Boston and Other East Coast Adventures

For those who somehow missed it—we went to Boston! (See previous post about why we went!)

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Massachusetts State House with a gold dome

Thursday night we did about the most Boston thing we could do—watch the Patriots play Thursday Night Football. Sadly, we were not at Gillette. Also sadly: The Patriots lost. But I’ve heard something about how the last three season openers that they’ve lost, the Patriots have gone on to win the Super Bowl that year. Gosh, it must be tough to be a Pats  fan.

Friday we were tourists. We had brunch off of Newbury Street, walked through the Boston Commons and Public Garden and saw American Idol auditions going on, and then went on a Duck Boat Tour.

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Brunch at Stephanie’s
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I am a sucker for willow trees and ponds. Thanks, Pocahontas and Grandmother Willow.
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Beautiful day in the park. George Washington looking stately.
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Oh hey, American Idol! Back so soon?

Guys, I had been on a Duck Boat Tour back in the 8th or 9th grade, but I couldn’t remember much about them. I had no idea if it would be completely lame or pretty interesting.

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I forgot to get a picture of us in front of the Duck Boat, but that was ours!
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On the Duck Boat! We had great seats right up front.

It was the latter! I really enjoyed our tour through the city. We learned so much and our guide was great! First of all, he was wearing “Minions” shorts, okay? Like, he’s awesome. Secondly, he had a great voice for something like this. Not annoying at all.  And finally, he really knew his stuff, but made it fun too.

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Seriously, he was awesome.

Boston is a really cool city. It is incredibly easy to get around, but doesn’t feel cramped or dirty like New York. At least, not in the areas that we were in.

Saturday we had some fun at the aquarium, but honestly, I could probably skip that in the future (and the $40 parking for 2 hours). What I’m more interested in are the Whale Tours. Yeah, you can actually see whales just a little ways off the coast. So cool.

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The Aquarium

But the highlight of our trip was certainly meeting Julian Edelman, Patriots Wide Receiver and Hunk. We may have waited 3 hours before we actually got to see him, but he was worth the wait.

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Waiting in line for Julian. We were towards the front, actually…

Julian had a lot of people to see (and was an hour late—I blame the driver), so he didn’t have much time to chit-chat. But when he looked up and saw Jack, he lit up and wanted to know all about him. He told us about his daughter, who is only a month older than Jack (Julian, seriously, let me know if you want to arrange a play date. We can make that happen!). I will always thank Jack for making that moment super special.

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Look at him looking at Jack!
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That’s ours!

Afterwards, we got to meet up with the majority of Wes’ friends at the Prudential Center. Even though I’ve met most of them once or twice, they are all just the sweetest and most welcoming people. I’m so glad he has such a good friend group.

Sunday morning we had a final brunch with our hosts, Keegan and Courtney. It was so good, and even better when the manager brought Jack a stuffed animal from the hotel’s gift shop for free.

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Jack and his new BFF, Lenox the Frog, named after the hotel

We then trekked outside of the city. Our first stop was Somerville, a small neighborhood outside of Boston. It’s incredibly charming, and if we were ever to live up there, I could absolutely see us there. Wes’ friend, Derek, hosted us for some NFL viewing, but then we had to be on our way.

The next stop was in the town of Waltham for Wes to get his favorite sandwich ever—the Beef Teriyaki sandwich at Carl’s. This place is literally a shack, there’s no seating or anything, and we were there at like a really weird hour, like 3:30. But I’m telling you what, there were like 5 people getting sandwiches at that time, which if you saw where this place is, you’d be surprised. I got a burrito, and dang, was that good.

We watched the Panthers game with the super sweet and hospitable DeFrancescos. They were the best. Once again, I am so grateful for Wes’ wonderful friends and their families. Charlie’s nephews were over, and Jack got to play with Ryan, the younger brother. He was so nice to share his jumper!

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Friends in the making!

Dinner was amazing ravioli (seriously, I’ve never had pasta so good) and delicious apple crisp for dessert. I’m so glad we got to spend time with them.

That night (our final night in Boston) was spent at the Ashley’s, the childhood home of our Best Man, Keegan. I have met Daryl and Mary Ashley three times—our wedding, our trip to Boston in 2016, and then this past trip. I have never felt like I’ve known a family for such a long time when I’ve only known them a short amount of time like this one (I really hope that just made sense!). I love them. So warm, so funny, such good cooks… Just good people. I wish they lived closer!

Monday we started south. I was nervous about having to drive by NYC, but we didn’t have too much traffic to deal with. It was a long day. Jack was not as good this time around. He’d had a long week. We had to stop a lot.

I have never been so happy to pull into a hotel parking lot. We stayed in Laurel, MD, that night as we were planning to go to the Zoo in DC the next day. We had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant that was within walking distance of our hotel. Someone had two giant margaritas. That was not me. And of course, we watched Monday Night Football.

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Margs were a great way to end that Monday

Tuesday we got up and went to the Zoo. It’s free! And it’s awesome! So many great animals to see. It was mainly moms with strollers and little kids and then runners. Yes, people run through the Zoo. Um, how awesome would it be if we had a Zoo we could just run through whenever we wanted?

 

We also got to see another of Wes’ friends, who is currently working in DC. Bekah was kind enough to meet us for like 10 minutes in a park before we had to race away because of traffic. We barely made it. At 2pm. No seriously, we still sat in some traffic. I couldn’t believe it.

We made it in time for our 5pm dinner in Newport News, VA, to see my mom’s aunts and uncles. It was so good to catch up with everyone. It had been way too long, and I won’t let it be that long again. I love being with others who knew her so well. And I am so happy they got to meet Jack 🙂

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Jack with my Great-Aunt Diane. She has a grandson named Jack, too!

The plan had originally been to get home that night, but we were almost 6 hours away, and I just couldn’t do it. We got a hotel in Durham, right off of 85. It was a great call.

We left the next morning around 9, and were home before noon. It was a long trip. But it was a good one.

What are my takeaways from this experience?

  • Visiting Boston in September is far superior to visiting in January
  • DC is worth a trip all on its own
  • Traveling takes a bigger toll on me than I remember
  • Wes has the best friends ever, and I wish they would all move down here
  • Julian Edelman is even more attractive in person (how is that possible?!)
  • Pasta is way better when cooked by someone with Italian heritage
  • I’m definitely looking forward to visiting Boston again and again!
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One of our many stops that Monday, but they were worth this picture of my sweet boy

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