27th Birthday Recap

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful birthday wishes last week!  Especially your nice words about my “Upper Twenties” post.  I’m definitely feeling a bit funky about this birthday, even though I have so much going for me now.  I think that with all the changes happening in my life, I’m just realizing who matters and who doesn’t, and WHAT matters and what doesn’t.  I don’t write serious posts like that often, so I’m glad you guys liked that one!

That being said, my 27th birthday was spent with Tim and a few close friends.  Very low-key and different from most other birthdays I’ve had, but it was a lovely birthday nonetheless.

27th Birthday Weekend Recap

Friday
First of all, I had the day off.  Woohoo!  Extra long weekend for me.

I started the day off with an iced coffee from the bakery down the street from my new apartment I’ve wanted to try.  How freaking adorable is it inside?

I only got an iced coffee in the morning, but I can’t wait to go back and try their sandwiches and other treats.

Tim and I then drove down to Long Wharf, parked, and bought ferry tickets (only $15 each if you are looking for an affordable day trip!) to head over to one of the Boston Harbor Islands.  That was one of the activities on my Summer Bucket List, and Tim planned my birthday day to revolve around it.  #boyfriendpoints

He chose to take me to Spectacle Island.

Some deets about Spectacle:

(Can 27 year olds still say deets?!)

Just 15 minutes from downtown Boston, Spectacle Island is ideal for hiking, swimming, boating, and learning. Stop in at a “green” visitor center with exhibits about the history and evolution of the island. Go swimming on a sandy beach (one of the few on the islands) supervised by trained lifeguards in the summer. Take in panoramic views of the harbor and city from the tallest hill on the Boston Harbor Islands. The marina makes it a popular destination for boaters.

Hi from the ferry!

See Castle Island?

Spectacle Island itself had really cool views of the city.  You can literally see Charlestown, Castle Island, and all the major buildings all at once.

The island was very pretty!  It wasn’t crowded, which I loved.  Just peaceful.  We strolled along some of the walking trails and just enjoyed the beautiful day.

After we walked around a bunch, we grabbed lunch at the Summer Shack restaurant on the island.  I went with a turkey wrap, but I ordered it with no mayo and it came layered in mayo.  Next time we’ll pack our own lunch.  It wasn’t very good.

And finally, we changed into our bathing suits and spent some time just laying on the beach.  The beach itself isn’t very big, and the sand isn’t beautiful — it’s kind of rocky — but again it’s peaceful, you can go in the water, and you can get a great view of the city.

Ferry ride back!

Once we were back at Long Wharf we got a quick drink at Tia’s.  Another item on my Summer Bucket List.

Frozen mango margarita for me:

Beer for Tim:

I liked the outdoor location of Tias, but you know what?  The drinks are way overpriced for the taste.  I’ve had a lot better margs in my day, and Tim said his Landshark tasted like a dirty Coors Light line.  No thank you.  Plus the uh, “clientele” around us weren’t so fun.  We clearly stood out like sore thumbs!  Oh well.  Not sure I’d come back.

After our day of fun, we continued into the evening with a dinner out at a new restaurant!  I love me a new good restaurant.  Anyone ever been to Sip Wine Bar & Kitchen?  If not, go there!  I can’t say enough good things about this place.  Outdoor seating, a cool vibe inside, the nicest waitress EVER (her name is Christy?  Kristi?  Just in case the folks over at Sip see this… she was wonderful!), amazing food, and the option to order wine by the “sip,” half glass, full glass, or bottle.  I definitely want to go back for sips, but Tim and I decided to order a bottle of white wine.  We were craving something cool and crisp, so the Casa Silva Sauvignon Blanc it was!

For an app, wood grilled oysters in a wine shallot butter.

Yum, yum, yum, yum!

Normal to cheers with oysters?  I guess since you eat these like you would take a shot, it can be normal.

Picture courtesy of the nice wait staff, who felt guilty after knocking over Tim’s wine glass.  It seriously barely spilled and they brought us out another goblet!  Now that’s service.

Umm, then this happened.

I was so excited to eat my scallops that I ate two and then yelped that I forgot to snap a photo.  This way is funnier, don’t you think?

But seriously, these pan seared dayboat scallops were to die for.  On top of a melted leek risotto with seared spinach, chive oil, and lemon buerre blanc.  With a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.

And Tim ordered the short rib, which typically I’m not a huge fan of and I thought that was unbelievable too.

Then it was time for birthday cake s’mores!

