BOSTON: Christmas Eve @ Union Oyster House, Quincy Market, The Freedom Trail & Cheers

February 09, 2016  •  1 Comment


CHRISTMAS MY BIRTHDAY EVE IN BOSTON


So....the hubs asked what I wanted for Christmas/My Birthday (yes, I have the unfortunate luck of being a Christmas baby) this year, and my response, "I just wanna go away. It doesn't have to be on a plane.... maybe just drive somewhere....Tremblant, Quebec City.... Boston.... wherever!"

We've been putting off Boston forever, because every single time we talked about going there, it was in the middle of winter with horrid temperatures and more snow than Montreal! This year however - an unusually warm Dec.24/25 - they were forecasting 20 C degrees for both days in Beantown! So, we Hotwired a hotel (ended up with a 4-star in Cambridge - 10-minute walk to Quincy Market - for just $114 per night) and off we went on our 5-hour drive for 2 days in Boston. 

 

No metro for us, when I'm with the hubs, it's walking.....and walking....and more walking! Boston.No metro for us, when I'm with the hubs, it's walking.....and walking....and more walking!

No metro for us, when I'm with the hubs, it's walking.....and walking....and more walking!


Signs of Christmas - though it's 20 C degrees outsideSigns of Christmas - though it's 20 C degrees outside Signs of Christmas - though it's 20 C degrees outside


UNION OYSTER HOUSE


After checking in and dropping off our stuff, it's around 2 pm and we are starving! On good authority from a couple of foodies, we were told to head to Union Oyster House, and I'm so glad we did.

This iconic resto has the distinction of being America's oldest restaurant (serving up tastiness since 1826) and maintains a suitably old-fashioned tavern decor. This place has got the best Oyster House Clam Chowder I've ever had. They're Homemade Lump Crab Cake Sandwich was pretty effing good too! And as my hubs says, "Any place that starts off service with free fresh cornbread has gotta be good!" - and trust me, it was (so much so that we couldn't even eat dinner that night because we were so stuffed from all that deliciousness). 

 

First stop - Union Oyster House for lunchFirst stop - Union Oyster House for lunch First stop - Union Oyster House for lunch


As the hubs says, "Any place that starts with serving you free fresh cornbread has gotta be good!"As the hubs says, "Any place that starts with serving you free fresh cornbread has gotta be good!" As the hubs says, "Any place that starts with serving you free fresh cornbread has gotta be good!"


New England Clam Chowder at Union Oyster HouseNew England Clam Chowder at Union Oyster House To start - Oyster House Clam Chowder - Union Oyster House


Crab Cake Sandwich at Union Oyster HouseCrab Cake Sandwich at Union Oyster House Followed by a yummy Homemade Lump Crab Cake Sandwich - Union Oyster House


The cutest model of this historic restaurantThe cutest model of this historic restaurant The cutest model of this historic restaurant


FANEUIL HALL MARKETPLACE - QUINCY MARKET


It's one those markets that you hear about time and time again, and I was afraid that it might not be open since it's Christmas Eve. It was open 9 am - 5 pm and it was packed with people doing last-minute xmas shopping. Even though it's the most touristy place in Boston, it's still very much a vibrant place - lots of places to eat, tons of entertaining street performers and what seems like zillions of people

It consists of three large historical buildings smack-dab-in-the-middle of Boston and there's always something going on....and it's always crowded. While it is totally touristy, and the shops are pretty much the same as what you could find in any mall, it's still definitely worth taking a stroll through. 

 

Following the footsteps of this guy to Quincy MarketFollowing the footsteps of this guy to Quincy Market Following the footsteps of this guy to Quincy Market


Faneuil Hall Marketplace - better known as Quincy MarketFaneuil Hall Marketplace - better known as Quincy Market Faneuil Hall Marketplace - better known as Quincy Market​


It's Christmas Eve, and the market is poppingIt's Christmas Eve, and the market is popping It's Christmas Eve, and the market is popping


Always tons of peeps and performers around the marketAlways tons of peeps and performers around the market Always tons of peeps and performers around the market


December 24 and its 20 degrees (celsius) outside!December 24 and its 20 degrees (celsius) outside! December 24 and its 20 degrees (celsius) outside!


So glad that the market is open on Christmas EveSo glad that the market is open on Christmas Eve So glad that the market is open on Christmas Eve


WIthout the Christmas decos, you wouldn't know it's the holiday season from the mild weatherWIthout the Christmas decos, you wouldn't know it's the holiday season from the mild weather Without the Christmas decos, you wouldn't know it's the holiday season from the mild weather


This kid - Bradley Bartlett-Roche - is only 12 years old and he's one of the youngest street performers ever to be selected to officially play at Faneuil Hall Market Place (aka Quincy Market).This kid - Bradley Bartlett-Roche - is only 12 years old and he's one of the youngest street performers ever to be selected to officially play at Faneuil Hall Market Place (aka Quincy Market). This kid - Bradley Bartlett-Roche - is only 12 years old and he's one of the youngest street performers ever to be selected to officially play at Faneuil Hall Market Place (aka Quincy Market)


Quincy Market -  South Market BuildingQuincy Market - South Market Building Quincy Market -  South Market Building


BOSTON'S FREEDOM TRAIL


Another thing that people kept telling me about is this Freedom Trail that is marked along the sidewalks. Having no clue where to find this trail, we were happy to see a plaque in the sidewalk with red brick paving the way. Following the red brick path, it's a 2.5 mile path connecting 16 historic sites that were significant to the American Revolution. Since we've picked up the trail somewhere in the middle (by Quincy Market), we pick a direction that takes us to the Old State House/Boston Massacre Site, Park Street Church, Old Granary Burying Ground, Old Corner Book Store, Old South Meeting House and the Boston Common (tomorrow we'll head in the other direction!).

