Quack Quack Quack- Boston Duck Boat Tour

What feels like a million years ago, I went on a Duck Boat Tour with my mom when she came up to visit at the end of March. In fact, on that day we accepted the seller’s counter offer on the place that we just moved into. Crazy to think of how things are so different 2 months later. Anyway…

Going on a Duck Boat ride is one of the big things to do when in Boston. Well, after 8 years in Beantown I finally got my chance to do it. We had brunch at Max Brenners and then headed over to the Pru to take the tour from there. (The other options are to depart from the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium). The tour is 80 minutes long and zigs and zags it’s way through Boston, Cambridge, and Charlestown passing by close to 40 sights. And the coolest part is that it takes place on land and in the water as it uses DUKW’s from WWII.

Hey Mom! (email telling me to take this photo down in 3, 2, 1…)

Our tour guide M.C. History

We started off going down Boylston Street. Passed by Old South Church (my graduation ceremonies were held there.)

Old home to the New England Museum of Natural History (1863-1940’s)

Their version of Kilroy Was Here!

Boston Common on the right!

We passed by the State House, the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, and the Mary Dryer statue… whoa! I pass by her statue all the time and had no idea she was a martyr- hung because she was a Quaker, which was banned in the colony then.

A reflection of the old West End… doors and windows cast into the underside of the ramp from Storrow Drive to 1 North. You can see this if you take a drive on Red Auerbach Way.

splash!!!! Into the Charles River!

M.C. history let people take turns driving while we were on the water.

Longfellow bridge aka Salt and Pepper Bridge

Community sailing on the the Charles with the Citgo sign in the background.

See that tall rust building… I work there!

A 4-ton chunk of the Berlin Wall outside the North American Headquarters for EF, a travel, international language education, and cultural exchange company.

As we would our way thruough Charlestown, we passed by the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. I previously went on a tour of her- a cool must see.

Boston City Hall (background) is argued to be a major eyesore in Boston, even being included in the “The World’s Top 10 Ugliest Buildings and Monuments” list. (I don’t have an issue with the building so much as the plaza and adjacent T station) The steaming kettle is a leftover advertising tool for the Oriental Tea Company.

Zooming by the Mack Way for Ducklings statues in the Public Garden before was passed by Cheers, and hooked over to Newbury Street (NO Quack Zone), before our tour ended.

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I really enjoyed the Duck Boat Tour. Even through I’ve been in Boston for years and year I learned a lot about the great history of the city. It was really informative and a lot of fun. I would suggest this for people visiting the city. Shoot! I would even take it again!

The only thing that I found really annoying was that they don’t sell tickets to take the tour at the shed where they depart. I had to run like a maniac to the the kiosk in the mall (.4 mile round trip sprint) to get tickets for us, just to run back take the tour. Dumb!

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5.25-28: Memorial Day Weekend Recap

trip to haymarket | bus ride home | mac and cheese | relaxing and watching DVR’d shows | bed at 8pm (SO EXHAUSTED!) | up early | another haymarket trip | Home Depot- Chelsea | Home Depot- Everett | rent a truck, buy a grill | drop grill off at home | drop truck off back at home depot | lunch at Red Bones | start weeding the back and clean house | Kurland’s graduation BBQ- grill fire ball, sangria, grilling, drinks, and late night talking | relaxing Sunday morning | Rt 2 drive to the Berkshires | Shelburne Falls stop at Bridge of Flowers | McCusker’s Market | Zip-Lining at Berkshire East | Rt 2 drive back home | grilled chicken kabobs and beer | DVR’d shows | happy memorial day! | early morning Home Depot | grocery shopping | make Berry Brownie Torte | Price hooked up the computer | SRC post write up | make pasta salad,  grilled corn, and burgers | all afternoon weeding the ‘yard’ while Pricer cleaned inside & did laundry | longest relaxing bath ever | watch Mad Men episodes

 

Berry Brownie Torte- SRC

We are still getting settled into our new home. It’s slow going since I am so slow at unpacking and I want everything to be in its final home when I unpack it, not unpack, move, move again, and move once more. So a little bit of everything is everywhere. Thankfully we are getting the kitchen under control. We’ve cooked a few things in there like baked chicken and some Kraft Mac & Cheese. Oh let’s not forget cereal, lots and lots of cereal. So whipping up this super simple dessert took 4x longer than it should have as I am getting to know the new kitchen and move around the pots and pans (that need to get hung up- once we paint the wall and then put up the rack…).

 

 

That being said, I loved picking this dessert from Kristin’s blog, Troyer’s Loving Life,  for this month’s installment of Secret Recipe Club. I really love to make things from scratch all the time but there just comes a time when grabbing a box of brownie mix and box of instant pudding that works for me. And for a recent move and 3-day weekend- this was perfect. I did not use the cool whip that the original recipe called for just because I don’t like the taste of it. I made homemade whipped cream and folded that into the pudding. Also, after 2 trips to the grocery store in as many days I still managed to forget the condensed milk. I really kicked myself for that but I just could not get myself back in the car to go again for it so I just made the pudding the traditional way. My cake did slump over a bit as the filling was looser that what the cool whip and condensed milk filling would likely had been. Oh well, still tasty! Plus it was win-win for Memorial Day- red white and blue!!

 

 

Berry Brownie Torte

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • box of brownie mix, with eggs, water, oil to prepare according to directions
  • 1 box of french vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • half pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound of strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries

Process

  1. Reheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare your brownie mix according to the directions on the back of the box. Pour into lined, sprayed 8″ round baking pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from pans and set aside to cool completely.
  3. While the brownies are baking, prepare the vanilla pudding. Once set put back into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Mix the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks have formed. Fold into the pudding and pud back into the refrigerator.
  5. Wash and cut up the strawberries and wash the blueberries.
  6. Lay 1 brownie layer on a serving dish. Put half the pudding mixture on the brownie and half the chopped strawberries. Repeat with 2nd brownie layer, pudding, and strawberries. Lastly, add the blueberries to the top.

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Secret Recipe Club

Check out my previous Secret Recipe Club Posts:

April: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

March: Sauteed Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds

February: Fried Pickles

Jan: No SRC postings

December: Shrimp Sriracha Stir Fry

November: Vegetable Enchiladas

October: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Check out the rest of the reveal day posts!



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All the cool kids are doing it

 

Earlier today I donated blood. My first time ever. I never could before because I had tattoos and a piercing that preventing me for qualifying whenever the thought of donating crossed my mind.

Couldn’t in high school because I got my first tattoo in on my 18th birthday, obviously. Then in college I couldn’t because of a belly button piercing (10/03) then a tattoo and then it’s follow up touch up. Then I got my foot tattoo at the end of ’10. You have to wait a year before you can donated after each of these things so I was finally able to do so at the beginning of this year. And with the Red Cross having a blood drive just 4 floors up from my lovely cubical today I figure I would do it.

It was so simple. Didn’t hurt at all. I am actually fearing that ripping the pieces of tape and band-aid off my arm will hurt the most. Damn that smarts!

I got a Red Sox shirt some cheez-its and a cute teeny tiny can of cranberry juice. win-win!

I really could go on and on about how great it is to donate blood and how easy it is to do but I’ll let you do your own research since I have better things to do than copy paste the red cross info on my site…you know, like listen to Goyte’s “Somebody that I used to know” for the 1,000th time.

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Me thinks not

 

What would possess someone to do this to their nails?

I saw this on the train this morning and I could not resist taking a photo and then tweeting about it. natch.

It looked like a DIY job, like with a press on nail kit. I certainly hope it was because paying for that would make this whole situation worse.

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.