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My Wicked Ahh-Sim Trip to Bahh-Stin

I’m excited to finally be doing my Boston post! Out of all the cities I visited, Boston was one of the cities that I was most surprised by. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I had a girlfriend meet me for this leg of the trip and it was her first time too! I’m so glad I had someone to explore with and who enjoyed the city as much as I did.

As soon as we landed (we coordinated our flights so they arrived at the same time) we got in an uber to grab a quick bite to eat, then we walked to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few snacks. The Trader Joe’s was less than a mile from our Airbnb so we walked over after we finished shopping (I’ve become a pro at navigating my suitcase over all sorts of landscape and through traffic-please hold all applause until the end of this post).

Our Airbnb was just outside the city in a neighborhood called Brookline and it was such a sweet area. Our place was next to a park and it had a ton of charm. Plus, our room had a sky light and a private balcony with a hammock. I mean, come on!

Once we were settled in, we googled “free things to do in Boston tonight.” I’ve found that searching that phase is a fantastic way to find loads of cool things to do. Even if you find something that isn’t free, often times last minute tickets are discounted.

We ended up attending a solo concert in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library. First off, this was the most beautiful library I had ever been in. It felt like a museum or an old manor. It had so much charm and such intricate detail (more photos to come below).

The artist we saw was named Brandon Diaz and holy moly was he great! He had a fantastic voice and killed it on the piano and guitar. He was the definition of a one man show. The music echoed so beautifully off the walls of the library and it was the perfect way to spend our first night in town.

We got to the show a little early so we decided to explore the library a bit more.

Every room was so charming and quiet, it kind of felt like we were sneaking around somewhere we weren’t supposed to be!

Maybe if Carrie Bradshaw had planned to have her wedding in this library instead, perhaps her marriage to Big would’ve happened the first time- just saying! Stunn-ing!

Fun fact! The Boston Public Library is the oldest lending library in the U.S. I thought that was pretty neat. I’d imagine the little cards with the stamped date on the inside of the cover could be long enough to be a book all on it’s own!

After the concert, we headed to grab some dinner at Otto Pizza. The gluten free one is the top one in the photo and wow, it was delicious! The sauce was super fresh and the crust had a nice, crispy chewy texture. Would definitely recommend it if you’re in the area.

The next day we decided to do a Duck Tour. I had never heard of this before (future Victoria here- there are actually Duck Tours all over the U.S. and not just in Boston like I thought) but it was essentially a bus/boat all in one and it gave you a great perspective of the city, from both land and sea. The guide was a local and literally started off the tour by saying how “wicked ahh-sim” the town was- my friend and I busted out laughing.

You learned all about the history of the city, iconic places to eat and visit, and got to experience the horrendous Boston traffic first hand, in a bus/boat none the less!

We had a great time and agreed it was worth every penny! Definitely check out their website and see if there’s a Duck Tour location in the next city you visit. 🙂

We spent the rest of our day wandering around and exploring downtown. We went down to the haa-buh (yea yea, I’m done) and stopped at different spots along The Freedom Trail. Boston is such a uniquely beautiful city because so many of the buildings downtown are the original brick structures. While there were some high rises, I’d say overall, Boston was one of the cities that maintained so much of its history in it’s architecture.

For lunch we grabbed some bowls to go at Sweet Green. Mine had arugula, sweet potato, brown rice, black beans, corn, cilantro, and citrus shrimp. It was so light and delicious and it would definitely be a regular spot of mine if I had one in my city.

After lunch we stopped by Jugos for a wellness shot. I felt like I was in the beginning stages of a cold so I thought this would help. I loved how flavorful it was, especially for such a small amount. If you don’t love each and every one of those ingredients I would suggest mixing it into a glass of water. My friend tried a sip and almost threw up from the strong taste! Again, I loved it though! They also had smoothies and juices and other wellness items.

The next day we spent in Cambridge. We had planned to walk all around the Harvard campus but it was pouring rain all day. We knew we wanted to try some Boston seafood so we took cover from the rain at Legal Sea Foods.

We started with some friend calamari (gluten free!) to share, and my friend had the chowder (she said it was great). I also had some mint tea because I was freezing from the rain and I knew I could use any debloating assistance since I was about to dive into a carby, salty, gluten free smorgasbord.

I had my first ever lobster roll! They had gluten free rolls (which were good) that I could use in place of the traditional hot dog style bun, so that was a plus. They also gave you a ton of meat, so that was another plus. That being said, with every bite I took I couldn’t help but think how good lobster is on its own and a roll just muddled the flavor. Now maybe my thoughts would be different if I had a traditional, full gluten lobster roll, but I walked away unimpressed. Also, I misread the menu and my meal was a lot pricier than I thought, so that was a bummer on my part! All in all, not the best seafood I’ve had, but nothing was particularly wrong with it. I’d say skip it and try your luck somewhere a little more Mom and Pop.

