Tag Archives: boston

Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza

We spent the afternoon in the city yesterday and had such a great time!   While not all of our grand plans for winter vacation will get crossed off the bucket list, skating at City Hall Plaza’s Boston Winter was one that we were sure not to miss.  Kids skate for $8 and adults for $10….skates are available for rent and there is a warm room with benches to store your shoes and lace up.

Some pretty nice outdoor shopping, plenty of places to grab a snack or even a drink (yes, please), and enough ice to accommodate plenty of skaters….all under the city lights of Boston. Kind of magical, really.

We got in there on the early side so we left just shy of the live entertainment rink side. The boys can never quite get enough skating so they skated once, we walked down to Faneuil Hall for lunch and a bit of shopping, and then walked back up the stairs to City Hall to hit the ice again.  During their second run my friend and I figured we had earned a hot mulled wine drink….sounds iffy, but was pretty yummy…and being able to stand outside by the rink in the middle of the city with a drink in our hands (legally) was a nice treat.

The Urban Lodge, conveniently located right next to the ice, has a bar, some comfy seating, snacks, warm blankets, and even a giant sized Jenga game.  There are also plenty of snack shacks serving up other drinks and treats. The shopping is pretty eclectic with a variety of items and maybe a little something for everyone.  In fact, I was thrilled to discover Rusty and Ingrid snuggled into the midst of some other shopping chalets.  Check out their website now, but expect a blog post about their amazing work very soon…now that I’ve been pleasantly reminded how incredible their work is!

The boys probably would have stayed all night, but we were getting chilly.  We took a spin through the phenomenal Boston Public Market (also a blog post for another day!) and headed home.

So happy to have made it into the city….and to have spent the day with good friends.

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Winter Garden at City Hall Plaza? Yes, Please.

Wait…let me get this straight.  A day in the city, a pretty sweet skating track, some shopping, AND a beer garden.  Win, win, win, and win.  So fun!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…can we please get something similar in Gloucester?

According to BostonMagazine.com…

City officials announced Wednesday a three-year deal with Boston Garden Development—owners of TD Garden and a subsidiary of Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs’ Delaware North Companies—to transform City Hall Plaza’s much-maligned, underutilized brick expanses into a “winter garden,” starting this year.

The plans call for 40 to 50 temporary vendor stalls, or “chalets,” to be erected at the corner of the plaza along Cambridge Street, forming a “European-inspired holiday shopping market. There will also be a custom-designed, 11,000-square-foot ice-skating path, the first of its kind in New England, city officials said.

And BostonGlobe.com reported similarly….

The first phase of the plan calls for a beer garden, an ice-skating path, and 40 to 50 holiday market vendor stalls — temporary shacks dubbed “chalets” — to be installed on the plaza along Cambridge Street, beginning in late October.

The area would open to the public on the Friday following Thanksgiving and operate until the last week of February, though most of the vendors would close on Dec. 31 as the holiday shopping season winds down, the company said Wednesday.

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Sunny in Boston today.

Sox take over first place in AL East. Buck Showalter's team gives it up in the 13th inning and will never see first place again. Meanwhile the Yankees climb out of the basement with six straight wins to get to .500 but they are still the Yankees and of course they still suck.

Sox take over first place in AL East. Buck Showalter’s team gives it up in the 13th inning and will never see first place again. Meanwhile the Yankees climb out of the basement with six straight wins to get to .500 but they are still the Yankees and of course they still suck.

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So toasty in Boston today that the tourists are vaporizing.

Getting our Culture On

We took a trip the Museum of Fine Arts the other day.  Other than not having nearly enough time to see it all, we had a fantastic afternoon.

If you haven’t been in a while, you should totally plan a trip.  An added bonus is that kids 6 and under are always free and children 7-17 are free during all non-school hours (weekdays after 3:00, weekends, and holidays).

Here is a tiny sample of what we saw…..which was only 1/4 of the what the amazing collection has to offer.  And, yes, if you look the through the photos you will indeed see my younger son giggling uncontrollably at some of the nude paintings and sculptures.  You can take the boy out of the hockey rink, but you can’t take the hockey rink out of the boy.

Learn more by clicking HERE

37 Days Left to Apply for This Fun!

Red Bull Flugtag, meaning “Flying Day” in German is coming to Boston.

Even if you’re not brave (or crazy) enough to apply….I think being a spectator for this spirited mayhem would be a blast!

Mark Your Calendars now!

Applications and “craft designs” are due by May 13th.

The Red Bull Flugtag event will be held on August 20th at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell.

