Week 7 (I think): The Week We Spent in Massachusetts

Fort Point Channel

Continuing our trend of spending time among familiar places and faces, Casey and I made our way from New York to Boston at the beginning of last week. Casey grew up in Plymouth, which is about an hour South of Boston, and he lived in Boston for a number of years before moving to Austin. I moved to Boston to attend college in 2001, and stuck around for 13 years until I followed Casey to Austin. I will take advantage of any opportunity I can find to get back for a visit.

This trip was particularly cool, because we had a car (except for the parts of the trip that involved driving in Boston). This allowed us to spend a couple of days with Casey's family in Plymouth, and explore some other spaces outside the city during our stay.

Highlights

  • Got a much needed haircut at FrancesRay Jules Salon. Ben was my go to stylist when I lived in Boston, so I was thrilled he was able to see me while we were in town, because my hair was definitely starting to mullet out.

  • Visited Trillium Brewing Company, and picked up a few bottles to add to the ever-growing collection in our trunk.
    Trillium

  • Tuesday Night Run with Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners. I started running with this running club during the last year or so I lived in Boston. They do runs every Tuesday night from Courtside in Cambridge, and are a super fun group of people to be around. When I'm able to, I usually plan my Boston visits around attending at least one of these runs.

  • On Wednesday, we drove up to Hamilton to see our friends, Sam and Mae, see their new home, and meet their baby, Graham. We ate lunch at Black Cow Tap and Grill, and had a chance to catch up. I wish I had taken some pictures of this occasion, but I didn't want to be a creep who posts pictures of other people's kids on the internet (take my word for it, Graham is GD adorable, and was super well behaved).

  • Once we were back in the city, we met up with some former colleagues of mine for dinner and drinks at Shojo

  • We headed to Plymouth on Thursday to spend a couple of days with Casey's family. While there, we made a ton of Pizzelles (a Christmas tradition for Casey's family). Spending so much time in a car has made it easy to forget that the holidays are happening, so it was really nice to do something that was equal parts domestic and festive. Especially since we were able to do it with family.

Pizelles

Have I mentioned that it has been unseasonably warm in the northeast, because it totally has! After getting stuck in the snow storm in Wyoming, we were so worried about this part of our trip, but temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s. I was able to get out for a run, and made my way to the waterfront and checked out Plymouth Rock. I've run the Plymouth half marathon twice, but the sights and sounds of Plymouth Harbor are much more digestible when you haven't just run 13.1 miles.

Harbor
Plymouth Rock

After breakfast with Casey's family on Saturday morning, we made our way back to Boston. Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, Casey and I decided to do a short hike in the Blue Hills, just south of Boston.

blue hills

  • Post-hike, we stopped at the newly opened Castle Island Brewing Co. to sample some of their offerings. They had three beers on tap (Candlepin session pale ale, Keeper IPA, and TBD hoppy American stout), all of which were pretty tasty. I'm excited to keep an eye on what these guys get up to!

Castle Island Brewing Co.

  • Saturday evening, we made our way over to KO Catering and Pies, which has become a mandatory component of all Boston visits. Their potato wedges with sour cream and chili sauce are everything.

  • On Sunday, I reconnected with my Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners friends for the Cambridge 5k Yulefest race. I fell out of a running routine while living in Austin, and am just starting to get back into exercising regularly. I hadn't run a race in eight months, and wasn't really sure how this was going to play out. I know these races are meant to be for fun (seriously, people wear costumes, and the race is followed by free beer and a dance party), but I was putting a subtle pressure on myself to perform well. While I didn't come close to achieving a personal best, I did manage to run a 9:16 pace, and was reminded how much I enjoy running road races. I was also reminded how much I enjoy post-race beers and dance parties.

c5k

  • After a shower and a nap, I met up with my friend, Shep, at Cambridge Brewing Company. Shep and I connected through a mutual friend earlier this year, and quickly became bottle trading buddies. It was nice to enjoy some beers together in real life, and both beers I tried at CBC (The Brett Conspiracy, and Brett Semetary) were fantastic. I'm not sure if CBC has changed the way they do things, or if I didn't know enough about beer to appreciate what they were doing back when I first went there, but I feel like they've really upped their game.

When I visit Boston, I have a tendency to get excited, and aggressively over plan. This visit was no exception, and I was a little bummed we weren't able to see everyone we had hoped to. I guess that means we'll just have to get back for a visit soon!

This week, we're taking our time heading to Asheville, where we hope to figure out what to do with our lives post-road trip!