Boston

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Boston is a friendly town with great food and plenty to do

 

This Summer, we decided to spend a weekend in a Boston.  There were a few things that were definitely on the agenda, but found much more that wasn’t.

 

The weekend started with a walk down to the wharf for lunch. We stopped at a place called the Chart House. The Chart House is housed in Boston’s oldest wharf building (circa 1760) and is known as The Gardiner Building. It once housed the offices of John Hancock and was known as John Hancock’s Counting House.

 

The next stop was Fenway Park. Now you may not know this, but I’m from New York and a long time Yankee fan. Anyone who follows baseball knows that there is no love lost between the Red Sox and the Yankees. But we were there for the history and there is no shortage of it here.

Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912, making it the oldest ballpark still in active use in Major League Baseball. Fenway Park is actually the second home for the Sox. Its opening in 1912 was not mentioned on top page in the newspaper, happening, as it did five days after the sinking of the Titanic.  Fenway Park is one of the few remaining classic parks in major league baseball to have a significant number of obstructed view seats. These are sold as such, and are a reminder of the architectural limitations of older ballparks.

On May 8, 1926, Fenway Park caught fire, destroying bleacher seats down the left field line. Yet nothing was done until Tom Yawkey bought the Red Sox in 1933. Yawkey, a rich man devoted to getting the Red Sox a championship, re-did the stadium in 1934. He put concrete bleachers in center to replace the old wood ones, “Duffy’s Cliff” was leveled off (not completely), and the 37′ wooden left field wall was replaced by a more durable, 37′ sheet metal structure. This would later be known as the “Green Monster”. However, the screen was replaced after the 2002 season with more seating atop the Green Monster (in an attempt to fit as many seats as possible in Fenway).

 

 

 

After the game, we grabbed a cab to the most iconic bar in Boston. Cheers. It was exactly what you would think it would be.  A place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.

 

Day two was all sightseeing. We started with a walk through Quincy Market which is amazing! Food, food and more food inside. Then on the outside lots of artisans selling all kinds of interesting things.

 

 

Next it was of food to the hop off – hop on bus.  This is a great way to see the major sites in the city. Here are some pictures along the way:

The Constitution is read here each year

The Capitol Building

Plaque in front of Rose Garden

Rose Garden in honor of Rose Kennedy

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Boston Garden

Bobby Oar’s Infamous Goal

Side Street in Boston

 

Of course, we had to get to some of the history.  We walked the Freedom Trail visited the Paul Revere House.  

 

The First King’s Chapel

Inside the First King’s Chapel

This was where an entire family would sit

History of the Chapel

Chapel Cemetary

Samuel Adams

Getting ready for the parade

The Constitution

Paul Revere’s House

 

After all this walking, we got into the car and drove to Cambridge.  There we toured the campus of Harvard University.  The campus was just as I imagined it to be.  Large brick and stone buildings with stone columns in front.  I can’t say that it was the most beautiful campus that I’ve been on, but it was definitely impressive. 

 

Although I don’t have the pictures, we also spent time in the Italian section, Chinatown, the various wharfs and of course Boston Harbor. We cam across a farmers market that looked amazing.  A street fair where I met the nicest people and bought a beautiful blue glass necklace.  There was also a street fair in the Italian section where we ate dinner our last night there. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avocado Toast

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I hadn’t heard about Avocado Toast until recently but I knew that I loved avocados in lots of recipes, so I had to give this one a try.  It is absolutely delicious!!  Whether you have it plain or with toppings, you’re gonna love it!

 

Ingredients

1 Avocado

1tsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Red Onion

4 Shakes hot sauce

1 tsp Salt

2 Slices toasted thick bread

 

Toppings

Garbanzo Beans

Slivered Almonds

 

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mash.  

Serve on toasted bread.  Add toppings as desired. 

 

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Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Mozzarella

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This is the recipe that you’ve been looking for to use all the tomatoes from your garden.  This is easy, fast and delicious.  The sauce is creamy and when the mozzarella balls start to melt, it is absolutely dreamy.

 

Ingredients

12-15  Roma Tomatoes, blanched, seeded and chopped

1 Lb Pasta

1 Clove Garlic

1/4 Cup Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

6 Basil Leaves, chopped

Salt and Pepper

1 TBSP Butter

1/4 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano

Pasta Water

Mozzarella balls – (Optional)

 

 

Instructions

Blanch the tomatoes

Cut an X at the bottom of each tomato.  Drop the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until you see the skins separating from the tomato.  

 

 

Once the tomatoes have cooled enough to work with them, the skin will come off easily. 

Cut the tomatoes in half and take out the core and seeds then cut them into small pieces. 

