Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Showing Off Boston

Here are some highlights from our weekend with visitors from Texas (my husband's cousin Jaycie and her fiance). It's always fun to show off Boston a little bit! My husband was head tour guide on Friday while I worked, taking them for bagel sandwiches at Magnificent Muffin, a Sam Adams tour, towering pastrami sandwiches at Sam LaGrassa's, and finally a little walking tour in the pouring rain of some of the Freedom Trail and Harvard Square.

That evening, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at Green Street Grill and a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. They played a little-performed rendition of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" arranged by Stokowski (rather than the popular Ravel arrangement) that was phenomenal. The final movement, "The Great Gate of Kiev," gave me chills.
Saturday morning, we drove up to the North Shore.  At Woodman's of Essex, we indulged in a fried feast: creamy and light clam chowder chock full of clams, fried hushpuppy-like clam cakes, perfectly battered whole belly clams that tasted of the sea, and chewy, crispy clam strips (my favorite, despite New Englanders' claims that bellies are superior).

On the North Shore you can't go wrong with Woodman's, the Clam Box or J.T. Farnham's. In my humble opinion, the best clams are at Woodman's or the Clam Box, but the friendly folks at Farnham's also serve up delicious fare with a beautiful view to boot.
To walk off our lunch, we spent the afternoon strolling around the fishing village of Rockport, poking around the little shops at Bear Skin Neck, admiring the sea views, and picking our way around piles of lobster traps for a picture with their local landmark, The Motif.
That evening, we made our way back into Boston and meandered through the Boston Public Garden, where the swan boats are back out on the water and the trees are beginning to come alive. The public garden is a special spot to us, the site of our engagement three years ago this month!
For dinner, we went to Eastern Standard. Where else? We spread the gospel of their fantastic food and cocktails to anyone who will listen.  It's our favorite restaurant in town, and we love sharing it with guests. To end the meal, the manager brought us a complimentary mini-cocktail. Due to our shared love of The Martinez, she wanted us to try their spin on it, The Frobisher, using housemade rose vermouth. It was delicious.
Sunday morning we toured the U.S.S. Constitution. She's a majestic ship with towering masts and gleaming woodwork. Her sides, lined with cannons, are so sturdy that they earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides." 
Finally, is there any better way to spend an afternoon than at the ballpark? Fenway Park never fails to create a sense of awe. You can feel the history and the love of the game that are housed within its walls. The press box lined with pennants dating back to the early 1900's, the imposing Green Monstah, the little wooden seats from a time when people were smaller, the aged red brick walls, the smell of hot dogs and beer in the air, and the sound of a wooden bat cracking against a baseball is America nostalgia at its best. I'm a Rangers fan through and through, but I love an afternoon at Fenway.
Sunday evening, Jaycie and Donald flew home to Texas, and life returned to normal.  Tired from the busy weekend, we decided to spend Monday, the Patriot's Day holiday, resting in the quiet of our own home.  

Thankfully, we were miles away from the tragic events at the Boston Marathon finish line.  Text messages began pouring in asking if we were ok, so we turned on the news. As the scene unfolded, we sat watching for hours and checking with friends to ensure that everyone was out of harms way.  We feel so blessed to be safe and unharmed, but we are praying for those affected.  And while my heart is heavy for our city, I'm encouraged by the vast outpouring of love both toward my husband and I and toward this great city.
(Image courtesy of Andi on Dribble)

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