Friday, September 19, 2014

#NASBoston Recap: Being Tourists! {part 2}

This second part is reeeeally long (but has a lot of pictures!) so my apologies in advance :)
{part 1 here}

After Jen and I finished up at CatholicTV, Bonnie dropped us back off at Shae's house. At this point it was sometime after noon...and we were STARVING. Probably because, duh, when you only have a half a cup of coffee for're gonna be hungry. Dumb.

We wanted to:
1. head towards downtown (we were staying out in Brighton, a good ways away)
2. get some fooood
3. enjoy the gorgeous weather

So we quickly changed, grabbed the sticky-note map Shae had left us and navigated ourselves toward the nearest bus stop. Now, let me just remind you that neither Jen nor I have ever been to Boston...heck I could barely tell you which way DT Boston was from Brighton. Add onto that attempting to decipher random bus stop signs AND my mounting hanger/hunger sickness....well, we were a lost cause. I'm pretty sure anytime Jen asked my opinion on where I thought we should be waiting, I just replied "Let's just find food."
Sorry, lady!

I'm gonna make a long story short because I'm sure Jen will be able to fill you in on the full story, basically, in trying to head downtown, we got on the bus going the wrong way...should have been standing on the other side of the street and we would have arrived at our destination 30ish minutes sooner. I probably would have thought this was a funny occurance if I wasn't so freaking hungry! Sorry again, Jen. I'm kind of a grump without food!!

We finally got near downtown and found a Bruegger's for now it was probably 3PM? 2PM or 3PM I'd say.

But it was nice to sit and chat about our morning once I was back to being a functional human being AND THEN I realized that our interview had been posted on the CatholicTV website! But Jen had run to a shop next store for a new phone charger, so I had to wait for her to get back. AHHHH!

We had to search for our part of the show (around 22:27) but we sat right there in the bagel place and watched ourselves on TV!!! So fun. It was so surreal watching ourselves on TV...and honestly, while I thought the interview had gone really well, watching it back...shoot! We did awesome!! ha!

Reveling in our new found fame and success (kidding!), Jen and I made our way to where we thought the river would be...and wouldn't ya know? We found it without any transportation issues! ;)

Gorgeous view of the city!

Jen and I walked through THEE cutest park/trail area along the river and found a place to sit and relax in the sun. The weather was absolutely perfect: a touch of wind and sunny. Gorgeous! It was so fun just to relax and debrief from our day together! Since this was only our second time being together in person, and the first time we were with 6 other people, it was so nice just to sit and chat about life. Jen and I talk ALL THE text, gchat, phone, etc. a few times a week, so we're pretty close friends and it's weird to remember that we've only ever been in the same location twice! How insane!
But I definitely consider her one of my best friends so it was great to spend some time just the two of us!

After lounging in the park for a bit, nearly getting run over by dogs, runners, and adorable children, we decided that going "home" was the best idea. I didn't want to be a wet blanket, but SO hoped Jen wanted to go back haha So when she suggested getting some New England clam chowder to go...AH. Best.

On our way back through the park, we came across this dude playing his upright bass beneath a willow hipster of him! We started taking pictures of him and others joined in. ha!

Upon returning back at Shae's, we got into our PJs, warmed up our "chowda", and may have watched our interview a few more times...

"Where is he?!"
I couldn't resist making a GIF out of this!!!

After our loooong day (it's exhausting being stars! ;) I had no shame in curling up for bed around 10PM. We wanted to do a lot on Saturday, so I needed my rest!!

No alarms set, no schedule planned, we woke up Saturday refreshed. And Shae, being THE BEST EVER, made us coffee and toast with HOMEMADE JAM. We decided to go to brunch on the South End and MAN OH MAN did it live up to my high expectations.

Ok, seriously. If you ever make it out to Boston, go to Aquitaine. Their pimento and ham omelette is to.die.for. And the cinnamon bun was delish. Aaaand their mimosas were amazing. It was all perfect.

After brunch, we had to walk off all of that deliciousness, so Shae showed us a bit of downtown, including the Boston Public Gardens.

Above group photo stolen from Jen's post....LOVE IT!!! We were so excited to wear fall clothes! ha!

We walked around in the park for awhile and when we came out of the other side, we saw this huge festival going on across the street! Now, I LOVE festivals. Love large crowds of people, love fair food, just love the energy that comes with a huge group of people joining together for one event. We heard music, saw tents, and since we were headed in that direction, I said "let's just go through here and see what's going on!"

We started walking through the crowd, glancing at different tables and booths...and I started noticing a theme.

"Hemp Brownie Mix"
"Northeastern Institute of Cannabis"
"Boston Pot Report"

....there's no way. Did we just stumble into modern day Woodstock?! By the time we realized that we were in the middle of a "Hemp Fest", it was too late. We were headed toward the food trucks and the crowd was taking us with them.

All we could do was try to stick together and crack up along the way. It was one of the most entertaining mishaps of our trip, by far.

We finally made our way out of the crowd and kept moving in the direction of the Boston Harbor. I told Jen when we were talking about what we hoped to see while in Boston that all I really wanted to see was the Boston Harbor....ya know, Boston Tea Party site?! I'm no history buff, but that kind of stuff is cool to me :)

We finally made it to the harbor and took in the general splendor...

It was all very cool and I was satisfied. About this time we began to head in the direction of Mass, where we were planning to meet up with Catherine!! So many blogger meet-ups in one weekend!!

We got to the chapel address and realized....wait, is mass INSIDE the shopping mall?!

After checking a map, yep! Looks like the St. Francis Chapel is right by the Dunkin' Donuts!

How cool is that?!

After mass, we met back up with Shae and grabbed some Starbucks before dinner (thanks for the giftcard, Bonnie!!) It was so fun getting to know Catherine! I hadn't been following her blog or twitter, so this was the first time we'd ever really interacted. But, we're a lot alike and got to talking about some of our mutual interests (namely, NFP haha) She is hilarious! And being from Toronto, who knows when this kind of meet-up will be able to happen again!

Shae had suggested this tapas restaurant "close by", so we headed that way, but first stopped by Perpetual Adoration at a parish Catherine and her husband visit often. So gorgeous! And how great to have Perpetual Adoration available in the middle of a busy city?!

On our way to dinner, we realized that Shae's version of "close by" is very different than our interpretation! But, this might have been influenced by the rain and our aching feet. It felt like we had to walk 5 miles. Mayyybe a slight exaggeration.

Unfortunately, the place we planned on eating had about a 2 hr wait (LITERALLY standing room only), so we went to a different restaurant nearby for authentic Venezuelan food. DELICIOUS! Orinoco was such a cute little place and it was the perfect setting to be able to hold a conversation. After going to the ladies room, Catherine reported back that there were religious candles in the bathroom!! What?!

So cool! Clearly, this was where we were meant to eat :) And, in talking to our server, we found out that his Grandfather had lived in Champaign! How crazy!!

Post-dinner and drinks, we were so stuffed, but every person we had talked to at CatholicTV said that we MUST go to the North End for cannolis. So after walking Catherine back to adoration where she would wait for her husband to finish with his music gig, we headed to the Italian neighborhood for dessert!

Can you believe it? I'd never eaten a cannoli! Apparently, there are two places that have the best cannolis in town, so we got a couple from each and cabbed it back to Brighton.

Wanting to give both Mike's and Modern an equal shot to win our vote, Jen and I tried cannolis from each...

I'll be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the cannolis. Maybe it was because I was SO full from dinner, but the ricotta was just soooo rich. Between the two, I'd definitely be in the Modern camp, though the service was much quicker at Mike's, albeit less friendly.

After dessert, it was time to pack up and hit the hay since our cab was coming at *gasp* 5AM. UGH.

Waking up Sunday morning was rough, we hated saying goodbye, and I wish Jen and I could have hung out together before our flights, but whatcha gonna do.

Overall, travelling to Boston was an exhilarating experience. Between CatholicTV, hanging out with great friends, and experiencing a new can't ask for much more! Jen and I parted saying "let's not wait too long before getting together again!!" so when/if we plan another trip and you're in the area, let's see each other!

The more people I meet who I've originally met through the NAS or other social media sites, the more I thank God for His hand in all of this. I know for a fact that Jen and I were called to the ministry that is the Not Alone Series and I can't wait to see where He takes us next!

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! Stay tuned for an exciting giveaway opportunity on Tuesday!!!


  1. Yay! This sounds like you guys had so much fun. And a hemp fest?!?!?! Bwahahaha, laughing my head off at that. How random. And a chapel in a mall? Love the adventure!

  2. you took the most amazing pictures!!! now i wish i was going to Boston this weekend!


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