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What is the Snoo?
The Snoo is a smart sleeper bassinet designed by Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby company. It combines three of the 5 S's - safe swaddling, gentle swinging, and a white noise shushing sound - to replicate the calming sensations of the womb. It guarantees a good night's sleep for you and your baby.
I first read about the Snoo in Harvey Karp's book, "Happiest Baby on the Block," and instantly was intrigued and in awe of such a product.
However, to shop and buy a Snoo it will run you $1, 395. To rent it costs $129 a month. Is there a price on sleep?
Should I Get One?
I hemmed and hawed over whether I should get one, but I decided to wait to see how my son slept with the 5 S's on their own. The Snoo was too costly for me to justify splurging on a sleeping device if my son already slept well.
My son ended up sleeping well with the 5 S's and advice from sleep expert Cara Dumaplin of TakingCaraBabies. Although in a moment of weakness, I almost purchased the rent option in the middle of the night after two sleepless nights with my son. He ended up sleeping well the next night and pretty much from there on out.
What Other People Say?
I ended up having a friend find one for half price on Facebook Market Place, and she purchased it for her baby.
She loves it and says it definitely provides her family with the extra sleep they need.
Her son LOVES the gentle rocking motion!
The swaddles have holes for the arms if your baby doesn't want his arms pinned down in the swaddle, and the swaddles keep the babies on their backs, for a good night of safe sleeping.
She definitely recommends this product to all parents. The science behind it is proven, and when a baby and the parents get sleep, everyone is happier.
I have been two Boston two times. One time, my cousin's boyfriend (now husband) was living and going to dental school there, so we took a road trip to the city. The second time, it was our first stop on our New England road trip. We stayed with my cousin and her husband who live in Weymouth. I love the city. But my cousin, Amy, loves it more, and her words describing the city are truly poetic.
"The word of the Lord by night.
To the watching Pilgrims came,
As they sat by the sea-side,
And filled their hearts with flame."
Ralph Waldo Emerson's opening lines of his poem, "Boston Hymn. There were no truer words written.
Boston is the greatest city in this country. Sure, an exaggeration to some, but it is truly what Bostonians believe. There is a certain swagger in the streets of Boston, perhaps developed over time and adopted after the initial Sons of Liberty, as they strutted across the cobblestones on their way to the South Meeting House.
I digress. To explore Boston properly, one must simply follow the Freedom Trail. You can book a guide or book a bus tour, but if you are moving on a budget, it is a very walkable city.
Let's just pretend you booked a room at the amazing downtown hotel "The Godfrey," which is in the shopping/theatre district and a walkable distance to so many of the city's wonderful sites. There are another amazing hotels, but I'm just pretending you are staying here.
I start at the BOSTON COMMONS & PUBLIC GARDEN. The Commons once had a dangerous past, as criminals were hanged on the square. Nowadays, there are food trucks, water fountains, an ice rink in the winter, gatherings of hipsters, free Shakespeare performances in the summer, and access to the T (the subway system, which you genuinely don't need unless it's cold and rainy and your venturing out of the city/have tons of luggage). There are beautiful views of the dome of the State House and Beacon Hill from the Commons. If you are a lover of history and Instagram-worthy pictures, venture up the hill and wander through the streets of Beacon Hill. Louisburg Square and Acorn street are two of the most photographable places. You can also book a tour of the State House.
Down the backside of Beacon Hill towards the Charles River, is the Esplanade, a beautiful park with a walking/cycling path that winds all around the river. There are often performances there! But you also just see views of the river, and follow the path towards Back Bay for shopping in one direction, or head towards the North End in the other direction. While the shopping is great in Back Bay and it has some amazing row houses, I would opt for the North End myself. It is my favorite part of Boston.
Oh! throughout your travels, you will see a brick path in the sidewalk- that is the Freedom Trail. You can hire a guide, or you can follow it. If you choose to follow it from Boston Common, it will lead you past some great sites: Granary Burial Ground (Sam Adams' & John Hancock's graves), King's Chapel (sign up for the crypt tour if you love creepy things), Old State House, Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House & my personal favorite place in all of Boston, the North Church. All of these are along the same path and they are free to stop outside of. If you want a full tour, it does cost money. Recently, the North Church started requiring tickets just to go in. So you can purchase a pass that goes to all of them, or purchase individual tickets for the places you care most about- I recommend Paul Revere House & North Church.
