Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Back from Boston

Hello Friends!

I am back from my short hiatus and mini-vacation to Boston.  Eliot and I had a great time reconnecting with our friends.  I also appreciated the opportunity to take a few days to catch my breath and collect myself after last week.

We had been planning this weekend trip for a while now.  Katie, Eliot and I drove down to Boston to spend Saturday and Sunday hanging out with Nico and Anthony.  We didn't really have much planned, except for where we wanted to eat!  (Katie and I really missed some of our favorite restaurants from our college days when I lived right in the city.)

Saturday morning we left Maine for Boston and then took the commuter rail into the city. Nico had gotten us tickets for the Museum of Science and they were only good for Saturday, so we figured we should do that first.  We met Nico at the North Station and headed over to the museum.  (Anthony had to work until mid-afternoon so he was going to meet us for dinner.)

We had a ton of fun at the Museum of Science (MOS).  We used to go there all the time since we could get discounted tickets as college students.  We hit up our favorites like the Theater of Electricity show, the model exhibit (my favorite), the rock and mineral section (Katie's favorite), and the dinosaurs.

While we were waiting for the electricity show to start, Eliot and Nico found this cool design concept board for a Pixar Exhibit!  That would be an awesome exhibit!

The museum had also recently opened two new exhibits: one about the human body and another one about food.  The food exhibit was a lot of fun.  It started with a short movie about how we get our food from farmers, other countries and new gardening techniques. We all really enjoyed the fruit and vegetable chairs we got to sit on.

Then it had tons of little models about farming and agriculture.  I found an awesome model that looked like Spaceship Earth!  It was really cool.  

Then we saw this giant clear container of the average amount of food that an American family of four wastes each year.  (It was probably at least 12 feet tall.  My pictures don't do it justice.)  It's really sad when you think about how others elsewhere are starving. Eliot and I are really careful about the amount of garbage we throw out.  And we always have more in our recycle bin versus our trash bin.  Some of our neighbors don't even put their recycling bin out for the collectors but there's multiple extra bags of trash that they have to pay for each week.  Ugh. 

After the food exhibit, we all realized how hungry we were so it was time for lunch!  We ate in the cafe area with a beautiful view of Boston and the Charles River.

Afterwards, we headed for the new human body exhibit.  It had a lot of updated technology which was nice.  You could get a wristband and then use the barcode on it to take "tests" at different stations.  We took turns playing around with that for quite a while. Eventually, we decided we should get going if we wanted to make it to our dinner reservations at 6:00.

We met up with Anthony and headed over to Cambridge to Fire + Ice.  Fire and Ice was always one of my all time favorite Boston experiences.  In fact, I actually celebrated my 21st, 23rd, and 24th birthdays there!  It's buffet style where you take your food to a centrally located huge Mongolian grill and the chefs cook everyone's food right in front of them.  It's so popular that we couldn't even get reservations at the Boston location, but thankfully the Cambridge one had plenty of space!

It was a great night.  My cousin Karen was also able to meet up with us and I'm glad I got to visit with her.  The new dinner rolls were amazing and we kept asking for more.  The food was great as always.  I chose the mesquite barbecue sauce and my meal was delicious.  Katie, Eliot and I also split a giant Ice Bowl.  (Don't drink it too fast, or you'll experience your own personal earthquake... ha ha.)  And I had ice cream for dessert.  I was completely stuffed when we left, but it was totally worth it!

We said goodbye to my cousin and killed some time at the bookstore while Nico and Anthony waited for their bus.  (We missed our earlier train and had about 2.5 hours before the next one.)  I bought a Disney book to read while we were waiting at the station.  After Nico and Anthony got on their bus, we went to North Station and I started to quiz myself with my new Lots To Do In Line Disneyland book.  I actually did pretty well considering it's something you're supposed to do it when you're physically in line at the parks.  (The bookstore didn't have the WDW version, or I would have been all over that!)

Finally, we got to the hotel, checked in and passed out.  Sunday, Katie and I got up and enjoyed the continental breakfast.  Eliot and I decided to go for a quick swim before getting ready for another day in the city.  The last time we went swimming was when we were at Typhoon Lagoon in January.  I really miss swimming!  Then we got ready and drove into the city.  (We didn't want to take the train Sunday.  When we were ready to leave Boston and drive home, we could without having to wait on the train schedule.)

We parked at Wentworth, Eliot's and my college.  Eliot and I wanted to see the progress on the new residence hall that they were building.  We were shocked at how far it had come along.  I wasn't expecting to see a full shell of a building where the park used to be!

