Beantown, Sam Adams, Merica

When traveling to a new city, it is hard to know what to expect. You create an image in your head of what the city looks like, what the food tastes like, how the place feels. However, when you get there that image can be completely wrong. This is not one of those times.

This weekend I visited Boston, Massachusetts, home to the Sox, Harvard and Tom Brady. While I may dislike (hate) Tom Brady, Harvard would probably (definitely) reject me, and the Sox have caused me some (lots) of heartache over the years, I have to say Boston is an amazing city. It is clean, vibrant and, besides the awful traffic, a city with lots to offer.

Of course in a new city I need to check out the breweries. We visited two, Harpoon Brewery and Boston Brewery also known as Samuel Adams. Both gave great tours. Harpoons tour included a 30 minute tasting with as many as you wanted. For  five bucks that cannot be beat. Plus, in their beer hall you have to try their pretzels. That is a game changer and my girlfriend, Olivia, agrees with me. Best pretzel we have had. Samuel Adams’ tour was extremely informative with a mini beer tasting class and three different beers all  for free with a small donation to a few charities being encouraged. Well worth it for the beer and tour. Then after we headed to Doyle’s nearby where they give you a free glass of Sam Adams’ specific glass designed for the perfect drink to take with a beer purchase.

In addition, to the breweries Boston is filled with great food, (the Mac and Cheese at Stephanie’s on Newbury is one of the best I’ve tried),  historic landmarks and beautiful parks (Good Will Hunting). Additionally, the old taverns such  as Bell in Hand and Warren Tavern take you back to the 1700s when men like Paul Revere frequented these places. Talk about drinking a beer for freedom. A city like this right on the water is a beautiful place, I just wish it had been a little warmer.

I think one of the most interesting things about the city is Uber Pool. Now I know other places have this, but it is not here in Cleveland yet and the concept is very interesting. Uber in itself is an app about trusting a stranger to give you a ride. In an age where we are more and more connected electronically but less and less connected personally, Uber Pool allows you to not only get a ride from a stranger but share a ride with one. Some of these rides are silent, but others such as the girl going in town for a grad school interview or the local with suggestions on things to do can create a connection sometimes lost among strangers. When we part we go on our way to never see each other again but for a few minutes you can  trust a stranger. Boston was great for that. It is a city that lived up to those expectations I had created in my head. When I first arrived, I tweeted that the city was in my top five I have visited after just a few hours and a follower of mine responded back that it would soon be in my top three. They were right.

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The Beach, The Beer, Kennedy, and The Don

So, it’s been a little more than a week since I returned from Palm Beach and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I pretty much knew nothing about the area when I booked the trip 9 months ago. Turns out Donald Trump vacations there and was there at the same time as we were (I didn’t see him). Also, turns out Florida has quite a few breweries. I tried out many different beers such as the Funky Buddha Floridian but I also visited two Breweries, Twisted Trunk Brewing and Civil Society Brewing. Both of these Breweries had some good stuff to offer. Each had a beer that is high on my list.

Twisted Trunk is more of traditional upper class bar with outdoor seating available located in the Palm Beach Gardens area. Their IPGA is a fantastic IPA that I really enjoyed.

Civil Society on the other hand, located in Jupiter, offers that industrial brew pub feel that is becoming popular. A couple of locals recommended the DDH Fresh and I’m glad I listened. This Double Dry Hopped Beer did not disappoint. Both of these breweries are great spots in the South Florida scene.

We did not just drink beer and sit on the beach though. We did a little sight seeing and took a short boat ride out to Peanut Island. This man made island is home to the former JFK cold war bunker. This was designed to house JFK from fallout and anywhere a president vacationed during the cold war had to have a bunker available. Pretty cool to think of the mind set back then to warrant these being built.

Between some beer, a history lesson and all you can eat tacos on Clamatis Street, Palm Beach and the surrounding area has quite a bit to offer.

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