Social media gets a bad rep, but I’ve met many of my best friends via social media connections. Evanthia is another example of a friend I’ve gotten to know through CHAARG. We met a couple times in person and connected, but otherwise, much of our friendship is through text, Instagram, and Snapchat. Ev is from Chicago but attending Tufts Dental School in Boston, and I kept saying I was going to visit her. Finally, we picked a weekend and I booked my flight to Boston — my first time visiting!
Friday, August 17, 2018
I flew in on Thursday evening after work, and took a 15-minute taxi ride to her apartment in the North End. On Friday, she had clinic with a patient, so I spent the morning exploring the Freedom Trail. I had downloaded an app, but it was easy to figure out on my own. I walked up to Charlestown to explore the U.S.S. Constitution and all of the dock exhibits. I was actually the first one on the boat and got to hear the earliest tours of the day. It was super interesting and all free!
I walked up Bunker Hill and walked up the 294 steps of the memorial monument. I was underwhelmed by the views at the top, but the views in front were great. I was putting my history knowledge to the test, and it’s so cool to imagine all the history in this area!
Then, I walked back across the bridge to Boston to explore the rest. The city is so compact it’s easy to overlook certain stops. I made a stop at the Boston Public Market for a smoothie that Ev recommended. Gimme the greens.
The Holocaust Memorial was really cool and always a good reminder to hold each other accountable during this crazy shit in the world.
I loved walking through the Boston Commons and Public Garden. It was a warm, sunny day, and it felt great to get outside and relax. I actually covered 13 miles this day, but I enjoyed every step.
I met Ev after her clinic and we got lunch at Tatte that we ate along the river. Avocado egg toast is my basic go-to, and we got some awesome (not) tanlines catching up in the sun.
We walked back to her apartment to freshen up before her classes. She’s also a part-time fitness trainer, and I was excited to finally take her barre class. She teaches at a couple places, but Boston folks need to check out her class at North End Yoga. She’s amazing!
We quickly showered to get dinner at Lolita, which is one of my new favorite restaurants of all-time. The decor is beautiful, and it feels like the perfect special occasion dinner spot. First, they bring out some sort of dry-ice-tequila-snow-cone to “whet the palate.” (I had to look up how to correctly spell both of those words… I may be a writer and an editor, but I’m still not that cultured.)
I’m not a big tequila person, but their margs were SO good and refreshing. We had chips and guac (with an array of salsa and chipotle sauce), elotes, and we each got tacos — octopus and pork.
With the check, they bring a large cotton candy with Pop Rocks. I was beyond satisfied. We walked home along the river and passed tf out.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Saturday morning, we walked to Seaport for a free outdoor Pilates class. Her friend was teaching the class, and it was so fun! I love that there are free fitness activities in all cities and neighborhoods.
Afterward, we checked out the sponsoring store, Outdoor Voices, which is a newish athleisure company. It’s coming to Chicago soon! Ev showed me her Equinox nearby, which looks amazing, complete with a coworking space. Too cool.
For lunch, we ate at James Hook for their lobster rolls. So. Freaking. GOOD! There was even more lobster in this before the picture, but it was falling out it was that packed.
I got to try out the T, their public transit. We took the red line and then the green line to Fenway where Ev had a meeting. I explored the area, seeing Fenway (a more tame version of Wrigley) and Back Bay (urban gardening with some very interesting characters).
Then, I met up with Kelsey, one of my dear friends from Loyola. We were LCAs together in Simpson as well as roommates when we studied abroad in Rome. It’s crazy to think that my first blog posts were about our travels to Dublin and London! It was so good to catch up with her and all the awesome things she’s doing. My matcha tea and chocolate cookie from Tatte weren’t bad either.
For dinner, we ate at Carrie Nation. Again, similar decor with all the red and black, which I loved. After sharing some hummus, we both got different variations of salmon. I ordered the BBQ sweet potato bowl, and the salmon was delicious. I need all of the seafood, always.
The highlight of my weekend was probably seeing Moulin Rouge. I saw it a week before coming to Boston, and I told Ev we HAD to see it. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and I was shocked she hadn’t seen it. It’s pre-Broadway, and this would be the last weekend. We were going.
It exceeded all of my expectations, which were pretty high. Sonya Tayeh (from SYTYCD) choreographed, and I was saying, “YAAAAS kweeeeen!!!” throughout the entire show. All of the original music remained, but they updated all of the pop culture sound bites. It was so strategically well done, and every snippet had the audience enamored. The best number of the whole show (other than the opening Lady Marmalade, duh) was right after the intermission when they mashed up Bad Romance and Toxic. I was sh000000k beyond belief.
The costumes, the details, the set… it’s going to be a huge Broadway hit. And if it’s not… well Trump isn’t going anywhere anytime soon I guess so who knows anymore!
It was raining when it was over, but we didn’t care that we still walked home. We were on such a high, and we knew we had to calm down to get some rest before the next morning.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Our planned highlight of the weekend was Wanderlust. This *mindful triathlon* visits cities around the country, but it’s always Mother’s Day weekend in Chicago. It’s cold then, and I’m always at home. It ended up being a perfectly cool day for the fitness festival!
But first, smoothies from the Juicery.
First, there was a 5k fun run. At a leisurely pace with no music, Ev and I chatted with her friend Katie. Then, we stocked up on freebies at the many vendors. I traveled with just a backpack, so I was optimistic with how many protein bars I could take back with me. Afterward, there was a yoga flow that was so perfectly refreshing with a focus on community. Our group grew to five, and it was fun to be silly and enjoy the positive vibes of the massive crowd. We finished with a meditation, and I’m pretty sure we all fell asleep. Either way, we woke up feeling rejuvenated and oh, so zen.
We spent the rest of our afternoon walking around even more. The city is so gorgeous, and you know how much I love getting to know a city by foot.
We stopped at Boston Public Market again where I got a donut and she got a bagel. This was their brown butter hazelnut crunch donut, which tastes just as good as it sounds.
While Ev taught another class, I packed up my stuff and found a little park to write in. Some tourists approached me to ask for directions, and I was actually able to help them. You’re welcome.
For dinner, we ate at Quattro in her neighborhood which is the Little Italy. It’s the cutest little area that takes me back to my study abroad days in Rome. I haven’t had salami pizza this good since I was there either.
They have festivals every week, and this week was the Fisherman’s Feast. Every night, they parade through the neighborhood. Unreal and too cool.
For dessert, we waited in the chaotic line for Mike’s Pastries. While Ev claims they’re not the best cannolis in the city, they must be tried given this crazy line. I got the chocolate chip, and although I could tell they weren’t the most authentic Italian (super duper sweetened), they were delicious and definitely worth the wait.
That cannoli was literally the dessert on top of a great, fun-packed weekend in Boston. The 3am alarm to fly back to Chicago before a day of work is going to be rough but I have zero complaints. After this trip, I feel so well rested, grounded, and inspired to keep traveling and exploring the world. I’m so grateful for friends all around the world — thanks, Ev, for sharing your city with me and being an incredible host!
Have you been to Boston? What were your trip highlights? Anything you’re dying to see or do when you go back?
++ Mary K