Just For Fun Friday – City Staycation

Sam & I are lifelong residents of the Boston area, but like most people that live outside of the city proper, our exposure to the sites, sounds and tastes of Boston and Cambridge were limited to school field trips, occasional family outings and special overnight hotel stays every few years. Then we rented an apartment in Somerville for a year so that I could be closer to school and the type of places I would want to do internships.  As a (huge) bonus Somerville is a much nicer commute for Sam and, more importantly IMO, we have been able to enjoy all the restaurants, cafes, events and green spaces that have been on my to-do list for years.  Seeing a window of time between school and the start of my next internship we decided to do a three day city staycation and were incredibly lucky to get some absolutely stunning weather.

We got a bit of a pre-vacation start on Sunday with an end-to-end walk of the Greenway, timed perfectly with Janet Echelman’s “As If Were Already Here”.  A visit to the Chicken & Rice Guys food truck was a nice treat too.  The aerial installation is beautiful in pictures but much more impressive in person.  Hoping to see it lit up at night.

Wednesday we decided to head over to Castle Island in South Boston, a long-time favorite warm weather destination of my family but a first time visit for Sam.  We did two laps and debated onion rings or soft serve at Sullivan’s.  Ultimately we bought water and headed home, heartburn free.  Sandwiches from Which Wich (better than expected) outside in the apartment common area and a quick rest before getting ready for dinner and a Red Sox game.  The patio at Eastern Standard was the perfect pre-game destination.  We loved the food, the patio, the beer selection and the music.  Service was very good as well.  Can’t wait to go back!  We had good seats for the game and the weather was fabulous.  Would have been better if the Red Sox won, but I enjoyed the evening regardless.

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Thursday we checked another item off my city “bucket list” which was to walk a good portion of The Esplanade.  It was a little hot for city strolling but after this winter we both relished feeling a bit too warm.  The trees were in bloom, the grass was green and the weekday crowd was mellow and sparse.  It’s one of those spectacular ways to spend a few hours outdoors but not something you would necessarily make the hour long drive from Gloucester and pay $30 to park to do.  Al fresco lunch at Flour in Central Square was excellent, as always.  Micro scoops at Toscaninis were essential given the heat.  Margaritas in plastic water bottles on the lawn at Assembly Row with a couple of magazines ended the day on a high note.

TGIF!  A late breakfast at Three Little Figs (egg & feta sandwiches, dirty chai muffin, apple cider doughnut muffin) was the only way to start the day.  The food at this little Somerville gem is some of our favorite in the city.  My only complaint is the people who come and sit for hours on their laptops, enjoying free wifi and taking up all the seating.  Move along people!  Some of us want to sit and eat.  A walk down Highland Ave. to Dave’s Fresh Pasta for turkey chili for dinner with a stop at When Pigs Fly (can’t have chili without bread!) gave us just the right amount of time to wake up and get some fresh air.  A 30 minute orange line trip took us out to Forest Hills where we walked a short block to the Arnold Arboretum.  I had been hearing about Lilac Sunday since I was a kid and had always wanted to go, lilacs being one of my mom’s (and mine) favorite flowers.  Alas, my mom worked Sundays and then after she got sick the logistics of parking and crowds didn’t seem to work.  Well, today Sam & I saw the lilacs in bloom along with some of the most stunning flowering trees imaginable.  It’s just an amazing thing how much beautiful green space we have in the city, how fortunate we are to live in a place where we can get outside and enjoy the water, plants and architecture.

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