Can I just say... a Bostonian November is what blogger dreams are made of?! Lingering foliage, representing all the hues of fire. Clear, blue skies with a bite in the air. Christmas tree farms on the coast, lit with simple garlands of festive white lights, looking like a page out of a Madewell catalog. Strolling down Newbury Street with my sister, admiring the charming brownstones while counting down the footsteps remaining to Shake Shack. Greasy fingers in a little shack off of the Massachusetts coast, crates on crates on crates overflowing with fried onion rings and fat, buttery lobster rolls and fried scallops and clams and bright red lobsters.
New England in the fall makes my heart sing. It's so classically Americana, almost like how a Thanksgiving was always meant to be celebrated, in quaint homes made of stately brick and black shutters, leaves piled high and raked to the side of frontyards. "This is the type of neighborhood I imagine is trick-or-treating gold," I commented to my brother-in-law.
My brother-in-law's family graciously invited ours up to New England for the long weekend, and spent the entire time proudly showing us around their beautiful hometown.
We started at the top of Prudential Tower, admiring Boston's wide expanse. Dan's father, a true Boston native, told us about the storied past of any building, park, or street we pointed out from way up high. It also felt overwhelmingly profound to be in a city so important to our country's beginnings on this holiday of thanks and in light of the election–the observatory highlights immigration and Paul Revere and America's firsts and the Freedom Trail, and it was all a bit sobering.
From there, we swung over to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace for a bite to eat.
Imagine my delight when I saw the town all decked out in holiday decorations.
It felt like a proper holiday season, thick gloves and coats required. None of the 75 degree crap that I've gotten used to in Texas and California!
Of course, we had to stop by Mike's Pastry for some cannolis.
Seriously, the first place anyone recommends upon hearing the words "going to Boston."
Doing my proud, though!
After a stop in a hole-in-the-wall Italian cafe in the North End for cappuccinos and a quick chance to thaw, we set our sights on the Isabella Gardner Museum.
Who knew a little slice of Venice was tucked away in Northeast America?
This brilliant museum has quite a few eccentricities, including respecting Gardner's last wish to leave everything and anything in the museum untouched and exactly where they were when she passed. It was also the victim of the most expensive art heist in history (which brightened the spirits of the White Collar geek inside of me, much to the suspicion of the security guards), and the paintings are still unrecovered. Seriously a most amazing collection, I could've spent all day wandering about the rooms full of treasures.
^The frame of a missing Rembrandt painting, undisturbed because remember: everything shall remain the way they were left.
But, of course, moreso than any amount of New England charm, the time we got to spend bonding with family was deeply cherished.
That, and cannolis for breakfast with an unreal view.
In all seriousness,
family is what this holiday comes down to.
And to be in the presence of such great people (and dogs! always remember the fluffy creatures!), eating a delicious meal made by many hands kneading and crumbling and basting and chopping and grilling... is the ultimate testament to the power of family.