Which our waitress comped in honor of my birthday.  Sweet!  Literally.  We each had two, with the little dipping bowls (chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, raspberry), and it was the perfect dessert to not feel TOO full but still satisfied.  Plus, how fun is this dessert option?  Don’t see this very often!

All in all, a great day and night spent with Tim.  #happyface

Saturday
Time for friends!  During the day, I went to Revere Beach for some more sun and relaxation with Slesh and Shannon.  No pictures!  Not sure if that will be the last beach trip of the season??  I’m secretly hoping for an extra beach weekend or two throughout the rest of September before fall really kicks in.  Then Saturday night was spent in Harvard Square.  Border Cafe for dinner with a group of ten of us, then Charlie’s Beer Garden for drinks and catching up.  As always, it was nice to see my friends from home, and have margaritas!

Sunday
Tim and I slept in (a treat!), and spent the day doing errands for our apartment.  We didn’t go out at night, I was in bed so early!

Monday
I slept in again (another treat!) then had a day of fun with Slesh that included seeing her new apartment, a lunch date at Diesel Cafe in Davis Square (if anyone goes I highly recommend the PK Pouch on 7 grain brain), an hour or so by a new to us public pool, and a lot of time spent in the Christmas Tree Shop.  Thrilling.  I wrapped up the weekend catching up on Weeds on the couch with Tim.

Thanks again to everyone who made my birthday great!

What’s the best birthday you’ve ever had?  Ever been to the Boston Harbor Islands or any of the other places I mentioned in this post?  How did you spend Labor Day Weekend? 

It’s new job day!  Hooray!

Two Things You Should Never Order

Hello!  Later than usual post today.  It’s been kind of a crazy week, and I’m holding back a lot of stuff that’s been going on.  In due time, my friends, in due time.  For now, here’s my Friday post.  Enjoy!16

Two Things You Should Never Order

You guys read about my Memorial Day Weekend here and here.  I documented lots of my yummy eats.  But I didn’t tell you about the crummy ones yet.  The ones that were NOT even worth taking pictures of, and NOT worth the moolah I spent on them.  So here you have it, three things to NEVER order.

Disclaimer:  I’m not saying that these establishments are bad and not worthy of going to.  They totally are.  I’d go back to both.  Just not for these disappointing items!

From Charlie’s Kitchen:
…The Portobello Mushroom and Tomato Sandwich 

[Source]

Last Sunday, Tim and I went on a long walk to Harvard Square and were pretty excited to get lunch outside in their outdoor beer garden.  I was trying my best to keep my weekend as healthy as possible, so I spent some time looking over the menu and weighing my options for what to order.  I really wanted a wrap – they had some great sounding specials of the day, but when I asked our waiter if they had wheat wraps he said no so I decided against it.  Instead I ordered the Portobello mushroom and tomato sandwich on wheat bread, and I substituted a side salad for the fries.

Huge mistake.  The salad came out first, it was so boring with gross looking lettuce, carrots, and like 2 tomatoes.  The dressing was pretty good, but it was a pretty lame salad.  Then came my sandwich.  My little measly sandwich.  On a huge plate.  My heart sank when I saw it because I knew I made the wrong decision.  The bread was barely even toasted, and I finished the sandwich in like two bites.  I guess I assumed there would be more to the sandwich besides just the ingredients in the title?  Ugh, I could have made a bazillion other sandwiches that tasted better myself.  What made it worse, was that Tim DID order a wrap… and it was on wheat!  So lame.

Tim said his meal (a burger and bean wrap) was good but not THAT good.  We probably will leave Charlie’s for drinks only.  We do love it there for their outdoor space, it’s pretty awesome!  But I think I’d prefer grabbing grub elsewhere in Harvard Square.


From Abbot’s Frozen Custard:

…The Vanilla Custard with Raspberry and Pineapple

After our fun day at Walden Pond, Tim and I decided to wrap up our Memorial Day Weekend by treating ourselves to something cold and delicious — what better than ice cream to kick off summer??  We decided to try Abbot’s Frozen Custard, which is fairly new to Brighton Center.  Now I’ve never tried custard before.  It’s definitely good!  But a lot heavier and creamier than ice cream.  So I just want to say that you definitely can and SHOULD go to Abbot’s and  try their custard.  What you shouldn’t order is the custard with raspberry and pineapple.  Because I asked the girl who served me if the fruit toppings were real pieces of fruit.  And she lied to me.  What I got was a cup of white, pink, and yellow GOOP.  Gross, sugary, sauce.  I tried to scrape as much of it off as I could, but what a waste of a “splurge!”  Had I known that, I would have just ordered the Oreos.  I was a custard eating crank after that.