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a deep skillet.  When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes, minced garlic, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Let simmer until the tomatoes are soft and their liquid is released.  Simmer 20 minutes over medium heat.

Cook the pasta following the manufacturers directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Add the pasta to the tomatoes and toss until the pasta is completely coated.  Add the butter and stir. If the pasta seems too dry, add some of the pasta water a little at a time. 

Take the skillet off the heat and add the parmigiano-reggiano and the basil leaves.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss.

If you are adding the mozzarella balls, add them to each individual dish.  The hot pasta will partially melt them giving them a velvety texture.

Serve with additional parmigiano-reggiano and basil.

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Jamaica

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Jam

Jamaica is a beautiful island with extremely friendly people, great weather, awesome hotels and lots to keep you occupied for a great vacation.

 

We decided to take a beach vacation last February and chose Jamaica as our destination.  We had never been to the island before and really never went on a beach vacation.  I always thought that there wouldn’t be enough to do on a beach vacation to occupy a weeks time.  Boy, was I wrong. 

 

We knew that we wanted to stay in an all-inclusive resort and there were quite a few to choose from.  One of the things we knew for sure that we wanted to do was play golf, so we decided to stay at the Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort.  This resort had the golf course on site, so we would be able to play as many times as we wanted to. 

 

The resort had plenty of daytime and evening entertainment, activities for the kids of all ages, a spa, water sports and a water park on the grounds.  It also had 7 restaurants so we had a wide array of choices for food.  There are also bars all around the property with bartenders making delicious exotic drinks.

This was the view from my balcony

The beautiful beach

Wow, talk about relaxing

This was one pool by the main dining area

This was a great swim up bar.  they also had exercise classes in this pool

Infinity pool

Gorgeous day

 

This was a moonlight dinner around the pool

The main meeting area

 

Evening entertainment

As I was walking to my room, this was the view

Entertainment for the moonlight dinner

 

On the first full day at the resort, we took an excursion to the Dunn’s River Falls.  This was on every visitors guide that I saw, so of course we couldn’t miss it.  There was a bus from the resort to the falls which only took about 30 minutes.  We all had our bathing suits on and our waterproof shoes to climb the falls.  If you are not in fairly good shape, this can be challenging.  You have to hold hands with the person in front of you so they can pull you up while you are holding hands with the person in back of you so you can pull them up.  Here are some shots from the day.

 

The second day we went golfing.  We were picked up in a golf cart and taken across the road to the golf course.  There we were met by a caddy who had our clubs on the cart all ready to go.

The course was in good shape and the weather was comfortably in the 80’s with a slight breeze.  The caddy was awesome, giving us tips all along the way to speed the game along.   We brought our golf shoes, but rented clubs from the resort which turned out to be a huge convenience.  

 

 

On day 3, we decided to swim with the dolphins.  We set up the excursion to Dolphin Cove.  Before we got into the water, we walked around the facility and came across these amazing birds.

 

Then it came time to get into the water.  Each group was split up into approximately 10 people.  The trainers were amazing and were in total control of the dolphins the entire time.  We took the Swim Adventure where we did the belly ride, boogie board push and of course a kiss from the dolphin. 

This was a fantastic experience.  I recommend everyone do this when they have the opportunity!!!

 

On the last day at the resort, we decided to stay on the grounds and take advantage of all it had to offer.  We did all the normal water sports snorkeling, paddle boating and kayaking.  We also spent some time in the waterpark drifting down the lazy river.  But most of the time was spent relaxing on the beautiful beach.   It was the perfect way to end the vacation.

 

We stayed in Jamaica from Tuesday through Saturday and we could have used 2 more days there.  The things we didn’t get to do was horseback riding in the water, Mystic Mountain Bobsled, Zip lining and of course shopping.  

Guess we’ll have to plan another Jamaican adventure!!

 

 

 

 

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Easy Summer Barbecue Cheat Sheet

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Summer is a fantastic time of year.  When the sun comes out, it seems to re-energize everyone to get outside and enjoy themselves.  Going to the beach, boating, swimming, hiking not to mention all the Summer barbecues.  When it’s your turn to have the barbecue, don’t panic.  This ‘cheat sheet’ is all you need.  The food on this little helper is not only easy to make, but everything can be prepared ahead of time so you can enjoy the party along with your guests.

The burger and hot dog fixin bar is amazing.  Every time I serve this, my guests love trying to out do everyone by making the ultimate burger.  I’m thinking yours will too.  

Print this ‘cheat sheet’ and take it to do your grocery shopping, then hang it in the kitchen to walk you through making this great food.

 

 

 

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