With our current travel priorities on hold for the foreseeable future, we decided to focus on lower budget, higher impact versions of time together. In other words, day date is back! With a bright and sunny day on tap this past Saturday, we thought it was a sign for us to head into Boston, specifically in a neighborhood neither of us had really enjoyed.
As a reminder, here are the terms of our day date tradition:
- The date chooser changes every other time
- The date must involve at least one fun activity and include a plan for food
- Dates that include alcohol are highly encouraged
Considering our last day date in Bolton, MA was a mutual decision, Phil was the lucky winner and got to choose our winter day date. A yummy breakfast at one of our favorite establishments followed by a cultured trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fenway neighborhood was the plan. Oh, and our day wouldn’t be complete without a ceremonial drink to end the day.
When we finally woke to the sun shining through our windows, it was already above freezing outside, a great sign for late January in Boston. We quickly got ready and drove to the famed In A Pickle in downtown Waltham, MA. Speciality omelets like the El Diablo filled with jalapenos and salsa, and scrumptious pancakes bigger than our heads stuffed with cookie dough filled our stomachs for the day’s adventure. We downed the rest of our warm beverages and realized we would arrive at the museum just in time to be one of the first visitors at 11:00.
Once in the car, we found some perfect Saturday morning soft rock on the radio and were on our way. The car cruised down the Pike to one of the few garages near the museum. Fenway is full of cultural institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Boston Symphony Hall, as well as some famous colleges and universities like Northeastern, Boston University and Berklee College of Music. And who could forget the famed stadium of the same name, Fenway Park. We gawked at all of the iconic structures and architecture that make this part of New England so recognizable.
Upon arrival, we realized that this museum isn’t any ordinary museum. It is a home for art that offers discounts to all those named Isabella, students, and individuals wearing Boston Red Sox apparel. The welcoming staff makes you feel like you are truly a guest in their home. Once our tickets were purchased ($15 each), we started our perusal into the main Palace to view the around dozen galleries separated on to three floors. The most unique part of this museum? The fact that a courtyard, complete with fountains, trees, flowers, and art scale the central five stories of the building.
We saw some amazing pieces from canvas paintings to tapestries to letters and photographs. All special, inspiring, and aesthetically pleasing in their own way. But the most impressive part about this museum was the way the natural light enhanced the beauty of these works. Typically, museums like to control the light, angling spotlights in a way to highlight the strokes, weight or details of each piece. But the Isabella Stewart Gardner welcomed the windows, skylights, and shadows that cast across the galleries. It also paid homage to its famed history, the largest-value theft of property in American history, by displaying blank frames where the famed art pieces once hung.
After turning every corner and walking through every nook and cranny completing our visit to the museum, we headed to one of our favorite spots, Seasons 52 in Newton. Hey, we had a car, why not use it!
As always, we encourage any couple to plan day dates or day trips, no matter the location. This could be an excursion within the city you live closest to, or a remote location you haven’t yet explored. We have found that each time we go on a day date or trip we have laugher – really, really laugh – bringing us closer in our relationship.
Have suggestions for day dates or any favorites you want to share? Leave them in the comments section below.