We started the day with a brunch at The Paramount; a very small restaurant in Beacon Hill that got rave reviews and is pretty much always packed. I'm fairly certain fire code was broken but fortunately there weren't any emergencies and we had a perfectly spectacular meal. The reviews all stated that there would certainly be a wait but that a table always miraculously appears when you need to sit down. Sure enough, as we were placing our order, the server found us a table that was just opening up, like magic! While I was standing in line waiting to place my order, I saw a woman pass me with a plate of French Toast covered in bananas and caramel. I couldn't resist it and along with some fresh squeezed OJ, I had a FEAST! It was so crowded, however, I did not feel comfortable taking out my camera to get a picture but take a loot at their website and you can get a feel for how closely we were packed in.
After stuffing ourselves, we hopped on the T down to the financial district for the Tea Party Museum. (Side note, the financial district is creepy desolate on a Sunday morning.) I remember it from when I visited Boston on our 8th grade good kids trip. They have drastically improved it since then, in case you were wondering. The cast stays in character the whole time and they do a great job.
We are all gathered in the town hall and everyone in the audience is given a card with a name, description and occupation of a member of the party. A cast member runs a town meeting to get us all riled up about the new tea tax, then we headed down to the ship for the "party" where the kids throw the tea over-board. We got a tour of the ship (It's a replica in case you were wondering.) followed by a discussion on the dock about the immediate consequences.
From there we go through the museum part where we saw one of the original tea boxes and saw a short film based on the start of the Revolution. It was all very well done and educational while being fun.
The tour lasted a little longer than we had anticipated so we were a bit late meeting Eileen and her family at Joe's American Bar and Grill down near Long Wharf for lunch but they were gracious enough to wait for us. I must say, Megan looks identical to Eileen at that age and Declan is the spitting image of Sean. Those Barrett genes are STRONG!!!!!
Back to lunch... I had a pretty good fish and chips. Not as good as Doherty's but that's to be expected. Joe's is American and Doherty's is Irish. Fish and chips is a UK thing.
We chatted for a bit and then had to skip out across the way to catch our whale watching boat. None of us had ever been on a whale watch before. I was excited. I brought my big lens and was ready to get some shots of whales.
Unfortunately, neither KC nor I anticipated that 1/2 of the party didn't have his/her sea legs. There were 4-6' swells and even on a fairly large catamaran, there was some significant pitching and rolling. Apparently, it was enough to upset several stomachs once we got out into the open water. Up until that time, we all enjoyed the trip. Live and learn, huh?
And Now... For the Whales!
We saw 4 whales, Nile, Measles and Gunslinger were the first 3 but they were briefly joined by a 4th whose name is completely escaping me. I never got any pictures of him or her either.
We started to see their blows from about a mile away. For about an hour they stayed about 1/4 mile away from the boat but then toward the end of the tour, they came up about 50' off the back of the boat and then again just before we left, to the starboard side. At one point they were so close we could smell their breath! No joke! I was in photography heaven.
After that little adventure we decided to head back to the hotel to let everyone's systems recuperate. After an hour or so, we were ready to hit the street in search of some good Italian food in the North End. We just wandered around for a while and took a chance on a corner restaurant called Quattro. We knew nothing about it but the best known spots had lines out the door. After a day of carrying around my camera and shooting for hours with my 70-200, I decided to take the evening off from photog duty so you'll just have to believe me that the place was tiny. However, tiny does not mean bad. The waiter was phenomenal and even got Macy something that wasn't on the menu. Granted, it was plain pasta with butter and parmesan so it wasn't a stretch for an Italian place but still, he could have been a hardass about it. KC and I did our typical; we each got something that sounded good to both of us, ate 1/2 and switched. The waiter even brought us plates to allow us to do this without swapping plates over the table. The special was a spicy pasta dish with lobster and scallops and it was delish! The other plate we split was the gnocchi which was mmmmmm, mmmmmm, good. Delaney had a plate of the biggest shrimp I've ever seen and the presentation was impeccable.
We were just down the street from Mikes so we stopped in for a sweet to end the day. Afterward, the girls both had to use the restroom, which, being a bakery, Mike's didn't have. In desperation, I went back into Quattro and asked the waiter if we could use the restroom to which he replied, "Of course! Your children are adorable!" He may tell every person he meets that but darn did he sound sincere and I bought it hook line and sinker. I would go back to Quattro in a heartbeat! So if you are ever in the North End and looking for a place that has great food and the absolute BEST service, that's my recommendation.
After that we dragged everyone back to the hotel for one last night. We all crashed pretty hard. It's been a packed 3 days!
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun