I hate shopping, but I love malls.
I enjoy lacing up my tennis shoes and mall-walking with the seniors. The combination of people-watching, bobbing in and out of stores and smelling new clothes mixed with popcorn, Chinese food and Cinnabons thrills me.
One of the malls we actually don’t mind visiting is Twin Cities Premium Outlets, or what we casually refer to as the Eagan Outlet Mall.
There’s a good variety of clothing stores like Banana Republic, Old Navy, Saks Fifth Avenue, Eddie Bauer, etc. Outlet mall pricing is wacky; you’re probably not actually going to save money here, we all know that. But, you’ll find a convenient mix of stores all in one place. I can rarely find clothes that fit but know I’ll at least walk out with something.
We tried to go on the Sam Adams brewery tour but failed.
Somehow we got lost walking to the brewery even with our phones. And then when circled back to the brewery, we learned tours aren’t offered on Sundays.
The taproom, however, just opened so we had a drink.
It turns out that mostly tourists arrive at 10 a.m. to drink at the taproom on Sundays. Jake tried a flight of the more unusual beer flavors. I tried to order the lightest, fruitiest beer. They’re always too strong.
Still, I had fun sipping a beer and flipping through books about Boston. The taproom offers many books about Boston’s history and Samuel Adams + board games.
Our day was full of eight hours of walking between visiting the brewery and Museum of Fine Arts. We welcomed an early dinner by the time we got back to our Airbnb.
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.