And I decided I hate the word “custard.”  It reminds me of “crusty.”

Anyways!  There’s my weekend advice for all of you.

You’re welcome.

Any particular items you recommend I never order?!

I’m off to PROVIDENCE COLLEGE!!  5 year reunion this weekend!  At first I wasn’t excited at all for some reason, but now I’m pumped.  I can’t wait for a weekend of Golden Crust (yes, I’m having a slice with extra bleuch), McPhails, the suites, FOUR MORE YEARS, “Shout”ing, Slavin mozz sticks, and seeing so many Friar friends.  Woo college!  No parents!

I’ll leave you guys with one final thought.

As my friend Mike posted on my Facebook this morning… “TO THE WINDOWSSSSS, TO THE WALL!”  😉

Memorial Day Weekend 2012: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Even though I did a bunch of fun things this weekend and REALLY appreciated my day off, I want to take a moment and recognize the real meaning of Memorial Day as well.  To all those men and women who have served our country — thank you. 

Source

Here’s a recap of my weekend!  I get bad blogger points for Friday and Saturday, as I didn’t take a single picture from either day.  Oops.

Friday Night
Tim and I went to Winchester to visit his sister.  We spent the night there, and then headed back early Saturday morning for some beach time.

Saturday
We spent the day at Winthrop Beach (the same beach I went to last weekend) with our friends Slesh, Will, Mastro, and Steve.  Saturday was expected to be the best beach day of the weekend, but the weather people lied.  It was a fun day, but the sun was going in and out the whole time.  We still got a solid four plus hours in though!

Saturday Night
…was pretty low-key.  Tim and I went for a quick dinner on the Deep Ellum outdoor patio.  I drank sangria, we ordered mussels for an app (I seriously cannot get enough mussels in my life), and I loaded up on greens with the “Green Goddess” salad.  Sidenote:  The name of the salad reminded me of my old high school (and embarrassingly college) AIM screen-name.  GrkGoddess885.  LOSER.  ALERT.  Anyways, the Green Goddess was a tasty mix of arugula, house smoked bacon, asparagus, pickled grapes, chickpeas, tomatoes, and fried egg but it wasn’t anything special.  Tim continued his night out with some friends after our dinner, but I called it a night at 9:30 because I was SO tired.

Sunday
Tim and I parked over at the Christian Herter Park near Soldiers Field Road and the Charles River and went for a long walk.  We walked all the way from there to Harvard Square, which Google Maps tells me is about a mile and half walk.  We took some pictures of the pretty scenery and enjoyed an outdoor lunch at Charlies Kitchen in their beer garden.  The food was NOT good, but more on that later.  Definitely sticking to only drinks at Charlies from now on!  We walked back along Memorial Drive which was closed to car traffic due to the Boston Run to Remember Half Marathon that took place that morning.  It was nice.

 

Sunday Night
When we got back to my apartment, we lounged on the porch for a bit.  Had some popsicles, then decided to host an impromptu BBQ on Tim’s deck.  Spent the rest of the night with friends, the grill, lots of laughs, and lots of Sweet Tea Vodka + lemonades + seltzers.  If you haven’t tried this drink, go make yourself one.  I don’t care what time it is.  The BBQ menu consisted of:

Un-pictured:  Red grapes, blue corn chips, and a salad with lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.

Corn salsa + Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean chips (unreal):

Three different types of containered salads:

Kabobs with grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, grilled mushrooms, and grilled Brussel sprouts:

Cheeseburgers made with this recipe except we used beef instead of ground turkey:

And a return of the hamburger cake (original hamburger cake was EXACTLY one year ago!):

When deciding what to eat, I made sure to think about the “How to Survive Grilling Season” tips I shared with you on Friday.  Since I couldn’t keep my paws out of the Trader Joe’s chips, I decided to go bunless for my burger and I steered clear of the fatty pasta and potato salads.  They just weren’t as important for me to eat as those chips were with Tim’s unbelievable corn salsa.  I did have a sliver of hamburger cake, but just a sliver!!

My plate:

Fun night!!

Confession:  I’m pre-writing this blog post on Tuesday night to have ready to post on Wednesday morning.  I just realized how late it’s getting, so I’m cutting my weekend recap short.  You guys will have to stay tuned for Memorial Day itself.  For now, it’s time for this girl to get some sleep.

Anyone have any fun Memorial Day Weekend stories they’d like to share?  Did anyone practice any of my grilling tips at any BBQs this weekend?  Did anyone else have an embarrassing screen-name back in the day?