Boston Trip: Day Three

This is the third and final post on our trip to Boston. Read more about days one and two. :)

The last day! We got up early, packed up our stuff and hit the town. Our flight was leaving at 6 pm, so we wanted to be sure to get everything off our list early in order to make it to the airport in time.

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We grabbed coffee and breakfast at Sorelle, a coffee shop along the harbor in Charlestown, then walked to the North End to rent bikes for the day.

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We rented from Urban Adventures (part of our Go Boston pass… read more about that on day one). We told them we wanted to bike to Harvard, so they gave us a map and showed us the route to take. Apparently we made one wrong turn and quickly got lost in the middle of downtown Boston (on a weekday). So that made for an adventure! What should have taken ten minutes to get to the Charles River trail took about forty. But finally, after looking like idiots on the sidewalks of Boston, we found the trail. :)

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Once we got on the trail, we were smooth sailing.

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It was one of those times when you are having so much fun, the scenery is so beautiful and the weather is so perfect that you get nostalgic before the moment is even over.

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Our destination was Harvard, which took about five miles along the Charles River trail. I was so excited when we arrived! I felt just like Rory Gilmore did when Loralai snuck her away to see the campus. :) J and I walked around a little bit, went into a few shops and visited the Natural History Museum.

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Then we stopped for lunch at Tasty Burger. While we were there I pointed out to J that they sold Cheerwine (a North Carolina-based soft drink, for all you Yankees out there). Someone sitting nearby heard and asked if we were from the South and we learned he is from Asheville and knows J’s aunt. What a small world!

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After lunch we walked around a little more and then biked back to Boston, which felt so much faster this time. :)

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We dropped off our bikes, got some gelato and sat on a patio near a park (not sure what the park is called, but it was right near the highway on the outside of North End and near Haymarket).

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Like all good things, this trip finally came to an end. We walked back to Charlestown, packed our bags and headed for the airport. I was so sad to say goodbye to our beautiful home away from home for the past few days!

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I’m so happy we chose Boston to visit. It was really fun going to a place neither of us knew much about before. I was obsessed with how quaint the whole city and surrounding towns were, and was impressed with how clean it was. We both we were really surprised at how small the city felt and how easy it was to get around on foot. I am also really happy we visited in mid-June, the weather was perfect. I am sure the whole place feels completely different covered in snow after months of subzero temps.

My favorite thing we did was the bike ride on Monday, and J’s by far was the Red Sox game. Next time, I’d like to visit the Sam Adams brewery, go paddle boarding on the Charles River, and explore more small New England towns surrounding the area. But since we just had three days, I’m pretty happy with all we were able to do and have no regrets.

It is nice to be home, but we had such a great time I’m dreaming of our next getaway. Any recommendations?! :)

Boston Trip: Day Two

This is post two of three on our trip to Boston. Read more about day one here. :) 

We decided to take our time on Sunday morning, since we got up really earlier the day before. On recommendation from our host, we walked to the Grasshopper Cafe for brunch, just a block from where we were staying. It was a quaint little diner, and so delicious! There were a lot of families celebrating Father’s Day.

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After breakfast we walked to the Museum of Science and booked a Duck Tour. While we waited for our tour to begin we walked around the museum, which was surprisingly very interesting! I hear science and think Boooooring but I actually wished we had more time to walk through the exhibits. But by 11 am we loaded up the bus/boat with a lot of other families and hit the road and water.

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I’ll be the first to admit — guided tours are super cheesy. I am not one for organized fun. But when you are in a city for just three days, this is such an easy and quick way to see everything. Our tour guide was hilarious and I loved learning fun facts about such a historic city.

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After the tour, we walked back to Charlestown. Unbeknownst to us, Sunday was Bunker Hill Day, a day when the town of Charlestown celebrates the battle of Bunker Hill. Since we were staying Charlestown, J and I picked up salads at Whole Foods and sat on the curb on Main Street to watch the parade.

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Restaurants and shops closed for the afternoon and brought out chairs for people to watch. Everyone in the town had barbecues and decorated their homes with flags to celebrate. It was so fun! I’ve never seen a parade last so long!

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Once the parade was coming to a close, we decided to trek back into Boston for the remainder of the day. The Freedom Trail is a marked path that runs throughout Boston alongside historical sites, and ends in Charlestown at Bunker Hill. So we decided to walk the trail in reverse, starting from where we were staying until the start at Boston Commons, the large park where it begins.

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We continued to follow the trail and stopped to walk through Quincy Market and watch a street performance in front of  Faneuil Hall. It should also be mentioned that the weather was absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to bottle it up!

