This was the window display of MY NEW FAVORITE-EST STORE, Black Ink. Amazingly cool (and affordable) thingies, with an emphasis on Japanese and French imports. Including . . . the previously mentioned panda-shaped cups! Which I'd planned on taking a picture of, though I'd forgotten one crucial thing.
Thankfully, there's one on their website. Wheeeee!
Aren't they cute? And OF COURSE I got the frog cup, too. And little saucers to match.
The store was in Beacon Hill, which was as beautiful as everyone says:
But this was the REAL reason I liked the neighborhood:
Then there was the costumed Freedom Trail tour:
See the teeny one next to the big one? That's Paul Revere's original gravestone. Amazing what a single poem can do for your popularity.
I'm pretty sure it's illegal not to do this on your first trip to Boston. Luckily for me, I'm a history geek, and this is my favorite era! So I was totally down for the tour. And when our guide announced he was a history teacher and not an actor (unlike most of the guides), I was like, WOO HOOOOO!!! A HISTORY TEACHER!
I hope I've just alleviated any concerns about my status as a nerd.
Anyway, I was genuinely excited to explore buildings like this:
And THIS made me extremely giddy, though I am not at liberty to say why:
A few of you can probably guess! For the rest of you, I'm sorry to be secretive. I realize it's, like, totally rude.
Then there was THE FOOD. Whenever I travel, the first thing I research is THE FOOD. So we dined on lobster rolls and multiple bowls of clam chowder — of course some of it was from Legal Sea Foods! — and I also made two separate trips to Chinatown for bubble tea.
(Why can't I find bubble tea here in Asheville? You're supposed to be hip, hometown.)
I was also told ricotta cannolis at Modern Pastry were a must:
Since we were already there, we also picked up this peanut butter cup. Jarrod's body is made up of 50% chocolate/50% peanut butter, and he needed refueling.
Because my husband had several band practices (for LeakyCon), I also spent a lot of time walking around on my own. So I pretty much did what I do anyway.
The most incredible were the two Commonwealth shops. Er, yes. I went to BOTH locations. Here's the description from their website:
"You will find a diverse selection of books, with particular emphasis on the arts, architecture, history, literature, philosophy, and religion. We also have a large selection of antique prints and maps. We strive to maintain an interesting and affordable collection of hard-to-find books and prints for both the scholar and the collector."
I actually had to divide my antiquarian treasures between our suitcases, because the total weight of the books was too heavy for me to carry home by myself!
I also spent many hours writing and reading on the lawns of the Boston Common, which was across the street from our hotel:
It really is one of the prettiest parks in the country. Gorgeous trees and swan boats and flowers everywhere. I felt like Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens!
And, um, speaking of little boys . . .
Also, is it kind of weird that the only evidence I have of myself in Boston is with the Robert McCloskey ducks? I am so kidlit.
The only other place we had time for was the Museum of Fine Arts. Thank you, Free Wednesday Nights! I basically go to art museums for one reason — to look at European portraiture.
I'm not sure why. I just like it.
And though the paintings here were lovely, it wasn't my favorite collection. But I was oddly taken by this silver chandelier:
And — AND! — the museum had a FANTASTIC selection of books inside their store.
MORE BOOKS! YIPPEE!!!
Seriously, whoever buys their collection has impeccable taste. It was a combination of stuff that I already knew was quality (and not just art books, I'm talking fiction, graphic novels, poetry, history, etc.) and stuff that I'd never seen before. I picked up two teeny ones, completely irresistible to me:
A book JUST about OK Computer! And I've often said I could write an entire book about why I'm so passionate about the movie Trainspotting, but it turns out someone already wrote it for me!
And then . . . there was this:
Which I totally $6.95 loved, but did not $12.95 love (actual retail value).
Except now I'm kind of wishing I'd bought it anyway.
But enough of this slide show. Stay tuned for: PEOPLE DRESSED LIKE WIZARDS!