Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend Report: Long Weekend in Boston!

I spent the long weekend in Boston and it’s just such a nice city. I lived there for 4 years and have gone back to visit at least once a year since, and every time it feels like a bit of a homecoming.

I stayed with Jess and her fiance Zac at their new beautiful condo near Davis Square, and per usual, we talked for oh about three days straight.

Jess and I are track friends (i.e. we ran on the track and cross country teams together in college), and on Friday night we met up with a couple of my ski team friends (yes, I categorize my associations by sport) for dinner at one of our most-frequented-during-college spots. Anyone who went to BU out there – did you know that Sunset Cantina literally doubled in size??? When did this happen? Also, the Espresso Royale on Newbury is now Pavement Coffee House? Is nothing sacred???

One of the nice things about visiting a place you’ve been before is that nothing actually needs to happen. I have no touristic to-do’s in the Boston area, I’m just there to relax.

Saturday morning I went on a glorious run along the Charles River – down the Cambridge side, across the Mass. Ave Bridge, and back the BU side (11-ish miles). Then Jess and I puttered and chit-chatted the day away. We saw Skyfall at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square – the movie was awesome and the location was so cute! It’s one of those real theaters that’s been converted into a movie theater, and it was shockingly full for a Saturday afternoon.

Sidenote: In DC I know what people do – you can look around and easily assume/tell: government, non-profit, military, contractor, lawyer, intern. But in Boston it’s a lot less clear. I spent a lot of time this weekend looking around and wondering what do these people do? Why are they here? Are they from here? (I know, I think too much.)

Saturday night we ate deliciously satisfying large bowls of vegetable pho in Harvard Square, then headed back to Jess’ to bake a cake like the party animals we are! (More on that later, obviously.)

So Jess and I are running friends, but we almost never run together. Different paces/attitudes towards running mean that sometimes it’s better to have your workout fun separately, but Sunday we ran 10 and it was great!

I have three favorite Boston runs: the River (like I did on Saturday), Marky-Mark, and Fresh Pond. Fresh Pond is over two miles around, a little trail-ish, and full of people walking their dogs – win, win, and usually-win.

Sunday afternoon we meandered around the city, enjoying the beautiful weather. I met up with my Mama, who happened to be in Boston as well, for dinner at a Puerto Rican restaurant in the South End. It’s called Vejigantes and was a mix of hits and misses. The empanadas were super-deep-fried and disappointing, but the Crunchy Green Plantains topped w/ Crabmeat Stew reminded me of Costa Rica and were delish!

We split entrees: Eggplant Stew over Chayote Squash topped with Watercress was awesome. The squash tasted kind of like a green bell pepper, with the texture of a succulent – we forgot what the menu said and assumed we were eating some sort of cactus. Our other entree was Thin Cut Marinated Steak Topped w/ Onions and Peppers or just onions, which was ok but not amazing. I’m not a huge plantain fan in general, and the side of traditional green plantains was decidedly bland and disappointing. But the Tres Leches Cake for dessert was soooo good.

On Monday, Jess was back at work so I puttered solo around the North End – read a book in some parks, ate a slice of pizza, wandered in and out of shops – until it was time to fly back to DC.

Modern Pastry -- try the Italian almond macaroons!

I made it back just in time for excellent Chinese dinner #2 with my Ragnar team, and as SpeedyKate said: I really enjoy all those people. 

Now it’s back to reality. Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday!