New England Style

Over the holiday weekend Matt and I took a trip up to Boston. Despite the heat we had such an incredible visit. I think it was the first time that we had taken trip that wasn’t for a wedding or a “real” vacation. We just went to a different city, saw lots of great friends, spent time with our families and just relaxed. It was lovely.

A few highlights from the trip:

  • Walking through Harvard Yard for the first time in years. Literally, I think the last time I was there was in 2010 for our friend’s wedding!
  • Going to the Red Sox game. Thankfully our seats were shaded for most of the game or else I would have melted.
  • Spending the 4th with some of Matt’s high school friends & watching the fireworks from a roof top in Southie
  • Visiting our friends in Hingham and dipping our toes in the ocean
  • Buying our first car!
  • Eating burgers and hot dogs on the back deck with Matt’s parents
  • Hanging out with my college roommate, her husband and their new baby boy – they even trusted Matt enough to hold him
  • Spending the day with my parents in Boston – of course they made it educational by taking us to the MFA!
  • Getting ice cream from my favorite place (Cafe Podima) on Sunday before our bus home

Family

Fenway

Me

I need to extend to HUGE thank you to one of our friends who made the trip possible. He was kind enough to let us stay in his beautiful downtown Boston condo. Unfortunately he was out-of-town, so we didn’t’ get to spent time with him, but having a place to go home to made the trip that much better.

It was great to be back in the land that embraces madras print, pinstripe and Lilly Pulitzer all topped off with a Red Sox hat.

So Good, So Good, So Good

Last week was definitely a rough one in the lives of Bostonians and those of us who were lucky enough to call Boston home at one point.

It is difficult to know how to react to the events at the Boston Marathon and what transpired afterwards. At a time when the world doesn’t make sense feeling saddened, angry or threatened are all normal for such a terrible situation.

As a native New Englander and die-hard Boston sports fan, I know that no matter what, the city of Boston will persevere. As the Boston Globe wrote in Tuesday’s editorial “A commitment to rise to the occasion, to endure what must be endured, to remember all who suffered and lost their lives in times of strife, is written into the fabric of the city.” Acts of violence only work if they make people afraid to live their lives fully. We have an obligation not to let that happen. We will continue to live our lives, do our jobs and care for our neighbors.

Often, out of tragedy comes good. Boston’s people showed us their true colors last week. They gave the rest of us something to aspire to.

One of my favorite moments was when the fans at Saturday’s Red Sox game were treated to a performance by Neil Diamond to  Boston’s unofficial anthem, Sweet Caroline.

Rumor has it that immediately after the second victim was captured, Neil purchased a ticket to Boston and called up Fenway asking if he could perform. Not realizing who the operator was talking to, she asked “what song would you like to sing?” His response… “umm, Sweet Caroline. If that is ok.”

Making this story even better, last week – the Yankees started an MLB movement to play this song, after the 8th inning in their stadiums to honor what happened on Monday.

I’ve sung along to this song many times at baseball games, parties and bars. Matt and I even asked the band at our wedding to perform this, along with a  few other Boston favorites, while wearing Red Sox shirts… and they did.

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This weekend, I realized that I didn’t know why this song was claimed by the people of Boston. My mom, aunt and I thought – what a perfect topic for a blog post.

The origins of the song’s association with the Red Sox date back to Amy Tobey, who worked for the Red Sox through a film and video communications company. From 1998 to 2004, she was responsible for selecting the music that would be played in the stadium. According to a Boston Globe article, she had noticed ‘Sweet Caroline’ was used at other sporting events, and she decided to send the sweetness over the Fenway speakers. The song was embraced by the fans, and the more it caught on, the more superstitious Tobey became about playing it – she considered it to be a good-luck charm. The Red Sox embraced the tradition and settled on the song being played during the eighth inning of every game.

Click here to see more of the tribute that took place at the start of the Red Sox game on Saturday (warning, you may need kleenex).

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We are Boston Strong.

The Taste of Telluride

 

With all of the hiking, biking and climbing Matt and I did in Telluride, we got really hungry. Thankfully there were plenty of options to chose from. Here’s out edible tour of Telluride.

Breakfast Spots:

Telluride boosts a few bakery/coffee shops, all located within a 5 minute walk of each other. We visited 3 different spots during our trip.

The Steaming Bean –  An electric coffee-house by day that turns into a rowdy gathering place at night. While this seemed to be the most popular place in town, Matt and I found it to be our least favorite of the three. The breakfast sandwiches we pre-prepared and the service was very slow. However, the “cool” factor and prime location of this spot will definitely keep business coming in.

