A little known fact about me– I LOVE to travel! I grew up in a family that liked to spend time, money and energy into various trips, despite the fact that we lived in CA (which means that there’s not a lot that’s central to it!). Besides the frequent trips to SoCal to see my grandparents or Minnesota to see other relatives, my first memory of a cross-country trip was in Kindergarten, where we spent a few weeks in Florida, visiting Disney world. Another time, we did a multi-week road trip caravan with two families who were close to us and saw many National Parks and historical landmarks. And then a few years later we all went for a few weeks to vacation in Georgia and the Carolinas.
And then in college, I managed to visit Europe not once, but TWICE. My university had a program where I could substitute 4 units in exchange for spending 3 weeks in Europe for roughly the same price– so, naturally, I begged my parents and they graciously decided to support me. I got to see Greece, Italy, the Mediterranean islands, England, Scotland and France!
So, naturally, when Jesse and I started dating, high up on my list of “compatibility questions” was whether or not he liked to travel as much as I did 😉 Turns out, he did! My family even put him to the test early on in our dating relationship by taking him on a family “just for fun” vacation to New York and Washington D.C.
For our honeymoon, Jesse planned and paid for us to go to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for 2 weeks!
And then who can forget our infamous trip WITH SMALL KIDS all the way to South Africa last December for my brother’s wedding?
So, when our 10 Year Anniversary rolled around, we knew that traveling was on the short list of things we wanted to do together. Unfortunately, August is a REALLY busy month for teachers, so we celebrated our actual anniversary with our getaway to Las Colinas, but set aside time in October for a longer trip.
Originally, we had wondered if we could ever possibly make it back to Rio for our 10 year, but then the Zika virus happened, and we decided (decided?) to have our third baby. As our 10th anniversary drew closer and closer, we realized the list of vacation possibilities was rather small. Anything south of the US (where all the good Groupon deals were!) was at risk for Zika. Anything in TX was going to be too hot or involve hot springs, wine tasting, river rafting or horseback riding– all “perfect” for pregnancy, am I right? 😉 Colorado is within driving distance, but we worried about elevation and blood pressure, since I’m not used to it.
And then, a tragedy/mishap struck. On our way back from our trip to CA (where I said goodbye to my childhood home and helped my parents with their move to Dallas), the airline we used BROKE my nice Britax carseats to smithereens, despite the fact that we checked them at the gate. We actually tried to take them on the plane since they were FAA compatible and I had purchased seats for each of the boys, but they TOOK THEM from me as we were boarding. And then gave them back at the end of the flight…completely unusable (I think one half of one of the carseats was left on the plane somewhere– they were THAT broken!).
After a lengthy process, I not only received a $450 check from the airline to replace my carseats, but they also sent me a travel voucher. Although I was terribly upset with the airline for how they handled everything, a small part of me was curious about various flight prices during October, so I checked into what it would cost to fly to Boston to see my brother who works at MIT and lives in Providence, RI with his new wife Megan. The flights were $50 each way…unbeatable!! Add my voucher to that, and we bought the tickets on the spot. We didn’t even have babysitting yet, haha 😉
So that’s the story of how we wound up on a 3 day/2 night quick excursion to Boston! The boys stayed with my parents in Dallas, and we brought just two small backpacks with us on board.
We arrived in Boston around lunchtime, and immediately took public transportation to the historic North End to get most of our history nerd on, right away.
It was just a beautiful beautiful Fall day– 65 and sunny, with a light breeze. All the leaves were changing, and it just SMELLED like Fall! Add that to the fact that the North End is known for some of the best Italian food in the US, with cute coffee shops tucked in everywhere (I ate SO MUCH great gluten free food!! Apple spiced donuts!!), and we were having a great time. We kept having to remind ourselves that it gets below 0 degrees and really cold to convince ourselves not to move there immediately (oh, that and the fact that the housing prices rival NYC).
In the evening, we walked down from the North End through Beacon Hill and Back Bay, two of the nicest parts of Boston (where many celebrities live). It’s no wonder–it was gorgeous! Boston Commons, the big park, is nicer than Central Park in NYC, in my opinion!
Turns out, my feet were KILLING me by this point– my shoes which normally fit great (some of my most comfortable Clark boots!) were not made to accommodate swollen pregnancy ankles, haha! So, after a great dinner at a bar and grill (again, with amazing gluten free options! Seriously, Boston, well done!) we stopped by a store and bought me some Nikes. I started crying the moment I put them on– I was so grateful for the relief!!
Our cute historic hotel was right near Fenway park, which was appropriate since we were racing back to the hotel room for Jesse to watch the Dodger’s playoff game.
The next day, we checked out of our room and walked to the Starbucks nearby for breakfast and hot coffee. We then walked all around Fenway Park before heading down the street to see Boston University. Another quick thing about us– we are obsessed with visiting college campuses! 😉
We walked across the river to MIT where we briefly met up with my brother, then continued walking through Cambridge towards Harvard, where we saw some of their illuminated manuscripts in the old library.
After some more sight-seeing and coffee shop finding, we took the train all the way out to Providence, RI where my brother and his wife picked us up for dinner.
We stayed overnight at their new house that they had just bought, before leaving on a plane back to Dallas the following afternoon! It was a quick but wonderful trip, and we were so happy to be able to spend some adventurous time together before Baby #3 makes his appearance in a few weeks 🙂