Well here I am again on vacation! It seems like I was only home for a couple of days or something....oh wait, I was! Some people made comments about how quickly I was leaving to go on another adventure, and then I reminded myself that once I get back, I only have (cringe) 5 weeks left before I am going back to work! YIKES!!! Oh well, no need to think about that now!
On the docket for this vacation is a slew of locations in New England. We started off on Thursday in Salem, MA, most known for the Salem Witch Trials. Even though we didn't do any of the Witch Museums, we did see our fair share of the sights. Salem is definitely a must see in my opinion. The laid back atmosphere of the city was really impressive and the shops and eateries all seemed fantastic.
We started the culinary adventures at a place called Salem Beer Works, which had been recommended by a friend of mine. She specifically mentioned the Blueberry Ale, so we knew we would have to try that. We started off with a flight of all their Summer Beer specials: Watermelon Ale, Cherry Bomb Ale, Blueberry Ale, and Raspberry Ale. I went with the Blueberry and Molly went with the Raspberry. Ainsley settled for water...I know we are so mean! The beers all had subtle fruit tastes, and were very pleasing! I can imagine on a very hot day, they would be really nice, but it was only 60 degrees in Salem, so the heat was not really a factor in desiring a cold beverage. We even happened on a local farmer's market and bought some strawberries, some cider donuts, and a dress for Ainsley made by a local. I am sure we will post pics of that one soon!
After visitng the House of the Seven Gables, we went to a little ice cream shop up the street called Captain Dusty's. I have always loved ice cream, and one of my favorite things to do on vacation is visit as many local ice cream places as I possibly can. California had some amazing places, so I had set the bar pretty high for this vacation, and so far I haven't been disappointed. Capt. Dusty's had all homemade ice cream and had a great variety. Molly got Gone Bananas (Banana ice cream with Peanut Butter cups) and Dog-n-Pony (Peanut Butter icecream with Oreos). I got Witches Brew (Milk Chocolate icecream with choc chips, almonds, reeses cup,, twix and espresso beans) and Watermelon Sherbet. I can tell you that while the taste combination of mine was strange, the ice cream itself was phenomenal! After having the ice cream here, it made me want to go home and look into starting my own ice cream shoppe on Southern Pkwy. We need one in the southend right? I could do a bakery/ice cream shoppe that way I could stay open year round. Use local fruits, etc for my ingredients...wouldn't that be awesome!! Hmm...thinking, thinking....
We headed out of Salem and spent the evening in Woburn, MA in preparation for our day in Boston on Friday. Having never been to Boston, I was not really sure what to expect from the city as a whole. I knew of important landmarks (Old North Church, Harvard, MIT, etc) but nothing else. Let me say that I was very impressed with the city! Great public transportation and great people!
Of course, having not been to the city, we did the major touristy things by getting a pass on the Olde Town Trolley Tours. It was nice to have someone tell us some of the things that were around the place! We stopped at the original Cheers Bar, Fenway Park, Harvard, etc. If you travel to Boston, make sure you do the Olde Town Trolley Tours. They are worth it! But I digress, back to the food right?
For lunch we stopped at a Taqueria close to Fenway called La Verdad. We saw it while riding the trolley and decided to stop in. To start off Molly and I both ordered margaritas (I mean its a Mexican restaraunt, isn't that a requirement?). I ordered a Watermelon one and Molly ordered a Passion Fruit. Ainsley got Watermelon juice. All the drinks were phenomenal! If I could purchase watermelon juice just to have in the house, I WOULD TOTALLY DO IT. Mildly addictive? Yes. Fantastic? YES! Refreshing? ABSOLUTELY! The guacamole was also exceptional, and I think that Ainsley would have eaten here weight in it if we would have allowed her to. Molly had the Chicken taco plate and I had the Chile Relleno taco plate. We all walked out of there stuffed, and ready to walk out the food!
For dinner, we had lots of restaraunts suggested, but chose to go to one with an intriguing name. It's the No Name Restaraunt on the River. Our tour guides had mentioned it as the oldest restaraunt in the country. We had the fried shrimp plate and a bowl of Seafood Chowder. Ainsley has enjoyed the chowder both times I have gotten it and shrimp is always a good choice. The food was fantastic and the views of the water were amazing!
We left the restaraunt and headed back into town and into the North End of town, AKA the Italian end of town. We were in hot pursuit of some dessert and a pastry place had been recommended by our tour guides and by LocalEats: Mike's Pastry. It was nestled into a row of Italian eateries on a busy street with tons of night life. It is an unassuming shop thast delivers in a big way. While Molly ordered some gelato (Cantaloupe and Watermelon), I ordered the cannolis! We got Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Cream, as well as a Boston Cream Puff (all pictured below). So far we have tried all but the Peanut Butter, and we are thoroughly impressed!!
Boston Cream Puff
Now off to the Cape tomorrow with a little Outlet Mall shopping and a stop in the Plymouth along the way. In a side note, I think the whole dropped R thing here might kill me soon: Hahvahd, yahd, pahk, cah, etc. Where did those Rs go? Have they ended up in the South where we warsh our dishes and go to Warshington, DC as a consolation prize for losing the Civil War (or should I say Civil Wah?)? Could the South kindly return the Rs ASAP?