day two in boston started with breakfast at, where else, dunkin’ donuts! we had some coffees, donuts, and breakfast sandwiches as we planned out the rest of our day. our first stop, and probably the most important stop of the trip, was to visit the hospital where phillip and his sisters were born. so we caught the train and headed to dorchester.
now the st. mary’s center for women and children, st. margaret’s is were michele and kim spent several months delivering their miracle babies over thirty years ago. since we were there on a weekend, we couldn’t get the full tour, but the receptionist charlotte was happy to show us around the grounds as much as she could.
as charlotte led us through some of the buildings, she was happy to give us some history of the grounds. it turned out she has been working there for quite some time, so she was able to tell us all about the purpose of the center now, how some of the rooms were used when the grounds were still a hospital, and even where some of the original architecture and artwork is still maintained. it was so special to watch as phillip took it all in, soaking up the place where his story began so many years ago.
eventually charlotte did have to return to her desk, but she suggested we go sit in the garden since the weather was so nice out, and that is exactly what we did. it was so pleasant to slow down, even if just for a few moments, and appreciate all the good things going on at this place. 🙂
on that very sentimental note, our next destination that afternoon was the sam adams brewery. woo woo! back home in atlanta, breweries have popped up everywhere over the past several years, and it’s always fun to check one out in a new place. lucky for us, our lyft got us there just in time for the next tour. sweet!
now, i am not a beer expert by any definition, but in my opinion, once you’ve learned about the brewing process at one brewery, i feel like it’s more or less the same at all the others. you get to see the big tanks, they tell you about the different stages of the process, etc…it’s part of the brewery experience, though, so we followed the crowd around as our guide led us through the tour.
now, most folks enjoy a brewery tour because at some point you get to do a little drinking, and phillip and i are definitely part of that crowd. something that was very cool about sam adams is that instead of going up to the bar to get pours of beer from a bartender, there is a tasting room where you sit with your adorable tasting glass and pour yourself a taste of beer, however much you want, and if there is a flavor you don’t fancy, you can politely pass and get more of what you do like. this is my kind of tasting!
what i do understand about this approach to beer tasting is that after you’re all feeling warm and fuzzy, they do two things. first, they herd you out of the tasting room and through the gift shop so that you can buy all the sam adams paraphernalia you don’t need but just must have! how america to have a gift shop at the end of an experience, right? somehow phillip and i got out of there unscathed, content with the sam adams tasting glasses being our souvenirs from the visit. second, they then direct you right to the bar! where you can of course pay for and drink more beer. phillip and i were in no rush at all, so that is exactly what we did. we were just there, sipping on oktoberfest and then you are never going to guess what happened next – we saw there at the bar someone who also ate at the bar at neptune oyster right next to us the night prior. what are the odds! with a little liquid courage, we ended up saying hello and making a brand new friend in gabriela. she was so sweet to humor us a couple of hours as we tasted beers, told stories, and had a great time in a great city.
once we drank our share, we wished gabriela good luck on the rest of her visit in boston and headed back to our apartment. up to that point, we had only had a few donuts, and seeing as how phillip had been tasting beers like a champ at the brewery, it was time for a little rest and a little food. phillip slept off his drinks, i watched a little college football, and then we were off to our next destination: the improv asylum.
when we were planning the trip, improv asylum popped up on google maps and sounded like the perfect thing to do on a saturday night in boston. we descended the stairs, showed our tickets, and were escorted to our seats. it was a neat setup with the square stage in the center and rows of seats on each side, and we settled in for a great 90-minute show. the actors performed a few scripted skits that had us laughing but what really got us going was when they asked the audience for material and created stories right on the spot; after all, that is what improv is all about, and it really was a fun time.
after the show ended, we were ready for a little late night snack, so we strolled around the north end and decided pizza really would hit the spot. the fancier restaurants looked like they had a bit of wait, so when we stumbled upon rina’s walk-up counter and saw their pizzas sliced and ready to eat, we walked right on in. phillip ordered his coca-cola and pepperoni and i wanted a classic slice of cheese pizza, so that is exactly what we had. the pizza was fresh, a little zesty, and the perfect end to another day discovering boston.