Snapshots: 36 Hours in Boston

Red Eye from LAX to BOS
Arrive at 6:30 AM

One of the things that makes a quick trip to Boston easy is that the airport is a mere 15 minutes away from the heart of the city. We grabbed an Uber at the airport and started the quick trip from BOS to The Godfrey Hotel. Once at the hotel, we checked-in (sadly, no rooms were ready), quickly changed our clothes and set off for our first day in the city.

Boston Boston

The day started with breakfast at The Paramount – a Boston staple! We walked from our hotel through Boston Commons right up to The Paramount, and arrived 10 minutes before they opened (they open at 8am on Saturdays) and there was already a group of people waiting! We waited with the others and checked out the menu so we were ready upon entering. We ended up ordering the Western Omelette and French Toast, both were nice big portions and amazingly delicious. Definitely get there early, because there will be a line!

Boston

Now that we had some food in our bellies, we were ready to trek out to Fenway Park and take the stadium tour. We had prepurchased a tour at 10AM to ensure we beat the heat and could spend the rest of the day closer to city center. I cannot recommend the Fenway tour enough! It was so fun to see all the different seating areas and hear the history of the Boston Red Socks. The area around the staidum is extremely walkable, with lots of shops and restaurants. Since we had an early breakfast, we opted to stop by Walburgers (I mean, it’s like a rule if you’re in Boston right?) for a snack. We opted for the melt and sweet potato tots – I have to admit the burger was very good, but the tots kind of left me wanting more. They were a little too sweet and a little too greasy for my liking.

With the tour over, it was time to return to the Godfrey and luckily a room was ready for us. We checked in around 1:30pm and decided that we earned some quality nap time after walking over 6 miles already! Plus we had plans to check out Toro, a tapas resturant with a no reservations policy, that opened at 4:30pm. We made it to Toro a few minutes before 4:30pm and were the third group on the list for dinner service starting at 5pm.

Boston Boston

First off, if you are in Boston and have the time and opportunity, run don’t walk to Toro! The staff were very friendly and the food was so amazing, it was out of this world! We ordered the Pan con Tomate V, Jamon Blanco, Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija, Filete a la Plancha, Mejillones and finally the Churros for dessert. Along with all of these wonderful tapas, we ordered a bottle of white wine served in a perrone! This drink order definitely took the dining experience up a notch. Especially if you are in a large group, I would recommend getting yourself a perrone (or two!). Out of the dishes we ordered, you cannot go here without ordering the Mejillones – the mussels and chorizo are out of this world. I cannot eat mussels without dreaming of this dish.

Boston

After dinner, we wandered to the North End, for what else but Cannolis! We opted to try Mike’s Pastry our first night in town. After waiting in line for nearly 20 minutes, it was finally our turn to order. We opted for cookies and cream, chocolate chip, pistachio and espresso! Out of all four, I’d have to say the cookies and cream cannoli was my favorite. From the North End, we walked back to our hotel and turned in early, we had a big day ahead of ourselves.

Boston

We ended up sleeping in much later than planned and started our Sunday off with a quick trip to Boston Commons Coffee before heading out on the Freedom Trail. Another absolute must if you are in Boston is the Freedom Trail, not only do you cover a lot of history, but it is a great way to get your bearings in the city and know where everything is. We had such a great time walking around and soaking in the history and culture of the city. If you find yourself needed a snack along the trail, try Saus Boston for the most amazing poutine you’ve ever seen or tasted!

Boston

If you keep going along the trail, you’ll end up back in the North End and hopefully hungry enough for another cannoli! This time I opted for a traditional one at Modern Party – the pastry was crunchy and the filling was sweet and fluffy! The perfect treat to power though the rest of our afternoon walk.

After finishing up the trail, we took the subway over to Harvard to explore the campus. Along with the Class of 2020 (OMG!!!), we walked around taking in the sights and sounds of the prestigious campus and picked up a couple souvenirs, visiting campus means we are practically Harvard grads, right?! We grabbed an uber back into the city and stopped off at Legal Seafood for a cup of chowder before I headed to the airport. I’m not a huge chowder person, but you could taste how fresh their seafood is even in the chowder. We will definitely have to go back to try more of their seafood menu.

All in all, my thirty six hours in Boston were jam packed, but still felt fun and extremely enjoyable. The food, the drinks, the sights and sounds were all amazing! Even a short trip is worth it to explore such a remarkable and historic city.

