Hello, from Boston (and Around the World)

Hello, from Boston.

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it — and I’d apologize for it, but recently I’ve been making a solid attempt to stop saying sorry for things that 1) I’m not truly sorry for, and 2) that I shouldn’t feel compelled to feel bad about. I have an inspiring blog post from fellow runner and blogger, Ali on the Run, to thank for that.

Life gets crazy, sometimes. And I can promise you that indeed, that last two months have been just that.

Like I said, hello from Boston. For those of you who know me, the first big change you’ll notice is that I’ve moved from The City of Brotherly Love — Philly — to Beantown. It doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? But rest assured that I am glad to be here. I am settling in. And I can’t wait to explore.

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One of my favorite shots from a morning run here in Cambridge.

But the real reason I’ve been so quiet over the last couple of months is that, in addition to moving, working and settling into a new city, I also took some vacation. Three of them, to be exact. Here’s what I’ve been up to since the start of summer.

Vacation 1: The Hamptons

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Only a few short days after moving six loooong hours north, I hopped on a train back to my old stomping grounds; I went home to Long Island. Memorial Day was spent sun bathing in the Hamptons with my oldest childhood friend. And after dealing with the stresses of moving, that three-day respite was very, very, very welcome.

Vacation 2: France

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Paris, paying respects to the victims of Orlando on the evening after. So classy.

The second stop, just a couple of weeks after MDW, was Paris. Ah, Paris. Even saying the city makes me want to go back right now.

Noah (my hubs, for any newbies here) and I are incredibly lucky on this front; we have family — his brother, sister-in-law and nephew — who live there. And being on the east coast, The City of Light is simply a hop, skip and a plane ride away. Which means any time we want to hang with the family, shop ’til we drop, or fill our stomachs with wine, cheese and croissants, we can. Well, maybe not any time. But we try to go at least once or twice a year. For that, I’m most definitely grateful.

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This picture was taken at 10:30pm after dinner. Amazing how light it stays in Paris so late into the evening.

Because we travel there so frequently, we also don’t tend to go for very long — usually it’s just five days or so at a time. This time was different. With the luxury of time, we snuck of a whole week in, and with it, a two-day excursion to the wonderful, enchanted, wine-filled town of Saint Émilion.

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Never have I appreciated wine to the extent that I did after two absolutely magical lessons, one at Chateau Gaudet and the other at Chateau Fonplegade.

As if that weren’t enough, we also did a billion-course tasting menu (seven to be exact, but I’m pretty sure they added an extra four soufflés in there somewhere) at Logis de la Cadene. If you’re ever in the area, go!

After seven days in France, I had just a week and a half of rest (re: working like a maniac) before we were off again, this time to California for nine days.

Vacation 3: California

Our itinerary on the west coast was even more relaxed than the time we spent in France.

Stop 1: San Fransisco to see friends and Noah’s other brother. Highlights include starting each morning with a short run along the bay…

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Prison running is the best.

…an amazing hike along the Matt Davis trail on Mt. Tam, and dinner at NOPA (apparently not easy to get a reservation, but my brother-in-law is sometimes a BOSS).

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Somewhere along the Matt Davis trail, a hike with many different micro-climates, making it interesting from beginning to end.

Also, I met my first redwood tree.

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Stop 2: San Gregorio for a seriously dope 30th birthday party, complete with a sunset hike (damn you, fog!), a lot of Moscow mules, and the perfect set up for glamping.

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There’s supposed to be a sunset back there. Use your imagination. 

Stop 3: Big Sur for even more glamping. We stayed in yurts at a remote “resort” called Treebones, where we had absolutely no service for two days. We hiked. We read. A lot. It was glorious.

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This picture was taken at Pfeiffer Beach, one of the most naturally beautiful spots I’ve ever been to.

Stop 3.5: Monterey for a quick afternoon at the aquarium — my first ever aquarium experience, and an awesome one at that. My favorite parts? Hands down the otters, octopus and jellyfish.

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One of my favorite shots from a morning run here in Cambridge.

Stop 4: Point Reyes for more hiking and a lovely stay in a cottage on Tomales Bay. One of the hikes took us 10+ miles along the coast…

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Alameda Falls in Point Reyes

…which we washed down with two dozen shuck-your-own oysters on the bay at Hog Island Oyster Co. And by shuck your own, I mean have your husband shuck them all. I really didn’t want fishy hands.

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Stop 5: San Fransisco for our final night. On the way, we stopped at Muir Woods — that famous tourist attraction with trees and stuff. Thankfully, we looked up nearby trails before going, as the actual redwood grove was packed. After spending the previous five days in somewhat remote areas, being surrounded by hordes of people was a major shock. If you’re ever near Muir Woods and looking for a legit hike, check out the Ben Johnson trail. It’s 5.2 miles, boasts a fairly steep climb, and weeds about 99% of the tourists out.

We washed that down with one of our favorite restaurants in the city — Anchor Oyster Bar, the one place I’d been dying to go back to since we last went to California. See below for how happy I was to chow down on a giant crab bowl.

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And here we are. A gray Sunday afternoon after having moved states and taken three vacations, all while putting in full hours at work along the way.

I’m tired, I’m happy, but I’m very much still in limbo. Moving — and getting used to a new city — takes time. I know, because we literally did this two years ago when we moved from New York City to Philly.

Still, I’m eager to finally be able to invest that in Boston. Luckily, I’ve been able to run almost every morning since we moved here, and I already feel like the paths are quickly become second nature. They’re quickly becoming my morning home.

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Running on a River

That’s how the song goes, right?

This week has been filled with a lot of ‘lasts’ so far.

My last Monday run to start the week.

My last creamy tomato bisque (basically just a bowl of a la vodka sauce, topped with cheesy bread) from The Corner Foodery — a go-to establishment I’ve grown to dream about over the last two years.

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photocred: Caviar

My last time in my Philly apartment without boxes everywhere (you’re welcome, Seabass).

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My last run along the Delaware.

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The path that runs from the Race Street Pier to the Spruce Street Harbor Park isn’t long, and it doesn’t take much time to complete. But getting there is a pain in the ass. I live on the complete opposite side of the city near the Schuylkill. So while beautiful, the majority of the mornings when I choose to run on the Delaware are spent meandering through the city streets, avoiding trash, dodging commuters (not many, and not nearly as tedious as running in New York), and trying to stay on whichever side of the street has the most sun.

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From this morning’s run. Cars, cars, cars, cars. Some historical stuff. And then the river.

Once there though, the Delaware river pathway can be a true gem.

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In fact, while I may not run there often, I look forward to the pier — the first glimpse of the water; morning yoga sessions underway; the sound of the subway above. I embrace the quiet dog park — never crowded, but always a few cute pups. I absolutely adore the boats that line the floating docks.

But most of all, I love that there are a number of perfect places for plopping down mid-run right along the river, where I can breathe in the morning air and relax in a moment of much needed calm.

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I’ve made this a habit. Some mornings I stretch, others I simply stare. When I leave to head home, I always feel more centered, ready for whatever the day has in store.

The Delaware River has treated me well over the last two years, even if I’ve visited sparingly. Now, I have two more mornings left to frolic along Philly’s running paths. Knowing myself, they’ll most likely be along the Schuylkill … before I introduce myself to Sir Charles.

Running along the water: love it or hate it? Personally, if I could run along the water’s edge all day every day, I would. With a few wooded forest runs sprinkled in here and there.