Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Dirty Thirty Boston Style October 22, 2014

A while ago, Matt told me to request the Friday after my birthday off. Not asking too many questions at the time, I complied. As my birthday slowly approached, I began asking more questions. Are we going somewhere outside the state of Illinois? Will we be gone the entire weekend or just a few days? Matt did not reveal one ounce of information until the day before my birthday.

When we got home from work, he gave me a box. Inside the box were the the following two pieces of paper.

Boston! On Friday we were off to visit my best friend Jill, and her husband Jaz.

We arrived a little early for our flight on Spirit Airlines out of O’Hare Airport, so we grabbed a beer and split an appetizer at the Goose Island restaurant just outside of our gate. Once it was about 10 minutes before we should start to board we headed over to the gate. Unfortunately we noticed it was delayed an hour.

Then it was another hour, and another and finally another. Due to mechanical issue, our flight was delayed a total of four hours. Once on the plane, we were not treated to any food or even beverages for the inconvenience of being stuck in the airport for an additional four hours. To add to negativity of the situation, Spirit’s credit card processing was even down so if we wanted anything we had to pay cash.

The delay did mess up the schedule for the weekend, jamming everything into Saturday, but luckily we made it work.

Once we arrived finally in Boston, we went back to Jill and Jaz’s place to eat dinner, celebrate birthdays and finalize our plans. Jill made a decadent dessert to celebrate my milestone birthday. She found a recipe where the bottom layer was chocolate cheesecake and the top layer was German chocolate cake. The crust was ground up oreo cookies. Amazing, it was just amazing.

The next morning we woke up, ate our cereal and headed out the door to Bunker Hill. We all climbed the 297 steps to the very top of the obelisk and were rewarded with 360 views of the city.

Bunker Hill Sights


Our next stop was the U.S.S. Constitution. This ship is the oldest commissioned warship in the world, commissioned in 1797. Matt and I had a great time exploring the ship and learning about its history from actual navy personnel living on the ship. I think we both could have stayed on it for another two hours!

U.S.S. Constitution

Next on our itinerary was to check out Harpoon Brewery for a tour. We picked up a 2 p.m. tour and headed over to Yankee Lobster for lunch. Jill and Jaz both got the fish and chips, which were very tasty according to their accounts. Matt and I on the other hand might have gone a little overboard. So much so, that we ordered so much food that we figured we were going to miss our tour. Fortunately the brewery is practically next door to the restaurant, so Jaz was able to run over and grab a refund. What did we gorge on? Well, we each ordered a 1 ¼ lb lobster that came with fries, corn on the cob and coleslaw. In addition to that, Matt also ordered three fresh crabs.

Yankee Lobster

The only logical thing to do after we stuffed ourselves was to head back to Harpoon for a few beers. The brewery offered three different types of preselected flights. Matt and I each got a different one so we could try even more. I really enjoyed their UFO white ale and UFO pumpkin ale. We picked up a bomber of their Imperial pumpkin and some barware to take home.

Harpoon Brewery

After the brewery we decided we needed a walk. So we headed back into downtown and walked around the Boston Common and Boston Garden. We took a few obligatory pictures with statues as well as outside of Cheers.

Boston Commons

Once we had worked off a sufficient amount of our lunch and beer we headed back to the car to head to Salem. Yep, we went to Salem, Massachusetts before Halloween, although you couldn’t really tell by how dressed up EVERYONE was and how the town was decorated. Streets were closed, street vendors were selling different types of products from witches hats and socks to candles and incense. My senses were literally overloaded.

Our destination in Salem was the visitor’s center to meet up for a walking tour with Spellbound Tours. We easily found the location and our group. Our guide was very friendly and informative throughout the evening. We walked for about an hour and a half to a variety of locations around downtown Salem. Our guide informed us of past history as well as current happenings around town. My favorite part of the tour was visiting the second oldest cemetery in the U.S.  A little creepy at night, but very cool.

After the tour we went to a Mexican restaurant called, Howling Wolf Taqueria. We waited a about forty-five minutes to get in and the food was well worth the wait. Jaz and I both ordered burritos and mine was absolutely delicious. Jill ordered enchiladas that were gone in about ten minutes from her plate. Matt ordered pork tacos with a pineapple chili sauce that were pretty much gone in the same time as Jill’s meal.

With full bellies, we said goodbye to the semi-crazy folks of Salem and headed back to Boston. With an early afternoon flight, we enjoyed a relaxing Sunday morning before heading back to the airport. Thankfully, this time heading home our flight left Boston and arrived in Chicago according to plan.




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