Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tourist in my own town- a trip to Quincy Market Boston

The vacation continues and I decided it would be fun to be a tourist in my own town. On Saturday, I took a trip to Quincy Market in Boston. Actually I live just north of Boston but I still call Boston my home.

I took the subway into the city, we call our public transport the T.  It was a great place to people watch. The young woman sitting across from me had a huge bag from the Gingerbread Construction Company, a muffin shop just 5 minutes from my home. The two couples next to me and across the aisle were taking photos of each other. The two young women had numerous visible tattoos but their boyfriends did not. An overweight boy wore a T shirt that stated body by corned beef. Just about 5 stops later  I was at the Haymarket station and within a stone's throw of Quincy Market.

Street performers are on every corner around the Market. The first group was very entertaining. These guys should try out for Cirque de Soleil. Amazing dancers and jumpers. They liked audience participation for sure as they pulled people from the crowd into the performance. This boy did not know what he was getting into.

As you can see, this guy jumped right over his head! It was very impressive.

Then they lined up 6 people and one of the performers was to jump over all of them.

These are the crazy volunteers.
And of course someone moved right in front of me. You can see that he did actually jump over everyone. Amazing!
This guy was trying to drum up business for a walking tour. Freedom Trail perhaps?
The weather was perfect. Not humid or too warm so everyone was out on this Saturday afternoon.
The balloon man did a fantastic business.
Bob at Large juggled while balancing on cylinders.

I started looking for people to photograph for a post about Quincy Market chic. What does make one chic anyway? In my book, it's people who stand out from the crowd.

These people are casual chic.
For the younger set, it's an outfit and hat that coordinates.
Quincy Market chic is a dress that matches your handbag paired with a cool necklace.
Back to the performers, this kilted man balanced a unicycle and a bagpipe on his face.

This man makes tips as a living statue. He gave out fortunes.

A smiling girl played with her group. Clearly, she enjoyed performing for the crowd.
Yes, this young boy was playing the piano without looking at it. Can you see that his head is under the piano?

He is upright here.

Onto the food, junk food abounded. You can get anything here. Fried dough?

 Lobster rolls?

Fruity drinks from the Monkey Bar?
Ice cream for four?
You can eat inside at one of the many restaurants or outside.
Such a nice day for dining al fresco!

I left Quincy Market and headed back to the T station. Haymarket was in full swing on this Saturday afternoon. I bought a container each of blackberries and strawberries and the total cost was $2.00!

Time to go home. It's great to be a tourist in your own town. I might have to do it again sometime.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Serendipitous Trip to Concord

Did I tell you I am on vacation? Well I am, until August 25th, and while I do not have any big plans I hope to do a few daytrips to my favorite spots. I hope you will come along with me

On Friday, I went to Concord. If you read my blog much, you know I love Concord. The town is a mix of old and new. The history brings the tourists in. There's antique stores, cafes and boutiques and a pretty downtown.  The roads are tree lined and there is the occasional farm that can be seen on the road into Concord. There's so much to do here.

I made a beeline to Haute Coffee after I parked my car. Down the little alleyway I went in search of an ice coffee and a little something to eat. I did not have much for breakfast.

I ordered the egg sandwich with cheese and tomato on brioche. It was a mile high and delicious. My goodness they had hot chocolate on the menu! Parisian Hot Chocolate. I had to have it.

I brought a magazine to read but of course, people watching was more fun. This man was intense. Isn't this exactly what a coffee house should be? A place you can relax and read a book and enjoy a good quality coffee.

Next stop was a shop called Jack + Toba. I took this shot outside the shop.

Oh, I wanted this weekender bag. In fact, I love the entire bed and bedding. Just so cozy!

The shop has a bit of whimsy to it. Just look at the tags. I like a store that has labels on everything then I don't have to ask for the prices. I did end up speaking to Wendy who was working that day. In fact, we had a long conversation. She is fabulous and such an interesting person. She also writes a blog and she lives on a farm.

She holds events at the farm including barn dinners. The next one is October 19th. Fall in the country, yes I need to get tickets for that event. She was a wedding planner in San Francisco and now she hosts weddings on her farm. She is a great contact for my sister who is a live event painter for weddings and special events. Perfect, they should meet.

I love products for bath or laundry. These are from Laundress. I bought a bottle of their all purpose cleaner and can't wait to use it.

