Road Trip Adventures, Stop 4: Boston, MA

Today I’m highlighting our 4th “stop” on our recent road trip: Boston, MA.

{If you want to follow along with the road trip from the beginning start with this post.}

Tuesday

Cat got us all set up with the MBTA app so we could use it to purchase our train ticket (how convenient is that?! You can purchase your train tickets on your phone!).

  • Tip: Download the MTA mTicket app (it’s free!) and go ahead and purchase at least 2 tickets (1 round trip). That way you’re not fumbling around trying to enter your credit card information while on the train. The tickets will sit in your app until you activate them (do that when you see the conductor coming through to check tickets after you board).

We boarded the train and enjoyed the scenery all the way into Boston.

train view

View from the train

Our main goal on Tuesday was to find the fabric store I’d been patiently waiting to visit: Mercer’s Fabric.

As a seamstress who loves to travel, I look forward to Seamwork Magazine‘s “The Seamworker’s Guide” each month – the guide features a city and includes a list of “must-visit” fabric shops in the area. In the June 2015 issue they featured Boston, Massachusetts. We knew Cat was heading there for grad school so I immediately pinned the post to my Travel Board.

By the description in the guide, I knew I would enjoy Grey’s Fabric so I started following the shop on Instagram. I realized in October that Grey’s Fabric was closing, but Mercer’s Fabric was taking over.

  • Tip: When you find shops that you want to visit, find them on social media and start following them before your trip. You’ll be able to get a good feel for what their shop is like through pictures and posts. Shops usually post about special items they offer that you may quickly glance past if you hadn’t read all about said item when it was featured on their social media (example: when Mercer’s Fabric posted these cute little cupcake pin cushion rings! I’m ashamed to say I didn’t buy one [and seriously regret it], but I would’ve looked right past them if not for the post I saw on Instagram).

Ok, back to our excursion to find Mercer’s Fabric…

We got lost. More than once. But Boston is a very walkable city so walking in circles wasn’t horrible and we ended up walking along the Harborwalk.

harborwalk 1

View from the Harborwalk – North End

harborwalk 2

View from the Harborwalk – North End

We finally found Mercer’s Fabric on Charles Street which was a really cute area! I was so excited to touch all of the fabric that I slacked off on picture-taking while in the shop so I only got 2.

mercer 1

Mercer’s carries loads of patterns from indie designers including Colette (founder of Seamwork Magazine)

mercer 2

A wall of colorful designer fabric – what could be more lovely?!

I found a bra-making kit in the corner of the store that I snagged. Bra-making is all the rage right now. I’ve been following the trend on Instagram and have become totally smitten with all the lace and girly details – plus, everyone who has made their own says the fit is worth the effort.

The kit I bought was compiled for the Marlborough bra pattern but said it could be used for others. Since I have access to the Florence bra pattern with my Seamwork Magazine subscription, I am going to give it a try before I purchase another pattern {because it’s very likely my bra-making adventures may be a total flop so I should keep my investment low 😉 }. Stay tuned: I promise to post all about the process when I take the plunge with my kit!

bra kit

Bra kit from Mercer’s Fabric

I also picked up 2.5 yards of a really lovely printed knit. I’m not totally sure what I’m going to make with it, but it’s highly likely I’ll make another Out and About Dress {because you know from this post and this post that it’s my very favorite pattern}.

After we left Mercer’s Fabric, we were starving.  A friend had recommended sweetgreen so we searched for the nearest location and started our trek. #WorthIt

  • Where to Eat: sweetgreen! Oh.my.yum! Salad has never tasted so good. Even the Hubs thought it was tasty.
first church

Scenery from our walk: First Church in Boston – built in 1630.

After fueling up on greens, we found the nearest metro. Instead of purchasing all-day passes like we did in DC, we just loaded enough money onto passes to get to Cambridge and back since that was our only non-walkable destination.

We headed for the Harvard Square Station on the metro in hopes of walking around Harvard’s campus. Apparently Harvard’s campus is notorious for just blending in [there’s no obvious sign or college-style-grass-quads] so we were never totally sure we’d made it. I had hoped to find the bookstore to buy my Mom a t-shirt, but frankly you can buy Harvard gear everywhere in Boston so that was low priority.

