Saturday, October 15, 2011

Donuts and Beer

Taking the lift down Wachusett Mountain

Nothing beats October in New England. It seems like every sleepy town in New England shines a little brighter come fall. Maybe it's the cool crisp air or the vibrant foliage acting as our own big coloring book, there's just something special about fall in New England.  One of my favorite things about the fall are all the festivals that take place every weekend.  We've got Octoberfests, pumpkin festivals, applefests, fall film festivals, fall foliage tours, maple syrup-paloozafest. Ok, maybe not the last one but you get the idea. 
Don't think these will fit on the porch.
    Today I visited Applefest at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA.  It's located off Route 2 about an hour from Boston.  The foliage in that area hasn't quite reached it's color potential but the festival was a good take nonetheless.  There were lots of craft vendors, activities for the kids and giant pumpkins. Visitors could take a ride on the chair lift to the top of Wachusett and enjoy the lovely view.
View from the top.

My favorite part of Applefest was the food and drink particularly the cider donuts and beer. In my opinion no fall festival is complete without cider donuts and a beer tent.  I love cider donuts. I remember going apple picking as a kid and just waiting for it to be over so I could indulge in my donut treat.  Obviously as a kid I couldn't partake in the beer festivities but now I happily engage in a brew or two as an adult. I wholeheartedly believe that beer tastes better when you have a cider donut in one hand, a beer in the other and the Jolly Kopperschmidts Band entertaining you in the beer tent.  It's a joyful feeling swinging your glass side to side while singing a song that ends in "beer here".  Yup, I love October. 

The Jolly Kopperschmidts Band
Me and Mom enjoying the atmosphere.

For a list of more festivals in New England, click on the link below:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

View from the Pru

Every summer I make a list of places I'd like to visit and every summer without fail I never actually get to those places. I become busy with other things whether it's work, family stuff or just plain laziness. I'll admit there were a few afternoons this summer when I got sucked into a Real Housewives marathon on TV. Another day lost.  Anyway, one place on my list this summer was the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center located in the Back Bay. I had found some old photos of Boston taken from the Prudential in the 1960's and I figured I would see how much the city has changed since then.  Plus the view from the Pru is pretty spectacular.  Gazing out from 50 stories on a clear day it's easy to forget about hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters like all the college kids moving back to town.                      
This photo is a bit fuzzy. The old Hancock Tower is shown in the center. The Custom House tower is in the background on the left.  The building in the foreground on the left is still located on Boylston Street.

 Today, the newer Hancock Tower aka the Giant Mirror blocks the old Hancock Building and there's a lot more buildings in the background.

1960's Boylston Street. The middle building says Bentley College.

2011- Boylston Street.   The two buildings on the left are the same as in the photo above.

Looking out over the Charles River, Back Bay and Mass. Ave. bridge.
Not too much has changed...maybe the Charles is cleaner?

1960's Prudential Tower. Kind of ugly.
2011- Prudential Tower...still kind of ugly.

 Boston's Gem- Fenway Park

The Citgo sign watches over Kenmore Square.

The Longfellow Bridge also known as the Salt and Pepper bridge connects Boston to Cambridge.

 Oh, Boston, you're my home.

For more information about the Skywalk Observatory visit this site:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Free Fridays!

Free fun Fridays kicks off July 1st! If you are in Boston on July 1st take a walk over to the Museum of Fine Arts. Why you ask? Because admission is free! Several other attractions in Massachusetts will offer free admission to the public on designated Fridays this summer. The Museum of Science, Children's Museum, JFK Library and a whole bunch of others are participating.

