When it was announced that the USMNT would be playing a Gold Cup group match, I didn’t have to think twice about whether I would attend. I had been to Boston before, a couple of years ago, in the dead of winter, so I was excited to have the opportunity to experience the city in the summer. I also have many friends that live in and around Boston, thanks to our two weeks in Brazil last summer, so I was excited to meet up with all of them.
Jen, Suzanne, and I arrived in Boston on Thursday afternoon, just in time to freshen up and grab dinner, before heading to The Banshee in Dorchester for the AO Night Before Party. But not before we made a stop at the Dunkin Donuts by the hotel. Like cheese steaks in Philly, pizza in New York, and anything crab in Maryland, DD just tastes better in Boston. We got slices at Ernestos in the North End for dinner on the recommendation of a co-worker. SO. DELISH.
The bus for the game didn’t leave until 3pm, so we had some time to kill in the morning. We were staying in Cambridge, so we took the 69 bus to Harvard Square and had a wander around the Harvard campus. I feel just a little but smarter having just set foot on the campus. We grabbed Wagamama’s for lunch before heading back to the hotel to get Gameday Ready. One of my major life rules is When in The Land of Wagamama’s, Go Have a Yaki Soba. Boston is the only place stateside that has them, so I always make a point to grab a meal there when I’m in town.
After getting ready to head to the game, we were off to The Banshee again to catch the bus to Gillette Stadium (I hate that place). The bus was actually a school bus, so we were kicking it middle school style for the 45 minute ride to Gillette (I hate that place). Once we arrived, we tailgated for a few hours before the game. It was great catching up with old friends, making new ones, and eating tailgate noms.
Honduras played Panama in the first match of the night, so a group of us headed in early to grab seats and watch the second half. The 1-1 scoreline played well for us, because it meant that if we won our game, we won the group with a match still to play. Our game didn’t go nearly as well as planned. We played Haiti, who we should have beat by several goals, but we only won the game 1-0.
We got back to the hotel around 1am, and made the smart decision to sleep in the next morning (but not too late, because Hampton Inn breakfast ends at 10, and they have a Belgian waffle maker and toppings bar!).
After sleeping in, we had a wild Saturday planned, riding the Swan Boats at the Public Gardens #swangoals (an inexpensive tourist attraction at $3.50) and walking the Freedom Trail.
What’s great about the Swan Boat is that someone else is doing the peddling, so you can just relax and take selfies with the swan. Or, you know, look at the lovely gardens surrounding the lake. Whatever. It was a 15 minute ride, and a nice way to acclimate to the insanely hot weather happening that day while working on my tan.
After the Swan Boats, we hit the Visitor’s Center to grab a map for the Freedom Trail. I’m a pretty DIYer when it comes to tours, so I wasn’t about to pay $10+ to be led around, even if it was by a college kid in reenactment gear. The self-guided tour lets you move at your own pace, and you aren’t constantly stuck in the middle of a pack of people, which I find to be intensely frustrating. We stopped at Anthem in Canary Square for lunch, where I had a delicious Lobster Cobb salad. You can’t go to Boston and not get some lobstah! After lunch, we met up with our friend Brian, who we know from DC soccer but was in town for the U2 shows, for the second half of the Freedom Trail.
We finished the trail with a cannolli from Mike’s Pastry. I ordered the mint chip, and while it was tasty, I don’t think I’ll be packing on pounds via cannollis anytime soon. By the time we finished the trail, and had dinner, I felt like I was on death’s door. So I had a wild night laying in bed, watching a Storage Wars marathon on A&E.
Overall, I had a great time in Boston. It’s a wonderful city, and I wish I had been feeling better to make the most of my free time there. I can’t wait to head back soon, and see some more of the city, like Back Bay, and complete my life mission of eating at every Italian restaurant in the North End.