We also stopped to enjoy a latte at Tatte’s Bakery. Now that was a place I wish we had stopped to eat at! It was so, so busy but every single dish that came out looked better than the last. The staff was very efficient and the location was two stories and had a very homey, rustic feel. I’d definitely stop in for a meal or an afternoon pick-me up if you’re in the area.

While our time in Boston was just a few days during the week, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the city. I now understand why Bostonians are so prideful, they truly do come from such a wonderful place and I think anyone that likes American History, good food, and passionate people would enjoy a trip there.

-V

122 In Uncategorized

Milwaukee for the Night

Remember in the last post how I described my time back and forth from the city, to the suburbs, to Milwaukee, then back to the city? You know- the confusing part? Well this post will be about the twenty-four hour trip my friend, Audra and I took to Milwaukee during the middle of our stay in the suburbs outside of Chicago. We were staying with her family and they only lived about an hour and a half from Milwaukee so we knew we had to make a mini trip out of it!

We got up Monday morning, packed our overnight bags, grabbed some coffee, and hit the road. As soon as we arrived in Milwaukee we decided to grab some lunch on the water at Milwaukee Sail Loft. I had the buffalo wings and sweet potato fries and they hit the spot! After lunch we decided to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

As soon as we got to the museum I was blown away. The first photo in this post is of the exterior and the two above this text are of the main interior once you walk inside. The building was designed by architect, Santiago Calatrava and it my have been my favorite work of art on the property- and that’s saying something since this museum is one of the largest in the country and is home to over 20,000 works of art.

Once we were done taking photos of the building itself (which I thought looked like a futuristic spaceship) we headed in to the temporary exhibit which featured artist Rashid Johnson’s work. His collection was eclectic to say the least, but my favorite would have to be the one you see above. It was a floor to ceiling installation of plants, lights, Shea butter, and random electronics. The coolest part about this installation was that during different periods throughout the day, a pianist would climb up and into this structure and play on the piano that is hidden behind all the plants. You can’t see this from the photo and I barely even noticed it in person! Unfortunately, the pianist wasn’t playing while we were there but I’m sure it’s quite the surprise if you walked in and noticed a man up above you in between all the plants playing music!

Above you can see some more of Rashid’s work. All of his canvas pieces were made from the same materials but each looked vastly different which I thought was quite impressive. This exhibit will be in place until September 17th so I would definitely take the time to stop in and check it out if you’re in the area.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the permanent museum collects and we still didn’t squeeze it all in! There was everything from modern art, to renaissance pieces, to sculptures, as well as interactive rooms. There was truly something for everyone.

After the museum we decided to use the hotel tonight app to find a place to stay. We ended up finding a great deal at one of the oldest hotels in town. We snagged a room at The Pfister for about a third of the original price!

You stepped into the hotel and it was as if you’d went back in time. It was elegant and beautiful and had stunning ceiling portraits and lighting fixtures. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel it’s certainly worth visiting and checking out it’s old time charm. It also has a bar and restaurant on the top floor that gives you a great view of the city!

After checking in we decided to head to Lakefront Brewery. The brewery itself was massive and located right on the water, so you could grab a beer and sit outside and enjoy the weather. While we were there it was a bit gloomy and cold, but that didn’t stop us! Since we visited on a week night, brewery tours were half off! For $4.50 each you get a tour of the facility, four beer samples (equivalent to two full beers) and a pint glass to take home! Our tour guide was hilarious and knew a ton about the company. The owners of Lakefront are actually the men responsible for getting gluten free beer classified as beer (as opposed to a complete separate beverage) and created the first gluten free beer on the market!

We didn’t eat there but they did have a menu consisting of your typical pub fare if you did want to stick around after the tour for a meal. After spending a couple hours at the brewery we decided to grab dinner at Balzac which was a short walk from the brewery. Balzac is a wine bar that serves small, sharable plates and we had a delicious meal! It was very dimly lit so I didn’t get any photos, but we had the roasted broccolini, steak frites, and scampi style shrimp.

The next morning before we drove back to Illinois, we stopped into Cafe Benelux to grab a quick breakfast. I had the oatmeal and a side of bacon and it was so, so good! The oatmeal was cooked to perfection and tasted like Christmas with the cinnamon and cashew topping! It was a super cozy spot and had beautiful dinnerware that I wanted to steal (which you can see above). They also had a rooftop area you could sit in, but it was a bit too cold for that. It would be a great place to grab lunch on a warmer day though!

After breakfast we walked across the street to the Milwaukee Public Market. It was home to many small gourmet shops which had spices, jams, wine, etc and also had a few places to grab a bite to eat. After we were done exploring we hopped in the car and headed home!

Since our trip fell during the beginning of the week the town was pretty quiet, but it was very beautiful and quite clean for a city as well! I only spent one night there so I’d be open to going back for a second visit. If any of you have any recommendations on things to do that I haven’t mentioned, I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

-V