Ireland&UK Series-Part 1: Pre-vacation vacation in Boston

Before beginning the European portion of our latest vacation, Alex and I spent a few days in Boston with our friends Hilary and Mike. We had booked flights to Dublin from Boston so we flew to Boston a bit early for a pre-vacation vacation! The first night we arrived, we couldn’t figure out where to go  for dinner, so we decided to do a “tapas tour” of Boston and order appetizers at a few different places. It was the perfect idea for a city like Boston where there are too many restaurants to just choose one! We started off at Legal Harborside with sushi and cocktails in the rooftop lounge. The food was delicious and there was a fun post-work happy hour crowd. Alex and I had been to Legal Harborside before for drinks before a Harpoon brewery tour, but had been wanting to come back for a meal. Our next stop was Strega, a well-known Italian restaurant in the city. We shared burrata, eggplant rollatini, and shrimp arrabiatta, all of which were fantastic. Our final stop of the night was to Lord Hobo, which has been voted one of the best bars in Boston. Along with our craft beers, we shared poutine (sweet potato fries with duck confit) and brussels sprouts with curry and cashews. Both dishes were the perfect way to cap off the night.

Walking near Boston Harbor on the way to Legal Harborside
Burratta at Strega

Our second day in Boston, Alex and I picked up lunch at Salumeria Italian Market and hopped on a Boston Harbor Cruise out to see Fort Warren at Georges Island. Salumeria is a delightful little family owned Italian grocer where we were able to get a small container of mozzarella along with a perfectly made caprese panini. Everything was fresh and delicious; I highly recommend it to pick up items for a picnic in one of the many local parks. Our cruise was wonderful and educational as the boat ride to the Island included a detailed and interesting historical narrative of the Harbor and many islands. Once we arrived at the Fort, we were shown a short film about the Fort and were offered a tour by a park ranger, which we gladly accepted! One of the interesting facts we learned was that by the time the fort was completed, it was never actually used as a fort, but rather as a prison.

Salumeria Italian Market
Columbus Park, where we had a picnic before our cruise
Riding the boat out to Georges Island, Boston behind me

An old brick oven inside Fort Warren
Alex and I at Fort Warren

After we returned, we met Hilary and Mike for lobster rolls at Kelly’s, candlestick pin bowling at Sacco’s, and ice cream at JP Licks. It was a quintessential Boston evening at three Boston institutions. If you don’t already know, candlestick pin bowling differs from regular bowling in that the bowling ball is much smaller and lighter, and the pins are shaped differently and somewhat easier to knock down. We had a great evening!

Lobster roll at Kelly’s
Candlestick pin bowling at Sacco’s
Hilary and I at Sacco’s

Our last day in Boston was spent shopping on Charles Street and Newbury Street, walking through the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, having a late lunch at The Met at Back Bay, and sampling beer at the Samuel Adams Brewery, all before our overnight flight to Dublin. Charles Street has local boutiques and antiques shops, while Newbury Street has high fashion stores. Both are great places to kill an afternoon shopping (or window shopping). On Charles Street, we stumbled upon Fastachi, a nut, chocolate, and gourmet gift shop. It is a great place to pick up gifts for friends or family back home or better yet, a snack for yourself! We also walked through the Commonwealth Mall, where we saw some beautiful homes before heading to lunch at The Met at Back Bay. We wanted to sit outside to people watch and enjoy the nice weather with a glass of wine, but in Boston you cannot drink outside without also eating food. We both ordered the short rib tacos, which ended up being a fantastic light lunch! In the end, it was probably wise to fill our stomachs before the brewery tour!

Nut mixes at Fastachi: delicious!
Memorial Day display in Boston Common
Alex and I on our walk through Boston Public Garden
Beautiful tulips in the Boston Public Garden
Swans nesting (this became a theme on our trip!)
The Met at Back Bay
Sam Adams brewery tour

We also had an extra night in Boston on our way back home from Ireland. We spent a relaxing evening going for a jog around Dorchester Bay up to the JFK Library and having dinner at the famous Regina Pizzeria. We ordered the prosciutto con spinaci pizza, which has Regina’s special sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, fresh spinach, prosciutto, and cherry tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. It was delicious, but I recommend getting a small for only 2 people. Our eyes were bigger than our stomach and we were only able to finish half of our large pizza which was so sad considering how much we enjoyed it!

Regina Pizzeria
Prosciutto con spinaci pizza

As usual, we had a wonderful time in Boston. I always find myself thinking that I would love to live there. I cannot wait for the next visit!

Next up, lots of info to share about Ireland!

RECAP:
Eat:
Legal Harborside270 Northern Avenue Liberty Wharf Boston, MA 02210
Strega, 1 Marina Park Dr, Boston, MA 02210
Lord Hobo, 92 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139
Salumeria Italian Market, 151 Richmond St, Boston, MA 02109
Kelly’s Roast Beef, 35 Revere Beach Parkway, Medford, MA 02155
JP Licks, Locations across Boston, 4A College Ave., Somerville MA 02144
The Met at Back Bay, 279 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
Regina Pizzeria, original location at 11 1/2 Thacher Street, Boston, MA 02113

Do:
Boston Harbor Cruises, One Long Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
Sacco’s Bowl Haven, 45 Day St, Somerville, MA 02144
Samuel Adams Brewery, 30 Germania St., Boston MA 02130
Fastachi, 83 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114
Boston Common & Boston Public Garden, info at cityofboston.gov
Commonwealth Mall, info at cityofboston.gov

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