Last week Pat and I planned to leave work a little early and meet up in Boston to relax and walk around. I work in Boston and Pat (who normally works out of his office in New Hampshire) had meetings in Quincy that day, so it was going to be easy to meet up. It was a gorgeous day, and I was just wishing the hours to pass quickly so I could leave work and be outside. At around 10am I got a call from Pat with some very scary news: his radiator had blown out while he was driving on interstate 93. He'd been in the fast lane when his car started smoking; he went to move across the four lanes to his right to get into the break down lane when he lost control of his car. Luckily (and so amazingly) he was able to maneuver over without hitting anyone or anything. The most important thing is that he was okay, and he was. His car was not.
After waiting about 30 minutes (on the side of a very busy highway, in a full suit, in 95 degree heat) AAA arrived to tow Pat's car. They dropped him off at the closest exit so he could wait in an air conditioned sandwich shop until I got there. I'm lucky that my hours at work are pretty flexible and was able to leave right away to go get him. I wasn't sure what he would want to do - have me drive him to Quincy to have his meetings, or maybe just drive back home to New Hampshire and figure out what was going on with his car. He surprised me by still wanting to go into the city for our day of fun. Though the circumstances were certainly less than desirable, the bright side was that we ended up with much more time to spend together and enjoy the day!
I love Boston, especially when the weather is warm. There are so many beautiful areas of the city, great places to walk and run, and never a shortage of great food and shopping. We parked my car around noon and literally walked around the city for about seven hours. It was so much fun! I'd been pretty stressed at work for the past couple weeks, and Pat certainly had a very stressful morning, so having a day to do whatever you want, without agenda, was great.
"Frog Pond" at the Boston Common:
Duck Boat! I used to ride on this with my parents when I was little.
Huge Farmer's Market (you can kind of see the tents to the left). We were starving so we shared a large cookie, a pepperoni and cheese roll and some apple cider. There were so many stands with tons of food - pastries, pies, fresh eggs, cheese, meat, and the beginnings of vegetable crops and strawberries.
We ate lunch at The Met. I got a chopped salad that had everything in it (lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, eggs, cukes, avocado, beets, bacon, cheese, etc, etc). Really good, but enormous. I stuffed myself with salad and when I was finished it still looked like a full bowl.
I was full from lunch, but not too full for some ice cream. We went to Tasti D-Lite on Newbury Street. Its soft serve ice cream made with skim milk, so its fat-free or very low in fat. They have over 100 flavor combinations!
I normally have vanilla with some gummy bears and Reese's pieces, but got adventurous and tried their carrot cake flavor. It was soo good, and really tasted like carrot cake! We need one of these in Nashua!
After snacks, lunch and ice cream we walked a few streets over to walk along the Charles River. This is one of my favorite places to run, especially early in the morning before the city is crowded - its so peaceful.
We came across some people sunbathing on a boat dock. Though the Charles is beautiful, its D-I-R-T-Y, so definitely no swimming in there. I don't think I could handle sunbathing without being able to jump in the water!
There are lots of rose gardens throughout the city.
We walked over to the aquarium, but by the time we got there it was closed for the day. It was still fun to watch the seals swim around in their tank by the entrance. The oldest seal in there is 40 years old!
When it was dinner time we weren't super hungry since we'd eaten so many good things that afternoon, but we were right by the North End. For those of you that aren't from the Boston area, the North End is a wonderful little area of Boston that is packed with unbelievable Italian restaurants, cafes, and dessert shops. Its pretty hard to pass up. So instead of going out for the big Italian meal we'd previously planned, we went to a little cafe to get some pizza and caprese salad. The pizza turned out to be enormous, so we didn't even come close to finishing our meal.
Pat regretted ordering two slices when he saw how big they were.
Another necessity when you're in the North End - Italian dessert! We love Mike's Pastry, even though it is the typical tourist attraction of the North End. We're so rarely in the area that we had to get our favorite things so we could have a few bites of each.
Cannolis (pistachio for me and Oreo for Pat) and a piece of tiramisu.
We took the dessert to go and walked over to a nice outdoor sitting area across the street from the North End.
We ate some dessert...
...admired the Boston skyline...
As we walked to get our car at the end of the day, we passed by a homeless man sitting outside a McDonald's. Pat told me to wait there for a moment, then walked up to the man and offered to bring him inside and buy him some dinner. I watched them go in, the homeless man pointed to a few things he wanted, and Pat ordered several extra sandwiches, coffee and waters for him. Seeing this just filled me with so much happiness - Pat is so kind and generous and always wants to help anyone less fortunate. This just reaffirmed my excitement that I will be his wife! (Sorry for being a cornball, just had to get that out there).
On the ride home Pat said, oh I just remembered everything that happened with my car. We'd had such a fun day that he'd forgotten all about his horrible morning and dead car. So now we're in the process of finding Pat a new car, but at least we made the best of the day!