Adventures in Beantown

I spoke at a conference in Walth-ham on Friday afternoon and since 1. I had never been to Boston for fun, only for work, and 2. Leanna lives in Boston, I extended my stay through Saturday to explore the city (a.k.a. shop and eat) and schmooze one of my future in-laws. MWAHAHAHA!
Lea planned pretty much the most perfect day ever, filled with all the sights, shopping and insanely good food. And at the end of the day we mapped it all out and figured we ran/walked about 9.5 miles, so all of that insanely good food was guilt free! I told you it was pretty much the most the perfect day ever!
Here are the highlights in reverse order, since that’s how I uploaded the pictures:
We had dinner at a Burmese Restaurant called YoMa in Leanna’s new neighborhood. It was one of the most unique and delicious meals I’ve had in a really long time. Burma is bordered by China, Thailand, Laos, India and Bangladesh and it seems like Burmese food has a little bit of this and a little bit of that thrown in for good measure. If you ever dine at YoMa, the Tea Leaf Salad is a MUST. It comes in this beautiful presentation with little piles of pickled tea, peanuts, tomatoes, cabbage, and a bunch of other weirdly crunchy tasty stuff and when you mix it all together, well, it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted. I told Leanna that if I lived near this place I’d be here twice a week, mowing down on this salad. I could eat one right now as a matter of fact.
Sidebar – we had shrimp spring rolls at YoMa, and that was the only meat we ate all day. We ordered tofu entrees since they make their own tofu (SO GOOD) and we had vegetarian for lunch and breakfast was also meat-free. The point is, Boston seems to be full of hippies. Like, WAY more hippies than I’ve seen in San Francisco. There is “Go Vegan” advertising everywhere. Lots and lots and LOTS of Prii (apparently that’s the plural of Prius). I even saw a Nissan Leaf on the road. This is all love and goodness in my book as I consider myself a borderline hippie (a.k.a. Yippie). I guess it just stood out to me because it wasn’t wasn’t what I really expected from Bostonian culture. But I digress.

Leanna and I were both wearing super long flowing floral dresses yesterday. I had also decided to stop fighting the humidity and just leave my hair curly. At one point I turned to Leanna and asked if the pair of us looked like just slightly more sophisticated polygamists. I had no sooner said that than we were stopped on the street by a woman who was gushing about our dresses, telling us we looked like princesses (what?!). Later on someone stopped us again and told us she was jelly of our dresses, wishing she had on something with a bit of “swoosh”. See, I told you! Hippies!
We had lunch at Clover in Cambridge. All of the food is vegetarian, local and organic whenever possible and all of their packaging is compostable (love!). I had the chickpea fritter pita and a homemade mint limeade. The pita was filled with crunchy veggies, yummy hummus, tart pickles and of course, the fresh crispy chickpea fritter. DEE-LICIOUS! And fast! And cheap! My lunch was $7!! I pay $4 for the mint limeade alone at the Farmer’s Market in Salt Lake.

We woke up early and Lea made a hearty breakfast of steel cut oats, organic berries and almonds. It was the perfect “stick to your ribs” meal we needed to fuel us for the Freedom Trail Run, a 5K course through historic Boston. If you’re ever in Boston and want a quick way to see the sights, I highly recommend this run. You get everything – a bit of a workout, a bit of the city, a lot of history, a ferry ride and a T-shirt at the end! Plus, your 5K host, Eddie-O is super-friendly and knowledgeable. My favorite part of the run was checking out the old graveyards. The tombstones are FABULOUS. When did we stop putting skulls and crossbones on tombstones?

Other things I LOVED about Boston:
– Shopping on Newbury Street
The Boston Olive Oil Company. Do not pass go, Do not collect $200. Go to Newbury Street and stop in here. I couldn’t figure out how I would get any home without destroying everything in my suitcase, but everything was divine. If I lived in Boston I would eat nothing but Arugula salads and fresh bread covered in / dipped in these lovelies. Leanna bought us a tin of Truffle Infused Sea Salt that I can’t wait to try on our eggs, or better yet, on some homemade french fries.
– Seeing Fenway Park
– Having a chai tea latte at Darwin’s: “Purveyors of Sumptuous Comestibles and Caffeinated Provisions” (Only a Mom and Pop coffee place a stone’s throw away from Harvard could pull that off as their slogan.)
– All of the lovely green space. There are so many big and little parks and people were really out enjoying them. It gives the city a nice vibe.
– The random, delicious frozen yogurt blended with espresso beans that we got behind Fenway at this total, total, dive. I mean, total dive. I would have taken a picture except it was so hot in there I couldn’t even focus.
– Hanging out with Leanna. She is so at home after a few months and it’s fun to see her dreams of becoming a Bostonian (she said locals call them “Massholes”) come true. I got kind of choked up when she asked someone to take a picture of “me and my sister.” Awwww.

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