This was the trip we’d been planning for years. It’s also the trip that, truth be told, I thought would never happen. But a girls’ trip to Boston was exactly what I needed this summer.
I’ve been friends with Angie since 2007 (through work) and met Alex a couple years later via the Internet (naturally). The three of us have traveled together in various combinations far and often over the past few years: the two of them to Hawaii, Angie and me to the Bahamas three times, Alex and me on a road trip up to Kentucky, and the three of us partied in Miami and then dove in Bonaire and, finally, sunbathed in Aruba. Let’s just say, we enjoy each other’s company immensely and take any opportunity we can get to make a girls’ trip happen.
For the past couple years, Alex had told us that her lovely mom would love to have us up to her rental house in Martha’s Vineyard if we could make it. That sounds like one of those hypothetical “oh wouldn’t that be fun?” dream trips that never actually comes to fruition, because a) finding a time when all of our schedules coincided seemed near impossible and b) who just offers up the most charming gingerbread home ever—for free?
Only Alex—and her mom, Kathryn—very much meant it.
After years, literally, of trying to make this work, we finally settled upon a weekend in early June and locked it in ASAP, lest any of us had time to cancel due to work opportunities. And then Alex, being Alex, started plotting, and a few weeks before our arrival, The Ultimate Itinerary to New England landed in our inboxes.
And boy, was it a beauty.
Our six-day tour de New England began with us crashing at Alex’s sister Olivia’s apartment in Boston before catching the car ferry to the Vineyard the following day. Angie and I miraculously coordinated our flights arriving from Jacksonville and Nashville, respectively, within 10 minutes of each other, and Alex picked us up at the airport and whisked us away to downtown, as we frantically chatted, trying to fill each other in on a year in 20 minutes’ time (it’s not like we don’t all text and email daily, but there are still things better left translated in person rather than over the airways).
It was a mildly chilly day in Boston, particularly for June, so we bundled up, got some lunch and took it out to Boston Common where we continued our
gossip catch-up sesh over burrito bowls and Nutella shakes.
We had no real agenda for the day, and any plans we thought we might accomplish were rendered senseless in light of the weather, so instead after a loop around the park, we headed back to Olivia’s place for a little work time—yes, this trio is rarely not working—and then got ready for a night out on the town.
First up, Alex had us booked for drinks at Liquid Art House, which I’m pretty sure would be my regular pre-going out spot were I to be a Bostonian.
For one, the aesthetic of this bold, contemporary gallery-meets-lounge-meets-restaurant was absolutely gorgeous. Splashy artwork? Chihuly-esque light fixtures? Kick-ass cocktail creations? All my favorite things rolled into one swanky space!
We were only there for one quick round and a few bites of gyoza as we had places to go, dinner reservations to make. I loved that our server was so kind, charming and funny and didn’t at all turn up his nose at us once he realized we weren’t going to be a high-ticket table. It seemed like the type of place that could border on pretentious and yet wasn’t at all.
From there, we walked briskly through the city to our dinner spot: Red Lantern. This Asian restaurant in Back Bay seemed an appropriate choice of a restaurant given Alex’s inclinations toward Thailand—she lives there more than half the year—and I’m not going to lie: I loved the larger-than-life space, its mood lighting and the dramatic red fixtures that hung from every nook and cranny.
The food was on point, too. Each pair of us shared an appetizer and a main and sucked down a cocktail or two.
For four girls ranging in age from 24 to 34, we went in early: home by 11, in bed by midnight (not before a brief photo shoot in the vacant streets of Boston, of course). But we had a big day planned on Friday.
The following morning, you see, was National Doughnut Day, and we had places to go, donuts to eat.
Blackbird Doughnuts, specifically.
Only, the best doughnuts in Boston, and we ordered half a dozen just so we could stand by that claim boldly (and so we needn’t stop again for lunch before boarding the ferry in Woods Hole).
All in all, I’d say our girls’ trip to Boston was already starting out on a high note. Thanks, Olivia, for being Boston’s best hostess and guiding us through your city on a very quick 24-hour tour!