Friday, March 11, 2016

Boston Day Trip The Freedom Trail

Painting by James Brown Marston

Think you have to go to Philadelphia to immerse yourself in American history? Think again! Just a five minute walk from our rental yacht, the Sea Pearl, is the beginning of Boston's Freedom Trail. The trail makes early American Revolutionary history accessible to visitors with 16 historic sites within a 2.5 mile journey. You can walk or use public transportation as it even has it's own smart phone app! Prefer more in depth education and guidance? You can organize a guided tour open to the public that last around 90 minutes. 

See America's oldest public park at Boston Common, stand where the Revolutionary War began at Bunker Hill, and reflect on missions of human rights and social justice at Park Street Church. These are just a few of the stops along the way and as you wind through the city streets, Boston's rich history will come alive before your eyes. 

Boston Day Trip To Arnold Arboretum

Did you know that Boston boasts an arboretum designed by the same landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York?
The Arnold Arboretum, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, makes for an amazing escape from the rush of the city, right within the city. Run by Harvard University as a research and education institution you can arrange for a guided or self guided tour of the large variety of plants, flowers and trees. If you are just interested in enjoying some outdoor time it is ideal for a long walk or run. Be sure to check out the view of the Boston's city skyline from the top of Peter's hill. Arnold Arboretum is especially popular for lilac season with 166 different kinds. 

Open from dawn until dusk everyday and dog friendly. Bring your leash! 

After your visit to the arboretum enjoy lunch or dinner in Roslindale or Jamaica Plain. There are diverse culinary roots in these neighborhoods including Greek, Portuguese and Italian which you can find reflected in many great restaurants. 

We recommend: 

Enjoy your visit and smell the lilacs for us! 

Day Trip to Boston's Castle Island

The site of a fort since 1634, you would never guess its military past when you first visit this twenty two acre urban park! You can drive here, don't let the word Island scare you off!  You will see people playing in the water, grilling, fishing, and enjoying soft serve ice cream while strolling arm in arm. 

Come explore the historic Fort Independence, bike, run, stroll, get the kids to the playground, relax and picnic. You can watch airplanes pass overhead and ships sail in the water. 

Castle Island Information: 

See what others love to do at Castle Island: 

Interested in bringing your dog? MassParks has this helpful site. 

Day trip to Boston Public Library

Photo:Mituls Patel

Are you someone whose idea of vacation is curling up with a good book? Or are you someone who likes to get out and explore history and architecture? Either way a trip to the Boston Public Library needs to be part of your visit to Boston. Mere steps from public transportation at 700 Boylston St, it is the oldest public library in America. 

Spend time immersing yourself in the stacks of books. As you explore this charming library be sure to look up to see the amazing details in the ceilings, lanterns, paintings and domes. Settle into the reading room with all you have collected or sit outside in the courtyard. 

As you walk through rooms of rare artifacts, books and maps you can think back to your earliest memories in a library. Chances are it was listening to a story being read at a formal story time. You can thank the walls around you for that memory as Boston Public Library was the first Library to introduce formal story telling for children. 

As you come through the grand entrance remember that the architect, Charles Follen McKim, designed this Library to be "a palace for the people." Can you feel the enchantment around you? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mikes Pastry by Deborah
            When visiting Boston, one of the most popular pastry shops in the North End is Mikes Pastry.  Located on 300 Hanover Street, you can usually tell you are there when you see the line going out the door.  If you are lucky enough to be there when there are no lines you can see that the pastry cases are filled with all kinds of Italian delights. 
            According to their web site, Mike has a 50 year history of baking with recipes from all over Italy.  Everything is made fresh on the premises.  Just a few favorites include cannolis in many flavors, cream puffs, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, ├ęclairs, Boston creme pie and many others.  It is really hard to decide on just one treat.  We often pick up a lobster tail and a few other treats to take back with us.
            There are a few tables if you are lucky enough to get one.  Don’t be discouraged if you see the lines going way out the door.  Mike's staff is fast and the lines move quickly.  It’s worth the wait. 
Mikes Pastry
300 Hanover Street Boston Ma
(617) 742 3050

photo credit: <a href="">rosebennet</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cafe Rossetti by Christie

If you're in the Winthrop area and hungry in the near future you should check out Cafe Rossetti's. It's one of those tiny hole in the wall places that you could easily miss if you blink while driving by, but it's worth the visit. They have a great spot near the beach. Off season there is a great deal of parking spaces right along the shore. But I suspect if you visit on July 4th weekend, you might want to come in a cab if possible, because I doubt the beachside parking would be available.

   The food here is amazing. It is one of most authentic Italian restaurants I've been to in a long time. They do not have a liquor license but you can bring your own bottle of wine and enjoy it with your meal. I even saw one table bring nips to add to their coffee.

   The only thing about this place that even slightly detracts from your meal is that the tables are set in very close proximity to each other. The night that my mother and I were there we were unfortunate and were seated next to one lovely couple and one terrible man. When the man seated on my right wasn't busy snapping his fingers at the waitress and yelling her name across the room he was being generally rude to his dinner partner. Since we were seated close enough to be unable to ignore what he was saying it made dinner a little awkward. But the couple on the other side were all smiles and happy to share a few words here and there. Overall it was not something that ruined our meal but it is something that could have been better if we had been seated with two nice couples. I imagine it can sometimes be a great plus to a meal here if you can get the opportunity to have conversation with other people from the area that you might never meet as long as you don't mind the risk of sitting with someone less than pleasant. One bonus to Cafe Rossetti's is that if you don't want to risk being seated in close quarters with strangers, you can always opt for the take out option instead and eat it at home.

   We needed reservations to get into this restaurant on a weeknight so plan ahead and don't just drop in.

They can be reached at :
 Cafe Rossetti's
115 Winthrop Shore Drive
Winthrop Ma 02152
617 539 9990


Monday, December 23, 2013

Deer Island, Winthrop by Deborah

            When we moved our houseboat to Winthrop we were pleasantly surprised to discover the hidden treasure of Deer Island so close to Boston.  According the National Park Service, Deer Island has been used by Native Americans, quarantined immigrants, farmers and prisoners when it housed the counties house of corrections.

            Today the island is home to the Waste Water Treatment plant that serves greater Boston.  It has 5 miles of public walkways and trials for walking, jogging, sightseeing, picnicking,  and fishing.  It is open year round from sunrise to sunset.  They have 2.6 miles of paved handicapped accessible perimeter trail around the treatment planet.  There is a small parking area and park benches along the paved perimeter. 

            I walked the perimeter on a cloudy day in late October. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be on a clear and sunny day.   The Harbor Islands were clearly seen just off shore and the skyline view of Boston dramatic.  You also have a close up view of planes at Logan taking off and landing.   Leashed dogs are welcome and we met a cute little Boston Terrier named Lola who was enjoying the walkways.    Be aware that a portion of that walkway will have an odor from the treatment plant.  I would not let this stop me from enjoying this exceptional spot next to the sea.