While staying in the the North End of Boston, we noticed two restaurants where lined up waiting for tables outside: The Original Regina Pizzeria and Neptune Oyster.
We might not have made very far past the North End for meals, but we did hit them both.
We cut our journey along the Freedom Trail short to go to Neptune. We figured if we arrived fifteen minutes before opening, we could make the first seating. We were right by exactly six people.
Neptune is tiny and extremely popular. Your shoulder will most likely touch your neighbor’s.
The Freedom Trail is a literal trail. Not a figurative journey. It wasn’t until the second day we figured this out.
This 2.5 mile-long string of red bricks will take you to various historical sites related to the Revolutionary War.
Many sites charge a small fee for entrance or a tour. Otherwise, you can simply read the plaques out front.
This morning, we had already wandered around the wharf near the Aquarium and Faneuil Hall before following the Freedom Trail. We cut our trip short to make the first seating at Neptune Oyster Bar. I think the founding fathers would be ok with that.
I think the key to having a good vacation is letting go of my checklists.
As an INFJ, the physical space around me is chaotic but my time is structured. I like the bird’s eye view of charting things on a monthly calendar. And lists, handwritten on scraps of paper that I either lose or run through the laundry. Still, I make lists.
I began packing for Boston the night before. Jake always packs the morning of. Even though it makes me feel better to pack ahead, I forget more stuff than when I scramble. Sure enough, I forgot half my make-up.
Youtubers are always doing “Applying my make-up with ONLY my fingers!” or “Doing a full-face of make-up only using cream products!” challenges. I got to do both each day!
The flights to and from Boston were a dream.
You haven’t really experienced Boston until someone from Boston gets annoyed and hollers at you.
It was very clear we were Midwestern, with our big, open smiles and enthusiastic, “Hellos!”
Twice a day, we observed some sort of profanity-filled shouting match. I watched a man try to open the door to a cheery sweet shop. When it wouldn’t open, he cursed it from the heavens to the ground. From our Airbnb we heard couples yelling at each other on the street. One woman yelled at me for giving her too much space as I let her pass by on the sidewalk.
Jake and I have different approaches to trying new restaurants.
It’s not that he won’t try new places with me. But once he finds his *favorite* version of something, he knows it and feels hesitant to branch out. After all, it’s a sure bet.
For me, the joy is in the journey. I might find something I really like, and might even love. But I can’t move past the nagging curiosity that my new favorite might be around the corner.
It’s no secret that we both love Quang, Minneapolis institution serving Vietnamese food since 1989. This Eater piece commemorates their new remodel and shares the family’s story. I took Jake here on a lark one holiday and he’s never looked back.
At Vietnamese restaurants, Jake always orders pho with the thinly sliced raw beef. I always order the Hu Tieu soup with rice noodles and a variety of pork, and seafood.
Read more about our love for Quang and the delivery by Door Dash here.
The thing about the Twin Cities is that we are rich with good Vietnamese restaurants. If you ask residents where to find the best bowl of pho, they’re all going point you towards a good bowl of pho.