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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Our trip to Foxborough to see the Patriots!

It's nice to be back on a regular schedule again. I enjoyed our two-week break but I also enjoy knowing what day it is!

Dan and I had a wonderful trip to Boston right before Christmas.  We left very early on Friday, Dec. 20th.  Our plane was leaving from Charlotte at 6:45 AM which meant we were leaving our house at 4:00 AM.  I set my alarm for 3:00 but got up on my own right before it went off. And it was a good thing because while I SET my alarm, I didn't actually turn ON my alarm.  Yikes!

We made it to Charlotte without any traffic issues (usually there is always some sort of construction or congestion slowing things down but we got there right on time).

We got checked in quickly because Dan has TSA Pre-check thanks to all of his travelings for work and since I was traveling with him, I got to go right through too.

We had a layover in Baltimore and got to Boston around 11:00.  We got our rental car and checked in to our hotel, the Marriott Copley. (I highly recommend and I'll expound later.)

We got to the room and unpacked and poor Dan had to do work.  He's entering an extremely busy time and he has a lot going on so even though he was on vacation, he had to answer emails and take several phone calls.

We finally were able to eat lunch around 3:00.  We walked from our hotel to a nearby Tasty Burger.  I was so hungry and that was one of the best burgers I have had in a while.  Tasty Burger is a local Boston area chain.  We've eaten at the one in Cambridge a couple of times with the kids. I got the Gorgonzola Burger with extra mayo and it was delicious!  (I wish I had one right now!)

The Tasty Burger was right next to the train station so we ducked in there to get some info about the train we would be taking to Foxborough the next day.  Boston runs a special train to Foxborough on game days.  It was a $20 round trip per person.  It leaves from several different stations in Boston.  It was so much easier and faster than driving to Foxborough (and paying to park) and then fighting the traffic coming back.

After we checked that out, we took a quick walk around and then headed back for Dan to do a little more work.  Then we met his brother in the lobby of the hotel. He had our game tickets.  We went to the hotel bar and had a couple of drinks with him.  It was great catching up with him!

After he left, we walked to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  And the Cheesecake Factory never disappoints!

The Marriot Copley is connected to Copley Square and the Shops at the Prudential Center through a series of enclosed over-street bridges.  This made me very happy as we could walk to multiple restaurants and shops without ever even going outside!  The malls had all the high-end shops that we can't afford to shop in - Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, Dior, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany,etc. but it was fun just to browse around.

There was also this really cool Italian Market in the Prudential Center called Eataly.  It was huge.  They have a massive Italian market with everything from pasta, to cheese, to fresh vegetables, to truffles. They offer cooking classes, wine tastings, and other events. They had a sit-down restaurant, a cafe, and several walk-up counters.  We had already eaten when we went in there but it was fun just to look around.  It was way bigger inside than it looks on the outside.

On Saturday morning, we got up early, grabbed a Dunkin Donuts coffee and just took a walk around the Boston Common and took a few selfies:

People were out early skating on the Duck Pond.

After our coffee and walk, we headed to City Table for brunch and then we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the game.  And by get ready for the game, I mean put on alllllllllll the layers.  It was going to be in the low 30's/upper 20's during the game and we did not want to freeze. 

After we got dressed, we headed to the train station.  We got there about 20 minutes before the train was to leave.  Right as we got there, everyone was instructed to go down to the platform and lineup.  We were good little ducks and did as we were told.  After we lined up they had us all move to where the train was going to arrive.  And a little later the train (or I think it was more like 9 or more trains) pulled up and everyone crowded on.

There were so many people!  And we were the second stop for the train so a lot of seats were already full.  So we just kept walking until we determined that if we wanted to sit together we would just sit on the stairs between trains:

The train ride was supposed to be 52 minutes but I swear it was faster than that.  It was so much easier than driving! 

When we got to Foxborough the train let us out and there we were - right at the stadium.

I was going through the pictures on my phone and found about 15 of these.  I was TRYING to switch it from selfie mode to regular and got a lot of this instead. :)

THis was the shot I was trying to get!  All of the people filing from the train to the stadium!

 It was only a short walk to Patriot Place which is the area outside of the stadium with all kinds of restaurants, shops, a couple of hotels, and a skating rink!  We walked around there for a while and then we headed into the stadium for the game!