Baked in Telluride – With their wide variety of breakfast pastries, donuts and coffee this place was probably our favorite. That being said, they make more than just baked goods; they also offer sandwiches, pizza, etc. I am a fan of bakeries just sticking to baked goods and breads. I think it takes away from the atmosphere and the quality of produces to branch out too wide.

The Butcher and the Baker: This small bakery definitely had the best atmosphere. Unfortunately their food didn’t quite keep up. Matt’s breakfast sandwich was again, pre-made, and the oatmeal that I ordered was too thick and prevented the toppings from getting mixed in. But again, their cute decor and homemade napkins definitely spoke to my style.

 

Lunch:

For lunch we found a couple interesting places. Typically, we were eating later in the afternoon after our “activities” and as a result, were coming into the restaurants starving.

Smuggler Joe’s: Located near the base of the gondola this micro-brewery is convenient for a post-mountain drink and bite to eat. Matt and I came here after our hike to get out of the rain and enjoy a locally crafted beer. The food was very typical bar food – I ordered the homemade chicken noodle soup while Matt chose the chili. Then we shared a buffalo chicken sandwich and fries. None of these options were bad but we definitely weren’t blown away. The beers were solid – I had the Shred Betty Raspberry Wheat and Matt had the Strong Scottish Ale.

Floradora Saloon: Right on main street, this a family owned and operated restaurant and bar offers a wide array of dishes. Matt and I sat outside and enjoyed the burger and the grilled cheese. We both enjoyed our meals and left full.

Brown Dog Pizza: The walls of this sports bar/pizza place are lined with Red Sox and Patriots posters. Naturally we felt right at home. We ordered buffalo wings and a pizza. Clearly we were really trying to eat healthy! The service was great, the patrons friendly and it was a great place to watch some of the US Open tennis while we avoided the afternoon rainstorm – something that is a daily occurrence in Telluride.

Dinner:

In addition to eating at there… (we loved it so much we ate there twice!) we found a couple other places:

Siam: While Matt loves Thai food, what really sold us on this restaurant was the live music that was being played on the large outdoor porch. They had a very large menu offering both traditional Thai as well as some more unique dishes that blend exotic tastes of Thai Cuisine with recipes from around the world including France, Malaysia, India, North America, China, Greece, Italy and Japan. I had drunken noodles and Matt opted for Chicken Friend Rice. This was definitely a good meal.

Allreds: Located on the mountain at the top of the gondola, Allreds draws people up out of Telluride for the incredible views. Matt and I decided to ride the gondola up and enjoy a glass of wine at their bar. The views were truly breathtaking. It was the perfect way to spend our last night in Telluride.

 

 

 

Celebrities I Would Like to Hang Out With

I have a mild obsession with celebrities. You would think that living in New York City, my path would have crossed with some famous folks – the cast of Gossip Girl, Sarah Jessica Parker, Regis or Kelly, Natalie Portman or any of the muppets from Sesame Street. Sadly, this is not the case. However, if I had my pick here are the celebrities I would like to add to my social circle.

Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords

 

Daniel Tosh (warning: he might be a little too offensive for some people’s taste)

 The Red M&M

 

Jonathan Papelbon (NEVER gets old)

 

Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm

Suri Cruise

(Read this blog and you will understand why)

If you were going to have a party, which celebs would you invite?

Till death do us part. Or until Brad Pitt comes along.

I was born and raised in New Hampshire. And although my parents (and basically every other member of my family) are from Ohio, I was thankfully raised a Red Sox fan. I guess that is what happens when you live in Red Sox nation, even when the team is terrible, as they were for the majority of my youth, you are a loyal fan. I think that when you are a baby, the nurses take you out of the delivery room, clean you off, swaddle you up and made you swear on your newly acquired life, that you will pledge your life to be part of the Fenway Faithful. You are then returned to the safety of your parents and your life is forever changed.

I still remember my first Red Sox game. My parents used to take Abby and I on “mystery trips.” They would load us into the car and drive us of to some fabulous location. It could be a trip to the movies to see the newest Disney movie, an educational adventure to an art museum (those were never my favorite), a visit to the circus,  or a ticket to a musical or play. But my most favorite mystery trip ever was when we went to Boston to sit in the stands at Fenway to watch the Red Sox taken on the Anaheim Angels.

