Boston: Sunday, The Longest Vacation Day in History

Saturday night was pretty low-key, so on Sunday morning we were ready to start the day pretty early. Good thing, we thought, since there was lots we wanted to see and do. We had no idea.

We started out with a walk to the Charles River, and then to breakfast at Panificio. After that, a short walk to the beautiful Acorn Street, and on to the City Garden and the Common, so that we could start our tour of The Freedom Trail. We’d looked into going with a tour group, and we are SOOO thankful that we didn’t choose that route. The groups are big, and frankly, there were some stops where we didn’t really want that much information. Matt found an app that we followed and it was perfect for us!

Midway through our history lesson, we stopped for a drink at Bell in Hand tavern, the oldest bar in America (not at its original location, though). I’d recommend doing that to fuel up for the second half of the Freedom Trail tour…sustenance is important.

Because it was Columbus Day weekend, there was a huge parade through the city streets on Sunday afternoon, so by the time we reached the North End (Italian neighborhood, and also Paul Revere’s home and the Old North Church on the Freedom Trail) it was pretty crowded. We were hungry, so we ended our tour at the church and headed to Mike’s Pastry for cannolis, which we bought and carried to a nearby park.

Sitting for the first time in a while, and with no specific plans for the rest of the day yet, over a chocolate chip cannoli lunch we decided to check Stub Hub for Red Sox tickets one more time.

You see, the 2 days prior we’d been checking to see what it would cost to get us into Fenway. When we’d checked, it was about $85/each for standing room only tickets. We kept debating spending that on the game to see historic Fenway vs. walking down near Fenway and watching in a bar.

Well. When we checked Stub Hub just 4 1/2 hours before the game, we found that we could get 2 bleacher seats (not even standing room!) for less than $100! Which meant we were in…Matt was SO excited (looking back, he says that he didn’t realize how much he really DID want to go to the game until we decided we were doing it for sure!).

However, we had a logistical problem to solve. We needed a paper copy of our tickets; I even called Fenway to confirm that they couldn’t just scan my phone. We were staying in this tiny apartment and though we had our laptop, we were sure there was no printer*.

We thought of the public library; called and it was closed for the holiday weekend. Our next plan was a hotel lobby, but we were either going to have to sneak into their business center or befriend someone at the desk to let us print these out. We headed towards downtown with this as our goal (passing the police station and literally wondering aloud if they’d help us), when I remembered passing a FedEx/Kinkos the night before on our way to watch the Cards game.

We hightailed it over there, and thankfully, they were open. We used one of their workstations and printer, and for about $4 and 5 minutes, we had printed tickets in our hands! We almost jumped up and down, I kid you not.

We raced back to our apartment to put on layers (the low that night was around 40) and set out on foot towards Fenway with plenty of time to see things and stop for a bite to eat along the way.

As we neared Davis Square, we decided we should look for somewhere to eat and almost immediately, Boston Burger Co came into view, and I remembered that it had been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so we decided we’d eat there. We split a burger that was loaded with mac and cheese and bacon, and yes, it was delicious!

So then it was time to walk over to Fenway, and let me just say: getting to experience it all in the playoffs was really, really cool. Yawkey Way, the Green Monster, the great music between every half inning, the diehard fans – really fun.

The deal with our seats was this: we were on the end of a row of about 20 bleacher seats, 3 rows from the top. And there was only one way out of our row. And the vendors don’t sell beer up there. I can’t even begin to count how many times we got up to let people through, but hey, part of the experience of an old ballpark.

The Sox weren’t doing so well {for a while Matt and I *might* have secretly been wishing for the Tigers’ ace (and STL native) Max Scherzer to throw a no-hitter since it appeared the Sox weren’t going to get the job done}. Probably the most surprising part of the whole Fenway experience was how the fans turned on one of their own players when he made an error. I kid you not: MULTIPLE people in the seats around us literally yelling, “I f-ing hate you, Drew!” and “You’re the f-ing worst player ever!” and on and on. If guys struck out a second time, more of the same. If their pitchers gave up hits, more of the same. And since the game wasn’t going in their favor, there was a lot of this.

Now, before you think that I think this would never happen at Busch Stadium, I’ll say this: I’m sure you could easily go to a game and sit next to a drunk guy who cursed at our players when they messed up. But I’ll guarantee I’ve never personally been to a game (at any of the other 4 MLB stadiums I’ve seen a game) where there was anything near this magnitude directed at our or opposing players.

So you know, that was interesting.


So it’s the bottom of the 8th. One out. Red Sox down 5-1. Matt and I haven’t had a drink OR a bathroom break all game, it’s super late, we’re tired, and we have a 2.75 mile walk home. He looks at me and says, “If it’s still 5-1 at the end of this inning, we’ll leave. Let’s head down to the bathrooms now, and we’ll watch on the tv to be sure this seems like it’s over.”

I agree to this plan.

We exit the bathroom, watch a couple of plays happen in the Sox’s favor on the tv in the concourse, and all of a sudden, the bases are loaded. And we realize that Big Papi is up. We take off in a dead sprint towards the stairwell up to our seats and before we can even get there, the crowd absolutely erupts…grand slam on the first pitch! We made it to the landing to be able to see out onto the field as he ran the bases, and ran up the stairs to our seats to celebrate with those people we let in and out of the row 1487 times earlier in the evening.

The Red Sox ended up winning it in the bottom of the 9th, and as you can imagine, it was craziness.

So, so fun to be a part of (and now, of course, I hope the Cardinals win it in 4 games!).

We had a LONG walk home, wrapping up our now-16-hour sightseeing day with the last of our 10 miles of walking for the day.

Whew. I’m tired again just reading back through this.

Here are the pictures!

*So yeah. We get back to the apartment? There’s a printer. No paper, but a printer. Naturally.

One response to “Boston: Sunday, The Longest Vacation Day in History

  1. Loved this chapter! Even though you’d already told us a lot of it, there were added details here, & of course, the pics are great! I love that shot of Matt in front of Fenway too! And just all the little stuff–like the personal church pews (!) & that mac & cheeseburger! Best of all–how you ended up at the ballgame!!

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