********************Do you ever wonder what you might change if you had the chance to go back and maybe do something different with your life? You know - the old "If I weren't married with a spouse, 2.3 kids, and a mortgage, I would love to do ..." or "If I had the chance to live my life over, I'd do this instead of that" ... those sorts of things? I'm sure that most of us do it from time to time and I have to admit that I was quite guilty of just that very thing while walking around in Boston yesterday as many times over I thought, "If I could do a few things over, I'd have moved to Boston and lived here."
I don't say that in too many cities as I'm not really a city kind of gal but Boston just kind of inspires that (the only other city I can think of that I ever said that about was San Francisco). You will never ever ever hear me say that in regards to New York City or Los Angeles as those places are just too overwhelming but I could see myself living happily in a brownstone in Boston or an old Victorian house in San Francisco. Well, let me amend that, I might have been able to see myself doing those things had I not chosen the path I chose. Now they are just places to visit and enjoy and hopefully get back to once in awhile.
Obviously it has been way too many years since I've been to San Francisco (I believe my last trip there was in 2002) but I sure did enjoy my trip to Boston yesterday despite the blisters on my feet today and the deplorable overload of carbohydrates I consumed while there! I figure I'll get over both and at least I know I'm dragging around like I need another eight hours of sleep because I actually did something fun for a change! I'll get over that, too, eventually!
Despite the fact that August in New England is generally too danged hot and too danged humid, yesterday turned out to be the perfect day to go to Boston (a little less wind would have been nice but I'm not complaining!). From the time I got off the "T" in South Station to the time I got back on the "T" in Haymarket Square, I had a wonderful time and managed to accomplish the two goals that I had set for myself - a visit to the Cheers bar and a cannoli!
The day started out with a walk down Newbury Street which runs from Boston Public Gardens out towards Fenway Park. The street is home to hundreds of historic 19th-century brownstones that contain an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants and is credited as being one of the three most expensive streets in all of the United States right after Fifth Avenue in New York City and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. The only store we stopped in was the original Newbury Comics,which was founded in 1976 by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, as Amanda was hoping for an issue of "Jelly Fist" by Juan Vasquez but much to her dismay, there were none.
After hiking all the way back up to Boston Public Gardens we watched the Swan Boats while relaxing on a bench under a weeping willow before heading over to Beacon Street and the site of the original Cheers bar. Obviously it was a popular tourist spot so we stayed only long enough to take a couple of pictures before grabbing a taxi and heading for Quincy Market where we ate lunch at the Cheers over there. It was good but there was pretty much nothing on the menu that was going to easily fit into my low-carb lifestyle so I said to hecks with it and dived into a bowl of some of the best New England style clam chowder I'd had in awhile - yummy! I had to beat down some of the guilt with a Screaming Viking, a drink that was invented by Norm on an episode of Cheers to play a trick on a know-it-all bartender named Wayne. It has since become a real drink (obviously!) and is made from a combination of vodka, dry vermouth, and lime juice.
More walking after lunch brought us over to the North End and Little Italy where I was bound and determined to have a cannoli while fighting back a compulsion to say "hey yo - fuggedaboutit!" every two minutes! The one bakery that I had wanted to go to, Mike's Pastry, was apparently the one bakery that everyone else wanted to go to also as the line was out the door and down the road. My feet weren't too thrilled with the idea of standing in a long line even for the best cannoli in Boston so instead we walked down a little further to a lovely little cafe where I relaxed with a delicious cafe latte and a scrumptious canolli that certainly helped to ease the throbbing in my feet! Don't ask me how eating a cannoli can help with foot pain, I just know it did! Must be some miracle properties in the ricotta cream filling!
After more walking around a little bit we decided to call it a day and headed to Haymarket Square and caught the "T" back out to Alewife where I had parked the car. Before leaving I made sure to give my one-day ride pass to a person who was waiting in line to buy a ticket as I figured it was still good and I wasn't going to be using it so why not let someone else enjoy a free ride? I doubt the Massachusetts Transit Board would be too happy with me but hey - what's the difference between me riding and someone else doing it? My point exactly so fuggedaboutit!
All in all it was a great day with beautiful weather in a beautiful city that I definitely need to get to more often as there is so much more there to see and do. It would take me over a day just to see all of the historic sites I'd like to see and even though I've walked the Freedom Trail once, I'd love to do it again sometime as after all, part of it goes through Little Italy where cannolis are in plentiful supply!