Spring Break 2018

Alas, I didn’t actually have spring break in Malibu Beach, nothing like the week of drunken revelry that sometimes happens in college. That’s not what this blog post is about. My sister and her boyfriend came to visit me and Ethan in Boston.

We planned a six day vacation, allowing one day for resting after a red-eye flight, a few days for excursions into the city, and a few days for relaxing and hanging out at our apartment. I created a Trello board to help them decide what they were interested in doing while they were here.

Trello board with potential Boston activities

Can you tell I’m a planner? I had several categories of places to eat, things to see, things to do, and Yana added a column for the shopping destinations she wanted.

Day 1

 

 

We got up earlier than usual to meet Yana and Gavin at BOS. Even little Nugget came along to join the welcome wagon. After getting the kids settled in to their new (temporary) digs, I headed to work. They rested for the morning, explored Harvard for double lunch, and then came to tour the magical “open office layout”. We ordered our usual Chinese delivery for dinner, to really immerse the youngins in the young Millennial “adult” lifestyle. They seemed to enjoy it.

Day 2

 

We were threatened by an approaching Nor’easter, but the three of us—Yana, Gavin and I—decided to venture out for a day in Boston. Ethan was at work, but we thought we’d go out for a little bit before the storm really hit. Of course, it barely drizzled all day, so we saw the majority of the sights to see. We took the T to Park Street, and did a small loop around Downtown Crossing, seeing the State House, shopping at Primark, walking through Boston Common and the Public Garden. We punctuated the rainy trudge with snacks we encountered along the way—starting with Flour pastries, classic pork and cabbage dumplings near Trinity Church, and biscuits when we returned to the apartment. (Side note, I made these smitten kitchen cream biscuits, and they were very easy and very tasty). We stopped by the Lindt store for samples and to load up on exotic flavored truffles to sample later.

I got to show Yana and Gavin around MIT’s campus, where I spent my years of study. I think it meant a lot more to Yana, because she’s now in the midst of her own college experience so it was a lot more relatable. After all that walking (almost 10 miles by the end of the day!), we were pretty much done.

Day 3

 

Thursday morning, we took it easy, partially because of the snow, partially because we knew we’d have to save up our energy to cheer for the Bruins that evening. We had a late brunch at Sofra, where the kids got to experience the magic of Red Dragon tea. We spent most of the day playing video games—motorcycle racing and saving space bunnies—and then shipped out to the Bruins game! The Philadelphia Flyers were leading the goals, but the Bruins were keeping up. By the 3rd period, it was 2-2, and we were certain it was going to go into overtime. The Bruins snuck in an amazing 8-second goal with 30 seconds left in the game, and it was AWESOME. I think all the Bruins fans were on their feet. We were so pumped about the game, we headed to Toscanini’s (best ice cream in Boston!). Yana couldn’t decide on a flavor, so she got three different kinds, in addition to sampling some of everyone else’s. It was hilarious, but she left with no regrets, so who is the winner here?

Day 4

 

I love sharing the things that make me happy with the people who make me happy—so Bagelsaurus with Yana and Gavin was nirvana. (The everything bagel with scallion and chive cream cheese, cucumbers, and avocado sure didn’t hurt). After bagels, Ethan and the rest of us parted ways. We stopped by Joie de Vivre, a cute little gift boutique near Bagelsaurus. Yana got me a fifteen puzzle that I was eyeing. We walked down to Porter Square, killing time before we were going to meet Ethan for bubble tea in Davis. Kung Fu Tea was a hit all around. We went home to rest for a bit and check on the dog before heading back to Davis for a movie (Red Sparrow) and a delicious Boston Burger Company, pig pile and burger dinner.

Day 5

 

Yana and I started the weekend off right by meeting up with Aydah for some crystal gel nails and a Target run. The Whopper Easter eggs spoke to us, and we went home with several cartons. In the meantime, the boys got more Red Dragon Tea Elixir and played video games. We had next-door souvlaki for lunch, watched Jumanji: the Jungle (excellent recommendation, Yana), and met up with Aydah again for a dinner of soup dumplings. It was Yana and Gavin’s first time eating soup dumplings, and they let themselves become immersed in the experience. Another wonderful day.

Day 6

 

We really wanted to make the most of the kids last day, and I think we did. We started off with a delectable brunch at the long-awaited Rosebud. The combination of coffee, conversation, and home fries is heavenly. From there we headed for one last jaunt into the city—to explore the North End. When we got off at Haymarket, we walk through the Holocaust memorial, a very somber note in an otherwise upbeat morning. We walked along the waterfront, and took the opportunity of the beautiful day to take some pictures on the pier. Then, we picked up cannoli from each of the two rival bakeries on Hanover Street, Mike’s and Modern Pastry. We sat on a bench and compared the two, savoring ever bite. Surprisingly, Mike’s won out. I feel like I might find myself there in the near future. We headed back to Newbury Street, and ended up going to the Prudential again, with the intention of going to the Skywalk. It was awesome—and the last day was the perfect time to do it. Not only was the weather gorgeous, but we could point out all the places we had visited over the previous five days. We picked up one last bubble tea before going home so the youngsters could pack.

Looking back on the week, it was ended up being a new kind of spring break for me: a chance to remember what it was like to forget my studies for a week, and just be in this new city. I got to see Boston through the eyes of someone in college for the first time, and that flashback was priceless. I felt so much lighter going in to work the next day. I think that’s why it’s taken me a few days to process enough to write this blog post. (I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging, even started a few posts, but this is the post that I needed to write to get back to it). I really hope that Yana and Gavin come back for another spring break.

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