Greetings from Beantown! After a 10:30 red-eye flight from Seattle, we arrived in Boston early Saturday morning, sleepy and stiff, but excited to kick off our New England adventure. We ditched our bags at our hotel (no 8 am check in! gah!) and promptly headed toward Charles Street for breakfast at The Paramount. After chowing down on french toast and huevos rancheros, we stepped back out into the sun, rejuvenated and ready to do some wandering while we waited for our room. We strolled through the neighborhood in all its brick-lined, black-shuttered charm, wondering what it would take to snag one of those beautiful brownstones on the shady, quiet side-streets.

Our food-fueled energy was short-lived and we found ourselves dragging after only a few blocks, so we parked ourselves on a bench at the Frog Pond in Boston Common to soak up some rays and watch the park’s bold, friendly squirrels dart past our feet. I couldn’t shake my sleepiness and felt my eyelids growing heavy (seriously, how did I survive all those all-nighters in college?), so we got up to do a little more walking in search of our second wind. We ended up at the park’s baseball diamond and spent an hour watching the little sluggers go head-to-head – it was kind of a sorry substitute for a Red Sox game at Fenway, but the back row of the bleachers proved to be the perfect place for tilting my face up toward the sun and doing a little dozing.

Our room at the Millennium Bostonian was ready by 11:00, and I nearly jumped for joy at the promise of a hot shower and a long nap. Four hours later, I was a new woman, ready to get out and give Boston a proper hello. Shane and I checked out the offerings at the Greenway Open Market and slowly made our way south for happy hour at Masa. The city was buzzing with Saturday shoppers and the late afternoon sun skimming the brick buildings was lovely – I took it all in, reveling in that hopeful, giddy feeling that comes with the first day of vacation.

The margaritas and half-price tapas at Masa made us even giddier, and we left the bar ready to do a little more exploring and see what else Boston had up its sleeve. Ten minutes later, the city started spitting big, fat raindrops upon us, but not to worry – we were a block away from Thinking Cup cafe (on Shane’s to-visit list) so we ducked inside for a pot of tea and a couple of salted caramel macarons. Those few raindrops soon turned into an all-out torrential down-pour and we happily poured from a second pot of tea and dug into a killer slice of carrot cake to wait out the storm. Sweet tooth and cafe-craving satisfied, we made our way back to the hotel once the skies cleared and spent the rest of the night watching the Giants game from the comfort of our king-size bed. Barring our team’s bitter defeat (the profanities were flying out of Shane’s mouth), day one of our Fall getaway had been a smashing success. Can’t wait to see what else New England has in store for us!