The airbnb was on a narrow one-way street at the top of a very steep hill. Any time a car came to a complete stop outside the front door, I was always afraid it was going to roll back down. Thank goodness I never had to carry groceries (or anything heavy) up that hill- or run or bike or drive up it. It would have done wonders for my half marathon training though. Whenever I walked up that hill (all of the 2 times), I seriously considered stopping for a break! That’s Beacon Hill for you- a neighborhood in Boston, MA.
This was my second visit to Boston. The first time, I only got to play tourist for maybe half a day (because, conference) but as usual, I still managed to pack a lot in. This time, I had a weekend! I was in Boston to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday. A group of us flew in, including the birthday girl who had NO idea that the rest of us were coming, but one of us lived in Boston. Friday was arrival day/pajama party day/girls’ night- which was a lot of fun.
I had brought my running clothes with me (yes, I was feeling particularly ambitious. I brought 2 days’ worth of running clothes) so on Friday night I googled nearby places to run. I was in luck! Right in Beacon Hill is the Charles River Esplanade. Basically a trail along the river- how much easier could this get?? Oh, and it was about 35 F – but nothing was going to stop me from adding Boston to my list of places I’ve run outside.
The views were quite rewarding and even though I was super tired, I rode the struggle bus all the way till my phone told me it was 6 miles. There were a lot of runners out which wasn’t surprising- I was in the land of THE BOSTON MARATHON. After the run was when I got to walk up that very steep hill for the first time- I think my calves are still recovering.
My friends and I headed out to brunch at the famous(?) The Paramount. This restaurant has an ‘interesting’ business model and maybe this is why they are so successful (read- very long lines out the door). It’s very tiny and cramped inside (hello, New England) and you have to wait in line to order your food- cafeteria style. After you receive your food, then the host gets you a table. You can’t sit before you order, or before your food comes, and you cannot reserve a table. However, the food was really good and worth the wait. I’d recommend it.
After brunch, we headed to the Museum of Fine Arts. I am a museum lover so I had no complaints here. We didn’t visit for very long but it was still a fun experience. It’s a very large museum with lots of exhibits from all over the world. I liked the painting of the plague of the flood in Egypt, the Africa exhibit, and this rather curious optical illusion of glass objects.
This was my favorite exhibit in the museum.
After the museum, we went shopping!! Every girl’s dream. NOT. lol. But it was girls’ weekend and on girls’ weekend, you do girly things. We went to Newbury Street which is known for lots of stores, restaurants, etc. We spent hours there- in ALL of 2 stores. But several bargains were found and the birthday girl got her birthday shoes so mission accomplished.
Next, we headed to Max Brenner. A famous(?) chocolate restaurant that I had NEVER heard of. But what’s traveling if you don’t have new experiences? It was packed and we didn’t have a reservation so it was just a weird experience of hanging by the bar where there were no available seats and trying to order some food. I think, better planned, it would have been a fun experience- especially for chocolate lovers.
Next, we went to get ready for THE BIRTHDAY DINNER. It was at a Cuban restaurant called Dona Habana. The food was amazing and my pina colada was on point!! I am very specific about where I order pina coladas and I was not disappointed. The atmosphere was great- the decor, the music, the staff, the food, awesome … At least once, everyone talked about how they would love to visit Cuba someday. It is definitely on my list.
Next, we went to a restaurant that had live Jazz music. Oh you thought we were done? No, ladies and gentlemen- the night was still young. We had to stand in line outside, in the cold, but only for a few minutes. Fire code reasons, they claimed. Inside, it was packed but we were able to find seats rather quickly and enjoy the music- I wish I remember what band it was that night or even the name of the restaurant. Oh well.
After about an hour here, I was done. I knew I had to sleep- especially if I was going to run again the next morning :). And run I did! This time, I went across the bridge to the other side of the river to run along it. Only 4 miles and slower, but I did it. My running clothes didn’t go to waste.
My flight was later that day so there was still time to do stuff. We went downtown Boston and straight to Quincy Market because we were hungry. Going there just makes me feel like I want to buy everything and eat everything. Food from all over the world here but I went for a huge hotdog.
After lunch, we walked around some and ended up at Primark- surprise! I shopped a lot at Primark, a store in the UK, when I was younger. So when I found out Primark was now in the US, I had to go in. I was not disappointed- same vibe and feel as I remembered. I bought a few things 😉
It was great to have the time away from Michigan and see friends- friends I met in undergrad and stayed friends with through the years. Every girl needs a girls’ trip once in a while and I’m glad I got to go on this one and celebrate this milestone birthday with my dear friend.
To many more!
p.s. If your crew is more than 4, don’t waste time with Uber- Lyft is the way to go. For some strange reason, we could never find an Uber that seated more than 4 riders.