Check out the full list and dates here:

Don't miss out on Free Fun Fridays!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Farewell Big Man

It's hard to put into words how I feel about the passing of Clarence Clemons. I've been thinking about him all day and wondering why I feel so affected by his death.  I guess it's the reality that I won't see him perform with Bruce and the E Street Band ever again and that saddens me deeply.  As fans we know the story of Bruce and Clarence and the band. These guys have been together for years and are like brothers. When attending their shows you feel their joy and love for each other and those feelings elevate the music to a whole other level. There is a special connection, a spirtual connection between the band and audience. It's hard to imagine that I won't hear those glorious sounds coming from Clarence's saxophone. Jungleland, Bobby Jean, Born to Run and so many other songs take on different meanings.                     
   There's a video on YouTube that shows a clip from the band's last concert from the 2009 tour. When the camera spans the audience it lingers for a moment on a group of fans holding a sign that says "It's only rock'n'roll but it feels like love". That sentiment sums up the E Street Band for me. Farewell Big Man and thanks for the love.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Welcome home Lord Stanley!

There's nothing that bonds a city closer than when one of it's sports teams wins a championship. A championship puts everyone in a good mood; strangers talk to each other, food tastes better, even the T doesn't seem as hot and crowded. For a few days we all feel connected, we feel like we're part of something. We've been lucky in Boston to have seven championships in the last ten years.  Our lucky seventh came courtesy of the Boston Bruins. From the moment Big Z lifted Lord Stanley's Cup over his head B's fans let out a collective roar and have been celebrating ever since. The Bruins were bringing the Cup home after 39 years! (and no we don't count the time when Ray Bourque brought the Stanley Cup to Boston. The Cup that he won with another team. Does not count.).  
I knew as soon as the Bruins won that I would attend the parade. I had not attended any of the other team's championship parades not even the Sox but I've got a soft spot for the B's and I wanted to join in the celebration. (Oh wait, I did attend one of the parades.  In 1984 my mom took my brothers and I to the Celtics championship rally but I don't remember much about it except that it was very crowded and hot and that we got stuck on the Red Line coming home.)
This time would be different.  My mom being the trooper she is joined me for today's Bruins celebration. We got to the parade route about 8:45am. The parade wouldn't start until about 11am and it wouldn't reach us on Boylston Street until about 12pm. I thought it might be tedious waiting but the time flew by. We could feel the excitement in the air. I have never seen so many black and yellow jerseys, t-shirts and hats in one place. I was proud to be a Bruins fan! Finally the duck boats came toward us with all the Bruins players on board.  The crowd erupted and confetti exploded as Timmy Thomas, Chara, Bergeron, Lucic, Marchand, Recchi, Horton, Coach Claude and all the rest waved to the fans.  The actual parade went by quickly but it was so worth the wait.  Thank you Boston Bruins for one helluva season!
Boylston Street at 9am.

Fake Cup

Here they come!

Big Z!

Timmy Thomas!

Hi Looch!

 Tyler Seguin

Michael Ryder

Brad Marchand

Patrice Bergeron!

 Andrew Ference

The Stanley Cup was carried right in front of me! Slow down boys!

Me and mom. Thanks for sticking it out Mom!

 Confetti is all that's left.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ice Cream!

29th Annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl® logo

Did someone say all you can eat ice cream for $8?  Yes, it's that time of year again, the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl!  Taking place at City Hall Plaza from June 7-9, the Scooper Bowl is a fun event where you can sample tons of delicious ice cream.  It starts at noon and runs until 8pm so head over during your lunch break, after work or after supper.  All the proceeds go to the Jimmy Fund so you don't even have to feel guilty for indulging.  Go and enjoy a scoop...or two or three!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bruins Fever

I took a stroll through town this morning and was happy to see that Bruins fever is in high pitch. People were walking around proudly wearing their Bruins shirts and hats. Bruins banners are hanging from bars, roofs, statues and even the State House. I'm psyched that the Bruins are front and center, it's about time!

Screw the Capitals, George Washington is a Bruins fan!

Even the Mallards are in on the action.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bring it Home Bruins!!

