Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Parade!

Saturday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Because on Saturday I get to do one of my favorite things in the world: sleep in until 10 or 11 am, get an iced coffee, and lounge in bed watching The Baseball Show on CSN.  But not this Saturday. This Saturday I set my alarm clock for 6:15am on a Saturday. What could possibly make me get out of bed that early? The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Fricken Cup for the first time in 39 years!

Because I was planning on driving into Boston from Western MA for the parade, I had to get up early (but not as early as the BF who woke up at 3am and drove up from Long Island).  Did I mention that I hate waking up early?

Normally, I’d park my car at Riverside Station and take the T into the city, but traffic for the station was backed up off the highway. At 8:50 in the morning. And most car occupants were adorned in black and gold. The not-quite-as-sleepy-or-grouchy Chris made the executive decision to park in Brookline, where my old college roommate lives. After a quick pit stop (due to my impatience)  to visit, we grabbed a green line train into the city. A train almost entirely filled with Bruins fans. With more Bruins fans attempting to get on the train at each stop. And even more bruins fans in cars and buses along the route. It seriously was insane.

My original plan was to take the T into Copley Square and walk along the route to find a spot. I didn’t realize Copley station would be closed to all trains on the day of the parade. It made sense but still threw off my game plan. Though I’d love to say I know Boston like the back of my hand, I don’t. Chris and I decided to just follow the Bruins fans and we’d find our way (hey, it worked when we got lost trying to get from the Pru to Fenway Park!).  When we stumbled upon barricades and a decent crowd of people gathered in front of the Prudential Center, we stopped and grabbed a spot right against the barricade. We didn’t realize until later that we were actually sitting past Copley Square, where the parade officially ended.

Fans lined up along the barricades and grabbed Bruins merchandise in the plaza across the street.

I wanted a bear claw, but didn’t want to lose my spot so I stayed put. Then I saw something even more amazing….the Puck Hat! I need one of these.

Sadly, I did not get to see the very few comments Mayor Menino allowed the B’s to make before they boarded the Duck Boats. Supposedly, there were large TV screens set up along the route so the crowd could watch the parade progress, but there weren’t any TV screens set up at the Pru. Which also meant, I missed the mad rapping skill of Mr. Brad Marchand:

Then the Bruins Stanley Cup Parade was underway!

(from Boston.com's Bruins Blog)

The crowd continued to grow as the parade approached:

We got to the city around 10 am. The parade wasn’t even scheduled to drive by us until at least 1 pm. Though we both were exhausted, we were so happy to be in Boston for the parade!

Every ten minutes or so, someone would start a rumor that the boats were approaching and the crowd started to get anxious! Around 1 pm the police fired up the motorcade that would lead the duck boats away:

And then the Duck Boats were coming! The Duck Boats were coming!

Even though we’d been waiting for hours, it seemed to take forever for the boats to reach us once they were in sight.

And finally we saw the Cup! Not only did we see it, but the boat with Chara, Timmy Thomas, and the two trophies stopped right in front of us and stayed put for a good ten minutes.

It was so shiny! And BIG. Seeing the Cup on TV does not do it justice.

Then, you know, Zdeno Chara pointed at me. No Big Deal.

Chara’s gotta be one strong guy; that Cup weighs 35 lbs and he’s been lifting it since Wednesday night!

Timmy Thomas’s MVP Conn Smythe Trophy was on the boat too, though he got tired of lifting it after awhile so we only got a quick glimpse:

And here’s the MVP now!

The Duck boats lined up 2 by 2 and progressed off the parade route to almost deafening cheers. I cant describe the happiness and elation present in that screaming crowd. It was amazing. I think the most amazing part is that we cheered for every boat, not caring if we actually knew the person riding on it..

The NESN boat, carrying analyst Andy Brickley (in grey) glided by:

Followed by rookie Tyler Seguin:

I have no idea who this guy is, but if you wear an outfit like that out in public, you deserve to ride on a parade float:

It was awesome that Marc Savard (who is recovering from a severe concussion) was able to join his team for the parade! I really hope we see him back on the ice one day:

Here comes Peverly:

And Andrew Ference (who got a new Stanley Cup tattoo this week) & Gregory Campbell:

The perpetually stuck in the 80s Renee Rancourt was there, too…..but he didn’t sing:

Chara gave the fans one last look at the Cup:

And then it they road off into…well, it was day time so they couldn’t ride into the sunset, but you get the picture.

After the boats left, it was mayhem in the streets of Back Bay. Happy mayhem, but still kinda hectic. Black & Gold was everywhere. I kinda felt bad for any unsuspecting shopper on Newbury Street that happened to wander into this…..but then again, you must live under a rock if you didn’t know Saturday was Parade Day.

Check out this dedicated fan:

After three plus hours in the sun with only a small ice coffee and a bottle of water, I was hot, tired, and probably suffering from a combination of heat stroke and dehydration (just try and guess how many bottles of water I drank in the past few days) but it was completely worth it! Boston PD estimated that almost 1.5 million people showed up to celebrate with the Bruins (and we didn’t have any riots, take that Vancouver!), and excluding a few drunks, word on the street was that it was a family-friendly event. If you want to read a great article on the Bruins’ reaction to the parade and fan support, check out this article from Boston.com’s Bruins Blog.

With a little luck, I’ll be at another one of these parades soon….now, please excuse me while I go knock on wood.


2011 Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl

On Tuesday, my sister, brother, mom, and cousins played hookie from work and school to attend the 2011 Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl. The Scooper Bowl is a really awesome fundraiser that the Jimmy Fund holds each year in Boston at City Hall Plaza. Basically, for $8 you get a spoon and get to eat all of the ice cream your stomach can contain!

