While this year's summer found New England rainy and wet with temperatures cooler than normal, the weekend of July 31 – August 2, 2009 was a beautiful and memorable weekend to remember for CM Boston 2009.
The "Pub Gals" of CM's Mary Ellen's Pub (visit us in the forums in threads like these), hosted the event for CM members who visited from as far as California and Canada, and as close as the Boston borough of Brighton.
The idea to host an event came from several requests over the previous months from people who had visited the Mary Ellen's Pub threads. The Pub Gals all met several months ago in the forums and quickly formed a "sisterhood". Unknowingly to us, the "sisterhood" gained the interest of several throughout the CM network who couldn't wait to meet us in person. CM Members, who joined in on the fun in the threads, quickly found a place to relax and to not feel pressured; to be themselves and to have fun. At one point, one CM member even created a Coat of Arms for the Pub. With Mary Ellen-298977 as the virtual "pub owner" and "bartender", a warm and inviting place was, and is, provided for all. The "Pub" quickly became a combination of "Cheers" and "Seinfeld", and everyone loved it and still does. Maria-251005 quickly became the "co-owner" of the Pub with her famous Chipotle Guacamole Dipilatories for anyone who got out of hand. Then came Zoe-337980, myself, and a couple of other ladies. As much as we’ve enjoyed getting to know each other, we looked forward to the chance of welcoming Catholic Match members from all over to our home city.
We had an average attendance of about 30 each evening. Friday afternoon didn't look too promising weather wise, with a deluge of rain. We kept our activities was low-key and thankfully inside. We met at 5pm for drinks at the Boston Park Plaza, which is on the edge of Boston's Historic Back Bay and Theatre District. From there, we moved to The Black Rose for dinner. The Black Rose is an authentic Irish Pub in Boston's Faneuil Hall/Quincy Marketplace (not to mention Mary Ellen's favorite place). While there we were able to enjoy each other's company, make new friends, and listen/dance to Irish jigs.
Saturday found Boston sunny and in the 80's with virtually no humidity. It was a beautiful day to show off our fair city. The group split into two. One group chose to walk the city while the other decided to do the Beantown Trolley tour. For the Trolley tour group, they were able to ride around the city and see the sites. They could get off and explore whenever they wanted, and get back on if they were tired. They even got a harbour cruise as part of the tour.
Knowing the city, I chose to show people around by foot. We explored the Boston Public Gardens and saw the famous Swan Boats. We then walked through the Boston Common to see a few more of the sites. From there, we picked up the famous Freedom Trail and followed that for the afternoon. Along the way, we made a stop at Boston City Hall for a public exhibition, and then we moved on to Fanueil Hall. From there, we were able to watch the several sidewalk/street shows, explore plenty of food and shopping, and, of course, good company.
We then made our way to the famous North End, as I was told there was a Fair happening. While in the North End, we decided it was time to do lunch (yes…in Boston people "do" and not "have/eat" ). We found a quaint and inexpensive restaurant with partial el fresco dining. We then made our way up Hanover Street and stopped at St. Leonard's Church (one of my favorite spots), where we found a wedding about to take place. From there we continued to follow the Freedom Trail to the Old North Church, stopping by Paul Revere's monument. (We found the Fair, although it was nothing spectacular.) We then decided it was time to head back to the Back Bay. On our way back, a couple chose to go to Mass while the rest decided to stop and explore the Holocaust Memorial.
Saturday evening found us all together, once again, with a few new faces. "Cheers" was the place for dinner that night. Yes, it's a tourist trap, but no first-timer's trip to Boston is complete without experiencing Cheers. From there we decided to bypass the Swing Dancing in order to relax at the Boston Park Plaza for drinks and visiting. On a whim, Mary Ellen decided we needed to go find Karaoke, and that we did. At 9:45pm, we converged on Kings. Karoake reigned and all were having a good time. CM's "white knight" Rigoberto opened the mic with "Amanda"
Under overcast skies, Sunday was a bit more subdued and found 13 of us still together. Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross was in store. Outside of the Cardinal NOT being there and no air conditioning, everything was beautiful and fitting for Mass at the Cathedral. The music and the architecture were breath-taking to say the least. Departing, of course, was bittersweet as some needed to catch flights or make the long drive home. The remaining few found themselves together for a late lunch. CM Boston 2009 came to an close, but didn't end.
The Pub Gals make an effort to get together on a regular basis, and we are always open to having new people join us. Sometimes we get together once a month, sometimes more frequently. It all depends on our schedules. Typically, we get together at Maria's, however, we've also gotten together at my place too. Who knows where we'll end up next! We are the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pub.
We'll be looking forward to hosting another event again! While it's work, it was a lot of fun!
God bless and keep you all!