Monday, November 28, 2011

Boston for Thanksgiving

Boston Common

Instead of stuffing myself with turkey and cranberry sauce, my Thanksgiving platter consisted of Malaysian pad thai and a lychee drink. No, Paul and I weren't in Asia, but we also weren't in New York. Instead, we spent the holiday weekend in Boston.

In particular, we spent the evening of Thanksgiving in Boston's Chinatown, one of the few places we knew would have a nice selection of restaurants open when the rest of the city had shut down. After the sun had set, we stumbled out of the cold and into a lovely Malaysian restaurant. We had already had a full day. We left our apartment at 10 a.m. (so I even got to watch the first hour of the Macy's parade at home!) and headed straight for Cambridge, arriving at 2:30 p.m.

There weren't many restaurants open, and even fewer stores (none that I could see), but there were plenty of people on the sidewalk taking in the Harvard views and filling up the few food establishments that were open. We took a look around and grabbed lunch, heading back to our car and finally to Boston proper when the cold got to be too much.

The main thing I wanted to do in Boston was walk the Freedom Trail, but it was far too dark and deserted to do that by the time we checked in Thursday afternoon. (I'll be writing more about the Freedom Trail on this blog on Wednesday and Friday.) In fact, the only other thing we managed to see Thursday was Chinatown. But on Friday and Saturday we fit in a few sites aside from the historical.

Friday evening we went to the Bull & Finch Pub, the model for "Cheers," which then remodeled parts of its own building to better resemble the TV show. We ordered drinks and a big plate of cheesy fries at the upstairs replica bar. Paul got Frasier's corner stool.

The next morning we started the day with a Samuel Adams Brewery Tour. It was 10 a.m., but the tour still had a good 30 people on it -- it's 5 o'clock somewhere, and the free drinks at the end were cheerily sampled.

A "party trolley" runs every 15 minutes between the brewery and Doyle's, a local bar that was the first to sell Sam Adams. The inside of the trolley had benches along the windows, two poles, lights and a fog machine (neither in use) and a small deck in the back. Since we watched Ohio State get beaten up by Michigan at the bar, the trolley was the last jolly thing we experienced for a while.

Traveling anywhere in the Northeast in November is a gamble -- it could be snowy or sunny or both. It was cold on Thanksgiving itself, but the skies were bright and warm, near 60, on both Friday and Saturday. We got the best of both worlds: warm weather and holiday decorations.



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