  • Where to stop for coffee: Darwin’s Ltd. Coffee shop – if you’re lucky [like us]: you’ll overhear a student discussing an experiment with his professor that you can’t even begin to understand, but you find totally fascinating nonetheless
    • What to order: the tuxedo cookie – I’m pretty sure this was the best cookie I’ve ever eaten! And I’m not even a fan of crunchy cookies!

darwin

While we were at Darwin’s, Jeremy got a call from one of his lacrosse teammates from PC. Turns out that Ben was arriving in Boston as they spoke so they made plans to meet up.

veg galaxy 2

The Hubs (right) and Ben.

Thankfully Ben is a good sport (aka: open to going to a vegetarian restaurant with us for dinner!) because the real reason we in Cambridge was because I read an article about Veggie Galaxy in an issue of Vegetarian Times magazine and immediately added it to my Food Bucket List.

GUYS!! An all-vegetarian DINER!! I couldn’t resist. We had to visit.

I got the Rachel sandwich which entailed: grilled, shaved corned beef seitan, green cabbage slaw, swiss cheese, and house-made thousand island dressing. It was even tastier than it looks.

veg galaxy 1

the Rachel in all her glory

We also ordered the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae. The coconut whipped cream is the most delicious thing I have [very likely] ever experienced. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

  • Where to Eat: Veggie Galaxy – vegetarian diner.
    • What to order: I’m pretty sure there’s nothing you could order that wouldn’t be absolutely delightful. Though I do recommend the sundae {because *when in Rome*!}.

In other news, I’ve now added all 24 of these Vegan restaurants recommended by BuzzFeed to my Food Bucket List.

Wednesday

We returned to Boston via “the T” (train) again. This time we had less on our list.

boston

Since we got a late start, we got off the train and immediately looked for the nearest sweetgreen for lunch again (it was that good!). When we finally reached it, the line was wrapped around the block (seriously, that good!).

We turned around and found an alternative which turned out to be [dare-I-say?!] even tastier!

  • Where to Eat: Bon Me – apparently there is a food truck, but we stumbled upon the physical location of the restaurant. It’s Vietnamese served in a paper box. It is absolutely delicious.
    • What to order: Roasted Soy and Paprika Tofu Rice Bowl

Cat raved about the Boston Tea Party Museum so we stopped by the gift shop after lunch. Both the Hubs and I really prefer to explore on our own so we skipped a tour (though I heard that you get to throw fake tea into the harbor during the tour so maybe it’s worth it!).

We then headed toward the USS Constitution to start the Freedom Trail.

freedom trail

Before jumping on the trail, we explored the USS Constitution Museum. It was a bit cheesy and I wouldn’t add it to my “must visit” list, but the gift shop was neat. Unfortunately the ship was closed when we were there so we couldn’t tour inside.

Several friends had recommended following the Freedom Trail. It was so fun (and super enjoyable for travelers like us because you can follow it at your own will only stopping when you want to)!

  • Tip: Follow The Freedom Trail. This self-guided tour will lead you all through Boston on foot. You’ll pass loads of places to pop in for souvenirs or exploring. Not to mention all the fascinating historic sites you’ll see!

There’s a giant red line that winds all through the city so that you pass all kinds of wonderful historic sites – like the church where the signal lanterns of Paul Revere displayed in the steeple on April 18, 1775 to warn the country that the British were coming.

paul revere

And this in-action Paul Revere statue…

paul revere 2

We took a quick rest break by the statue and as we looked over we saw this:

north end dog

Look in the middle window on the second floor!

That bulldog sat in the window looking out at the passersby for quite a while – it was the cutest thing!!

Then we passed Paul Revere’s house:

paul revere 3

We passed several graveyards – none of which I can remember, but one of them housed the grave of Samuel Adams:

samuel adams

The trail also passed by Quincy Market which we had already explored the previous day, but we did take some time to watch the street performers out front – they were great!

In a nutshell, that’s our visit to Boston! Mostly we just wandered and enjoyed every minute.

Only 2 stops left for the road trip! I’ll be sharing all about Salem, MA and Virginia with you next week. 

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4 thoughts on “Road Trip Adventures, Stop 4: Boston, MA

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