Shipping up to Boston…

Mike and I decided that we wanted to visit Shane and Amanda up in Boston, so a few months ago we booked some flights.  It’s an easy trip from DC, and we were really excited to see Shane and Amanda in their new town!  But then, Boston got some ridiculous amounts of snow, and I began to get really worried that we might a: never get to Boston, or b: never make it home.  But, my worries were unfounded.  We had, in every sense of the word, a perfect and seamless trip! The Kapplers were awesome hosts and we had the best time!

We flew into Boston around 5:30 pm on Friday, and Shane was waiting to pick us up from the airport.  We decided to only buy two tickets, so Norah traveled in our laps.  She was pretty cranky because she had to be woken up from her nap in daycare to get to the airport, but she settled down once we took off and we handed her stickers.  Around an hour in to the flight, we broke down and let her watch Finding Nemo on the iPad and It. Was. Amazing.  Even without the sound, she was mesmerized and said, “Fishy, fishy, fishy!” over and over again.  We had our two carry-on suitcases, the diaper bag and Mike’s backpack, and then we gate-checked Norah’s car seat and stroller.  Plus, we both wore heavy jackets and snow boots, so by the time we shuffled to curb side pick up, it looked like we were settling in to stay in Boston for a week!  I think Shane was a bit shocked at the amount of things one needs to travel with a little human, but he quickly loaded up all of our stuff, Mike installed the car seat and we were off!  Shane and Amanda live in an awesome house in Cambridge that’s only about 20 minutes from the airport, but the snow pile ups were insane. The trip took almost 45 minutes because all of the multi-lane roads were down to one or two lanes with snow drifts.  It worked out great though, because once we got home, Amanda had appetizers and bourbon waiting for us.  Norah snacked on appetizers and Cheerios while Amanda and Shane began to prepare an amazing steak dinner with all the trimmings.  (Only after we ate dinner did we realize that it was a Friday during Lent…oops!)  We had Amazon Prime-d a pack and play to their house, so we set Norah up in their office and caught up for awhile with some delicious red wine before heading to bed Friday night.

Saturday morning, we drove around South Boston to look at the water.  (After realizing that it was -11 degrees outside with the wind chill, we scraped our plans of going to the beach to walk around.)  We had a lot of fun seeing the different Boston landmarks from our heated SUV, and then we stopped at Trade for lunch.  Norah had cheese pizza, I had the za’atar sandwich and Mike had an incredible looking egg sandwich.  We all enjoyed some craft beers and then headed home for Norah’s nap.  The best part about the trip were the naps, haha!  The four adults quickly realized that late nights=sleepy days, so we all took a nap with Norah out of solidarity 🙂  Once Norah woke up, we headed to Newbury Street, where we had a great time shopping at a huge Patagonia sale and we discovered a new-to-us store, Ball and Buck, which was super neat.  During this time, it had started to snow and we were anxious to get home so that we could get ready for dinner, so we decided to make it a quick shopping trip.

Once we got back to their place, a babysitter for Norah arrived.  Shane had the great idea to use care.com to find a sitter for Saturday night, and he was able to find a super sweet, recent ND grad to watch Norah so the four of us could go out to dinner! Such a treat.  We went to Ostra, and had some wonderful seafood.  We enjoyed Manhattans and split oysters, tuna tartare and lobster gnocchi for our starters, then we each had an awesome entree with a bottle of Cabernet.  Mike and I shared the scallops and tile fish, and Shane and Amanda had the salmon and paella.  The girls then had champagne for dessert while the boys had Irish coffees, and then we headed to a fun nearby bar, the name of which escapes me now.  We sat at the bar and had some local Boston brews.  After a couple of beers, Amanda and I were ready to head home, so we left to relieve the babysitter while the boys went on to more bars for BuckHunter and pinball.

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On Sunday morning we had big plans!! We went to Harvard Square to visit the Curious George store! (We don’t know who was more excited, Mike or Norah.)  We spent a bit of time walking around Harvard Square, then Norah went crazy in the store.  She played with every stuffed George there was, and had a blast.  We bought a ton of books (which, in hindsight, were quite difficult to get home…) and then went to brunch.  We had a yummy brunch/early lunch and we then headed back to Shane and Amanda’s for Norah’s nap.  (And the adults again decided to partake!)

After her nap, we headed to the New England Aquarium. It was easily the highlight of the trip.  Norah was MESMERIZED and loved watching the penguins and seals.

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There is an exhibit where you can pet stingrays and while she didn’t want to put her hand in the water, she could have watched them swim by for hours.  She could hardly contain her excitement as she ran around saying, “Wow!” and “fishy, fishy, fishy!” (P.S. Check out the size of that catfish!)

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Shane, Amanda, Mike and I were similarly mesmerized, and had a blast walking around the aquarium and seeing everything through Norah’s eyes.  My favorite parts were the penguins and GIANT sea turtles.  At the end, Norah didn’t want to leave and threw a tantrum when we tried to put her jacket on to go!

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Once we got home from the aquarium, Amanda and I walked to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for dinner, then Amanda made this for dinner and it was amazing.  It was another late night with lots of talking, bourbon and red wine, and we all pretended that we didn’t have to get up early in the morning on Monday.

But, alas, Monday morning dawned very early as we had to catch a 6:30 am flight!  We got to the airport bright and early, and we were back at work by 9:30, which was a huge reality check.  It was a very long day of work on Monday, and then we picked Annabelle up on the way home.  She had a great weekend with friends (and managed to cozy up in the best seat in the house-oh, Annabelle!)

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It was the perfect weekend! Thanks to Amanda and Shane for such hospitality and to Jen and Will for watching our four-legged baby!  We can’t wait to make it back to Boston!

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