Boston to LAX

Leave at 8:20 PM

Snapshots: Cake Tasting

Cake Tasting

We are finally in less than one year stretch and still doing things ridiculously ahead of time.  We headed down to Orange County this past weekend to visit a friend who just moved back from Hawaii, and conveniently, she lives 15 minutes from our wedding venue.  We decided to take the opportunity to schedule not one but two cake tastings while we were in the area.

Note to brides to be, don’t schedule two tastings back to back. I’m pretty sure I had a sugar hangover when I woke up Sunday morning.  Although the sugar overload wasn’t my favorite, it was nice to try both places in a short period of time because we could remember the things we liked about each place and make a more informed decision.

Cake Tasting

Our first tasting was at Sweet & Saucey Shop in Newport.  Before we arrived for our tasting, we were giving a huge sheet of flavor options and made selections based on what we wanted to try.  For the frosting we chose: cream cheese based: regular, espresso, coconut, peanut butter, and Oreo, buttercream: vanilla, salted caramel, and Nutella, chocolate ganache, strawberries, raspberries, hazelnut crunch, Valrhona chocolate pearls, toffee bits and salted caramel drizzle.

Cake Tasting

We opted for the chocolate, vanilla almond and strawberry cake flavors.  And if you thought the frostings and toppings above were enough, think again – we also tried a few creamy fillings – whipped cream, vanilla Bavarian cream, lemon cheesecake mousse and chocolate mousse.

Cake Tasting

And those were just the cake options… We also tried a few mini desserts- traditional cheesecake with fresh fruit, cappuccino cheesecake, chocolate salted caramel tarts.  Last but not least, we sampled some mini cupcakes: candy bar, chocolate espresso, chocolate peanut butter, carrot cake, coconut, strawberry cream and nutella hazelnut.

After reading all of that, you probably are asking yourself how we didn’t get sick or need to roll each other to the car afterward… Patience my friends, it’s all about small bites.  Just enough to get the flavor combination and not enough to get yourself sick.  It also helped that we preferred the cream cheese frostings, which are less kick you in the stomach sweet compared to their buttercream cousins.  When it came to testing the mini desserts, we only ate a quarter of the tarts and one small fork full of each mini cupcake.  It was the perfect amount to taste the cake, frosting and any fillings, but no need to overload the tummy.

The entire experience at Sweet and Saucey Shop was super enjoyable.  Their décor is very cute and the fact that they have Styrofoam sample cakes all over the shop, helps you get an in person idea of the size of your cake.  We wanted a very simple textured design, so the pricing was extremely reasonable when it came time to talk numbers.  In our discussions with our consultant, we opted for a smaller cake, a simple two tiered style with two different flavors, which we will probably top with fresh flowers and a simple topper.  If cake is not our guests’ thing, we will have 4 different mini dessert options to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.   Our consultant was very knowledgeable and didn’t feel pushy.  She gave her opinion and was very helpful when it came to pointing out different sized cakes featured in the store to help us picture the cake in person.

I won’t spoil the surprise of what we ended up choosing for our wedding, but just know this – my sweet tooth will be more than satisfied 😉

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Almost immediately after I got engaged, I knew I wanted to do something just as special for my bridesmaids as Bill had done for me with our picture perfect proposal. I began by searching high and low for ideas of what kind of goodies to include in bridesmaid proposal boxes and let me tell you there are LOTS of ideas out there of how to compile the perfect bridesmaid box. But none seemed perfect for my gals… I mean mini champagne bottles are super cute, but are you really going to sip on that by yourself?

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

I decided full size bottles of sparkling wine were the way to go! That way they could choose to save it for a special occasion and break it out for themselves when the timing was just right. Next, I knew I wanted to add something unique and fun. Originally, I thought of including flower crowns, but once I started researching, nothing seemed high enough quality for what I was willing to spend. That’s when I stumbled upon Compartes Chocolatier and OMG, I am glad that I did. All their chocolate bar flavors are super interesting and everything I tried was beyond this world, yum! Some of my picks were Apple Pie, Cereal Bowl, and Donuts & Coffee!

