Archive | Travel RSS feed for this section

The Terrible Plane Passenger

22 Feb

I hope this doesn’t come off as rude or offensive, but it’s my blog and I can be honest here and say that there are just some people in this world that I would rather not sit next to on a plane.  Does this make me a bad person?  No.  Does this make me think anything less of those people?  Absolutely not! after all I’ve been that person (story to follow)…. but given the option I can guarantee that you’re not going to be the one to volunteer to take the middle seat inbetween the sweet precious tantrum baby and the [I’m sure, very] friendly man with the absolutely horrendous BO.  Amiright?!

That being said, I’ve taken the liberty of creating….

The World’s Best Worst Airplane Seating Chart:

plane seating chart

Isn’t this what it always feels like every time you fly!?

*Honorable mentions go to The Mean Parent, Over-Sized Dreads Guy, The Won’t Pull Down The Shade When The Sun Is Beaming In Your Face Kid, Everyone’s BFF (not to be confused with the Jokester or Oversharer), The Flight Attendant Brown Noser and last but not least… The Cougher.
**My personal favorite is The Panicked Flier… I once sat next to a woman that insisted that I walk up and down the aisle with her before take-off to physically touch/count every aisle seat on the way to the emergency exit in case it was too smokey to see when the plane went down.  She also wore nylon socks because the material is less flammable than cotton….?  Because when the plane goes up in flames heaven forbid my socks catch on fire.  I wish I could make this stuff up, but alas.. true story.

I got to go to back to Abilene for Sing Song and an unofficial friend reunion of sorts this past weekend… it was my first time going to Sing Song since since I was in it FIVE YEARS AGO.  I’ve learned there are two things in this world that make you feel old: 1 – 5 year reunions of any variety and 2 – your hands being sore from playing skee ball (yes, I experienced both this weekend).

It was seriously sooooo great to catch up with old friends, professors, go to Friday praise chapel on campus (tears!), hangout with the fam, hangout with Granny and friends at her ‘retirement village’ … all in all awesome.  So awesome in fact that I got a total of six hours sleep between Thursday night and Friday night, and 45 minutes of sleep Saturday… My flight was out of Dallas at 830a Sunday morning so my friend and I woke up at 5a to drive to DFW so I could catch my flight.  Have I mentioned that girl is a saint?

We struuuuuuuuggled to stay awake on our three hour drive but any attempt at remaining coherent was completely useless.  She stayed awake by driving 95 MPH (God bless Texas highways) with her hand out the sunroof and/or grabbing ice from her Whataburger cup to rub on her face.  I don’t know how I stayed awake because I pretty much just stared straight ahead and tried to keep up conversation as we watched the sunrise.

you try staying awake driving through three hours of THIS!

you try staying awake driving through three hours of THIS!

In the last hour of the ride delirium started kicking in and I somehow convinced myself that I had forgotten to purchase my return flight.  I spent the next 40 minutes on the phone with various airlines asking if they had a reservation for me, only to realize that I was flying on the same airline as I flew in on because I had in fact bought a round trip ticket… (shocking, I know).  I also discovered while waiting in the security line at the airport that I had lost my phone… only to realize a full 24 hours later that I had put in my wallet (where I always keep it); nevermind the fact that I opened my wallet to get my ID out, put my ID away, get my debit card out and put my debit card away in that 24-hour time frame. That’s four accounts of quite literally touching my phone and having no idea where I had left it.  I made it through security and went to my gate… well, the wrong gate.  After standing in line to board a flight to Philadelphia for 12 minutes I realized I was at gate 38 and my ticket said gate 28.  2’s and 3’s look pretty similar….  (just go with it).

After that crazy fiasco of a morning, I somehow managed to make it on the correct plane and sat down in the correct seat.  Let’s call this a win.  Little did the guy next to me know what was in store for him.

I made absolutely no attempt to be friendly and I think the frazzled hair, 24-hour old makeup and disheveled yoga pants + hoodie fashion statement was enough to keep me from finding my new best friend for the next three hours.  Needless to say, I was left alone and passed out as soon as I heard the flight attendant say “San Diego.”  Aaaaaaaaand we’re off!

I have no idea how far along into the flight we were or how long I had been asleep… but I was startled awake by the man sitting next to me.  Why you ask?  Oh only because

I WAS SNORING IN HIS FACE.