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Our goal was to walk the Freedom Trail, but our destination was Cheers, the bar that inspired the TV show and across the street from the park. When J and I first got married, we would watch Cheers on Netflix almost every night before bed (I’m pretty sure I never saw a full episode because they always put me to sleep… sometimes even before the theme song ended!). So since Sam and Diana and the gang are like old friends, we knew we wanted to stop by and have a drink at the bar.

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We ordered a Sam Adams, naturally. :)

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After our drinks we walked through the Boston Commons garden and back up to the North End for dinner. One of my favorite parts of this trip was the option to walk everywhere. We only took the subway twice (to/from the Red Sox game on Saturday), and walked everywhere else. This made us pretty tired by the end of the day, but it also helped us feel less guilty about the decadent meals we ate. Especially since we both are trying to lose a few pounds this summer. ;)

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We couldn’t decide on what to do for dinner. Boston is known for good Italian, Irish and seafoods. Since we had eaten at a pub the night before, so we wanted either seafood or Italian, and decided to find somewhere that had both. That didn’t help narrow down our results, though, because there are sooo many delicious restaurants that had both! I also didn’t want a pretentious restaurant (you know, the ones that seem to be trying a little too hard), but somewhere popular enough for good atmosphere. After walking the cozy streets of North End, we ended up at Dolce Vita.

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(Ha, we both look a little tired!) YUM. What an amazing dinner! It had the originality I was looking for (the owner was out and about welcoming guests), the atmosphere was great, and the food was delish. After dinner we walked to Mike’s Pastry and got a cannoli to go. We were way too full to enjoy it right after dinner.

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After dinner, we were full, exhausted and decided to walk back to Charlestown to spend the rest of the evening at the apartment. The walk from North End to Charlestown is so pretty.

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We got back to the apartment around 9:00 and watched The Town, which our hosts had in the apartment available to watch. The Town was filmed and based in Charlestown, so it was really neat to watch it and see the places we had been to earlier that day. And of course I fell asleep during the movie because we had walked everywhere that day. :)

Up next: Bike rides, Harvard, Cheerwine, and gelato. 

Boston Trip: Day One

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re probably aware I went to Boston this past weekend… you know, considering I flooded your feed with photos from my trip. ;) Well, if you can’t get enough, here are more for you to see. This is one of those posts that is more for me to reference and remember later than for anyone else’s benefit. But if you’re from Boston and want to give a shout out, or are taking a trip there soon and want to see what we managed to do in three day (spoiler alert, it’s a lot), then pay attention. Otherwise, feel free to skip this post. :)

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J and I planned this trip in February, when our calendar was still fairly blank and we were longing for an adventure in the summer. Our criteria for picking a city included:

a) Somewhere neither of us have never been before.
b) Somewhere in the same timezone, since we only had a long weekend.
c) Where no one we know lives. (We love our friends/family, but really didn’t want to feel obligated to visit anyone on our trip).
d) Somewhere not hot in June. (This ruled out all of the South.)

Boston was a match.

We left Raleigh Saturday morning very early and landed around 8:30 to give us the whole day to explore. We used Uber* to get from the airport to the apartment where we stayed, and it was so easy! We had a promo code for our way to and from the airport, so we only had to pay tip for our transportation to/from the airport. Highly recommend. *(Disclosure: This is a referral link, and you can get $10 off your first ride using promo code uberprettypennies.)

We decided to book our lodging with Airbnb* instead of using a hotel, since it was so much less money and more room. We stayed in this townhome in Charlestown, just a couple of blocks from the Bunker Hill monument. What a sweet little apartment! The couple lives upstairs and were so helpful in orienting us to the neighborhood and giving us tips on where to eat and things to do. It was the perfect location and was so nice to stay in a neighborhood where so many locals live, instead of a big hotel filled with out of town guests. *(Disclosure: this is a referral link, and you will receive $25 credit when you book using that link). 

We also bought a three-day Go Boston pass in order to get as much out of our trip as possible. The pass was a little expensive ($220 total), but we bought it months before the trip so it didn’t feel such a burden. After the trip we added up all that we would have paid, and saved over $130 by using the pass. All of the attractions we did on our trip were free with the pass, so all we really had to spend money on was transportation and food while we were there.

After we dropped off our bags, we walked into Boston, which took just 20 minutes following the Freedom Trail into the North End.

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The day started off misty and cloudy. We walked down to the aquarium, then to the Seaport District to tour the contemporary art museum, then back up to the North End for lunch.

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A friend on Facebook had recommended Regina’s Pizza, so we went there for lunch. Oh my word I’m still thinking about that meal. It was seriously the best pizza I’ve ever had, and I don’t think it was because I was starving.

