This Friday, my sailor picked me up after work for a visit/weekend getaway to see my sister from the same mister in Boston.
We caught the 7:50pm Amtrak from Penn Station to Back Bay Station arriving in Boston at 12:24am.
The round-trip on Amtrak from New York to Boston is approximately $200 per person, versus the round trip on the bus which is approximately $80 – yes $120 per person is a big difference however what you are paying for is room to breathe and convenience. The Amtrak train was a wonderful experience. Hubby and I were lucky to find a seat together because the train was thoroughly packed. However on the way back we were not seated together for a short period of the trip and it wasn’t a big deal.
The train had leg room galore, as long as you had your charger, you’d never lose power on your devices and if you were running late and managed to pass by all of the cuisine choices in Penn Station then no worries as there is a dining cart available, not to mention there are two restrooms per car, very convenient.
My sister’s apartment was absolutely heavenly, she was such a doll (as she always is) that she met us at the train station. (Now I don’t know too many sisters who would do that at 12:30am and I'm betting you probably don’t either!)
In any case her studio apartment was an uncluttered, warm haven. Her building had wonderful amenities like a pool, security galore, mail and package pickup – she even had a scenic pond with geese across the way.
The next day after a wonderful breakfast at Henrietta’s at The Charles Hotel Row had things to do and Caleb and I continued on our own with our lose itinerary. We were only in town for the one day and night but we had a few things we really wanted to see.
Our first stop – The USS Constitution – a frigate ship that was launched on October 21, 1797. We had a great time walking the deck of the ship, learning about the life of a sailor in those times, writing with a genuine quill pen and shopping at the ships museum a few steps away.
After time well spent with the very knowledgeable staff, we took an Uber (by the by when in Boston, if you’re not driving – do in advance get an Uber app as it is essential. (Little trick to avoid the surging charge, use Uber Taxi or Uber Pool or even Lift in lieu of Uber if surging is prevalent.) Anyhoo we took an Uber to a short distance, about 8 minutes away to Faneuil Hall. Our driver, a true native of Boston, Mark was kind enough to give us some historical detail as well as list some of the sights we might want to visit on subsequent trips! He was absolutely splendid.
Faneuil Hall is divine. If you want to see artisan tents filled with original jewelry, artwork, candles, afghans while snacking on everything from baked beans at Durgin Park to the best ice cream sandwich we’ve ever had at Cookie Monstah then Faneuil Hall is the place to be. Not only did we see a street performance by dancers from our own Bronx, NY hood, but there were magicians and jugglers abundant. Never a dull moment.
We walked off all the fat from breakfast and Cookie Monstah, which left room for the new fat we would now acquire from our dinner reservations at The Parker Restaurant located in The Parker Omni Hotel.
We mapped it out and since it was only about a 15 minute walk we decided to do just that and took another scenic mini-tour through shop lined streets teaming with young people. What I hadn’t taken into account (do scroll up and take into account my outfit) was that the Parker Hotel was old boy Harvard posh. The Hotel was all dark wood and brass, the restaurant sported nothing less. I’m talking potted palms and leather dinner club chairs.
I’ll say this however, the maitre D’ did NOT hold up his nose at us, but graced us with a winning smile and seated us like he would the grand duchess. Grace is a quality I dearly admire. We were then greeted by another gentleman who made certain our table was in pristine condition, poured our water, handed us the sumptuously warm bread rolls that we’d literally heard praised on a show called Delicious Destinations and disappeared into the corner seamlessly. My, my but one could get use to this.
Our waiter, a lovely Italian or Russian (I couldn’t tell and in the dim lighting I hadn’t caught his name either – you do know names are the greatest clue to one’s background/origins) in either case, I missed it. His accent I want to describe as more Italian and for a rather hefty (and I mean big as in muscular) gent – he moved quite gracefully.
Now I cannot tell a lie, the food we found though exquisitely presented – rather a bit underwhelming and bland. I ordered salmon, the sailor ordered the chicken. We’re West Indians – what can I say, we’re big on spices.
I will say this; the gentlemen that actually brought out our food curiously was in an expensively tailored grey suit. I found it odd that it was not our waiter and noticed that grey suit dude did not serve anyone else that entire evening. Of course visions of some silly story that he might have purchased my book on Amazon, read it to his children, was startled that I graced his restaurant with my esteemed presence therefore felt compelled to serve me himself entertained me for the better part of the meal. Of course my husband simply thought (and rightfully so) that he was a manager “of the people” who sometimes served and chatted with his guests if he was so moved.
In any case I spied later that he did indeed pick up dinner napkins here and there though he did not serve again. At the end of our meal we both ordered an individual Boston cream pie, the treat we had been waiting all day to try. And I must say it was exactly like the meal, exquisite to look upon but tasted – well, i couldn’t really say. I didn’t really taste the chocolate, or the pudding or the cake. We ate half. We should have ordered one, instead of two. However, the experience and ambiance was worth it’s weight in gold. We had a great time and everything looked and felt very posh. It was like being on the set of Donton Abbey. I kept watching for The Dowager to come through with a cutting line. It didn’t happen. Before we received our check however the manager who served only us came to our table to ask us if everything was well. We happily said yes and agreed everything was perfect because after all, we were in it for the experience.