My parents went all out of this one. They blindfolded us for the ride down to Boston (or at least for the last few miles – I can’t remember all of the details, but it seems unlikely we would sit in the backseat of the car blindfolded for the full hour drive). I remember taking off my blindfold and seeing the massive green walls with the carefully painted lettering, spelling out “Fenway Park.” I couldn’t wait to get inside to get myself a Fenway frank and cheer on the sox.

Unfortunately we didn’t win the game. But I did come away with a lot of good memories and lessons learned.

1. I learned more curse words that I had ever been before. Clearly this was just as education as an art museum as my vocabulary expanded by at least 5 words.
2. The pitcher for the Angels was Jim Abbott,  who was born without a right hand. Imagine how happy my parents were to be able to turn this into a life lesson of “overcoming the odds.” We are JUST like an episode of Full House.
3. Abby and I were each allowed one “treat” – I got cotton candy (my go-to for sporting events, adventure parks, etc). Abby got an ice cream sundae that came in a little plastic Red Sox batters hat. She had that for years to come. I was pissed.
4. Someone hit a foul ball that was aimed near our seats. We were scared to death that we didn’t even realize the ball rolled right underneath out seats. I will never again let the fear of having a baseball to the face ruin my chances to earn Red Sox memorabilia. A black eye would have been a GREAT addition to a real MLB baseball!
5. Walking into Fenway, I felt like I was returning to the mother-ship.  I knew, I would never cheer for another team. Ever.

That is, until last night.

Matt and I decided to stay in and watch Moneyball. I can’t even tell you how great this movie was. In addition to being a great movie start and humanitarian, I had no idea that Brad Pitt was responsible for transforming the sport of baseball too.

Well, really Jonah Hill should be given all the credit, but let’s face it. Even though he has lost 40 pounds, he is no Brad Pitt. And we all know, people give credit to those who have a pretty face (I learned this lesson from the musical Wicked).

Well last night I found myself rooting for the Oakland A’s. I wanted that 20th win just as much as I wanted the final game of the American League Championships in 2004 against the Yankees.

Well, let’s not get carried away… it wasn’t that much.

Although I liked the movie, I do have to say, Brad Pitt is an idiot. Why he didn’t take the job offer with the Red Sox is beyond me? Did he really think that his daughter’s song was that good that he should  give up 12.5 million dollars and a world series trophy and a chance to be part of the best baseball franchise? Umm, no. (Sorry – I do love you as Paige from Brothers and Sisters though).

So while I found myself cheating on the Red Sox for a hot minute, I blame Brad Pitt. Honestly, he is probably the downfall of many relationships; including his own with Rachel from Friends… Sorry Brad but after that move, we could never be together – even if you were the GM of the Red Sox.

A Return To Blogging!

Everyone loves a comeback, or at least the idea of one. The problem is that comebacks aren’t always successful. Think Michael Jordan, Bjorn Borg, and Lance Armstrong. Their attempts to return to their sports certainly gained excitement; however, the didn’t reach the high levels of success that they were known for. Their comebacks left us thinking, maybe it might have been better if they just never came back. Their legacies would have remained in tact and we would always remember them as the greatest athletes in history. And while some may argue that these three men ARE still some of the greatest athletes in history, it isn’t without a “but.” (I guess it isn’t entirely fair to call a 3rd place finishing the tournde France, qualifying for Wimbledon and scoring 55 points to become the top scorer on the Bulls).

However, there are some comebacks that have been successful. Think Dara Torres who returned to the sport of swimming and won a gold medal at the Olypmics at the age of 40. Think the Red Sox during the 2004 playoffs when they were down 3 games to none to the Yankees. They were able to come back and win 4 games in a row to claim the American League Championship Series before going on to be crowned World Series champions.

So while I don’t know if my comeback will be a mistake or a triumph, I am willing to take my chances. Stay tuned for a lot of exciting posts!

Tell Me.

So apparently, there is a big football game this weekend. Well like many Patriots fans around the country, I am not very interested. I am ready for Spring. I am ready for the Red Sox. And I am ready for my boy Dustin.

56 more days till the season opener.

Raise Your Glass

With the new year fast approaching, it is easy to look forward to all of the exciting things that will take place in 2011.

But it is worth mentioning that 2010 was certainly a good year. Matt and I got engaged and many of our friends celebrated their own weddings. Abby took a new job as the head coach for an awesome swim team and has managed to lead them to a top ranking so far this season. Matt, Abby, my mom and I successfully completed the 110 mile bike ride that is the Pan Mass and raised more than 20,000 dollars to fight cancer. Matt and I conquered Half Dome in Yosemite. And although the Red Sox didn’t have their best season, the Yankees weren’t able to defend their World Series title. I started my blog and was featured on Freshly Pressed! All in all, it was a good year.