Our seats were on the upper deck but they were on the first row so they were really good.  We had a great view of all the action and had a great time at the game!

And the Patriots won!  I'm so happy for Dan that he finally got to see the Patriots AND that they won!  Of course, we are sad that the rest of the season didn't go the way we had hoped but we got to see a win in Foxborough!

We headed back to the train and enjoyed watching all of the extremely drunk 20 somethings on the train.  It was like a little show playing out all around us.  There were two groups of people sitting together talking.  At first, I thought they all knew on another but after about 30 minutes on the train, they started insulting one another. It was all based on where they were from.  One person said they were from Boston but in fact, it came out that they were really from a suburb (can't remember which one) and it riled up the other group.  They started yelling and the girl in the other group started yelling and then they were standing up poised to fight.

I told Dan he was NOT going to get involved and thankfully a different group of drunk 20 somethings stood up and defused the situation.  And someone must have called the cops because a few minutes later a couple of cops showed up.  (Apparently, a lot of cops ride the train to and from the games because of things like this and also to protect the fans from other teams who might be riding on the train.)  But by the time the cops got there, the "fight" was already over.

When we got back to Boston, we were starved so we headed to Solas Irish Pub for a late dinner and then headed to bed!

On Sunday morning we got up and went to Mass at St. Francis Chapel.  This Chapel was inside the Prudential Center so we didn't even have to go outside to get to church.  We just walked from our hotel room to an over-street bridge through the mall and there we were! It was a beautiful chapel and there were easily 100 other people there for Mass. 

After Mass, we grabbed coffee from one of the shops and headed back to our hotel room.  We then got in the car (this was the first time we used the car since we arrived on Friday morning. In hindsight, we probably should have skipped the car.) and headed to Regina Cleri (the residence for retired priests) to pick up Dan's Uncle Bob.

We then headed to Magiannos Little Italy where we met up with Dick and Jennifer and Jillian.  The food was delicious and it was so great to get to spend time with them. 

After lunch, we took Uncle Bob back home and spent some time with him before we left. 

We were trying to decide where to go for dinner and I told Dan that I just wanted to hang out at Champions.  That was the bar/restaurant in the hotel.  I wanted to do some people watching and this was the perfect place. 

The hotel had an awesome lobby for people watching.  There were people coming in and out from all different directions - the mall, the street, the parking garage.  There were people everywhere and I just wanted to take it all in. 

This hotel had 38 floors and over 1000 rooms so there was always something happening in the lobby.  From the lobby, you took an escalator and ended up right at the restaurant.  We enjoyed dinner and watched people and created scenarios until it was time for bed. 

Our flight out of Boston left at 5:45 AM and we had to return the rental car and all that so we ended up getting up around 2:30.  The lobby was empty at 3:00 when we checked out!  :)

We texted and face-time the kids while we were gone.  They got to school on time on Friday morning and made it to church on time on Sunday morning.  In between they ordered pizza, got fast food and enjoyed the beginning of their Christmas break.  I think they missed us.  I know we missed them but I really really enjoyed the time with just Dan.  (I really like him!)


R's Rue said...

Great photos.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I was hoping you'd have a nice trip. I know you stressed getting ready to go, so I'm happy it all turned out. Yay for a win for your team!! Funny about the split seats on the train; that can't keep you two apart!
I've only been to Boston one time, but we are planning to go sometime soon to see Chris Sale and the Red Sox; hopefully, it'll be warmer for this Florida girl.

Madeline said...

What a fantastic little getaway! I am so glad you got that time with just Dan. And that you got to see a home game win!

Ernie said...

Looks like you've had some interesting visitors to your blog. ;)

I love the pics but kept waiting to see one of you and Dan resembling umpa loompas unable to do much but waddle with the layers. That is definitely what I would have looked like. Brrr!

I have been to Boston twice. Love it. I have never been in really cold weather but if I ever go at that time I will remember to stay in the hotel that allows you to see stuff without going outside.

Glad the Patriots won! So fun! Also glad all went well at home. We have left the kids home but tend to farm them out to friends' houses cuz well this crew can get into trouble.