we visited the Boston Tea Party Ships and MuseumIt was a great way to spend a couple of hours. I must say that we were very impressed with the quality, technology, workmanship, and costumed docents it offered. Definitely one of the best museums of its kind that we have ever experienced. I don't want to give away the tour, but there are some fun surprises. One of the highlights for us was visiting Abigail's Tea Room for a tea tasting and scones. It was a perfect end to the tour!

We then made our way towards the Seaport District for a dinner reservation in an igloo by the water. We passed some very colorful artwork and nice shops along the way. If you have never been in a Filson Store and enjoy high-end outerwear, it is definitely worth a stop. Their wool overalls are a very popular item; perfect for the rugged, yet sophisticated lumberjack in your life!😉

We arrived at our restaurant a bit early and Jim saw a huge array of tequila bottles beckoning to him from the window of Temazcal Cantina. So of course, that is where we passed the 30 minutes  or so before our reservation time. It is a nice restaurant with a lovely bar facing the water that contains a multitude of tequilas and opportunities for flights to taste. Jim is fairly discerning about his tequila and loved sipping on the Casino Azul Anejo.

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Finally, it was time for our igloo at 75 on Liberty Wharf and some seafood! I have wanted to dine in an igloo since they became all the rage. They may have arrived due to Covid, but I believe they are here to stay. The great thing about this restaurant is that there is no extra charge for the coveted igloos, just a reservation. Since I am used to seeing $50 to $150 charged for an Igloo, this was a big win. There are heaters and lighting in the igloos but it was still chilly enough for coats. We enjoyed our food and experienced a new treat of Truffle Pollenta Fries (vegetarian). These may look like cheese sticks but the flavor is quite unique and delicious. With happy bellies, we hopped in our Lyft to hunker down for the impending snow.

FRIDAY

Winter finally arrived in Boston with almost a foot of snow! We laced up our boots and set out on foot for a day of adventure. As most tourist spots were closed due to snow, we endeavored to get a feel for the real Boston. By choosing to walk, we were able to pass through a diverse group of neighborhoods, tuck into local pubs, and enjoy the rhythm of a slow day in the city. It is amazing how such special memories can be found in the unexpected moments of life🙂. En route to Boston Commons, we passed through the South End and the Puerto Rican Veterans Memorial. It looked so lovely and solemn in the fresh snowfall.

Our meander also took us past several charming, quintessential Boston scenes.

Our first goal was to reach the Boston Public Garden. We knew the cold, snowy walk was well worth it when we were greeted with scenes of a winter wonderland.

One of my "must see" things in the park was the Make Way for Duckings Statues. They did not disappoint with their cute little sweaters and hats that could warm the heart even on the coldest of days. Jim even stopped to help one duckling with its hat. How cute!

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We passed an impressive statue of George Washington and made our way towards the famous Beacon Hill area to walk the gas-lamp lined streets of one of Boston's most well-known neighborhoods. We were delighted to see that most were still adorned with their holiday best. We even spotted a place "where everyone knows your name"!

Our appetite to see the good life satisfied, we popped back down to Boston Commons and were greeted by the sight of a gaggle of rosy-cheeked children enjoying a snow-day of sledding. It is impossible not to smile at that level of joy.🙂

After winding through the park, we were feeling a little bit peckish. In a seemingly serendipitous moment, we rounded a corner to see a sign declaring "Boston's #1 Irish Coffee". It was as if they knew that was on Jim's wish list! We happily ducked into the warmth and charm of Emmet's Irish Pub. We were greeted by a friendly Irish-accented bartender who happily made an Irish Coffee for Jim and was kind enough not to scowl when I asked for mine without alcohol lol. We enjoyed an amazing new treat of Irish Potato Skins filled with Shepherd's Pie filling and topped with Mozzarella cheese. The atmosphere, food, drink, and service were all top notch!

Refueled by our brief break, we walked less than a mile to Quincy Market and Fanneuil Hall. The Hall was closed due to weather but most of the eateries in Quincy Market were open and things still looked festive inside and out. We took the opportunity to split an iconic Boston Creme Pie and forged ahead to the North End and Boston's Little Italy.