Red Bull Flugtag is back in 2016 and is once again challenging wannabe pilots to push the limits of human flight. Since 1991, Red Bull Flugtag (which translates to “Flying Day” in German) has made stops around the world challenging competitors to build and pilot homemade human powered flying machines. For the first time ever, the brave and brainy teams of five will take a flying leap off a 28-foot-high flight deck into the water below in both Boston, Massachusetts and Louisville, Kentucky.

Applications are now being accepted for both locations and carpenters, athletes, designers, engineers, entertainers, and everyone in-between can turn their dreams of flight into reality. Five-Member teams of aspiring aviators and courageous craftsmen can apply for a chance to compete by submitting flying-machine plans to http://www.RedBullFlugtag.com. The deadline to submit craft designs is May 13.

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE!

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Nichole’s Picks 3/26 +3/27

Pick #1:  Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure at Appleton Farms

Saturday, March 26th  10:00-12:00

Say goodbye to the cold and celebrate the arrival of warmer weather here on the Farm! While we often associate eggs with the Easter Bunny, in many cultures eggs symbolize new life and are tied with the coming of spring. At this event, we celebrate spring, new life on the farm, and the bounty of fresh eggs produced by our hens. Go on the Egg-cellent Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Enjoy homemade refreshments in our Carriage Barn, visit with the calves, and make some fun farm crafts! Quest begins at 10am. Please plan to arrive by 11am and bring a basket of your own to collect the Quest eggs.

Please Note: It is only necessary to register for one ticket per family. If you have more than 6 in your family, please register for 2 families so we have enough eggs and refreshments for everyone.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

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Pick #2:  Children’s Drop and Shop

Head over to The Pingree School in Hamilton to score some great spring clothes, toys, sports equipment, and more at this year’s Spring Children’s Drop and Shop.

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Spring/Summer

Children’s Clothing &

Gear Consignment Sale

March 23-26, 2016

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE INFORMATION YOU’LL NEED

 

Pick #3:  The Walk to the Sea

Enjoy a nice spring afternoon in Boston….and learn something along the way.

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The free walk, beginning at the State House on Beacon Hill and ending at Long Wharf, spans one mile that covers Boston’s historic landmarks and skyscrapers.The Walk to the Sea consists of ten freestanding glass panels located at the eight spots throughout the city.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ALL ABOUT THE WALK TO THE SEA

Walk through the city of Boston, stopping along the way to learn about the transformation that made Boston what it is today.

Destinations along the way include:

Beacon Hill

King’s Chapel

Government Center

The Old  State House

Financial District

Custom House

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Long Wharf

 

As always, for a more comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid

 

Who Drove Whom?

We spent a few hours at the New England Auto Show over the weekend.  The boys are kind of car freaks…although, I have to admit, they practiced much more restraint this year than last year.  There was far less running, jumping, and skipping through the expo….and MUCH LESS button pushing (my buttons and the vehicle buttons).  They found their favorites, found my favorites, and made a mental list of what they’d like to buy later in life to write down at home in new “car show notebooks” that they asked to purchase on the way to Boston.

We were happy to bump into Wally who told us (without words) that his younger sister, Tessie, was at home sleeping, when asked.  It wasn’t much later that we bumped into (almost literally…oops) John Henry and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry.  While I was busy contemplating if they were on the hunt for a new family car, a new race car for Roush Fenway Racing, or some new delivery vehicles for The Boston Globe…Finn was more concerned with whether Wally drove the Henry family to the car show…or whether the Henry family drove Wally?  Because, naturally they came together.

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I didn’t take a single photo….but the boys took many.  Here are a few of theirs.

Cousin Joe Marcantonio Hosted Tommy & Peter from the Isle of Mauritius After The Boston International Seafood Show

Tommy & Peter from the Isle of Mauritius came to Sister Felicias after Joe invited them.  Joe works for Stavis Seafoods as a director of buying and they source a good amount of fish from The Isle Of Mauratius.

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Where is The Isle Of Mauratius You Ask?

Check It-

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I’m pretty sure they ate pretty good at Felicia’s Smile

BREAKING NEWS SNOWFALL RECORDS SMASHED!

With a total of 108.6 inches, last night at 7pm 2014-2015 became Boston’s snowiest winter since snowfall records started being kept in 1872.

Gloucester smashed her record awhile back. I think we are currently at around 125 to 126 inches. Does anyone know Gloucester’s official total?

 

Flurrying in Gloucester

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

 

Read more about record snowfall in today’s Globe.