Fanueil Hall is the home of Quincy Market, so that's a good place to stop for lunch! Don't expect to sit and eat a table, because it's crowded, but it is definitely worth the experience. Regina Pizza is a famous and perfectly delicious pizza place in Boston. The original location is in the North End, and I recommend going, but you can also grab a slice at the Quincy Market location.
All along the harbor of Boston is the Harbor Walk, which is a path that takes you all the way around the city. You could literally spend a day just walking the Harbor Walk, which goes all the way into Charlestown, across the Harbor, where Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution are. If you are a nautical person and like to be near the water and see boats, you can literally just do this and stop for food and fun things along the way. The Aquarium is also along the Harbor Walk. OH, and if you like some cheeesey historic fun, you can cross a bridge and stop of the Boston Tea Party Museum, and participate in a reenactment. They also have beautiful tea shop where you can sample teas and eat scones in the middle of the harbor. LOVE IT.
You should end your day with dinner in the North End. There are so many Italian restaurants and bakeries, and the air literally smells like Italian food. Having traveled to Italy, it feels like you are walking around a small Italian town, as you walk around the North End: older Italian guys sitting in folding chair outside of cafes, drinking espressos, Italian grocery stores, religious shrines on every corner, and festivals to saints every other day. Some of my favorite places to eat are: Il Panino (amazing food, lots of seating, prices are more expensive than an Olive Garden, but won't break the bank), Regina Pizza (duh), La Summa (a family-run restaurant filled with black/white family photos), and the famous, cash-only, two-hour wait line, Giacamo's. Just go there at 4, and have an early dinner- worth it. Get dessert at Cafe Vittoria, Modern Pastry or Mike's Pastry, or Bova's. There are always long waits at Modern & Mikes, so I usually get a breakfast pasty at those two.
Lastly, just some other food recommendations in other parts of town: Ice Cream- J.P. Lick's (Beacon Hill), Irish Pub- the Black Rose (near city center), Burger- J.M. Curley's (downtown/theatre district), The Gallows (South End), Coffee- Cafe Nero (downtown) & George Howell (inside the Godfrey Hotel). Also, you can visit the Boston Public Kitchen for amazing local vendors- cider donuts all year long, and more George Howell Coffee. This is near the north end and near Quincy Market. Steak: MOO. Yeah, it's called Moo. If you are in the mood to drop $50 on a steak, then this is the place to go. I know this sound sort of sarcastic, but it's the best steak I've ever had in my life. And the bread! oh the bread. Maybe you could just get the bread and then do a dine and dash?
Don't forget seafood- a lot of people love Union Oyster House for its history and its great seafood. I'm not a seafood expert, but I am a lobster roll expert. So I'm only going to recommend one place: James Hook & Co. It's worth the price, and the best lobster roll outside of Maine. I'm not kidding. Don't try another place, and don't let the outside of the building fool you. Grab one for lunch on your walk around the harbor.
There is just so much more...
Or you can ignore all of this and do a Duck Tour...because those are funny.
I can't hold a candle to Amy's knowledge of Boston. She is quite the tour guide and when we went there, we traversed all across the city with her as our leader.
A few things that she didn't mention that I enjoyed while there were Fenway Park and something really meta, drinking a Sam Adams at Beantown Pub while looking at Sam Adams grave in the Granary Burying Ground.
As a lover of baseball, Fenway Park is a stadium you have to check off your list. It's one of my favorite ballparks (read my ranking here) dues to it's nostalgic feel and passionate fans. I have taken a tour of this stadium on one occasion and the next I watched a game. Both, I recommend doing.
If you have some extra time, take a ferry to Martha's Vineyard for a quaint island feel, some good lobster rolls, and a leisurely bike ride.
Hopefully, Amy's words inspire you to visit Boston!
I am going to rank the 50 states from my least favorite to my favorite. I have no reason to write this list other than I just feel like it. Yes, it is going to be bias, but I am going to do it as kindly as possible. If you rather read a very crude and obnoxious list, read this article from my brother instead. Remember this is all in good fun.
Honestly, what is there? I can't even think of one attraction worth going to.
Corn, wheat, flatness. No thank you.