Is there no end to the fabulous bags in this shop? Wish I needed a bag. I could have walked out with at least 3.

Isn't this a nice display for the laundry products? Chalkboards and old boxes are favorites of mine.

More products on a real sink. So beautifully displayed. Love the faucets too.

There were many kitchen related items too. I bought a cheese list tea towel. It could be a Christmas gift but it might be for me.

I put my parcels in the car and then it was off to Nesting. Do you recognize the scene in the above photo? The scene was shown in the March Sisters Christmas movie.

This woman was Concord Chic as she looked at the merchandise at Nesting. This is the back room full of goodies.

Each vignette at Nesting is carefully crafted. I heard they were already planning their Christmas displays.

I love to buy little soaps and Nesting has an abundance of them. Always beautifully displayed.

How many items from this photo would you want to take home?  Too many for me.

An old frame becomes a towel rack. So clever!  Might steal this idea!

Since it is Summer, several vignettes were beach or ocean related.

These handcreams look just like tubes of paint. I have a box like this.

An old showcase for food is now a jewelry display and it looks fantastic!

A beautifully Summery display celebrates the waning days of Summer. I had a conversation with one of the partners and I might have a little photo gig. I would love to work with her! She also had some good info for my sister. It's all about the connections you make.
As I drove home, I travelled some of the side streets of Concord. I wished I had the time to stop and take photos of the beautiful gardens and wildflowers peaking out of chippy pickets fences.  The homes I passed had the most beautiful porches and architectural details. Such history in Concord dating back many hundreds of years. If you get the chance, you must experience Concord.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

An Evening in Rockport

Last night two friends, my sister and I took a little trip to Rockport. We went there to see the downtown illumination and fireworks.

We absolutely love Rockport. Once we arrived, I wanted to make a beeline to Helmut's Strudel Shop. I can never be sure if they will be open. It seems they close rather early for a shop in a tourist town but maybe I just arrive too early in the Summer and they reserve their later hours for July and August.

As you can see here, they were open last night. We met up with our friends Chris and Diana who live in Gloucester the next town over. Diana is also our friend Mary's sister and Chris is Diana's son.

The night was perfect. The weather was fantastic, not too cool or too warm. The Super moon was out or the almost Super moon I should say. This is the view across from the deck at Helmut's.

Diana and Chris enjoyed the deck too. They are lucky to live so close to Helmut's.

We enjoyed hot strudel like no other. Oozy apples on the inside, crispy flakey crust on the outside. It crunches with every bite. Topped with powder sugar, yum! I bought a box of strudel to go so I could relive the memories at home. My Dad, sister and I enjoyed it after dinner tonight.

 Sitting on the deck watching the boats bob up and down is such a relaxing way to spend time. I did not want to leave my chair.

The moon had a bit of cloud cover by the time we left Helmut's. We still had a little time before the fireworks started.

Here's another shot from the deck. As you can see this shop is perfectly positioned for ocean viewing.

Moon glow on the harbor. I parked the car way beyond those houses. Parking is at a premium in Rockport. I know the side streets so I always find a space but it can be quite a hike.

I love this restaurant! My Place by the Sea has a fantastic location overlooking the ocean. I only went there once but the food was very good. Last night, there was a special dinner and dj advertised for $85 and of course, the most perfect viewing spot for the fireworks.

Yes, there is a second deck to the restaurant. What a great spot for viewing sunsets and for romance.

Here is the front of My Place By The Sea. I love the twigs laced with lights.

Last night was Illumination Night so there were mini paper lanterns in the twigs.

Just such a pretty look. Presentation is everything at My Place By The Sea.

We meant to have dinner but we had the strudel and then we just walked around bit. Instead of a formal dinner, we had hot dogs and shared some fries. It was good and just enough to tide us over until the fireworks.

Some of the shops had lanterns and lights outside too. I loved the bikes outside the shop.

We had waited for 3 hours for the fireworks to start.  It was worth it. We had a great viewing spot.

The fireworks were launched right across from us. Perfect for taking photos. My friend Don brought a tripod with him. I am sure his photos are spectacular.

I preferred the hand held camera method. The photos would not be as crisp but I did not want to lug around my tripod. I needed that other hand to carry the strudel!

At the end of the night, Don let me use his tripod. We took this photo of the harbor. Magical, isn't it?


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