I already have some good news for 2011 that concerns my employment. Unfortunately, I am not ready to make my announcement official (I know, the suspense is killing me too!). But in the spirit of things, I thought I would post this video that was featured on the Ellen Show earlier this year, celebrating her 1200th episode. Don’t get excited, I am not going to working for Ellen. But watching this made me realize, Ellen has the best job in the world. Not only because she is famous and probably she makes a lot of money (but let’s be honest, compared to Oprah, she is destitute), but because she truly loves what she does. I think we can all be inspired by her passion for life, her infectious laughter, and her killer dance moves.

2010 was a good one, but 2011 is certainly coming in strong…

Perceived Savings

When I was a freshman in college, I had no idea what I was doing…pretty  much when it came to everything related to college. I thought wearing sweatpants and my swimming parka to class was appropriate. I was fine with the idea that the girls on the swim team would be my only friends.  For some reason, watching Primal Scream seemed like a good idea. And I thought that “Ec 10” sounded like a fun class. I mean, all of my friends were taking it, so I figured I should too.

I had taken economics in high school. The main reason I signed up for this class was because Mr. Leonard, the football coach, taught the class. And while Mr. Leonard can’t really compare with, Mr. Schuester (my new favorite teacher, on Glee) he was a favorite among the ladies (in a non-creepy way!) Unfortunately, his teaching abilities or depth of the class didn’t go much more than how to create a supply and demand graph. For those of you who are familiar with my neat handwriting and anal charting skills, clearly you know I did well in this class. So when it came time to enroll in college classes, I figured I would dominate EC 10. Unfortunately, Economics is about a bit more than graphs.

In this class, I learned that just because a professor is world-renowned in an area, it doesn’t make him a good teacher. Thank you Martin Feldstein for teaching me this invaluable lesson! I also learned that I love Indian accents. My TF (also known as a TA) was from India and I spent most of my time in section trying to hide my laughter as opposed to paying attention. Many of our examples were about the supply and demand of “pizza,” which to this day brings a smile to my face just thinking about the pronunciation.

Other than that I didn’t retain a lot of information from this class. The one term that has stuck with me is Perceived Savings. I remember learning about this, and I believe we used baseball tickets as the example. If I remember correctly, we discuss the following idea:

If you are offered baseball tickets at 50% off, you think “Wow! This is great, I just saved 50% of the cost of the tickets.” However, if you hadn’t been offered that deal, there is a strong possibility that you wouldn’t have purchased the tickets to begin with. So while you think you are saving 50% of the cost, you are actually spending more money (the cost of the tickets) then you would have if you didn’t buy them at all. So while it may seem like a deal, your savings are simply perceived, not realized.

From the moment this theory was introduced, I didn’t like it. Of course you are saving money! You are gaining the value of the tickets (say 100 dollars) and it is only costing you 50 dollars. That is a deal! Who cares that you are out 50 dollars… you now have the experience of attending a baseball game (Go Red Sox!) AND the knowledge that most everyone sitting around you at the game paid twice as much as you did for that same experience. If that isn’t a win-win situation, I don’t know what is.

I experienced actual savings this weekend. Matt and I made a trip to Banana Republic for some new jeans. I left the store with the following:

– Jeans: originally 79.95 – I paid 35.50 (Savings of 44.45)
– Cardigan: originally 69.50, I paid 29.25 (Savings of 40.25)
– Tights: originally 25.00, I paid 18.75 (Savings of 6.25)
– Tee Shirt: originally 20.00, I paid 3.95 (Savings of 16.05)
– Skirt: originally 59.50, I paid 17.95 (Savings of 41.55)
– Black pants: originally 59.50, I paid 30.55 (Savings of 28.95)

So, what should have cost me 313.45 dollars, actually cost me just under 150 dollars (stupid New York taxes). Or in other words, I saved 163 dollars, or 52%. What a deal! And while some (aka Matt) might think that I spent 150 dollars that I didn’t really need to spend. I can assure you, the enjoyment that I will get out of my cute new clothes and the value that I place on getting “good deals” far exceeds the 150 dollar charge that is now residing on my credit card account!

If there is one good thing about the recession, it is the amazing sales that you find on a daily basis. My wardrobe has certainly benefited from these troublesome economic times.