Monday, July 2, 2012

Our getaway to NYC and Boston!!

At the beginning of June, Matt and I were able to take a last minute trip to Boston and New York City. And when I say last minute, I mean we decided to go and went the next week. We were given buddy passes to fly anywhere Southwest Airlines flies FOR FREE! And with Matt's mom's Marriott discount, we were able to go on a super cool trip for super cheap! So we jumped at the chance, of course. Matt has wanted to go to NYC forever. Every time we plan a trip, we look into it, but its always just so expensive. So with all the deals we were getting, there was no doubt that would be our destination. I've always wanted to visit Boston, and since we didn't know when we'd get the chance to head to the Northeast again, we tacked on a couple of days in Boston. Just warning you...there are like 40 pictures in this post. I tried to narrow it down (we took 750 pics on the trip) but I plan to make Blurb books from our blog, so I really wanted to put all my faves in. 

June 7-June 9 Boston, Ma
We spent the night of June 6 with Brent and Leigh Ann in Houston so we could be at the airport by 4:30am. With buddy passes, you just have to hope they have room for you on flights. So we had to be there SUPER early to get on the standby list. Fortunately, we made it on the first flight out of Houston, and connected in St. Louis. Unfortunately, in St. Louis we weren't able to make the flight out we wanted and left later in the afternoon. But we eventually landed in Boston about 5:30pm. 

A friend of mine from high school is one of the starting pitchers for the Red Sox and just happened to be pitching our first night there. He got us tickets for Thursday night when he pitched, as well as Friday night. Our seats were right behind home plate with all of the players family. Seats behind home Fenway Park. Can you imagine how happy my husband was? I don't think you can :)

Clay pitched a complete game shut out that night. Guess we were good luck :)
In our seats. Wish we could have gotten good shots with Fenway in the background but when you ask strangers to snap photos, you take what you can get.
After the game we met up with Clay and his super sweet wife, Lindsay. They offered us passes to go on to the field during batting practice the next day before the game. Although it would cut into our "tourism" time in Boston, there was no way I could refuse and let my husband miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. 

On Friday we headed out onto the Freedom Trail. This starts in the Boston Common, and takes you all around Boston to all the historical and significant spots. There are maps, but you don't even need one because there is a red brick path built into the city that you can follow and not miss a thing. I will be the first to admit that I'm not real big on history. However, Boston is an exception. To see where our country was basically founded and key decisions were made that shaped the United States was pretty surreal. And the town has made sure that every piece of history has been maintained and restored to preserve its history. It really was pretty cool.
The Boston Common is a beautiful park with paths, benches, ponds and beautiful trees. I wish I could tell you the historical significance, but there was A LOT of history in one this one has slipped my mind. It was so serene here..if we wouldn't have had so much to see in just one day, I would have loved to stay a while and have a picnic.
There were a lot of squirrels in the park, one of which came right up to Matt. I guess there isn't much hunting in Boston :)
One of the first stops on the trail was the cemetery where many famous men were buried. In case you've forgotten US History, Paul Revere was the guy who rode through Boston on a horse yelling "The British are coming! The British are coming!" I didn't include them in this post, but we also have photos of his home and the church where he hung his lantern which was a signal as well. Also buried here were John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin's parents, and I think a couple of other significant people I'm forgetting.

So many of the rodes in Boston are still cobblestone. I absolutely loved the character this brought to the town. However, it was very hard to walk on!
One of the very few good pictures of us. Some of the Boston skyline behind us.

The best food of our trip was from Boston. We preferred it over NYC. For lunch we ate in the Italian Markets district. There were Italian restaurants and delis on every corner. We had wonderful pizza and a meatball sub. Then after, we stopped at Modern Pastry for a cannoli. You can't come to Boston and not get a cannoli. I will also say that in this part of town is where I saw the "legit Bostonians." The thick accent just made my day. I giggled every time I heard it.
Just a glimpse of the architecture in the North End of Boston.

