I tried to make this one post, but it was epically long, even by my standards. So I'll post Part Two: THE LEAKYCON next! The whole trip is already a blur (and you don't want to hear me blah-blah-blah all day anyway), so consider this a highlight reel.

OMG! Gnomes! And spoons!

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:

I am so sure these homes are in my price range.

Even the flowers looked wealthy.

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:

Well, hello, beautiful old thing!

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.

For reals.

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.

Bought books.

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!

(Sorry, Jarrod.)

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.

I'm relieved to be posing with the ducks and not the naked boys.

I think I just spotted Johnny Depp.

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:

Though it'd totally be a pain to polish.

And — AND! — the museum had a FANTASTIC selection of books inside their store.


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:

I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!


  1. I stayed in Beacon Hill last year and totally frigging LOVED IT. Can't wait to go back!

    Also, may I say, your hair is so fantastic I can't stand it. Do you get a stylist to do the blue?

  2. SO COOL!!! I've never been to Boston but totally want to go now.

  3. Oooh, I loved this post - I so want to go to Boston someday. Now I can follow around in your footsteps.


  4. All those pics were awesome, but I about died at the Geeky Dreamboats! Why didn't you BUY that?!?! WHY?

    Oh, and French AND Japanese imports? Did they make that store for me? Man, I need to go to Boston apparently.

  5. Ack! Sounds like much fun! Why oh why did you not buy the geeky dreamboats!? FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS is on the cover!!!

  6. What fun! I want to go to Boston!!! One of these days! I would LOVE all those old geeky buildings and the books and the food! It all looks to die for.

  7. That's it. I'm going to buy the Geeky Dreamboats RIGHT NOW.

  8. Amy — Thank you!! I DO have a stylist. She bleaches the sections first, then dyes it (lately, just regular ol' Manic Panic), and then cuts it. The whole process takes FOUR HOURS and is expensive, so I only go when I have to. (Which is about every 2 1/2 months.) But it's worth it, because she does a much better job than I could ever do!

    Natalie & Lexi & Carrie — I truly am kicking myself for not buying it. It had EVERYONE in it. (Demetri Martin! Wes Anderson!) Be still my heart!

  9. I love Boston! have the same pic of the boy fountain :)

  10. Seriously, why don't we have bubble tea in Asheville? I asked if they served it at one of our favorite sushi places in town and got the don't-go-there death glare. We stopped at a bubble tea shop in Raleigh earlier this week, so now I know I'm not crazy. What's with that?!

  11. What a fantastic post!!!!!!!! I wanna go!!!

  12. I'm going there next month and these pics made me even more excited. The McCloskey ducks are definitely on my must-see list!

  13. What a fun trip! LOVE that panda mug (and the frog) and you are so cute with the R.M. ducks!

    Now I want to visit Boston.

  14. I adore your caption underneath the photo of you and Jarrod. You are the funny, Steph. :-D

  15. I also experience peanut butter cup withdraw.

  16. Shelli — HA! (I felt so dirty taking it!)

    Alexa — I've gotten the don't-go-there death glare too! WHY? Is there, like, a tapioca pearl mafia making life difficult for our local Asian restaurants?

    Jay — I hope you have a fun trip!! But be prepared to wait in line for the ducks. There's always a steady line of kids, moms, and cameras.

    Alyssa & Min — Thank you :)

  17. How fun. That sounds like the best trip ever. Every single picture and commentary I was like, 'okay, I'm going to comment on that.' Like the adorable cups. And then I'd get to the next one and think, 'no, I have to say something about that.' Pretty soon, my comment was going to be as long as your post (maybe longer) so I'll just say, "geeky dreamboats" ??? Awesome!" :)

  18. Tammy Silver6:46 PM GMT-5

    Sugar Momma's Cookies in the basement of the Jackson Building on Pack Square has bubble tea. Or they used to - I haven't been there in a while. It's still on their website: http://www.sugarmommascookies.com/menu.html

  19. This looks AWESOME!! Can't wait for part 2.

    And, I'm all over the Black Ink website!


  20. Tammy — EEEEEEK! Thank you!