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After eating the entire 10″ Classico (yep, we ate the whole thing), we walked around the North End and toured Paul Revere’s house. The weather started to clear up (yay!) and it was so nice to take in such a lovely and historic city. Having 70-degree weather sure helped. ;)

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We took the subway down to the Museum of Fine Arts and toured its huge halls. It was a really impressive art museum! We only went to a fraction of the exhibits, but really enjoyed it. IMG_1239We got tickets to a Red Sox game for J’s birthday, so we walked a few blocks from the art museum to Fenway Park for the 4pm game. We had amazing seats near the third base… and it was really nice to finally sit after walking around town all day. :) Going to Fenway Park was on J’s bucket list, so he was like a little kid the whole time. Sadly they lost, but it was still a lot of fun. Nothing like going to a baseball game in the summer!IMG_1241 IMG_1252IMG_1242

After the game ended we took the subway to Charlestown, dropped of our bags at our apartment and walked to Warren Tavern for dinner. It is one of the oldest pubs in America, and was so cozy and charming.

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And thus ends our first day.

Up Next: Duck tours, Bunker Hill Parade, Boston Commons, and Cheers!

Dining Room Inspiration

One of my goals this summer is to finally decorate my dining room. I’ve been talking about it for months now, and it’s time to make some changes!

The room is a little awkward because it’s square and open on three sides, so the space for a table is quite small. When the table has two leaves and opened all the way to seat 8+, it’s hard to walk around to get to/from the adjoining rooms.

Here’s what the room looks like today:

dining room, before^View from the hallway. Yes, we only have five chairs, and they don’t match. dining room, before^View from the corner. The room opens up to the hallway and into our family room. The rest of the house has a lot of blue/gray undertones so I think painting will go a long way in improving this room! Also, photobomb by the lovely Leia. :) dining room, before^View from the office, with french doors that can be closed to make it cozier. The table isn’t centered because it would block off the walkway from the kitchen. I’ve tried to put the table the other way and it also has its own challenges.

Can you tell why I’m eager to redecorate it?! Right now this room is pretty blah, but I think it has great potential.

Here’s my dining room inspiration:

Dining Room Inspiration

WALLS: Dark blue walls with a bright white wainscoting around the base.There was a sale on paint over Memorial Day, so I went ahead and got the top coat. I debated against peacock blue, dark teal, and even chalkboard black, but ended up choosing Sherwin Williams’ Smoky Blue, color-matched to Behr’s premium ultra paint. I’m not one who gets the hankering to repaint every season, so I think this color will be more timeless than the others I considered. Now I just gotta build up my courage to DIY wainscoting, and I can get started. Eeks! Those tutorials look intimidating!

CURTAINS: The giant window is one of my favorite parts of the room, and I’d love to frame it with beautiful curtains. I’m thinking either plain white or a simple graphical print in navy or gray, hung high and wide. I love West Elm or World Market‘s curtains, but I may find some fabric and make them.

HUTCH: First option, paint the hutch in chalk paint or refinish to have a rustic look. The other option is to take off the top part and just keep the base since it’s a pretty dominating piece in a small room. Then I could create a bar with hanging shelves and glasses on the wall, or just put a huge piece of art over it. Last option would be to sell this hutch and buy a new one. (What do you think?) Picture above found via Better Homes and Gardens.

ART: Once the room is painted and curtains are picked out, I will have a better idea of what art to place on the walls. But I am thinking something fun, happy and subtle. Art shown above: Out to Sea by Carolyn MacLaren. If Her Heart Could Sing by Christina Baker. And Lluvia by Michelle Armas (not available anymore – boo!).

LIGHTING: I’m not crazy about our light fixture, but I’m not in any rush and am determined to work with what I have for now. But, if I am dreaming here, I’d get a bentwood pendant from West Elm. :)

TABLE: I have two ideas. First, getting a round table to center the room, like this West Elm 60″ one I’m swooning for:

West Elm Arc Base Pedestal Table

Or use what we have, paint / stain it, push it against the window with a bench for more room and center the light fixture over the table.  Until then, I will most likely use what I have until I find either a nice round table or gorgeous tufted bench for a good price.

SEATING: One of my favorite things in all the world is lingering around the dining table with friends, long after the meal is over. That’s much more likely to happen if the seating is comfortable! I love the idea of doing a bench (I am eyeing this upholstered loveseat from Target) or upholstered chairs. But even uncomfortable seating can be so expensive! Hopefully I can score some on Craigslist or at Yard Sales.

So that’s the inspiration.  I’ll keep you posted on what changes this summer! :)

PS – If you’re curious, here’s what the house looked like the day we bought it.



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