The only reason Kansas is ranked above Nebraska is the mere fact I can pretend, "There is no place like home," while clicking my heels together like in the Wizard of Oz. But, I've never felt like doing that, so that's why Kansas is 48.
It is 2020 and they just rid of the Confederate flag in their state flag. Live in the past much, Mississippi?
More like Sweet No, Alabama, I'm not going there.
45. South Dakota
They have the Badlands. Enough said. It literally has bad in the name.
I think of cowboys and tornados when I think of this place, and I don't want to think of those two things.
43. North Dakota
It's basically Canada.
Would be higher, but St. Louis is here. I have an unexplained deep disdain for St. Louis.
The whole state reminds me of Pawnee.
40. Rhode Island
Yeah, it's pretty, but it is so small. I can get the same thing from Maine, Massachusetts, or Connecticut. Next.
It's basically Maryland, and if I wanted to go to Maryland, I would go to, well, Maryland.
Potatoes are yummy, but when you think of Idaho, does anything besides potatoes come to mind? Nope, exactly.
Cheese and Steven Avery. I guess I can think of worse things.
Like my brother said, I imagine the whole state to be in Sepia like an old Western film. Which would be cool for a minute.
It's hot, humid, and in the way on your trip to Florida. Savannah is its only saving grace.
It has the most racist city in America, but Bobby Bones is from here and my cousin now lives here, and she makes it look pretty beautiful. But I can't let it crack the 30s.
Beer, bourbon, bacon. Not too bad, if it wasn't the stepbrother to my home state of WV. Kentucky is always trying to one up us on obesity and no teeth.
Ok, Connecticut, I let you get to 32, but basically you are small and too expensive like Rhode Island. You get pretty much the same deal in your surrounding states.
It's not the same as West Virginia. I don't care if you have cousins in Virginia when I tell you that I am from WV. You're the older sister that thinks she is too good for everyone. Get out of the way, you are blocking my route to WV from NC when I want to visit home.
30. New Hampshire
It's not as good as Vermont or Maine. Sorry, not sorry.
Everyone is always going on about Louisiana, but I think it's overrated and humid.
Ugh, the only reason Ohio is so high there is because I practically lived in Ohio growing up. I felt obligated.
Bigger doesn't always mean better, Texas, so I refuse to put you in the top half.
26. South Carolina
SC makes me think of Myrtle Beach and South of the Border, and I shiver just thinking about those places. But, it has Charleston which is pretty cool.
Meh. The states to the left and right of it are much better, but, overall, Nevada isn't bad. Lake Tahoe looks pretty nice.
Never been. Has a lot of lakes, and I like lakes.
Never been. Has a lot of lakes, and I like lakes.
Not sure how this state squeaked into the Top 25. I think for the mere fact that Chicago is there. The rest of the state, no thanks.
All right, Florida, you made it too far. Your run ends here. You're too messed up to go anywhere higher. I have some family here and some of the beaches are pretty.
This state is pleasant not sure why, but I find it satisfying.
This state is really pretty, but it's cold, but again, it's really pretty.
I would rank this beautiful state higher if it didn't feel so disconnected to the rest of the country. Imagine being there for the fake missile alert and thinking, "Oh crap, I'm stuck."
I've never been, but would love to one day. Pictures make it look gorgeous.
Bobby Bones lives here now, Nashville, and The Great Smoky Mountains.
15. New Mexico
It really is the Land of Enchantment.
The Pacific Northwest has some great scenery and backdrops.
Slightly too hot in the south of the state, but Sedona and The Grand Canyon make up for it.
I find this state charming.
Football, baseball, and history. This state knows how to win, and I respect that about them.
Those arches are pretty cool.
LA makes this state a tad bit of obnoxious, but everything else makes this state #8.
There is something about Maine that I just love. Maybe it's the lobster, the hiking, and the views.
5. New York
Love the people and the sports teams no matter how much they stink.
It will forever hold a place in my heart. I went to college here.
3. New Jersey
It will forever hold a place in my heart. I was born here.
2. West Virginia
It will forever hold a place in my heart. I was raised here. Country roads take me home.
1. North Carolina
Carolina, keep calling me home. My home now. It's where I met my husband, and we had our son.
It just goes to show you that the people make a place. All kidding aside, I love every state that makes up this great country. I would love to visit every state and get to know the people and their cultures, traditions, food, and lifestyle. The United States is at its best when we are what our name suggests, united.