Monday, November 30, 2015


I know I have been saying this every time I post, but time is flying!! I can't believe November is over already and we are heading into December. I feel like the last month was fairly busy, but looking back, it really wasn't. Alyssa left the first weekend of the month, I got sick the second week, Brandon was out of town the third week, Thanksgiving break consumed all of last week, and here we are! To do a little catching up...

Brandon had the opportunity to fly to Boston to meet his new manager. His company is headquartered in Boston-he and one other person on his team + a small engineering team work here remotely. We decided sort of spontaneously that it would be fun for me to fly out at the end of his week there and spend a few days exploring with him, and it exceeded my expectations! I was so happy that Brandon was able to get out and explore a little before I got there, walking to different restaurants in different parts of the city, but I was more happy that I was able to fully see the city with him!

I left work early on Friday to catch a flight out at 3:10. And of course, true to holiday travel, we took off 45 minutes late. The Phoenix airport, as it turns out, is the literal worst for catching connecting flights, and I missed the gates closing by seriously about thirty seconds. Thankfully, I had been texting Brandon up until my flight out of Boise took off, and he called and reserved me a seat on a flight out just after midnight. Had he not done that, I wouldn't have gotten out of Phoenix until 10:00 the following morning. The lady at the customer service desk called him the miracle husband, and I agree! I slept for most of my three hour flight to Philly, then had one last hour long flight to Boston. I got there at 9:30 am, and was finally able to see Brandon after a long week apart!

We started the day off right by heading to Fenway Park! Notre Dame and Boston had a football game there that day, so there were tons of people roaming around and tailgating. From there, we intended to walk east through Back Bay, but we accidentally walked west for about a mile and ended up in some random area of town! There is so much to see that we didn't even care, though. The area we had walked to was less populated with buildings, so we were able to see some of the famous New England color that was left on the trees. When we finally got to the Back Bay area, I was instantly in love. It was like the perfect blend of old and new. The first building we came across was the Boston Public Library-google pictures of it, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. The building itself is a compilation of Parisian, Roman, and Catalan architecture, complete with tall ceilings, statues of line, pillars, and murals that belong in a cathedral. I could have wandered around there for was amazing! Right across from the library is Trinity Church, old and beautiful. We didn't tour the inside, but the outside was so neat! It was crazy seeing so many buildings that were built so long ago!

Back Bay is mostly shopping, so we spent our time walking past shops and checking out the old buildings. The neighborhood spits you out at the Boston Common and Public Garden, which are both just a huge park filled with ponds, statues, and probably some pretty foliage during warmer months. We took our time walking through there, saying how often we would be there if we lived in Boston. Brandon actually said he would just live in the park, so if anyone needs Christmas ideas for him, maybe some hobo gloves and a cardboard box to live in or something. On the other side of the Common is Beacon Hill, a drinking neighborhood with a brick sidewalk problem (that was embroidered on a towel we saw in a shop there). All of Beacon Hill sits on a slope. Townhouses line the cobblestone streets, and at the base of the neighborhood, old shops are tucked tightly together. We want to live there, but we also could never afford it-Beacon Hill is the wealthiest neighborhood in Boston.

After exploring those areas, we took the subway out to Harvard and walked around campus. Those buildings are old. It is weird to even think that buildings could be standing for as long as those ones have been. We couldn't go into any of them, because it was a Saturday and they all were closed, but it was still neat to just walk around and see them all. We wandered around Cambridge for a while too. There were lots of restaurants and shops and tons of young people. It was refreshing to be around so many people our age.

It got dark around 4:45, and we both were dead tired from not sleeping the night before, so we went back to the hotel and napped for a couple hours before heading back out. We went to Boston Burger Co. for dinner. I had a Hawaiian burger, and Brandon had the 420 Burger (no joke). It had fried macaroni, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings on it. After dinner we walked to Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall. Faneuil Hall is like a mall food court (just in a super old, neat building), and there are carts you can shop around at. They'd had a tree lighting just before we got there, so there were tons of people. I still can't wrap my head around how many people live in Boston-it's not that big of a city for how many people are there! From there, we slowly made our way back to the hotel. We wandered through downtown, went to the pier, saw the headquarters for Brandon's work, and walked around the outside of the Boston World Trade Center.

Boston feels like it should be huge for how many buildings and people there are, but it really isn't all that big. It is super walkable, probably because there is so much to see, but we had no problem walking all over the place. It was really fun, actually, and thankfully, not too cold!

On Sunday, we walked from our hotel to the Boston Tea Party museum and saw some tea being thrown overboard! I did a big project in fifth grade on the Boston Tea Party, so I am a little obsessed with it. I don't know why, I just am. After that (and breakfast) we took a Duck tour. The Duck is from WWII, equal parts automobile and boat. The first half of the tour, the guide drove us around various parts of Boston, pointing out historic places and teaching us all sorts of things! Our favorite facts were these: Boston has 56 colleges/universities, and the term "Ivy League" comes from the four (IV in Roman Numerals) universities that the league was originally comprised of. The second half of the tour took us out on the Charles (Chahles, if you are a Bostonian) River and we got to see some really pretty views of the city.