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

To finish the whole package off, I went over to my local Whole Foods to use their floral geniuses to create individual mini bouquets for each of my fabulous ladies. For less than $50 in flowers, they created six gorgeous arrangements that really took my box proposals from cute to FAB! If you’ve never gone to Whole Foods to buy flowers before, you’re doing it all wrong. They are my dirty little secret for any and all floral gifts. Not only are the flowers super fresh, but they will always rewrap your picks in kraft paper and tie it all up with twine for that picture perfect Instagram.

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Once the boxes were complete I hand delivered them to my six besties, complete with adorable Super Paper LA cards and lucky for me they all accepted my proposal.

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

#TBT Snapshots

Today’s post is a little more personal than my typical recipe posts.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been a little slow to post over the past month and it’s for a good reason I promise!  So let’s get right to it, shall we?

Long story short, Bill and I are engaged!

Now onto the deets – Bill has always been very interested in nature and landscape photography, so when he proposed a trip to Yosemite to take some photographs of the park with the snow covered trees, I didn’t think anything of it.  I’ve only been to Yosemite one other time in January two years ago but there was no snow, so I was excited to see what exactly the park looks like with a dusting of white fluffy snow.

Well we definitely got a little less than we bargained for when it came to the snow.  We ended up driving up Saturday afternoon and got to the park by 5pm, with only a tiny base layer of ice on the ground.  Needless to say we were mildly disappointed with the existing snowfall, but it was supposed to snow overnight, so we kept our hopes high.  We ended up going to a delicious dinner at the Ahwahnee Lodge – if you ever find yourself in Yosemite, do yourself a favor and get the onion soup – seriously it’s the bomb.com and then some!  The short rib wasn’t too bad either.

We returned back to our lodge after our dinner and overnight the weather did a serious 180.  We woke up to a gorgeous scene of picturesque landscape covered in snow.  And it was still coming down!  We hiked around a bit after grabbing a quick bite to eat and got a couple of beautiful pictures of Yosemite Falls and the valley covered in white.  The whole time we were hiking through the valley, the snow was falling and it was definitely under 30 degrees !  It was truly an amazing view but as a southern California girl, it was a wee bit cold.  So when Bill suggested we drive around a bit, I jumped at the thought of sitting in a warm car.

We drove around the park for another 45 minutes looking for a scenic spot to take a few more pictures, but the snowfall was definitely making things more difficult.  We ended up back at our first picture taking site, Yosemite Falls and Bill set up his tripod with the perfect angle to capture the entire falls.  The lighting had improved and the snowfall had lessened, so we decided to get a picture of the two of us.  BUT of course, the remote was out of range, so Bill wasn’t able to get our picture the first time around.

Luckily, there was one man hanging out near the falls, Bill approached him and ask if he could take our picture.  Bill made sure I was perfectly positioned on an invisible mark and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  And of course I said yes!  Luckily, our new found friend was able to capture the most beautiful image of Bill’s proposal.

Some people say they blackout during proposals, luckily I didn’t blackout, but I felt like time was passing soo slowly, like I was outside of my body watching everything happen in front of me.  Whether it actually lasted 10 minutes or just 60 seconds, it was a beautiful moment between Bill and I, and I am so glad that we have an image to remember it by.

The best part of where the proposal happened was that we couldn’t call anyone for at least an hour after it happened, since cell service is almost nonexistent in Yosemite National Park.  We were able to enjoy the moment together, knowing that we were the only two people in the world {plus our photog} who knew what happened just minutes before.

Proposal at Yosemite Falls

{Aspen}

Aspen
I apologize for the lack of updates here at BB&B, but I’ve had a busy month of May– not only I move into a new apartment, but Bill and I also bought a yellow lab puppy.

We picked up Aspen on May 9th and it’s been go, go, go ever since! Aspen was super calm and quiet when she first arrived home, now she is active and vivacious. I think it’s safe to say that Aspen is finally both crate and potty trained. Fingers crossed! She is also a pro at the “Sit” and “Stay” commands.

We decided to reward Aspen with her first trip to the beach this weekend (don’t worry it was a private beach, not a public dog beach). She enjoyed hanging out on the sand, but let’s just say she wasn’t too pleased when a wave finally caught up to her. She loves playing with tennis balls, but we’re still working on the release part of playing fetch.

Aspen is the perfect addition to our family and continues to impress the two of us with her intelligence and spirit. Although, she may have been a little too spirited with a phone charger and a couple of books. We’ve made some puppy proof alterations since then and she is doing great!

I look forward to sharing our journey with Aspen and some new dog friendly ideas and recipes!