Little Italy is adorable and looks like something straight out of a movie set. We had heard about the cannoli competition between Modern Pastry and Mike's Pastry and were happy to help settle the dispute. We started at Modern Pastry and it did not disappoint. They fill and garnish them on the spot. We chose to split a chocolate dipped with chocolate filling and chips. Yum! We were deflated to see that Mike's was closed for the week so for now, we will never know whose is best. Maybe you know?

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Onward to Paul Revere's house. It was closed but we had fun with the pigeons in the park across the street.

The final stop in this area was the North Church and Paul Revere Statue and then we grabbed a Lyft to the art district of SOWA in the hope that the Art Walk was still on.

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Alas, most of the galleries were closed and there was no sign that the Art Walk would be happening so we figured we would find a hot beverage while we contemplated our next move. We were delighted to find a neighborhood gem with a long history called J.J. Foley's Cafe. Here is a little Background on JJ Foleys.

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As we enjoyed our hot tea with milk and precisely-measured sugar, we rejoiced at our luck in going 2 for 2 in stumbling upon quaint Irish Pubs. We decided to forego waiting for our reservation at a French restaurant and instead Lyfted back to our room to warm up, order in, and relax.

We found some amazing Jamaican food through Uber eats at Murl's Kitchen. The Jerk Chicken, Goat Curry, beans and rice, plantains, and Jerk Mac and Cheese were all fantastic; as long as you like spicy food and big portions!

So almost 20,000 steps later, we were tired, full, happy, and ready for an early night!

Saturday

Our last day in the city started with a visit to the USS Constitution. "Old Iron Sides" (even though she is made of wood) offered unique photo ops and it was another impressive museum. Not only were there unique photo ops such as looking through the USS Constitution to the modern Coastguard yard that sits on the spot it was built (click on any photo to see full gallery), but there was also a great deal to learn. We saw the Bunker Hill Monument from afar but did not actually visit due to time constraints.

Next up was the Mapparium. Jim is a huge fan of maps and the idea of standing in the middle of a giant glass, glowing globe was too much to resist. This unique experience is located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library at Christian Science Plaza. The Mapparium and Library are located in the main building, not the church itself and though there is interesting information about the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, the visit is intended for everyone. Bonus: it is free for Veterans and family🙂.  Sadly, photos aren't allowed inside the globe, but you can see that the rest of the marble building is a sight to see in itself. I found the time in the globe and narration to be very inspiring and moving. Such a unique attraction!

Time was quickly ticking by so we hoofed it on over to the Museum of Fine Arts, passing through the campuses of the esteemed Berklee College of Music and Northeastern University. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is HUGE! One of the 5 largest in the country and very well done. I took a few photos outside and in, but I keep photographing to a minimum in museums. In the atrium area, I did find a bit of nature's art though in ice trails frozen on the window.

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When the museum closed, we went back to the room to change for our dinner reservation and jazz at the Asian-fusion restaurant Mad Monkfish. The menu was extensive and we both enjoyed our meals. I had a Beef Curry special that was noted to be Grandma's Recipe and Jim had a Deluxe Sushimi platter that he adored. Oh, and they have a Red Zen cold tea that is incredible. The vibe was cool and it was clearly the place to be on a Saturday night in this college town.

I guess the university vibe inspired me because when I realized we were only a mile from Harvard Square, we spontaneously decided on an after-dinner walk. We had no idea how large the campuses are and we may or may not have passed through a sketchy area to get there...probably should have taken a Lyft.

Our adventure ended at Insomnia Cookie on the campus. Apparently, it is a chain, mostly around college campuses, and they ship! At 10 pm, there was a line out the door of young people seeking sugar. We totally threw off the demographic. It was hysterical. Jim looked very professorial in his flat cap and knit sweater though so no one gave us any grief. These were not cheap cookies, but they sure were good!

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Due to the late hour, we actually saved them for the drive home the next day. The sugar from the cookies with icing for dip were almost as sweet as the memories we made over this cold, snowy weekend in Beantown!😉

If you have any stories or recommendations about the Boston area, we would love to hear them so please like, comment, and share on the website (www.tiffaniphotography.com), Facebook, and/or Instagram. Happy Snapping!

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