After the Duck tour, we walked the Freedom Trail. It is a 2.5 mile walking tour of historic points in Boston. We saw a few old churches, visited the cemetery where Sam Adams is buried, saw the building from which they read the Declaration, saw Paul Revere's house, and walked all the way up to the top of Bunker Hill Monument! 294 steps all the way to the top. It was a neat experience though. And super emotional too, to think about all the things that were sacrificed and created and dreamt about by the people who made our country a reality. I almost cried like five times haha.

That night we went to dinner at Elephant and Castle, Brandon's favorite pub in Boston. After, we met one of sorority sisters at the Omni Parker Hotel and had Boston Cream Pie! It was the best thing I have ever had. And it was super fun to see Heidi and catch up on her life in Boston-it made us want to move there even more! Afterward, we hurried back to the hotel to pack, then took the subway back out to Fenway Park to meet one of Brandon's co-workers. We waited for a while, and they never showed up, so we went back to the hotel early. I was bummed that we didn't get to meet up with his coworker, but it was still fun exploring a different part of the city!

I was sad to leave the next day-it was too short of a weekend! But we made it onto all our flights with no issues, and made it home all in one piece. Quick note on the subway-it was THE BEST THING EVER. I was always worried that I couldn't hack the subway system, but it was amazing. Super easy to use, extremely convenient to get to, and fast! We paid $19 a piece for a ticket, which covered a full week (versus $12 per day) so Brandon used his the whole time he was there, and mine was good for the 2.5 days I was there. I wish every city had a subway system.

To summarize a long post: Fifty points to Boston. You made my whole year.

Side note: Many people have asked if we are still going to Paris. After much consideration (and changing our minds once or twice) we are still going!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


So September is over. And somehow, October flew by as well. Isn't it crazy how you can feel like you aren't doing much at all, but the days seem to go by in a blur?

Not too many things have happened, but the few things that have happened are very exciting!

At the beginning of October, my cousin came to live with us! She is completing her pediatric rotation for PA school here, and it has been a blast having her live with us! We have spent our time catching up, playing Mario Kart, and drinking Stephen's hot cocoa like the good old days. The only downside is that this is her last week. Five weeks have passed already and we have no idea where they went. I'm so sad that she is leaving!! We haven't lived this close to each other for a really long time, but I am so grateful that she had even just one rotation here so we could spend time together!

Brandon got invited to Boston for a week to meet his new manager and do some work from EnerNoc's office there. He will be going for a week at the end of this month, and I am planning to fly out at the end of his week so we can spend a few days there together! We have been looking at all the things there are to do in Boston, and I am weirdly excited to see all the historic things. There are also some really neat looking neighborhoods in Boston that I am looking forward to walking through. It's not fun to be home by myself for so many days, but we are both super excited to end the week there together!

We got gym memberships. It's not super exciting, but we have been really good at going at least three times a week, and it makes me feel productive!

The weekend before Halloween, I gathered the masses and we had a family trip to the corn maze! I was super surprised that everyone's schedules worked out so well, but literally all of us were able to go; Brandon and me, Alyssa and her friend that was visiting, Anthony and Dani, Adrian and Ayden, and my parents. It was so much fun! We split up in the corn maze and had a race to be the first group out, walked through the pumpkin patch to pick out our own pumpkins, raced down the potato sack slide, then ate Taco Bell and carved our pumpkins together. I wish I had pictures to put up, I was so impressed with Anthony and Brandon's pumpkins!

A few weekends before that, we invited everyone to our house to make caramel apples. They didn't turn out perfectly, but they were still tasty, and it was fun to have everyone together trying something new. And it's magical having a house that has room to actually do these things in!!

Friday morning last week I woke up at 4:55 to buy tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play that is opening at the Palace Theatre in London next summer. When the clock changed to 5:00 (11:00 am London time) we were rolled into an online queue for the tickets. We started out at something like 17,652nd in line. I thought for sure it would take hours and hours to get through the line to be able to buy our tickets, but thankfully it only took an hour, so we were able to get our tickets before I had to leave for work. Tickets were basically sold out through the end of November, so we purchased them for December 27th, 2016. It's so far away that we don't know if we will actually be able to go, but if by some miracle we are, then we have tickets!!

Like I said, not a ton of things happen, but we have had a really good time these last few weeks. I can't believe that we are already rolling into the Christmas season. It makes me insanely happy, but I am always amazed at how fast time seems to go. It seems like there are always checkpoints that somehow make the time pass faster. Next week I have Veteran's Day off, then the following week Brandon will be in Boston, then the week after that is Thanksgiving, then three weeks left of school, Christmas Break, and then's going to be June before we know it!