Monday, May 27, 2013

No chocolate left behind- Boston Strong Chocolate Tour


This weekend, my friends Karen, Kim and I went on the Boston Strong Back Bay Chocolate Tour. My sister and I went in on the ticket for Karen as a birthday present. My sister is not into chocolate that much so she elected to give her ticket to Kim.

We assembled at the first stop on this walking tour, Hotel Chocolat. They had prepared the tasting room just for our group of 18.



Our guide, Victoria, introduced herself and explained about the tour. She talked about the significance of this particular tour because all the proceeds from the tour would go to the One Fund. She has been a Bostonian for 11 years and she was clearly affected by the Marathon Bombings.



Victoria had us sign a poster which would later be placed at the Marathon Memorial. I loved what Victoria wrote.


Mine was not nearly as eloquent. I think I mentioned in a previous post that six people from my hometown were seriously injured in the bombings.


We all signed the poster and got to know each other. A couple from New York just in Boston for the weekend, a mother and daughter from Rhode Island, friends from Wisconsin, a couple celebrating their anniversary.

Before the first tasting, we received a goodie bag and were given the ground rules of the tour. "No chocolate left behind!" proclaimed Victoria. We had to eat all the samples or they were to be put into the ziploc bags we were given with the goodie bags. I knew this was one rule I could obey.


I forgot to mention we all received a Boston Strong T-shirt and we were asked to wear them on the tour. The T-shirt was designed by a young Melrose girl.




Let the sampling begin! First a little education about chocolate. That big red thing? A chocolate pod.

We didn't break it open and eat it. Instead, we had a milk chocolate disc and a pecan brownie chocolate. Yum, nothing went in my ziploc bag at this stop!


Having our appetite whetted for chocolate we were on to the next stop. Victoria led the group down the street to Ben and Jerry's.


A section of Ben & Jerry's was reserved for us. We learned a bit about Ben & Jerry and their Vermont based business.


We were educated about fair trade and the natural ingredients that Ben & Jerry use in their ice cream.


Then it was on to the ice cream! Vanilla with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a third cookie as well. It was delicious!


Here's a better look at the Tshirt. Colors of the Boston Marathon, blue and gold. A gold heart and the city skyline with the words Boston Strong showing through.


I firmly believe that no matter what your age ice cream and chocolate will always bring a smile to your face!


Victoria and friend were happy too. They were making all of us happy and raising money for the One Fund. Win win!


Next stop, Teuscher Chocolatier. Swiss made chocolates, yes please! Bring on the ziploc bag!


The chocolates in this shop are flown in daily from Zurich. We had champagne truffles, yum!


This shop was so beautiful! Flowers and chocolate everywhere. Of course I found it appealing!


Karen took this shot of Kim and I. The only photo you will see of me as I am always the one behind the camera!


Time for a chocolate cupcake at Sweet on Newbury. This reminds of a shop you might see in Paris. Attention to detail on the inside and  out.



These cupcakes honored our Boston Bruins hockey team. Go Bruins, all the way to the Stanley Cup!


And of course, Boston Cream Pie cupcakes were for sale.


I told you this shop was cute inside too. Wouldn't this be heaven for a little girl's birthday party?


And I definitely need one of these for my next party!


You know I have a chalkboard obsession so I knew I would love the next stop, Robin's Candy.


A couple of samples of chocolate at Robin's. When I was asked if I wanted to try a chocolate covered cricket I thought it was a cricket shaped chocolate candy. I tried it and later found I had indeed eaten a cricket covered in chocolate. Eew! It was quite crunchy and leggy. Yuck!



Visual overstimulation and a sugar rush. Members of our group soaked up the festive atmosphere at this store.


Members of our group relaxed outside after the frivolity inside Robin's.


My friends enjoyed the sunshine after the downpours on Saturday.


Boston's beauty was certainly on display this Sunday afternoon.


We trekked onto the next destination, savoring the sunshine and near perfect temps.


Victoria told us to take 5 pieces of Lindt Chocolate Truffles- one of each kind.


We walked down Boylston Street and stopped at the Boston Marathon finish line. We held a moment of silence for the victims of the bombings. The sound of sirens and ambulances did not permit a true silence and I wept briefly thinking that this is the exact sounds so many victims heard after the bombs went off. Sirens.


We walked past the very ornate Copley T Station (that's the public transportation system for those of you who are non-Bostonians). 


And we passed in front of the Boston Public Library, one of my favorite buildings in the city.


We headed to the last chocolate stop Gourmet Boutique at Copley Place.


Taylor spoke about the different product lines at Gourmet Boutique. It is a teeny tiny shop but lovely. 18 of us squeezed into the shop to taste 3 kinds of chocolate.


Victoria wanted to place our poster at the Marathon Memorial so we walked with her. I had not seen it and I wanted to pay my respects.


I read many of the sentiments on cards, posters, running shoes and watched the people's faces. Emotions are still raw and shock and grief are still evident. It has been little more than a month.


Those who died were memoralized.


Others expressed their feelings of patriotism.


And of their resolve to keep on running.


Messages of strength.


And solidarity from those who know the pain from acts of terrorism.




We will all feel better in time but we can feel good about our small contribution to the One Fund Boston. 


If you would like to take a Boston Chocolate Tour click here for info.

To donate to the One Fund Boston click here.








4 comments:

Sue said...

well that was some tour....nothing better then chocolate except for maybe cheesecake....Boston sure loves it's sweets....thought the memorials were very nice....
Hope you didn't OD on the Lindt balls....I almost chocked on one once when it melted to the roof of my mouth...In a panic I took a cold drink which hardened it and then I couldn't breath...I love them but I do eat them now with caution...

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Boston is my hometown, as an adult. My husband went to BU, we lived there for 11 years, and when the bombings occurred, I could not rest. The world, the way each one of us knows it, is rapidly changing into a place we do not always recognize, until acts of kindness and CREATIVITY surface, and then the smile comes back.

CHOCOLATE, FRIENDS, WALKS IN BOSTON, etc.....what could be more beautiful? CELEBRATE LIFE in all flavors! And thank you so much for coming on over to visit my home, neighborhood, and garden! YES, we live in a super cute enclave of Minneapolis, and I made that paper dress that is part of the "business" I started last year. I wish you much success on your new endeavor as well! Anita

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Elaine, I loved this post. You really got me wanting to take this tour. You also always give great detail in your posts and I think that is why I want to experience this myself.

Donna said...

Fantastic post, Elaine. I love it when you talk about Boston. I FEEL the love you have for the city. I'd not heard of the Boston Chocolate tours - what a fabulous offering... Donna

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