After losing Dave's mom in December, we quickly began planning a trip to Boston.  Why Boston?  Dave talked with his dad about a place he had always wanted to travel to, but hadn't had the chance to visit yet. 

We thought that having something like this to look forward to would really help in the grieving process and we wanted to go sooner than later to ensure Dave and his dad would get to have this experience together.

This trip was a little different for us.  We planned everything around his dad and what he wanted to do, see and eat.  This trip was all about him!  This allowed us to really focus on planning out the details around him and make the visit as easy as possible.  This meant we weren't able to necessarily do and see everything that we wanted, but we had the best time getting to experience Boston with him AND we look forward to getting back someday and adding some more into the mix.  There is so much more around Boston to see!

We planned to visit Thursday through Sunday and booked direct flights from Nashville to Boston to make things as easy as possible.  Having two full days was the perfect amount of time to get things checked off the list without exhausting his dad too bad, although with trying to fit everything in it was definitely a busy couple of days especially for him (and all of us).  Here's everything from our first day in Boston.

We landed in Boston around 1:30 PM and went directly to our hotel.  We had a busy afternoon/evening in store that included lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.  With the Kirk family, you're always eating or talking about what you're eating for the next meal.  This trip was no different!

We stayed at The Langham and it was perfect.  When we booked the trip and looked at several possibilities for hotels, the location was important to us.  We wanted to be in the middle of things and have easy access.

We sent a list of about 4 to 5 hotels to Dave's dad and this is the one that he ended up choosing.  Not only were the accommodations and service great, but the location ended up being awesome.  Boston is a very walk able city, and this location make it even easier.  The hotel had a lot of charm which we also enjoyed.

250 Franklin Street
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 451-1900

Our room was ready, so all of the bags were able to be dropped off there.  Dave's dad's room ended up being ready by time we got back from lunch which was great.  It's always nice when you're traveling and hotels are so accommodating with early check-ins (especially without request) and keeping your bags stored.  Once we ditched the bags, our first stop was lunch for the first lobster roll of the trip.

We picked James Hook & Co. for lunch this day which was an easy walk from our hotel (0.3 miles).  This allowed us to be out and walking which was nice to get a lay of the land.  From the moment we walked in, people were hand selecting their lobsters and it was fun to see everything in action.  If you had littles along, this would be such a fun stop for them!  We placed our order for a lobster roll and lobsta bisque. 

The restaurant is close to the water and has an in and out set up.  You place your order, get your food and then find a place to sit.  All of the seating is outside and the entire place is super casual.  We did notice that tons of vehicles were stopping by, and all were local which is always a sign of great food.

This was our first taste of New England classics on our trip to Boston and we were all enjoying it.  The lobster rolls at James Hook were mayonnaise based and we planned on having the butter based later on during the trip.  We looked forward to comparing the two to see which we liked best.  If you've been to Boston, do you have a favorite spot to get a lobster roll?   Which kind do you prefer? 

After lunch, we made our way back to the hotel to rest for awhile and get ready for afternoon tea.  The Langham has such classic heritage and hosts a signature afternoon tea with Wedgwood.  This experience recalls the grandeur of the brand's flagship, The Langham London where the tradition was born in 1865.  

Afternoon Tea was one of the things Dave's dad really wanted to do so we planned to include this experience on the trip to treat him for Father's Day.  Afternoon tea also included all kinds of yummy sweet and savory bites.  It was such a sweet experience, and you can read all about it HERE.  

Dave's sister and niece were also traveling to Boston and planned to meet us later that evening for dinner once their flight got in.  While we waited, Dave and I had the opportunity to walk around the city and check out a local place for a quick drink while his Dad rested up for dinner.  

We had about an hour and checked with the concierge on a good local place.  He gave us a couple of options, but with location and timing we decided on Society on High

It was a good sign when we walked in and the place was packed (at 6 PM on a Thursday).  It seemed to be a good place to stop and grab a drink after work.  People were also celebrating with large groups.

We sat at the bar and enjoyed a drink while chatting about how the day had gone so far and all of the excitement we shared for the rest of the trip.  This trip was so important to Dave to have the opportunity to take his dad to Boston and give him an experience that he always wanted. 

Although we were on a much slower pace than normal, the whole trip really was very special.  The happiness that Dave had from giving his dad this trip to Boston was the sweetest.  