We took the subway, or "T", into the city to Park Street so we could start walking at the beginning of the Freedom Trail.  Unfortunately, Sunday was the colder of the two days and it was in the 50's while we were at the MOS Saturday.  Also, we all completely forgot about the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  The T and the city was covered in green shirts, hats, necklaces, etc.  And I don't think I've ever been so smooshed on the subway... like ever.

Finally, Katie, Eliot and I made it to the Freedom Trail.  Nico was in "MBTA hell" as he put it. He kept missing connecting buses and was running really late because of the parade traffic. We decided that we'd start walking the trail without him, or we'd freeze while waiting for him. We only went from the Massachusetts State House to Faneuil Hall.  But we saw a lot of the sites along the way.  We took pictures at the State House and visited the burial sites of Mother Goose, Samuel Adams and the Boston Massacre victims.  By the time we got to Faneuil Hall we were really cold.

We actually went to Quincy Market to get warmed up, use the bathrooms and snack on corn dogs to tide us over.  It was definitely a nice break from the cold!  Man, is it spring yet?!!?  Afterwards, I had to go into the Build-A-Bear store there.  They always have cool Boston stuff that you never see anywhere else.  I didn't get anything, but I did see the new Disney Princess Pet line in person for the first time.

We met up with Nico a few minutes later and announced that we'd had enough of the Freedom Trail.  It's better to do in the spring or fall when the temperatures are moderate. Instead, we headed back toward Copley Square where Katie wanted to visit Trinity Church.  We met up with Anthony and took a few photos there before checking out the bookstore.  Then, we headed for Sunday's main event: The Cheesecake Factory!

I absolutely love the Cheesecake Factory.  It's probably what I miss most about living in Massachusetts.  The closest one is about an hour and a half away.  We don't even have one in Maine or New Hampshire.  (Dear Cheesecake Gods, please get on that!)  I looked at the menu long enough to make sure that they still had what I wanted: Stuffed Mushrooms and the Thai Lettuce Wraps.  Still There?  Yes?  Done looking at menu!

The meal was absolutely amazing.  I finished it with half a slice of Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake!  Yum!!!  (The rest of it came home with me and it was fabulous.)  After our lunch/dinner, we headed back to our car and said our goodbyes to Nico and Anthony. I'm really glad that we got to spend time with them and reconnect.  It was a great weekend trip and we had a really good time.  But the fun wasn't over yet for me and Katie!

On Monday, Katie and I attended the New England Made show in Portland.  Her store sent her there to experience her first show.  There were over 250 vendors there and it was a little bit overwhelming for both of us at first.  But we jumped in and made a plan to walk though the entire show.  After spending about 3 hours making our way around all of the booths, we stopped for a quick lunch.  Afterwards, we made a plan, went back to a few of the booths, got more information and then headed home.  (We had a Catching Fire movie night planned for that evening!)

It was fun and I'm really glad I was able to go.  Katie didn't want to go by herself.  Since she was staying with us, she convinced her boss to let me attend it with her!  I learned a lot about the other side of the business as a buyer.  My grandparents had their store in Bar Harbor for years.  But I never experienced the "buyer" side.  They already had the companies they worked with and ordered products from, and I'm not sure if they ever attended a buyer show.  (Side note: we weren't allowed to take any pictures at the show; hence the lack of photos in this section!)  

There were so many incredible products there.  I'm a sucker for quality handmade items to begin with.  It was awesome to see vendors from all over Maine and New England!  I got some great gift ideas while I was there!  Thankfully, all the vendors' websites are in the event guide we got.  It'll be a lot easier to track down the products I loved when it's time to go Christmas shopping!

Going to the show also helped me refocus on my dreams.  It was inspiring to see all of the successful small businesses.  Now that I've had a few days to regroup, I'm back and ready to get to business.  I've got more hat ideas for my store.  I've got multiple projects that I'm working on for my blog.  And I've got a lot of ideas that I want to work on!  I feel like I've been in a creative rut for the past few weeks.  It's definitely good to be back!

And as always, I want to thank you guys.  Thank you all for your kind words, prayers and thoughts last week in regards to my grandmother's passing.  You really are the best.  °o°


  1. We are taking our little one to Build a Bear soon!! I hope she picks a palace she will most likely pick a pony if they are still there!

    1. Yes, the palace pets and the ponies are both really cute! This is when I kinda wish we had kids now... but that'll be down the road. Besides, I'm "kid" enough to appreciate Build-A-Bear and it's wonders. I'll probably be going back soon for some Easter clothes... he he. ;-)