Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boston- Day One

We did a very short trip to Boston before we headed to Philly/S. Jersey to hang with family. We spent about 29 hrs in Boston and we did as much as we could :)

We saw the most glorious sunrise that I have ever seen on our flight out of Austin. We left Austin at 6:50am, and we saw this about 25 minutes into the flight. The horizon was a fiery glow, I was amazed at how red it looked. The red in this picture looks diluted compared to what we saw on the flight. The flight was a little bouncy, so I couldn't really take a picture the way I wanted. I simply leaned my camera on the body of the plane and tried to hold still the best that I could (while leaning over my husband- who had the window seat).

Once we made it to Boston we grabbed our rental car and headed out to find the changing foliage colors of fall. Unfortunately for us, it was pouring. But we decided to head out on the Turnpike to see what we could find. We had printed some instructions, but ended up just pulling off of the Turnpike about 15 miles outside of Boston.

This isn't one of the best photos, but wouldn't you just love to be able to have that as your drive home every day? I love how the trees lean over the drive way, and the colorful leaves on the ground

We were pretty damn hungry after our flight and driving around, so I pulled out my iphone, used my Yelp app, and found this little diner. When I say little diner, I mean a 10 stool, tiny kitchen, sliding doors to get in, little diner. We parked the car and headed in... well... we tried to head in... I couldn't figure out the front door. It slid to the right, and I kept pushing and pulling. I'm an idiot and had to have one of their patrons open the door for us. So now that we have totally tipped our tourist hats, we sat down on the stools, checked out the limited menu and ordered some cheeseburgers.

There were 3 guys working behind this little counter and it felt like everybody in the place knew each other. I totally felt like we were eavesdropping but we couldn't help it the place was so small you couldn't help hearing all of the conversations around you. When we first walked in, 8 out of the 10 stools were taken, and they were taking orders from the walk up window. One guy ordered his hamburger and said "run it through the garden". Which we found out later just meant that he wanted all of the veggies. And when Jim ordered a bag of chips the guy said "here's your salt". Seriously, I wanted to sit here all day and just listen to them :)

Our cheeseburgers were no frills, but they were fantastic. I think even if the food had been "ehh" the whole experience still would have put me in a good mood. We talked to one of the guys behind the counter for awhile and he said that originally this dining car had 5 stools and back in the 1950's they added the extra stools and worried they wouldn't fill them :) The restaurant has been in the same family for 3 generations (we met the youngest generation while we were there), and has been moved once in that town. I am so glad that we found this little gem!

The official hot dog cooker and bun warmer :) Their hot dogs were $2.25 fully dressed and was ordered by most people at lunch. Our cheeseburgers were only $3.25, which was a total deal.

Casey's Diner
36 South Avenue
Natick, Ma 01760

While driving around looking for a place to eat we found Cochituate State Park. This seemed like a good place to stop and take some pictures. Luckily for us, the rain was just a light drizzle.

Jim looking out at the lake

I wish the sun had been out just a little for this picture. Most of the very tall trees had lost their leaves except for one that had a bright yellow/orange leaves hanging on.

After the state park we headed to Walden Pond State Reservation. Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond between 1845-1847. I'm not gonna lie here, I don't know much about him but it was a beautiful park, and I really wish we had better weather so we could have walked around a little. Instead, we just used the restrooms and then headed back to Boston.

I didn't take any photos at the hotel, because quite honestly I was exhausted by the time we got there. Plus it took driving by a couple times to find it and I was a little on edge. The hotel was very nice (Westin Waterfront) but not in a part of Boston where you can walk around if you wanted to. The whole area seemed like an old industrial area that was trying to turn into convention center area. I had bid on the hotel through Hotwire and got a good deal, but next time we go we'll be staying closer to the Back Bay or closer to downtown.

After a much needed nap, we showered and headed out for dinner. A nice guy on the flight suggested that we try Giacomos for dinner. I checked out the reviews for the place and realized that we needed to try them out. The taxi dropped us off at the North End and after walking a block or so, we found the restaurant. Luckily for us, there were only 6 people in front of us. This place is so small, that you wait outside for your turn to eat. Thankfully the rain had let up or else we might have tried a different restaurant.

Outside of the restaurant, Jim is holding our place in line while I am taking pictures. The people in front of us and behind us were locals who said we made a good choice for dinner.
The restaurant is a well oiled machine. There were 3 waitresses working about 10 tables, in very tight quarters. Even my wide angle lens only captured a corner of the restaurant. Plus it was so small, that I didn't want to take to many photos... I would have been invading a lot of peoples space. The menu was written on the chalk board on the wall and had plenty of delicious options for dinner. We shared a Cesar salad which was your typical Cesar salad, but it was a perfect start to our soon to be heavy dinner. Surprisingly bottles of red wine was only $16, so we got a bottle of a Malbec. The dinner prices were also very reasonable for the quality and portions.

Jim ordered the Lobster Ravioli in a garlic cream sauce and I ordered Shrimp and Scallops in the Giacomo's sauce (which is lobster based red with a touch of bechamel). I will admit, Jim totally scored with his dish, it was better than mine. The pasta was delicate, the sauce wasn't over powering for the lobster, and overall we both wanted to lick his plate. My pasta was also very good, but Jim's dish stood out. They had plenty of items on the menu that we wanted to try, so we'll just have to go back soon :)
With our belly's filled with pasta and wine, I couldn't resist walking into Mikes Pastries. At first I was just going to look and maybe take a photo or two but before I knew it my mouth opened and I was asking for a slice of the tiramisu and a few macaroon cookies. Since we were stuffed we waited until back at the hotel to dig in. The tiramisu was really good but hard to eat when you don't have any utensils to use, so we went caveman on it and ate it with our hands. The cookies were very delicate and tasty. Not gonna lie,,, after drinking all night I might not trust my opinion on the desserts. Next time I'll try them when I'm sober :)
This was in the alley near Mikes, and I just loved the lighting. The guy in the picture was on the phone and I don't think he noticed me, but I think he makes the photo.
I wish I could remember the name of this bar. The back room was completely empty so we had a little fun with the camera :)
I wonder what I was thinking here...
Thank you Mr. Doorman for taking our photo! Love my self timer!Jim hailing a cab to head back to the hotel. I like this photo because you can see how foggy/cloudy it was that night. Most of the taller buildings were in the clouds.

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