Honestly not knowing too much about the history of the trail, I was all intent on looking up everything we'd seen today once we got back to the hotel, but it was an unreal coincidence that the History Channel was showing a marathon of Sons of Liberty - a mini-series (about a group of men fighting in the American Colonies for freedom - notably about Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere) - basically telling the story of everything that we saw on the Freedom Trail that day! 

 

Time to walk along Boston's Freedom TrailTime to walk along Boston's Freedom Trail Time to walk along Boston's Freedom Trail​


Old State House on the Freedom TrailOld State House on the Freedom Trail Old State House on the Freedom Trail


Old State House - Boston Massacre SiteOld State House - Boston Massacre Site Old State House - Boston Massacre Site


Still on the Freedom Trail Still on the Freedom Trail - Old Corner Book Store


Old South Meeting House along the Freedom TrailOld South Meeting House along the Freedom Trail Old South Meeting House along the Freedom Trail


Old South Meeting House along the Freedom TrailOld South Meeting House along the Freedom Trail Old South Meeting House along the Freedom Trail


Old City Hall - Freedom TrailOld City Hall - Freedom Trail Old City Hall - Freedom Trail


Old City Hall - Freedom TrailOld City Hall - Freedom Trail Old City Hall - Freedom Trail


Granary Burial Ground - Freedom TrailGranary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail Granary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail


Granary Burial Ground - Freedom TrailGranary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail Granary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail


Samuel Adams' grave at Granary Burial Ground - Freedom TrailSamuel Adams' grave at Granary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail Samuel Adams' grave at Granary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail


Granary Burial Ground - Freedom TrailGranary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail Granary Burial Ground - Freedom Trail


Park Street Church - Freedom TrailPark Street Church - Freedom Trail Park Street Church - Freedom Trail


The Trail brings us to the Boston CommonThe Trail brings us to the Boston Common The Trail brings us to the Boston Common


The Massachusetts State House overlooking Boston CommonThe Massachusetts State House overlooking Boston Common The Massachusetts State House overlooking Boston Common


Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial to the first documented African American regimentRobert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial to the first documented African American regiment Robert Gould Shaw & Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial to the first documented African American regiment


Frog Pond ice skating at Boston Common (though the don't know how they kept it frozen, it was 20 C degrees out!)Frog Pond ice skating at Boston Common (though the don't know how they kept it frozen, it was 20 C degrees out!) Frog Pond ice skating at Boston Common (though the don't know how they kept it frozen, it was 20 C degrees out!)


Time for quick stroll through the Boston Public GardenTime for quick stroll through the Boston Public Garden Time for quick stroll through the Boston Public Garden


CHEERS & BEACON HILL


Cheers....where everybody knows your name....well not really, it was full of a bunch of drunk strangers. But the former Bull & Finch Pub (now changed names to Cheers Boston on Beacon Hill) is probably the most sought after attractions in the Beacon Hill area, and even though the TV show only used the pub for the outside shots (the actual bar scenes were filmed on some lot in Hollywood), it's still a magnet for fans of the series - even those like me, who just barely remember it from my parents watching it when I was a kid. Definitely worth a stop for the photo op, but beware if you plan on going in - the interior looks nothing like the show - for that, you'll need to head to Cheers Boston Faneuil Hall which is a replica of the bar from the show. 

Bordered by Beacon Street and Cambridge Street, Beacon Hill is a residential neighbourhood - one of the most beautiful in Boston, and one of the most expensive in the United States. Known for its detailed architecture and San Francisco-ish steep street layout, it's a super cute area to stroll around in, where you'll find row after row of brick houses with beautiful doors and decorative iron work and very old brick sidewalks (ladies - do not wear any type of shoes with heels here!). 

 

Cheers!Cheers! Cheers!


Beacon Hill Christmas decosBeacon Hill Christmas decos Beacon Hill Christmas decos


Super cute Beacon Hill areaSuper cute Beacon Hill area Super cute Beacon Hill area


Savenors in Beacon HillSavenors in Beacon Hill Savenors in Beacon Hill


NIGHT TIME


The sun is setting and now we've got to retrace our steps back along the Freedom Trail and head back to the hotel. There's not much to tell - below are kind of the same photos of the buildings on the trail from above, just...at night!

Time for bed - tomorrow we check out MIT and the Harvard campus, and hit the other side of the trail!

 

Back across the Boston Common to head back to the hotelBack across the Boston Common to head back to the hotel Back across the Boston Common to head back to the hotel


Somewhere in the Boston CommonSomewhere in the Boston Common Somewhere in the Boston Common


So pretty with the Christmas lightsSo pretty with the Christmas lights So pretty with the Christmas lights


Nova Scotia Christmas Tree lights up Boston CommonNova Scotia Christmas Tree lights up Boston Common Nova Scotia Christmas Tree lights up Boston Common​


The Boston State House at nightThe Boston State House at night The Massachusetts State House at night


Old City Hall Old City Hall Old City Hall....at night


The State House at nightThe State House at night The Boston State House at night


Quincy Market at nightQuincy Market at night Quincy Market at night


Beautiful nightBeautiful night It is a beautiful night...still super mild......18 C degrees!


Light show Pulse Light Show at Quincy Market


Christmas tree at Quincy MarketChristmas tree at Quincy Market Christmas tree at Quincy Market​


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNight night Night night


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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Comments

David(non-registered)
Awesome post Jennifer!
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