Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Happenin's

Hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween!

Last weekend we were invited to a Halloween party by some of Brandon's classmates and we did some brainstorming on what we could possibly throw together last minute without spending any money on costumes- only using what we already had in our closets. And this is what we came up with............

Danny and Sandy from Grease!!

Like Brandon's sideburns? We drew them in with dry erase marker! (it matched perfectly!)

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Apples to Apples... to Regattas

Fall is in full swing here in New England! I have been wanting to take part in a few proper fall time traditions of the region and this past weekend couldn't have been a better one: packed full with feel-good October activities that warms the heart and soul!

Saturday was the start of the two-day world famous Crew event known as the Head of the Charles in which teams from all over the United States (we saw a few international teams as well!) come to compete in a variety of rowing competitions taking place in the Charles River, the river that separates Boston from Cambridge (where MIT and Harvard are intelligent city if you ask me!)

We met up with one of Brandon's friends who just happened to move out here recently from LA with his girlfriend  for breakfast at a restaurant called The Paramount in Beacon Hill. The tiny little Paramount serves breakfast, cafeteria style and we could tell by the line that wraps outside the door and around the corner that it was going to be delicious and worth the wait! (And it was!)

After breakfast we scoped out the Head of the Charles festivities, grabbing some free snacks at different booths and watching the crew teams row by on one of the bridges spanning the river. Rowing is one of those sports that I have never been exposed to and know nothing about but it is extremely popular here and I have enjoyed learning more about it..I'm pretty sure they even have rec teams and leagues to join for people who want to row for fun!

Next on the agenda..the event I had been anxiously awaiting for a few weeks...APPLE PICKING!!!

Apple orchards are scattered throughout the countryside here in Massachusetts and as soon as I learned that we could go pick our own apples fresh, straight from the trees, I knew it was something we just had to do. Fortunately, our new Boston friends were down for the excursion as well and we decided to rent a Zip Car for the afternoon and make the half hour venture out to Stow, Massachusetts to check out Honey Pot Orchards. (Zip Car: what an amazing idea! Look it up if you haven't heard of it!

Honey Pot orchards offers apple picking, a large hedge maze, a country store complete with fresh Apple Cider Donuts and other goodies: jams, apple turnovers, and other baked goods, a small pumpkin patch and farm animals for the kiddies. We picked one big bag of a variety of kinds of apples and indulged in some apple cider donuts. And let me tell you..Apple Cider donuts are phenomenal and you should try them fresh if you ever get the chance. Just don't eat TOO many..we may have learned that the hard way!

Sunday brought on another event I have been looking forward to: the Dorchester Firefighters 10k! It has been quite awhile since I have run in a race and my roommate had brought this one to my attention and thought it would be a fun activity for this Sunday morning, especially since Beth would be running it too, and it started at 10 AM! ( this is rare, races usually start much earlier!)

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect temperature that morning and it was bright and sunny and I was feelin' pretty good going into the race- I have had plenty of time to do a lot of running since we've moved here! I was a little nervous, only because I get competitive... with myself! Always trying to beat my previous times. 

I pushed myself really hard and it was one of the hardest run races I have ever completed. I did the first 4 miles in a little over 24 minutes! I dropped back a little at this point, knowing I didn't want to completely run out of gas before the last mile. I ended up placing 3rd place girl and scoring a new Personal Record of 41:48! Beth beat her personal record too! It was a good day for us all!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Takin' the Train to Maine

Bonus Post!

Whats this? Two posts in two consecutive days? Thats right!

More New England goodness to share with you!

Before moving to Boston, the only place on the East Coast I had ever visited was North Carolina (which actually can't be compared to Boston or the Northeast at all because they are so completely different) So anywhere outside the city all the way out to..well the midwest.. is completely new to me. I had seen advertisements on the T for "taking the train to Maine" and thought that with Mom here for the week, it would be a perfect opportunity to see a new part of the U.S. that neither of us had seen before ( I love how everything is so close out here, just a two and a half hour train ride takes you to Portland, Maine)!

We were really excited, hoping to see lots of fall colors in the trees, eat some lobster and take in the sites of the Harbor and city of Portland. We were a bit early for seeing much change in the trees around the actual city, but on the train ride we saw beautiful orange, yellow and red trees whiz by as most of the ride was through the forest.

The day was a perfect crisp fall day and we had so much fun exploring Old Port and its shops, restaurants,  cafes and other random stores. I tried Lobster for the very FIRST time and I was very surprised at how good it was! (Iv'e never really been a fish/crab/seafood person!)

Great trip to top off the week! SO happy my mom could make the long flights cross country to come visit me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mom visits!

What a wonderful treat that just a month into living in Boston, my mom came to visit for a whole week! I am so happy that she is here and is able to explore the city with me for a few days!

Last week we couldn't have had more beautiful weather: sunny, warm (but not hot!), breezy, perfect! And of course as soon as mom gets here, mother nature decides to give us lots of rain, clouds and much cooler temperatures. We were lucky enough to have one or two sunny days so far which allowed me to show her all around the city- we even jumped on a bay tour cruise- great way to see the harbor and the Boston skyline from the bay!
Welcome to Boston!
Beautiful day for a harbor cruise!

Bunker Hill Bridge

Boston skyline

One of the things I really love about Boston is how easy it is to get around in the city. We are able to cover a lot of ground by combination of walking, subway, and bus, so after the first two days I was able to show mom my favorite parts of the city: downtown and the seaport area, Cambridge/Harvard, Newbury/Bolyston street, and the North End! We also took a bus tour of the historical parts of Boston and the Freedom Trail: the old state house, site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Reveres house, the USS Constitution and Old North Church (where the two lanterns were hung to notify Paul Revere the British were coming), which was a great way to see ALL that there is to see in a short time span.

I have a ton of photos to share, but here is a few (okay maybe more than a few from the last week!) Enjoy!
Downtown Boston in front of the site of the Boston Massacre (tiny brick building)

Bagels at Quincy Market

Crew boats on the Charles River

Freshman Dorm in Harvard Yard

Boston Common

Copley Square

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Mom on the Charles River

Crew team on the Charles
Until next time!