ICE CREAM-FILLED CUPCAKES. Need I say more?
I hate to harp on the food aspect of this trip, but I had the most amazing brunch I think that I will ever have today. We got a little bit later of a start because we got in late the night before and were trying to beat the Travellerspoint website into submission. In any case, we took the T to the Charles/MGH stop and right near the stop is the Harvard Gardens restaurant. I had made a reservation there because I had no idea how busy they would be and it was recommended by the Fodors. Little did I know that there would pretty much be no one there, before we got there or after we left. Oh well. What can I say, I was trying to be prepared. In any case, there were a number of things on the menu that looked good, but I ordered the omelet-of-the-day, which I thought was just an omelet, but it ended up being an omelet with pico de gallo, sour cream, and this crumbly salty cheese (almost like feta), there were these fried potato chunks with parmesan and herbs and caramelized onions on top, fruit, strips of bacon, and the biggest English muffin I’ve ever seen. I mean just amazing. The only reason I didn’t clean the plate was because there was so much and my stomach has a limit. In any case, after brunch, we went to the flagship Filene’s, which is closing (for remodeling – it will reopen) – we found some good deals. Maura even tried on a $9,999 dress, which fit, but really did make her look like Tinkerbell on crack. It would have been $20. Maybe we should have gotten it and sold it on eBay.
We were really near the Public Garden and Common, so we went through the Granary Burying Grounds where we saw some extremely old gravestones (1600s & 1700s), as well as the gravesites of Franklin and Revere. We then made our way to the Swan Boats. The line was pretty long, but was moving really quickly due to many boats running at the same time. It was a fun, short ride. We headed toward the Paul Revere house/Freedom Trail historical area. On the way, there were many cute little Italian restaurants and dessert shops. We stopped into Trani, which makes “n-jectables”: cupcakes, donuts, brownies, eclairs, and other baked goods that they pump full of ice cream and cover with a layer of chocolate. I had no idea such a thing was being made in the world. I think they’ve got serious franchise opportunities. We made it to the Old North Church just in time for a short presentation that was being given about it, then continued down the Freedom Trail toward Long Wharf. Along the way, all of our maps said that we would come upon the Paul Revere house, but we looked and looked and looked and we completely couldn’t find it. Given that it was referred to elsewhere on the web as a “dump,” I’m not too heartbroken about it. We walked through a park and saw the Rose Kennedy Rose Garden, then looked for somewhere to grab a bite before whale watching.
We got our tickets for the whale watching cruise really early so that we could get a good seat on the boat and waited on the wharf. When they let us on, we hauled up to the top level and got a bench near the railing. The ride out was long (1 hour) and extremely windy (we have pictures to prove it, and I lost a bunch of hair later while brushing due to it) and by the time we got to our destination, the Boston skyline was pretty much just a tiny blot on the horizon. We spent about an hour moving around through the marine wildlife preserve that they had brought us to, and did have quite a few whale sightings. I didn’t see any “breeches,” (whales coming completely up out of the water) because I was always either on the wrong side of the boat or not looking when it happened (usually happened fairly far in the distance), but we did see a number of fins and some tails and quite a bit of spraying. It was definitely worth the money.
We got back in pretty late from the boat ride (9:45p.m.) and when we got back to our hotel it was even later. And for the second time, our room keys didn’t work. Maura went down to the front desk and when she got there, they gave her some story about thinking that we were checking out that day...or maybe someone just typed in the room numbers wrong when they were checking out some other room...or maybe a roving band of gnomes that live in the walls changed the key code. So, the guy from the desk had to come up with us to the room and we had to dig up the hotel confirmations to prove to him that we should be let into the room (that we have already paid for in full, months ago). He said he would bring us up new keys so we didn’t have to continue to go back and forth from the front desk, but Maura had to call two more times to get them to bring them up. The hotel itself is just fine, and the shuttle experience has been great and free, but I don’t know what is up with their computer system. They need to work on that.