I saw this prayer posted on facebook and had to share it for the Bruins fans out there.
Courtesy of

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Twist and Shout

  I was looking for something to do with my 11 year old nephew this week and found the perfect attraction: The Museum of Science was showing the IMAX film Tornado Alley in their Omni Mugar Theater. Matthew (my nephew) and I are amateur weather buffs. We get excited when a big storm is brewing. If there is a storm chaser show on TV then you can bet we've watched it a few times.  Yup, we know all about the Vortex 2 and TIV (tornado intercept vehicle).
  So today Matt and I headed to the Science Museum via the T. The place was crawling with kids because it's school vacation week. We didn't have too much trouble moving around though because we were there just to see the film.  I hadn't been to the Omni Theater in years and I forgot how impressive it is.  It's kind of like sitting in a bubble that's five stories tall. Once the sound kicks in you become completely immersed in the show. The film itself was quite thrilling.  Tornado Alley isn't just about twisters touching down but about the science involved in tracking these storms. The film allows the viewer to see how a tornado begins and ends. One second we're staring at clear blue skies and the next second the landscape becomes dark and menacing.  You can practically feel the winds pick up and I almost expected hail to start pounding the theater's roof.  The film also shows the utter devastation a tornado leaves in it's wake. It made me feel very thankful that tornadoes are rare in New England.  When the movie ended Matt pretty much summed it up saying, "That was awesome!"  I would have to agree.

Visit the American Red Cross website for information about how you can assist the victims of the recent tornadoes in the South.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

There are always lots of activities taking place in Boston for St. Patrick's Day. The main activity is usually hoisting a few pints at the local bar and attending the St. Patty's Day parade in Southie.  If you want to keep the celebration going then check out the 12th Annual Irish Film Festival Boston taking place from March 24th-27th.  The festival honors and celebrates Ireland with the premiere of many films, short films and documentaries. The tradition of wonderful Irish storytelling is guaranteed at the festival.  Films will be screened at the Stuart Street Playhouse in Boston and the Somerville Theater in Davis Square Somerville.

For tickets and more information go to:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Drink it In

Drink is located below Sportello at 348 Congress St.

If ever you tire of the same old bar and feel a need to class up a bit then head over to Drink located on Congress Street in the Fort Point neighborhood.  Drink is tucked away beneath the restaurant Sportello and being below street level gives a feeling of exclusivity.  Set against brick walls, the U-shaped bar is very welcoming making it easy to engage with other patrons. 
Congress St. Fort Point Neighborhood
         You don't go to Drink for a Bud Light. Oh no, Drink means business. The bartenders are truly masters of their craft here.  They can create, mix and shake any kind of cocktail to your liking. A drink list is not necessary. Just tell them what kind of mood you're in and what flavor you like and let them work their magic. My cocktail had a mix of ginger beer and rum, kind of like a Dark'n'Stormy but better.  You can tell the bartenders take pride in their work and you can taste it in their creations. You won't get a cocktail for under ten dollars at Drink so go crazy and splurge a little. Cozy up to the bar, savor your specialized drink and enjoy the experience.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

C'mon Bruins...

  Ok, Bruins, the Sox are creeping back in the news. Spring training has started and it's all Sox all the time. Now I love the Red Sox. I have my games lined up for the upcoming season but I really want the Bruins to take center stage for once or in this case center ice.  I've loved the Bruins since the 8th grade when my teacher Sister Mary Teresa would hold rallies at school for the team. Back then I didn't know much about hockey but I learned quickly. I love the fast pace of the game, the physical play and the penalties. I love that hockey has a penalty box. Maybe it's the Catholic in me but the penalty box reminds me of the confessional. You sin, you do your time in the box (confess) and then hopefully you're done in two minutes. If you sinned big time then perhaps you get a five minute major or have to recite the Act of Contrition.  It all makes sense to me. 
   The Bruins don't always get the attention and flash that the other Boston teams receive. The B's remind me of a middle child. They are sometimes forgotten, not valued as say their older siblings, the Sox and Celtics, and definitely not as spotlight grabbing as their younger siblings the Patriots.  Of course, the Bruins can be incredibly frustrating to watch. They show flashes of brilliance here and there but not consistently. I want the Bruins to reflect the traits of the city they represent: toughness, intelligence, hard working, passion.  I know this team has it.  I've seen it. Yeah, I know they could use another goal scorer or the "ever elusive puck moving defenseman" that the media is always talking about. If they can play like they did vs. Montreal and Dallas a couple weeks ago then they might go far or at least they will be fun to watch. C'mon Bruins, give us something, I know you have it in you!