boston – day one
We left Rhode Island at a decent time in the morning. We hit up some grocery stores and then drove around a little before leaving to avoid some of the morning traffic in Boston. We skipped breakfast and just had a couple of snacks and made our way up to Boston.
Our first stop was to grab some lunch near my alma mater and we stopped at a place called Mei Mei. Mei Mei originally started out as only a food truck before adding on a brick and mortar restaurant.
Right outside the restaurant is a little parklet! If it hadn’t been so hot that day I might have wanted to sit out here but the lack of shade pretty much killed that idea.
It was very bright inside! The yellow chairs really popped in this modern looking space. They also sell a few other little items up at the front, such as bags of coffee and Bobo’s Mountain Sugar (Vermont maple syrup). Jake ending up buying the mountain sugar as a gift for his mom (and it’s delicious stuff).
[lunch menu at mei mei]
The menus at Mei Mei are seasonal and depending on what they can source or make. A few of this menu items have already been swapped out since our visit in September.
[cold brew coffee / $3]
I got a cold brew. Mmmm, cold brew.
At Mei Mei they use New Harvest Coffee Roasters which is (surprise!) a coffee company from Pawtucket, RI – the city we had just left! I loved the little cream container with it’s tiny spout. The coffee was strong and smooth. Highly enjoyable.
[copicut farms chicken wings – dry fried with soy honey mustard / $12]
These wings. OH. MY. GOD. THESE WINGS. I wish I could have these again RIGHT NOW.
The wings are “full sized” you get the drumette and the wing together in one piece and there was also a drumstick in the mix. The skin was incredibly crispy and the meat inside was so juicy. The soy honey mustard sauce was divine – it had the perfect elements of sweet and tangy mixed together. The mustard wasn’t too strong, either.
These are probably the best wings I’ve ever had in my life. Of course they’d be on the East Coast and far, far away from me. Sigh. I’ll see you in my dreams, soy honey mustard chicken wings.
[piggery farm rib tips – dry fried with maple chili garlic sauce / $12]
Jake wanted to try these rib tibs which are like … porky ends? They were a bit thin and looked like tiny little rib bones. I found them to be a tad dried out and I didn’t quite dig the sauce. I think after eating the chicken wings these were disappointing to me because well… they weren’t the chicken wings. Jake liked them well enough though.
[pork dumplings with veggies and sriracha rice / $7.5]
It was all a bit on the pricey side around here but I felt we needed at least one more dish to round out our lunch and I picked the pork dumplings.
The wrappers were a tad on the thicker side but the filling was really lovely. Not a ton of veggies as filler but plenty of porky goodness inside that crispy little wrapper. I thought the sriracha rice was just okay – luckily not super spicy – but a nice compliment for the bowl. Pickled cabbage? Hah! As if I would ever eat that!
I was quite impressed with the food here – namely those insanely good chicken wings (drooooool)! A bit on the pricey side but hey – we’re in a big city again. I was expecting higher prices for basically everything once we got to Boston!
506 Park Drive
Boston MA 02215
We managed to do street parking nearby and we were within walking distance of my alma mater, Boston University. It was in the 90s and quite humid out but I was determined to walk around campus so Jake could see where I spent my college days. We crossed a bridge over the Mass Pike and started in about the middle of campus.
In the center is Marsh Chapel which sits in Marsh Plaza. To the left is the School of Theology building which had the creepiest elevators ever (think lots of strange creeky noises and flickering lights while you very, very slowly moved to the top floor). On the right is the College of Arts and Sciences building where I took Bio Astronomy (which was a class about studying possible life in the universe which sounded really cool but sadly involved a lot of math).
This is the view standing near Marsh Chapel looking at the School of Theology building and on the right the School of Law. The statue in the middle of the plaza shows a flock of birds and is called “Free at Last”, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who completed a doctorate at Boston University in 1955.
[the bu beach]
Walking through Marsh Plaza towards the Charles River you’ll come upon “BU Beach” which is a grassy area behind Marsh Chapel. Back in the day, this grassy area was a parking lot and was transformed in a park. It’s a place where students go to lounge area and relax and in the warmer months you’ll often see students studying or laying out in the grass, sunbathing, or playing frisbee. Directly behind us is “Storrow Drive”, a heavily used parkway (or a grassy highway, if you will) to get to other parts of Boston.
There are a few theories on how this area got the nickname “BU Beach”:
“One hypothesis: a long time ago (and we’re talking a long time), people used to swim in the Charles River; it wasn’t quite the “muddy water” we all know, love, and stay out of now. Bay State Road continued all the way to what is now the BU Bridge, and the grassy area behind Marsh Chapel, next to a parking lot, gradually sloped down to the river. In a sense, it was a beach, albeit with grass instead of sand.
Another hypothesis is that the nickname emerged from 1960s and ’70s tongue-in-cheek self-mockery. Bikinis became commonplace then, tans were in, and female students began stretching out on blankets, adding to the beach-like aura. Hence, the BU Beach.
My freshman orientation group leader offered another theory back in June 2005. She said that the beach got its name because the curvy metal sculpture on the grassy stretch looks like a wave. A far-fetched notion, but possible.”
