This blog post is extremely unsponsored.
Grand Marais looks like a neighborhood that Michael could have designed to be The Good Place.
It’s idyllic. It’s super Scandinavian. People wearing sweaters and holding ice cream cones wander the quiet streets. Someone might wander by holding a freshly caught fish.
The mention of “Grand Marais” throws Minnesotans into a tizzy, a dreamy state of frenzied joy. Those who have been will tell you about the World’s Best Doughnuts (yes, that’s what the shop is called), suggest you eat some lake fish, and share the best places to hike.
After one visit, I’m now one of these people.
Can two adults who don’t want to ride rides occupy themselves for a whole afternoon at Valley Fair?
If you’re into the waterpark or floating around the lazy river, then yes! But otherwise, no.
Fifteen years have passed since I’ve been to ValleyFair. It’s been about the same for Jake. We curiously returned as part of my work’s employee appreciation event. It was a laid back type of event where you could simply stop by.
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.