My camera died about 5 minutes after we got off the train at Government Center so the pictures that follow are a combo of my camera pics, pics from my cell phone, and some my cousin Carlee took (thanks Carlee!).

After a 70 minute drive plus about an hour on the T, we arrived at City Plaza. With blue skies and excessive heat, ice cream was the perfect way to cool off.

Each ice cream vendor had their own tent with a “menu board” showing the flavors they offered. After making sure we all had spoons and explaining the rules of our competition (keep your cups, whoever has the most at the end of the day is the winner, and if you don’t finish all the ice cream in the cup you must throw it away), we dug in.

This year, I was determined to beat my sister Tori who out ate me by one cup at last year’s Scooper Bowl.

We started at Baskin Robbins, where I grabbed cups of S’More the Merrier (left) and Golden Oreo Gold Rush (right).

The S’More ice cream was really interesting…it really did taste similar to a s’more. I have no idea how the made the marshmallow swirl part of the ice cream but it really tasted like a marshmallow you’d cook on a bonfire, not just a swirl of Fluff! It also made the graham cracker and chocolate studded  ice cream lighter and fluffier. I wasn’t a big fan of the Oreo Gold Rush flavor…the Oreo pieces were huge and the actual ice cream had a weird, fake lemony flavor to it.

I was really excited to see Ciao Bella at the Scooper Bowl again this year. Last year they served a Blood Orange sorbetto that was the  perfect palate cleanser between all the heavy, creamy ice cream flavors. Sadly, they didn’t have the blood orange flavor this year but did bring along four new flavors:

Apparently, S’Mores is this years “it” flavor! Because I only had two hands to grab cups for me and my 8-year old brother, I opted for the Mango Sorbet and the Key Lime Graham Gelato. The key lime was very citrus-y but it just didn’t taste right as a gelato and not a sorbet. The mango sorbet, however, was perfect. The right combo of sweet and a little tart and ridiculously smooth, not icy at all! It was probably my favorite flavor of the day:

How amazing does that look?

Next up was SoCo Creamery, an ice cream company out of Great Barrington, MA. SoCo serves up small-batch, all-natural ice cream that is absolutely delicious! I was really surprised by how creamy the ice cream actually was, and all of the mix-ins tasted fresh and still had some crispness to them.

All of my group tried the vanilla after my brother talked about how great it was, and everyone (chocolate lover or not) agreed that it was really good vanilla ice cream (something that, as a lover of vanilla ice cream, I really appreciate).  My sister absolutely loved the dirty chocolate, and commented that it tasted just like the gourmet brownie from Fat Witch Bakery that I brought back  for her from NYC. I definitely recommend you try out this company’s ice cream, which is carried at most Wholefoods. They have some really interesting and unique flavors–I can’ wait to try out their Chai Tea ice cream!

After stopping to rest our stomachs and take some pictures to tweet at the Jimmy Fund, we continued to sample all that the ScooperBowl had to offer.Next up was the Hood/Brigham’s booth where, judging by all the photographers, NESN cameras, and women wearing Sox jerseys, the ice cream ice cream was doled out by the Red Sox wives and girlfriends.

I grabbed cups of Hood’s BoSox Brownie and the Black Raspberry Sherbet, which I was kind of excited about since I love black raspberry ice cream. I’m not a huge chocolate or brownie fan, but the fact that the brownie was in vanilla ice cream drew me in….and it was actually pretty good! The brownie didn’t overwhelm the ice cream and there were small bits of chocolate that gave it a nice crunch.  The black raspberry sherbet was exceptionally good, good enough that I may never go back to black raspberry ice cream again. I haven’t seen the flavor in stores, but as soon as I do I’m picking up a pint (and I suggest you do too).

Clearly, my brother is a chocolate fan:

Ben & Jerry’s had three flavors to sample: Milk & Cookies, Bonnaroo Buzz, & Late Night Snack.

Sadly, I wasn’t too crazy about Ben & Jerry’s flavors this year. I grabbed cups of Late Night Snack & Bonnaroo Buzz, since I’ve had Milk & Cookies before. The vote was mixed on the Late Night Snack,  vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered potato chip clusters and a caramel. It just didn’t do anything for me; in fact after eating about half a cup, I almost conceded and threw it away without finishing. I expected Bonnaroo Buzz (coffee and malt ice creams with toffee chunks and a whiskey caramel swirl) to have a really nice coffee flavor, but all I could taste was the malt and whiskey from the caramel.

By this point both my cousin Katie & sister were about ready to admit defeat…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But we still had two more booths to visit….Friendly’s and Edy’s. Nothing at the Friendly’s booth interested me (mint chocolate chip, Hunka Chunka PB Fudge, and Rocky Road) so I passed. At Edy’s, I was feeling, so I opted for Orange Sherbet, which I thought would be a nice, light option. It was decent but nothing to write home about and paled in comparison to Hood’s Black Raspberry Sherbet.

Last year, I downed 12 cups of ice cream and I really wanted to beat that total this year! I doubled back and grabbed two more cups of Mango Sorbet from Ciao Bella, and though I was stuffed,  tried to eat one more cup of SoCo’s Vanilla (it was that good) but only got half-way through. My grand total was 14 cups of ice cream, beating not only my last year’s total, but my sister’s total as well!

The overall-winner was my cousin Carlee, who downed 20 cups of ice cream in just over an hour:

After taking a break in the shade…..

We walked the Freedom Trail towards Faneuil Hall:

Where we posed with Sam Adams and grabbed some (non-dairy) food from Quincy Market before heading home:

The Scooper Bowl is one of my absolute favorite events of the year, and a great way to try some tasty new ice cream flavors, while supporting a great cause!

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