(cited from BU Today)
Jake and I walked down Bay State Road through the back of campus where a lot of student housing and administrative offices are, down towards the end where I lived for my senior year.
Back when I went to school this building was called Shelton Hall. The building was originally constructed in 1923 as one of the first Sheraton hotels. If you look closely and spy a round piece (it’s in the middle under two windows) that’s where there’s still a plaque that says “Sheraton”. Creepy story: back in 1953 the playwright Eugene O’Neil stayed at the Sheraton and died in room 401. Some say that it’s haunted but I actually didn’t even remember that story until researching the building! The name of the building has changed and it’s now called Kilachand Hall. I prefer Shelton, myself.
We lived in the top floor in a corner room. My suitemates lived on the side with the view of the Charles River and Storrow Drive whereas my roommate and I lived on the side where the bathroom was and had a view of the frat house next door. I would oftentimes go into their room to just lay on the bed and stare out at the river. I remember a few times where my suitemate and I would blow bubbles over Storrow Drive or try to look out the window up at the stars. In the winter we would watch people cross country skiing on the frozen Charles and in the spring we watched the sailboats and secretly wished for them to tip over. If you leaned way out the window you could see part of the city’s skyline.
Shelton Hall wasn’t too far from Kenmore Square and also not too far from my actual college, the College of Communications. Not a lot has changed to the outside of the building since I went there.
T Anthony’s Pizzeria
Since we were nearby, I took Jake to a place I frequented during my college days called T Anthony’s.
T Anthony’s is over in West Campus near the fields and hockey arena. There’s a big homage to BU sports in here.
BU is a big hockey school!
Mostly they have sandwiches and pizzas here. It was comforting to see that the place looked the same and had the same menu.
We shared a slice of some deliciously crispy bottomed cheese pizza. A bit on the greasy side but a good sauce and a lovely crust. Tasted just how I remembered it. Jake was quite impressed and really enjoyed it.
Driving in Boston
After walking around in that awful humid weather, we hopped in the car and drove out to check into our Airbnb suite. Originally we were just going to hang around until it was time to go to Fenway Park but it was too hot. We were worn out and in need of a nap. We drove through our first toll stop on the trip. This one was only $1.75 but later we would pay $3.50 for another toll where we only drove on it for one mile. Ugh.
Leaving BU we passed by Fenway Park (on the right are the stadium lights). In the distance you can see the Prudential Tower, which is the second tallest building in Boston behind the John Hancock Tower (which you can see a tiny bit of way on the left).
Tiny bit of the Pru before we went underground!
Hellooooo underground highway!
Airbnb Studio Apartment
We stayed in a super cute little studio just on the other side of the airport. We were on the top floor so the first few nights we were there it was VERY WARM. The A/C really had to work it to cool down this space and even then it was still warm in that sucker.
It was really nice though and the perfect spot for us.
We didn’t do any cooking but there was a little kitchen area if we had decided we wanted to!
After a nap and a freak 20 minute rain storm, we ventured out for the Red Sox game!
Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox
Parking sucks so hard around Fenway – some lots will charge up to $50 for game day parking! We decided to take the T (subway or train) to get to the park.
I was so excited for Jake to finally get to see Fenway Park! It was hustle and bustle out here with lots of street food vendors. We browsed around in the gift shops for Red Sox stuff to take home with us.
And then we finally entered the stadium to wander around in the park.
There were little tidbits like this all over the stadium, showing off some of the history of Fenway Park.
Fenway Park opened in 1912 and is currently the oldest stadium in the major leagues. It’s only one of a handful of stadiums that has seating for less than 40,000 patrons overall. The next oldest park is Wrigley Field which opened in 1914 and after that… the third oldest park is Dodger Stadium which was opened in 1962!
Back in the 60’s, attendance for Red Sox games had been very low (Curse of the Bambino and all) but after 1967’s The Impossible Dream season (where the Red Sox once again had a winning season after many years of losing and made it to the World Series vs. the St. Louis Cardinals which they sadly lost in 7 games) attendance began to rise again. The Red Sox broke records for consecutive sellout games and reached 500 consecutive sellouts back in 2008. The streak was broken in 2013 though I have a feeling that record won’t be broken again for quite sometime.
Jake at his first Red Sox game! I’ve managed to turn a loyal San Diego Padres fan into a Red Sox fan, too. My work here in done, my friends.
The view from our really awesome seats. The Red Sox played against the Blue Jays and it was like a crazy cheap discount day so we got our seats for a kick ass price. I bet when they made the schedule they didn’t think the Blue Jays would be a winning team.
My favorite player, David Ortiz! Sadly my favorite pitcher, Joe Kelly, pitched THE NEXT DAY and I missed it. The Red Sox sadly lost that day and it was just a few days shy of Ortiz hitting his 500th homer. When we were there, he had already hit #497. We were really really hoping to see a homer and you could tell Ortiz was trying SO HARD to get one… but he didn’t manage it on that day.
Here’s me in front of all of the logos from the years that they won the World Series. It was so much fun to be back in Fenway Park and be in such a historical park!