(Field Trip Fridays capture interesting, fun, food-related and/or fishing adventures that I like to share with you!)
I recently traveled to Boston for my college’s homecoming events. While there, I soaked up fall scenery, visited special people I haven’t seen in ages and, of course, enjoyed delicious food. I grew up in southern Massachusetts, and though I’ve lived in Florida 30 years, the people, sights and smells of that area still resonate in me, so I need to visit once in a while to keep myself grounded. Now that I’m back in Florida, I decided to share pieces of my trip, and maybe even inspire you to visit 🙂
One of my first stops was Peaceful Meadows for a coffee ice cream cone! I miss the cows that used to live in the barn, but the ice cream is still amazing, and the gift shop now sells cookie dough from the original Toll House recipe. The Toll House restaurant, where the cookie originated, was just down the street from my house! It went up in flames in late 1984, but the recipe is part of Whitman’s legacy.
Here are some of the lovely things I spotted (P.S. those are cranberries being harvested in the lower right):
I spent a day in Boston’s North End with a dear friend, where we enjoyed Italian treats and gained 5 pounds. The area’s Italian immigrant story dates back to the 1860s, and that history permeates the narrow streets still filled with restaurants, shops and bakeries. We landed at Monica’s Mercato & Salumeria for an Italian sandwich (fresh meats/cheeses, homemade bread and hot cherry peppers, of course), and below I’m preparing to take a bite of the sandwich we split. It was SO good, and I wished I had gotten a whole one 🙂
If you go, be sure to look down as you exit the building to see this fork and knife, marking the original location of Monica’s restaurant:
You’ll also spot other things embedded in sidewalks near entrances to restaurants, barber shops and storefronts in the North End. I spied forks, shears, coins, and even a hatchet! It’s a sweet piece of history, marking where family businesses have been.
Next up, a stop at Regina Pizzeria (the one in the North End is ‘the original,’ making pizza since 1926). The guys working the well-seasoned oven weren’t excited about me taking their picture but, really, I had to. We ordered a small cheese, knowing we had to save room for dessert (P.S. that’s our pie on the far right):
One of the most revered treats in the North End is the cannoli and it’s said that Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry offer the best. But ask any local and you’ll find opinions and loyalties differ. Honestly, I didn’t have time to compare – I just wanted one. We waited in a long line at Modern, paid for two (cash only, so be prepared if you go), then sat in a sunny spot to enjoy every morsel of the crispy (but still slightly soft/easy to bite) shells, rich filling (not too sweet), and buttery pistachios. I hereby declare it the best cannoli I’ve ever eaten.
Just had to snap a pic of this sign, proving that Bostonians really do have a language all their own AND a sense of humor. This popular convenience store in the North End is especially great for late-night snacks, drinks and lottery tickets:
It was a beautiful, sunny day, so we even roamed the Public Garden to see the carousel, swan boats, and the famous pair of swans, Romeo & Juliet:
In my book, a trip to Boston wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which brought back memories of when we visited as kids and ate freshly-made French fries in cups, slices of Regina Pizzeria pizza, lobsta rolls, and Baked Bean candy. While there, you’ll even see actors in costume, sharing pieces of Boston’s history. I still think it’s a wicked awesome place 🙂
Two more places you might want to check out if you’re in southern Massachusetts: 1) the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis is a lovely spot to see local art and roam through a sculpture garden; 2) in North Easton The Farmer’s Daughter is a sweet breakfast/lunch spot offering delicious items from many local farms (be sure to order the sweet potato hash with apple, onion and turkey sausage)!
A great trip, chock full of experiences to fill my internal well and send me off again to life in Florida 🙂
Do you have a special place that fills your well?!? If so, please share!
I am a native of Barrington RI now living in Lakewood Ranch Fl. I have been all over Massachusetts and especially the North End, what I miss the most is the hard crust Italian bread. I went in September for 3 weeks and the weather was perfect, I also miss the cool fresh air by late August in Florida. You picked a great time to go fall is the best time. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for your note! I’m with you – the crusty bread from the North End is amazing. I try to make an annual trip up there, and Fall is my favorite time to go. Hope we get to meet some time – I always enjoy catching up with fellow New Englanders 🙂
I live in Charlestown, a short walk to the North End where we always go for dinner! You mentioned some great spots! I love Boston, so much to do.
Thank you for your note! Boston is such a great city, and you’re so lucky to live only a short walk away from some amazing food 🙂
I really enjoyed reading your article. Great job.
Thanks Vivi! It was a great trip. . .I only wish I had more time 🙂
This time of year makes me long for New England. It’s true, the smells , the colors and the wonderful food. So glad you had a good trip. Glad you’re back home.
It’s in our blood, for sure 🙂
I love your travel writing. I have actually never been to Boston if you can believe that. But realizing it is a destination where I can easily put on 5 pounds, it is now on my list! Love that you grew up down the street from the original Toll House cookie,
Thank you Wendy. You simply must visit Boston (but take me with you) 🙂
Love your visits to New England – even with the extra 5 pounds! I’m going to need to buy some stretchy pants before your next trip – but come back soon.
Thanks for being my partner in crime when it comes to eating my way through New England on my visits home 🙂
I, too, am a native Bostonian.. now live in Sarasota and summer in Washington DC. But my heart and stomach still think New England restaurants and cuisines are top notch, liked your quick overview but please note for those not familiar, it’s FANEUIL HALL
Good catch! Thanks for the spelling clarification. In my haste to get this post out, I missed the error (now corrected). I’m so glad we share a mutual love of New England 🙂
Enjoyed today’s field trip writing!
Thanks Kathy! Maybe I’ve inspired you to take a trip to Boston?!?