Top Ten Snowiest Winters

 

 

snowgraphicreduxImage courtesy Boston Globe

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State House a Work of Art ~ Inside and Out

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Most of our group went into the State House thru the General Hooker entrance. Escorted by Catherine Ryan, I entered via the accessible Bowdoin Street door, because it has a ramp instead of stairs. Once inside and past security, there are elevators aplenty. The first thing I wanted to see was one of the two large cod sculptures. By chance, we immediately ran into our State Senator, Bruce Tarr, who took the time to give us a short tour. Art in all media was everywhere, including the 1798 “new” State House itself.

Our Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Governor Charlie Baker

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My friend Sefatia (Romeo Theken), Mayor of Gloucester, and Charlie (Baker), Governor of Massachusetts. The Governor is quite tall (6’6″), and is more handsome in person than on TV.  They’re posed in front of the Grand Staircase at the State House. I prefer not to shoot with a flash, but probably should have here for better sharpness. Sefatia wants a copy of this photo, which I’ve sent.

Gloucester Wins Award From MA Cultural Council

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I figured that if I could board the USCG Barque Eagle, I could visit the Massachusetts State House. I’m glad I did, because the City of Gloucester won the 2015 Commonwealth Award for “Creative Community” by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The ceremony was held in the capital’s Great Hall. About a dozen of us, elected officials and organizers from Gloucester’s two designated cultural districts, marched to the podium and onto the stage to accept the medal. Shown below, left to right, are: Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ann Margaret Ferrante, our State Representative; Sefatia Romeo Theken, Mayor of the City of Gloucester; and Bruce Tarr, our State Senator. I was glad to be there and proud to have been part of our accomplishments.

For the Love of Chocolate

Maybe because Valentine’s Day is coming up….or maybe because we’ve had a gazillion feet of snow and it has been downright miserable out….either way, I’ve had chocolate on the brain.

Without getting all mushy or TMI on you, there’s something undeniably romantic (in my humble opinion) about chocolate.  Not like the average box of chocolates, but like a super yummy chocolate fondue spread, a chocolate martini, or some hot chocolate coffee liquor kind of dessert in a glass…or a crazy rich and decadent gourmet chocolate mousse.  That’s what I’m talking about.

And maybe a little bit of John Legend. Just saying. A girl can dream.

So, with that in mind, and while thinking about “Things to Do Over February Vacation” my mind traveled to hot cocoa.  Because honestly, insert my humble rude awakening,  hot cocoa with the kiddos is much more likely these days than any of the afore mentioned romantic types of chocolate indulgence.

So, on that note, I started to do some research as to where to find the best hot chocolate in Boston.  Why Boston, you ask?  Well, I also have a small love affair with getting over the bridge.  I LOVE living here on Cape Ann, but I also adore taking the boys into the city, flying by the seat of our pants, and making a day (or even better yet…a night) of it.

So, while looking around, I stumbled on a great little piece by Boston.com and figured “Why reinvent the wheel?”

Check this link out for some of the top spots to hunker down with a giant mug of chocolate!   

Some of the places look great for a day with the little ones….and some look like a perfect place to snuggle down for a while with a significant other for some quality time and warm fuzzies.  You choose.

One of the top spots listed is the Langham Hotel and its Cafe Fleuri.  Every Saturday from September to June they boast a Chocolate Buffet to shame all others.  It isn’t cheap…and reservations are a good idea…but what a fabulous alternative to tea with a little sweetheart….or a romantic date with a grown-up one.

Take your taste buds on a decadent trip across the globe with The Langham, Boston’s famous Chocolate Bar.
This season presents a new theme, the “World of Langham,” which pays homage to the upcoming 150th anniversary of The Langham, London. Featuring more than 100 chocolate dessert combinations, Executive Chef Mark Sapienza and Executive Pastry Chef Ryan Pike feature chocolate dishes from Langham Hotels across the globe, every Saturday in the hotel’s Café Fleuri restaurant.

Stations with varying levels of chocolate intensity and flavors – from white to dark and everything in between – feature a never ending supply of desserts from every continent along with local classics from the past 25 seasons including Boston crème pie, whoopie pies, brulées, bread puddings and more. Action stations feature crepes, chocolate fountains, chocolate lava cake and ice cream sundaes as a contemporary jazz band sets the tone for the afternoon.

If anyone else has great, and more local, suggestions as to where to mug up for a Winter Treat, please share and comment!  There’s still several weeks to go and we need to make the most of it!  We’re in this together, friends.

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