Springtime in Beantown!

After a very long cold and snowy winter in Boston the sight of blooming flowers and budding trees made for a hopeful start to spring.  Spring means a lot of things to Bostonians: Red Sox, Celtics playoffs, the Boston Marathon; it’s hard not to be a sports fan in this great city.

There is nothing quiet like Patriot’s Day in Boston as this day is host to the world famous Boston Marathon. So this weekend, my family decided to stay at the Custom House, a Marriot Hotel property near the waterfront to enjoy all the city has to offer on this notably busy Boston weekend.  Here are some of the highlights and our favorite spots:

We love to stay at the Custom House. The Custom House with it’s large clock tower was first used in the 19th century as a place to collect duties imported by merchants and later as a beacon for ships and planes.  What we love best about this hotel is the roof top deck with amazing views of Boston harbor.  The Custom House is very close to the North end, Boston’s Italian district which is full of cozy restaurants and unique shops and also a stones throw away from Quincy market, a great marketplace with fun shops, restaurants and food vendors.  This adult and kid-friendly destination always has  live performers or a “balloon-animal making man” close by to entertain the little ones.  Check out this cheery fellow!

This trip, we ventured on part of The Freedom Trail a 2.5-mile redbrick walking trail that leads you around the city to some very old historical sites.

The Old State House is a jewel amongst the modern city buildings and it is where the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston from the building’s balcony in 1776.  How cool is that? 

I am not a cemetery visitor in general, but it’s hard not to take a peek in at the Granary Graveyard, which was established in 1660.  This is the final resting spot for Paul Revere, Sam Adams and John Hancock and many more Bostonian notables.

So my married name is Scarlata, so you don’t think I would come to Boston and miss out on the North End’s Italian treats, would you?  My favorite stop here is Caffé Vittoria for cappuccino.  I have been to Italy and tasted many cappuccinos in my time but this North End cappuccino remains my favorite.

A work in progress…

The opening of the Swan Boats certainly marks the beginning of spring for me. The Swan boats have been running consecutively by the Paget family since 1877! A  great take for the young and the old.

After a nice brisk walk through the Boston Common (the oldest park in the United States) and Public Garden, a stroll down Charles Street seems in order.  Great restaurants, boutiques, gelato, you name it can be found on this quaint street.  Because I love to create home made cards and stationery, I always take a peek in the local paper stores such as Black Ink and Rugg Road Paper Co.  But a must see on this road is  Savenor’s Market. This market is a foodie’s paradise.  Check out the staff holding up some frozen rattlesnake.  MMMM?  And of course, dinner would not be complete without a piece of lion, right?  OH my!

Of course, springtime in Boston means the Celtics are in the midst of play off season!  Go GREEN!  We didn’t have tickets for the game this weekend, but stopped by to pick up a couple tees and support  local business! Ilovebostonsports.com offered up some very cool shirts and took a picture of us too!

For all the shoppers (and I happen to be one of them), a trip down Newbury Street is the thing to do.  My favorite stop, Sweet for the cutest and tastiest cupcakes!

Rasberry lemon is tasty, but sometimes you just have to get a few different ones to taste.

And of course, a trip to Fenway Park is a must when in Boston. This park is the home of the Red Sox, which opened its doors in 1912 and is the oldest Major League baseball park currently in use.

We wrapped up our city get-away watching the Boston Marathon at the finishing line, near Dartmouth and Boylston Streets. Being a runner, I love being around this event.  It is quite a feat to run 26.2 miles!

Since Boston  is a very walking-friendly location, it’s easy to enjoy a few treats and keep your body healthy and fit.  Enjoy this wonderful city with a mix of the old and the new; a great city that I am proud to call “home!”