I came back from Boston yesterday morning, where I had spent the weekend to celebrate J’s bday! It was so great to see my sister and spend some time in the city I love, and we managed to pack a lot of fun into just a few days. Here’s some of the highlights:
1. Celebrated J’s bday!
Our celebration started at Takemura (sushi/Japanese/Korean restaurant) in Harvard Square, where I got to meet many of J’s awesome friends. You know you have an interesting group of people together when the conversation includes everything from camping to philosophy to video games set in space to the unique qualities of ant communities ;) We followed up dinner with dessert and drinks at J’s place, with homemade desserts provided by J (more on that below) and an awesome bartending set-up by several of her friends. I was a big fan of the grapefruit sage paloma!
2. Ate at some new-to-me restaurants
Cambridge/Boston has has a thriving restaurant scene, and I love to try a few new places each time I visit. Chicken cobb salad from Cafe Luna, Chinese BBQ pork banh mi sandwich and ginger lemonade from Bon Me, awesome pancakes with Greek yogurt and jam from Cafe Tatte, and (unpictured) mango chicken from Four Seasons Table – not a bad meal in the lot! I especially want to go back to try some of the other sandwiches and soba noodle salad from Bon Me – I’m a sucker for their sweet/spicy/salty flavor combinations.
I also cooked for J and her friends one night! Super easy Korean menu with cold buckwheat noodles, pre-marinated meat, a spicy/crunchy salad, and a few pre-made side dishes.
3. Made homemade cream puffs
Okay, so J did the baking but I helped fill the shells (and provide moral support) :D After baking the cream puffs and letting them cool, we poked a hole in the bottom and filled them with homemade green tea whipped cream and diced strawberries. And as if that wasn’t enough, J also made an AMAZING grapefruit custard pie. Grapefruit theme for the evening!
4. Spin classes at Turnstyle Cycle
Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was looking for fun cross-training activities in Boston and J mentioned that she had enjoyed a few classes at Turnstyle in Kendall Square (they have two other locations in Boston). At $16, the drop-in cost seemed reasonable so I signed up for a class on Saturday morning and loved it so much that I returned with J on Sunday! It’s basically SoulCycle at half the cost and none of the pretension. The studio is pretty bare bones, but the spin room has great bikes, lights, and instructors. I felt so revved up the entire 45 min and just focused on the awesome beat and motivation.
5. Boda Borg!
Boda Borg is a Swedish real-life questing environment, where you work with your team to beat physical and mental challenges within a puzzle. At the Boston location out in Walden, there were about 16 puzzles, each comprised of 2-3 rooms (you progress from one to the next as you beat a room and unlock the next). Once you enter a room, you aren’t given specific instructions, just maybe a hint or two, so you have to figure out what it takes to unlock a room and then accomplish the task with your team. I went with J and her friend Andrew and we had a blast! I was a little nervous that it might be too easy or too hard, but they definitely weren’t too easy, and the more times we re-attempted a room, the more we got the hang of it. But in the 4 hours we spent there, we still only unlocked 1 puzzle (but tried about 10 different puzzles multiple times) ;) It isn’t as frustrating as it might sound – we had a great time discussing various strategies we might employ and encouraging each other inside the rooms – such a great team-building activity!
That sums up the highlights from the weekend. Happy, happy birthday to my incredibly talented, kind and beautiful sister J!