She said, I think I’ll go to Boston.

♪ She said I think I’ll go to Boston…I think I’ll start a new life. ♪

Augustana knew what they were doing when they wrote these lyrics. A city filled with rich history, vibrant people, unmatched views, and delicious eats is sure to entice the masses. These aspects of Boston drew me in as a visitor (for this visit, my first, in the summer of 2016), the textbook elements of travel if you will.

But, there was more. Boston is a song—a windows down, radio loud, makes you dance—kind of song. It’s a jive along during the day with all the feels at sunset kind of city…and I loved every moment.What brought me to this sweet beat of a city? A conference, with wonderful colleagues, who played a big role in the following adventures. They even entertained my food adventures, starting with Row 34.When you live in a landlocked state, coastal consumption must include as much seafood as time allows. With extensive oyster options, creative fish dishes, and craft beers, where could one go wrong? When a restaurants tag line reads, “If we could eat oysters and drink beer for every meal period, we probably would,” you know where you can find me.Above: Deviled Crab Toast & Old Bay Onion Rings | Below: Tuna TartareAbove: House-made Bucatini & Clams, as well as the stunning oyster bar

Below: Ethel’s Creamy Lobster (way to Ethel, way to go)Above: Grilled salmon | Below: HakeRow 34 was the perfect introduction to the delish eats Boston would offer throughout our stay. The adventure to get there and back (which may or may not have included getting into a wrong Uber) was more than worth it.

Following the first full day of the conference, I hit the streets for a quick stroll. The song played louder…I stood here. I stood right here for nearly 15 minutes. I would have stayed longer, but naturally I was hungry. Give a little listen from my cell phone capture…I’m confident you’ll understand why I stayed.

Boston, I’ll love you for a thousand years too.

We enjoyed dinner at Legal Crossing, where I indulged in a perfectly seared tuna steak. Sadly, our beautifully lit up red table didn’t make for edible images. It’s worth a look, if you’re in town.We made a nightly journey past a few historical landmarks, but it wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Mike’s Pastry…there cannoli be one. Finishing out day 2 of the conference was quite the relief, as four of us presented in the closing sessions. There was truly no better way to celebrate than a visit to Drink.The space, which you would undeniably miss if you weren’t looking for it, is located off Congress Street below Sportello. It embraces a community vibe, and promises to create the perfect cocktail based on your personal tastes. I was impressed with the flawless talents our bartenders…but this gal above was a total boss. She worked tirelessly to keep the bartenders stocked with the freshest ingredients. It was a vivid reminder of the typically unseen work that allows us indulge at local business. There it is, my one plea of the post. Please, please, eat, drink, and shop local.Above: Sparkling Manhattan (inspired from Rebecca’s visit to New Orleans)

Below: Savory Donut Holes (those didn’t last long)A saunter down the boardwalk was up next, as we made our way to the Barking Crab. Located on the Fort Point Channel, it is a bustling joint for bites and beverages. As noted below, it’s not a quiet establishment, but would you really venture to a place called the Barking Crab and expect anything else?Our last night in Boston was spent aboard the Odyssey. The experience boasted live music, dinner at sea, and time with peers from other institutions. Oh, and the complimentary views weren’t too shabby.

It only seems appropriate to close with a love letter to this breathtaking city.

Dear Boston,

You stole my heart.

(I’m gonna need that back.)

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