Later, we met everyone back at our hotel to head to dinner.  Dave's dad selected Union Oyster House for dinner this night which was a great way to kick off the Boston experience with the history and the food.  

Union Oyster House is Boston's oldest restaurant and has been serving New England specialties on the Freedom Trail since 1826.  We had some time before our 8 PM reservation so we decided to try and walk.   

Everyone was excited for this special time together and it allowed us to see a little of the Trail.  Dave and I always enjoy walking around cities when we visit.  It really allows you to get a feel for things,  so we were really appreciative of this time on night one since neither of us had ever been to Boston either.

It was a beautiful evening.  We took our time walking and made a few pit photo stops along the way.  We saw the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence has been read from the balcony since July of 1776 and Faneuil Hall which was one of America's first public meeting venues.  

You can't walk two blocks in Boston without feeling history all around you.  It is such a unique city.  You've got modern city skyscrapers mixed with buildings dating back centuries.  It is the coolest!

When we arrived at Union Oyster House, we had to wait just a few minutes for them to get our table ready.  When you walk in, you can't help but notice the oyster bar which stays busy all hours of the day.  

There was also the biggest lobster we had ever seen waiting right there to greet us when we walked in.  The seafood in Boston in super fresh.  Maybe even a little too fresh?  HA!

It doesn't look very big from the outside, but the restaurant actually sits quite a bit of people.  We were seated on the top floor (which wasn't exactly the easiest with all of the steps), but once we got up there the location was great.  However, the restrooms were a hike to get to from there.

Our table had windows that overlooked the streets and there was only one other table in the area which made conversation easy.  We also had this beautiful mural of The Freedom Trail by our table which was fun to look at and get an idea of what we had seen on the way and what was still left for us to visit.

On the way to our table, I made a detour to find a very special table.  The Kennedy family frequented the Union Oyster House often and it is said that JFK loved to feast in privacy in the upstairs (2nd floor, we were on the 3rd) dining room.  His favorite booth, "The Kennedy Booth" is tucked away in a back corner and has been dedicated in his memory.

Once you sit down, you are greeted with their signature house baked corn bread.  Everyone said it was good, I prevailed and did not partake.  Not because I was being good, but because I was too busy eating all of the oyster crackers with a side of cocktail sauce.  First order in for the night was oysters for the guys. 

Dave enjoyed freshly shucked oysters while his dad had oysters rockefeller.  We were gracious and let the guys have these all to themselves.   We did at least try them, though.  YUCK!

Next up was the Oyster House Clam Chowder (a Boston Classic) and it was really, really good.  The guys were having too much fun tasting everything.  It was wonderful seeing them both so genuinely happy.

We all ordered different things and shared with each other.  In no particular order we had the broiled sea scallops, broiled fresh Boston scrod, lobster scampi and the catch of the day.  Dave's niece is a vegetarian so she ordered onion soup gratinée and mac & cheese which she seemed to enjoy as well.

Dinner was good, but it wasn't necessarily someplace we'd have to go for dinner again.  We would definitely recommend that you do go (and order the clam chowder), but we'd suggest stopping in while you're on the Freedom Trail and sitting at the bar.  Also, make sure to order the Sam Adams Colonial Ale which is totally exclusive to Union Oyster House.   If you are going for dinner, you'll want reservations.   

After dinner, it was time to call it a night from the day of travel.  We grabbed a ride back to the hotel and then Dave's sister and niece walked back to their hotel.  They stayed at Yotel Boston and loved it.  It was only about a ten minute walk from our hotel and had a much friendlier price tag.

These hotels are up and coming in bigger cities and have much smaller, simple rooms (similar to a cruise).  It serves as a great home base for travelers who are out all day and really just need a place to sleep and shower.  We did venture to the lobby one day and everything seemed really modern and fun.

Don't forget if you wanted more details about our Afternoon Tea experience, you can see that HERE.  We'll be back to report on everything from Days 2 and 3 in Boston.  It really was such a great time!

If I could choose one photograph to sum up our entire Boston trip, it would be this one.  It captures Dave's dad getting to see things he has dreamed about and Dave so full of joy from giving him the opportunity to make it happen.  This was such a special trip that we will treasure for years to come!

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