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We all slept REALLY well, and slept in a bit, too–until nearly 8 a.m. We leisurely got ready for the day, then went out to catch the T to Harvard. Upon exiting to the street, we found ourselves right in the middle of Harvard Square.

We set out to explore the campus, but just a little bit.

There’s something very cool about walking around knowing just how old it is. It’s a nice campus, but we honestly didn’t get very far with it. If we hadn’t had Nora with us, we may have considered taking a tour, but we knew she wouldn’t last that long.

This statue of John Harvard is clearly good luck, don’t ya think? His feet look like they’ve been rubbed many, many times! This was also clearly a major tourist attraction. I’m shocked that I actually managed to get a photo of it without anyone else in it. Don’t let it fool you–there were dozens of people around!

For alums of a small college like we are, it was pretty hard to try to picture going to a school like this. Nevermind the fact that we are nowhere near smart enough anyway. :) There were A LOT of libraries.

One of the things I really wanted to do in Boston was to get Nora a Harvard sweatshirt. I could just picture her sporting one, and figured that a little nudge this early in life could never hurt anything, haha.

It took a few stores to finally find one like I had been picturing. Nora was enthusiastic about it (the girl loves her clothes).

We walked around Harvard Square a little more and then got back on the T to go back downtown.

My phone was a freaking lifesaver, by the way. I downloaded a few kid-friendly apps (mostly by Duck Duck Moose) and Nora was captivated by them. Anytime she got fussy in the stroller, freaked out on the train, or was being otherwise uncooperative, I defused the situation with my phone. Not something I would make a habit of in everyday life, I don’t think, but in these situations, it was priceless.

We headed toward Faneuil Hall, and decided to grab some lunch. Michael’s dad had recommended Union Oyster House to us, and upon researching before our trip, Michael found that it is the oldest restaurant in the U.S. As such, it is also part of the Freedom Trail.

It has a pretty cool atmosphere inside, and they serve you cornbread upon seating you–which is really damn good, I’d say. Nora was definitely a fan.

They only had about two things on the menu that we’re seafood, so my options were limited. And, I must say, I wasn’t thrilled with my meal. But I’ve found that with restaurants like this, that is to be expected. When a restaurant is so good at making seafood, they often suck at everything else. Oh well, Michael liked his meal, so it was worth the stop.

As we left, we decided to try to let Nora walk. That lasted about two minutes, as she still will not walk in a straight line and/or stay by our sides consistently. *sigh* Toddlers.

Up until this point, we had spent most of our time in Boston doing what Michael and I wanted to do, with Nora tagging along. After lunch, we decided to hit up one of the kid-centric destinations–the New England Aquarium.

Despite it being a Friday afternoon, the aquarium was CROWDED. I guess that’s what you get on a hot summer day–loads of people trying to find a good place to cool down.

Right when you walk in, there is a large penguin exhibit. They’re cute little guys!

We ventured back outdoors to check out the seals.

{Don’t judge my ability–or lack thereof–to do a straight part in Nora’s hair. This was the third time I had fixed her hair, and she was on the move. My goal went from making it look good to just getting it up and in the ponytail holders. So sue me!}

Checking out the penguins again. I love the pointer fingers!

These jellyfish had visible rainbow colors moving through them. There are some awesome creatures in the ocean, people.

Nora was into it. But if I’m being completely honest, Michael and I were not that impressed with this aquarium. Once we had walked through it, we looked at each other and asked, “Where’s the rest of it?” After having been to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and even the one we went to in Charleston, this one just did not live up to the rest. We also didn’t much care for the spiral-like layout, as it seemed to force everyone to go in one direction and see the exhibits in the same order–which also seemed to contribute to it feeling more crowded.

But then this happened (see video), and the price of admission proved to be well worth it. Nora’s mind = blown. I can’t get enough of that video.

The giant sea turtle (seen here from the top of the gigantic tank) was pretty cool, too. Not nearly as cool as the ones we saw in the wild in Hawaii, however. :)

After we made our way through the aquarium once, we let Nora make a second lap through everything–running along the way on her own–to help her burn a little more energy. Then we headed back out into the heat to do a little browsing/shopping at Quincy Market.

By the time we were through, it was late afternoon and we decided to go back to the hotel for a little bit. We were both still full from lunch so dinner wasn’t a big priority. We had a few happy hour beers, and Nora watched part of a movie on the iPad–in a super cute position that I’ve never seen her lie in before:

Gah, how cute is that?

We ultimately decided to head out again for a bite to eat. We ended up at Rock Bottom Brewery (pretty close to our hotel), where Michael and I shared an appetizer–nachos, which were incredibly good. You don’t often expect much out of nachos, but these went above and beyond expectations. :) Nora had a grilled cheese, which she seemed to enjoy just as much, and then we called it another day.

But not before stopping to say hello to the bear outside of Tufts. A nice end to another nice day in Beantown.

 

2 Responses to Beantown

  1. Megan says:

    What movies is she into? J loves TV but hasn’t taken to movies yet (and sometimes a movie is just what the doctor ordered. Rainy Saturday, I’m looking at you).

    • heatherdriveblog says:

      Megan, I think I responded to this off of the blog, but wanted to put an answer out here in case anyone ever comes across this and wants to know, too! Toy Story 3, Rio, and Tangled are her favorites!

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