Tuesday, June 27, 2017

12 Hours In Boston

12 Hours In Boston
Last week, we were scheduled to return from Nantucket at 6:30pm after having a quick layover in Boston. Our ACK to BOS flight was delayed and then our BOS to PIT flight was cancelled. If you know me, I'm very much a planner. I'm type A and if I am going on a trip, I always research. I like to find out everything I can before doing pretty much anything and I love to make plans and reservations well in advance.

This was one of those life situations where you just kind of have to buckle up and go with the flow. We ended up landing in Boston at 6pm and then our flight out the next morning was at 6am. So we were literally only in the city for 12 hours! 

Peyton and I had never been to Boston before. It's always been on my list, but I've never really had 'reason' to go there before. So while we were bummed about our cancelled flight, we turned lemons into lemonade and made the best of exploring a new-to-us city! 

It was so weird to me not knowing anything about the city. At. All. I quickly texted my friend, Aly, who is from Boston and she gave me a quick little rundown. Then, I turned to Snapchat and all of you were SO helpful. I probably got 100 messages all with amazing recommendations. Thank you all so much for your help and guidance... I can't tell you how much we appreciated it. Needless to say, I am going to need to make a trip back, ASAP! 

omni parker house boston room

omni parker house boston

omni parker house boston in lilly pulitzer

So here is what we did... We first checked into our hotel, the Omni Parker House. I knew nothing about Boston hotels, but as soon as I saw 'Omni', I knew we would be in good hands. The location of the hotel is ideal. It's right in the middle of everything and we were able to walk everywhere we went right from our hotel. As soon as we walked in, we loved the gorgeous lobby with all of the old school wood paneling, beautiful chandeliers and gilded brass doors and elevators. We were so happy to be able to unload our luggage and freshen up a bit before hitting the pavement. 

One of the things I think that is really incredible about Boston is the rich history. It reminded me a lot of Philadelphia in regard to all of the older buildings and architecture. I later found out that our hotel, the Omni Parker House is the longest continuously operating hotel in the country. Within our hotel, there was a museum because of the role the property played in Boston's history. The restaurant, Parker House is where Parker House rolls and Boston Cream Pie were created and in 1953, it was the spot where JFK proposed to Jackie O.


quincy market boston
After we dropped off our things in our room, Peyton and I headed out towards Quincy Market. We quickly passed through the market. There were lots of little food booths and retail stores like Banana Republic, etc. The area was beautiful, but felt very touristy with so many people (it was crowded kind of like Times Square!!!). So we decided to head for the water. 

boston harbor

boston harbor

When we finally reached the water, we took a moment to soak it all in. The views were amazing with all of the boats docked in their slips. Not to mention, there were some live musicians, a lot of active people doing a zumba class in a well manicured field. I also loved the beautiful archways lit with twinkle lights that you can see in one of the photos above.

It was warm and sunny so it was the absolute perfect night to be out and about, and especially by the water! By this time, we had worked up an appetite. That's when I turned to Snapchat and asked for recommendations on where to eat. Almost all of you recommended eating in the North End area of the city, so we knew that must be the place to go!

north end boston

antico forno boston north end
We mazed through the North End, wandering around all over, until we found the few streets that are just lined with cute little Italian restaurants. Many of you suggested Giacomo's, Mamma Maria, Al Dente, Lucca, Taranta, and Coppa. A lot of the places recommended were too crowded to get into or we felt underdressed, so we came across (and a reader recommended) Antico Forno. Holy cow, was this place incredible. It's unassuming from the exterior and you walk inside and are greeted with the most wonderful smells which reminded me of the Sunday night pasta dinners we would have at my Italian grandmother's house when she was alive. We ordered a pizza and pasta to share. So good. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are in Boston! 

So many of you recommended Mike's Pastry but I also got a lot of recommendations for Modern Pastry. Many of you said that Mike's is too touristy and Modern Pastry is the real deal. Peyton and I don't really care for Cannoli's and the lines at both were outrageous (we were working with very limited time), so we decided to skip out on that, but next time, I definitely want to at least try a famous cannoli! 
sail boston tall ships 2017

sail boston tall ships 2017

sail boston tall ships 2017
After dinner, we headed to the Seaport District. Very conveniently, Sail Boston was going on. This is when tall ships (think Pirates of the Caribbean style) are on a transatlantic sailing trip and stop at various ports around the world. Boston is the only port that hosts the ships in the US and this was the first time in 17 years that they hosted the Parade of Sail. Peyton and I felt really lucky that we just happened upon this really cool event! 

We actually got to go on one of the ships from Peru (hence the embarrassing photo of me above). After Boston, one of the sailors said they were heading to Canada. The vessels were all huge and so beautifully lit up. Some of the ships had private parties on the decks and they looked like so much fun!

As soon as we got off the ship, it started to downpour and we realized we needed to get back to the Omni Parker House to get some sleep before our 4am wakeup call. We were hot, sweaty, and getting rained on... so needless to say, we were SO happy to return to a comfortable bed and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. All-in-all, we only really had 4 hours to explore, but we felt like we got to see a lot... we ended up walking 16,000+ steps!! I can't wait to make a trip back because there is so much more to see and do! 


susan said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit, albeit brief and unplanned! On your next visit to the North End, stop at Cafe Vittoria after dinner. Mike's & Modern are both great, but Cafe Vittoria is our favorite. They serve the best cappuccino, the desserts are delicious, and more often than not, you'll hear Frank Sinatra played in the background...

Ashley Vickney said...

So happy you loved Boston! If you come back, try to schedule at least one day on Friday or Monday because it's way less touristy! Sail Boston brought in over 2 million people so that's why it probably was way more crowded!

TLA said...

Hi Sydney, I just wanted to respectfully point out that the information above regarding the Tall Ships America/Tall Ships Challenge is not correct. The Tall Ships were also in Charleston this year (in May), and they were last in Boston in 2015. Here is a link if you or your readers would enjoy more information about the series: http://www.sailtraining.org/tallships/index.php

I'm so glad you had the opportunity to see these beautiful ships! Tall Ships America is a wonderful organization.

SHF said...

Antico Forno was one of my favourite restaurants when I visited Boston, so I'm glad that someone recommended it to you! Boston is such a fascinating city - there was so much to see and do!

Briana Nicole said...

Great mini travel guide! I love it!


Lauren said...

I need to visit Boston - it's such a wonderful city~


Kayla Pelletier said...

I'd say next time you have to do newberry st and union oyster house!

Lexy said...

I have found your only flaw! Not being a cannoli fan!!! Haha!!! Union Oyster House next time for sure!


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