An old fire station that is still operating. I love how its just built in to the connecting buildings.
The Bunker Hill Monument. I don't remember exactly what the Battle of Bunker Hill was all about, but I know it was important. You could climb to the top of the monument and see all of Boston but we chose not to do that. 
Other neat things we saw but I didn't include photos of were the site of the Boston Massacre, Boston Garden (home of the Boston Celtics), the Charlestown Bridge, Quincy Market, Haymarket Square, and Fanueil Hall. Those last three are all markets that were so neat. Everywhere you turned there were vendors selling fresh produce, food, handmade items, etc. You could spend a whole day there.
Before we headed inside to batting practice.
It was about to rain so my hair is a little poofy. Unfortunately, there was no batting practice because of the rain. But there were a few players throwing and warming up over to our right. We have close up shots of them but I didn't feel the need to include those here haha. We weren't really there to see famous people. Fenway was much more impressive. 
The oldest baseball stadium in the United States. We are going to blow this up to hand in the boys' room.
I feel like Boston was a blur. But after looking back on all the photos, I'd have to say that Boston was my favorite part of the trip. The attention to detail in all of the architecture...the character of the town...I could totally live there. I always say that when we go to cool places. But I totally could. Its one of those places that feels smaller than it is. You could raise a family on the edge of town and still be close to everything. But, we couldn't stay there forever and on Saturday morning we hopped on a train and rode down to NYC!!

June 9-June 12 New York, NY
Our first hotel in NYC (yes we had 2) was right around the corner from NBC studios and Radio City Music hall. I soo wanted to see a show in this iconic theater. I was so excited when the concierge at our hotel was able to get us tickets for Saturday night to see Cirque du Soleil at Radio City!! 
Time Square after the show
Don't you just love when strangers offer to take your picture? I just had to include this one...
Sunday morning we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on our way to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for church. It was a long walk..and hot. But we got some great photos :)
The Manhattan Bridge with the Empire State Building in the background.
After church, we hopped on the subway and headed to lower Manhattan to see the financial district, 9/11 Memorial and Battery Park. Pictured above is the federal reserve. I don't know what it does, but was just impressed with the building.
1 World Trade Center
This is the first of the new World Trade Center buildings. It is not yet complete and is already the tallest building in the NYC skyline. 
The 9/11 Memorial was beautiful. Two large pools (one for each building) with cascading water, the names of the fallen engraved along the sides. Someone had placed this US flag in one of the names. We took a lot of photos, but for some reason none of them seemed to grab my attention as much as these two.
After leaving the memorial we visited St. Paul's chapel. This chapel is right outside the memorial and was right below the two towers. I had read about this chapel in a Karen Kingsbury novel and knew we had to visit. This was where all the fireman and policeman found rest, food, and encouragement for 9 months straight after the attacks. 24 hours a day this church provided beds, food, prayer, whatever the rescue and recovery workers needed. In addition, when family members sent photos and letters, looking for lost loved ones, the church would post them on the walls. Today there is memorabilia from those 9 months. Letters from children to their daddies who died. Photos of those who gave their lives. We didn't take photos. It was too emotional. I didn't tear up at the memorial...but in here, it was very hard to hold in the tears. Another neat thing about this was completely untouched when the buildings fell. Everything around it was in ruin and it stood firm.

Just a cool piece of architecture in lower Manhattan. We then headed to Little Italy to eat (and were not impressed with our restaurant choice) before heading back to the East Side to our hotel.
On Monday morning we went to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center). This is the same as the Empire State Building but without the lines. And you get the ESB in your photos.

Matty trying to find Yankee Stadium.

We then moved to our new hotel right in the middle of Time Square. We wanted to spend one night here to see what it was like to be in the middle of all the action.

Monday afternoon we headed to Central Park. This place is ridiculously huge. We spent a little while walking around, watching some locals play softball, and enjoying some "green" among all the concrete.
Anyone recognize this? Its under the well-known bridge in Central Park that overlooks a big fountain and pond. In the movie Ransom its where the boy gets kidnapped.
After leaving Central Park we walked around the Upper East Side to get away from the touristy stuff, and see some of the nice apartments you see on movies. We then headed to Grand Central Station and then back to Time Square.
Grand Central and the Chrysler Building
The view from our hotel room

What a great spot to be on New Year's Eve for the ball drop!

There are lots of things we did and saw that aren't pictured...trying to get on the Today show, FAO Schwartz, The GIANT Lego and Nintendo Stores and much more. We also have tons of great photos on our phones that we'll have to add soon.
On Tuesday morning we headed to the airport to head home. To make a long story short...a storm blew in and the entire Northeast was covered in storms. We ended up taking a bus from Laguardia to Newark and spending the ENTIRE day in the airport, watching the time of our flight to Houston get bumped back later and later. And we weren't even guaranteed to be on that flight! I was sure we were going to be spending the night in the airport. But, the Lord worked it all out and we made it to Houston about 10pm.

Matt and I had a wonderful time just getting away together. It wasn't necessarily a relaxing trip...we saw a lot of things in a short amount of time. But it was a blast getting to spend that time together. Hopefully we can plan another trip soon! Thank you Matty for taking me away with you!!


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