Monday, May 19, 2014

Anniversary #4, Boston

This year we celebrated our anniversary with a weekend trip to Boston. We immediately fell in love with the history, the old Colonial and Victorian architecture, and the quintessential New England vibe.We got there on Friday afternoon, and started off at the beginning of the Freedom Trail at Boston Commons.

 I think Mariah spent most of the whole trail going "off, off" and trying to get out of her stroller. We let her have a binky and a special snack to keep her occupied the whole trip...which we are still paying for since she asks for a "nack" ALL THE TIME now.

 I loved the engravings on the old tombstones. This is the graveyard where Hester Prynne (well, the woman her character in The Scarlet Letter is supposedly based on) is buried.

 These buildings!

 You can't help but feel super patriotic walking through these old buildings and feeling our country's history in them.
 Mariah's leg....hahaha. She was bored so kept practicing her high kicks.

Beautiful blossoms.

That evening we ate in Little Italy at a cute family restaurant. We couldn't find any place that looked particularly kid friendly, but a guy was standing outside that restaurant and told us to come in.

 The family was so sweet, when they saw Mariah was eating the olives out of my salad they brought her her very own bowl of olives to munch on! They loved that she was chowing down on the spaghetti, and all the ladies that worked there kept coming over to talk to her and bring her food. It was perfect.
So if you go to Boston of course you're getting cannolis. We had three different recommendations for the best pastry shop, so obviously we had to go to all three. 

Mike's Pastry is by far the most popular. We saw everybody walking around with Mike's boxes, and the shop was slammed. We had to wait in line to even get inside.

 Then we went to Modern Pastry, just across the street. This one wasn't as crowded, but we still waited in line.

Last, we went to Maria's Pastry, which was totally empty and nondescript. They only had one girl at the cash register and despite being in a central location, nobody was inside! This was the recommendation from Matt's sister Niki who used to live in Boston.

We had all three pastry boxes in the bottom of the stroller. We needed to do this right so we waited to eat any of them until we got back to the hotel and could do a proper blind taste test and ranking after Mariah was asleep.

Before heading back to our hotel we let Mariah run around in a park for a little bit. Oh how I love her happy face, I can just hear her giggle in these pictures. Grass stains, saggy pants, crumbs on face- I love it all.

Oh yeah, the results from the Great Cannoli Showdown:

After taste testing all three with a blindfold and in random order, we came to the same conclusion for first place. Our pick for best cannoli in Boston is.....
You heard it here first, folks.
The shell was perfectly crisp and light, and the creamy ricotta filling was sweet and tangy.  The others were great too but we found that the shells were either slightly too thick, crunchy, or chewy, or the filling was too sweet for our liking. We had different picks for second and third place. You really can't go wrong though.

Saturday morning we woke up to lots and lots of rain. We walked through The Public Garden on the way to breakfast at The Paramount so we could see the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture!

 The ducks all had their running bibs on since the marathon was the weekend before.

 It was very very cold and wet.
After breakfast we walked to the Holocaust Memorial, which is just outdoors in the middle of the street. It was well done and very sobering.

Hate to end the pictures on such a somber note, but our trip really went downhill after that so no more pictures were taken hahah. We tried going to the aquarium but the line was almost two hours long to just BUY TICKETS. We were all super cold and soaked through, so we were looking for someplace to get out of the rain and ducked in to a parking garage. Mariah dropped her "nack" and fell apart, throwing a huge tantrum. She slipped and fell on the wet ground. I bent down to try and help her, and my camera hit the ground (no permanent damage thankfully), then she screamed and cried and took awhile to recover. We decided to just stop for a hot cocoa then head back to the hotel. We had planned on staying that night but the inclement weather was really putting a damper on our sightseeing plans with Mariah so we ended up canceling our second night.

We met up with our friends the Giffords at the Boston Temple and took turns watching each others kids. They gave us the greatest anniversary gift EVER and offered to take Mariah home with them so we could take our time, and go to dinner by ourselves afterward. It was the biggest blessing. That night on the way home in the pitch black and pouring rain we got into a little accident with a traffic cone that was tipped over in the middle of the freeway. It took off our grill, damaged the bumper, and got stuck under our car so we couldn't drive! An angel (it honestly felt that way) in the form of a road worker, saw our hazard lights and pulled over to jack up our car, pull the cone out, and sent us on our way. Never a dull moment. 
That night we were especially grateful for good friends and good road workers.