Eight years ago, Jason and I gave Gary Mike a Christmas present. It was a cocktail napkin that read, "Redeemable for: 1 Round trip ticket from Washington, D.C. to Boston, M, by: Jason and Jen at a prearranged date of your choosing. M.F.C. PS: We're going too!" With looming PCS orders, we decided it was now or never. Jessica came up and stayed with the girls, and Gary Mike, Terry, Jason and I hopped on the Amtrak at 3am two days after Christmas for a whirlwind adventure in Boston!

We lucked out and grabbed two sets of four seats facing each other. For most of the ride up, we napped, did crossword puzzles, read, and Jason worked on his paper. 

Finally, we were awake for the remainder of the ride and thought it was time to properly celebrate Gary Mike's birthday with a toast!

We got some guidance from family on some must-visit places. Unfortunately, the number one spot on our list, was also the number one spot for everyone else visiting the area! We got on the waiting list, then wandered down the road in search of a Bloody Mary. Again, unfortunately, we weren't well-versed on the crazy Blue laws in MA. There wasn't a drop of liquor to be found, so we settled for beer and champagne. We grabbed a quick snack and before we finished our second round, got a call from Neptune Oyster that they finally had room for us.  

We squeezed into the restaurant, a tiny space, packed to the gills. We ordered an assortment of oysters, I downed my first (and only) with much difficulty, and we enjoyed the delicious fare and some more drinks.

Neptune Oyster is famous for their lobster rolls and I can see why! This was soaked in butter!

After we were stuffed, we wandered around for a bit, stopping at the TD Gardens to get Gary Mike a Bruins sweater. 

After all that walking on a VERY cold day, we continued our search for cocktails. By 2pm, no one even wanted a Bloody Mary, but we'd been looking for such a long time, Terry had one anyway:) 

The tour of the city continued and we visited Bell in Hand, where we got drinks and I had Boston Cream Pie. 

The city was alive with tourists and beautiful decorations leftover from the Christmas holiday. 

The next day, in search of the best Italian sub, we went to two different spots and grabbed 8 sandwiches to bring back to DC. 

And that was it. By the time we got our bearings, it was time to re-board the train and head back to the city. What an experience! It was exhausting, but totally worthwhile. Below are a few pictures of Gary Mike and his "ticket." I can't believe he kept it all these years! 

Happy birthday and M.F.C., Gary Mike!


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