I like to think I looked something like this....

I like to think I looked something like this….

this is probably a little more realistic...

this is probably a little more realistic…

 

I kid you not, my head was turned all the way to my left facing upwards, mouth gaping open, breathing and SNORING less than four inches from this poor man’s face.  It had to have been even worse than what I’m envisioning because when I opened my eyes the two people sitting behind me were quite literally standing up out of their seats to try and catch a glimpse of the obnoxious, rude, horrendously disgusting person (aka: me) that was the talk of the entire plane.

I was so confused when he woke me up I just ended up flinging my hands out in front of me to catch my balance [in the extremely stationary plane seat], tried for .3 seconds to figure out where I was but quickly turned my head to the other side and fell right back asleep.  How rude of that guy to wake me up! (kidding)

When we the plane touched down I was jolted awake and wiped the drool from the sides of my mouth.  I casually looked at the man next to me and judging by the fact that he moved his mouth, chuckled and pumped his eyebrows up and down I can only assume he said something to me… I didn’t understand him or attempt an effort to respond.  I looked at him confused and propped my head back on the seat waiting to deboard.  Man, I bet HE felt awkward!  Idiot.  (kidding)

I got home, crawled in bed and fell asleep by 11a.  I woke up Monday morning at 6a to head to work and was quite the peach that day, let me tell ya 😉

I guess when most people fly, they walk of the plane with a story about some crazy person they had to sit next to.  Well in this case, I am that crazy person and I have to tell the story on myself :/ I do however take great comfort in the fact that I provided that man (and a plane) with a story to tell to their friends and families that picked them up from the airport.  You’re welcome, World.

Advertisements

I Am A Security Threat At The San Diego International Airport

3 Dec

The notifications I received after my two hour flight on my Facebook status had me sincerely worried that I had accidentally announced a pregnancy, or changed relationship status, or posted pictures from my engagement photoshoot… but alas – it was the butter knife.  And you guys don’t even know the whole story!  Allow me to elaborate…

fbstatus

The story must begin with the loaf of pumpkin bread I made last week.  Every Tuesday I take an early train to LA and spend the day in back to back to back meetings.  I was in a rush and didn’t have time to eat breakfast… so rather than sit and eat I loaded up the last slice of my pumpkin bread into a tupperware container.  It comes as no surprise that pumpkin bread is infinitely better with cream cheese (Norte knows what I’m talking about!), so even though I felt like a bit of a goob for what I was about to do… I slabbed some cream cheese onto one side of the tupperware (no time to spread), grabbed a knife from the drawer and was out the door.

Upon taking my seat on the train, I unfolded the tray table, pulled out my laptop, and finally had a chance to munch on my pumpkin-bread-with-cream-cheese breakfast.  Ok yes, it definitely felt weird being the girl on the train unraveling a feast in her seat… but meh, I’ve definitely imposed worse on myself.

Fast forward to Thursday morning (two days later)… I was up at 4a, in a taxi at 5a, and at the airport at 5:15a to go to our San Francisco office for a couple days of meetings.  I always get nervous traveling for work so I typically do a thorough pack job the night before and triple check that I have everything I need before I walk out the door in the morning.

As I approached airport security (insert obligatory TSA joke here), I went through my standard remove coat, shoes, laptop from bag system; I have it down to a science… I hate holding up lines!  I passed through the metal scanner without any issues and stood at the end of the baggage conveyor belt waiting for my bags.

Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

My fellow commuters in the line that was forming behind me were getting frustrated expressed through  heavy sighs, checking of watches, etc. Newbs standing behind the monitor reviewing the skeletor of all the bags was looking around for someone to help her identify an item in one of the bags.  There was no one to be found.  Great.

The more time that passed the more uncomfortable the line situation got.  People started standing on their tiptoes to see what who the holdup was so they knew where to direct their anger.  I stared at the girl directly behind me hoping to convince her, myself, and all the other passengers with my eyes that she was in fact was holding up the line, but that didn’t seem to work.

Newbs finally found Employee2, a more experienced set of eyes, and the two of them stared at the screen for a minute.  As if that wasn’t enough, Employee2 could not identify the object and called Employee3 over.  More stares.  Panic was setting in… not for me, but for the people looking at this bag.  Could this be a bomb?!  Are we under attack??  Is there a terrorist up in hurrrrr??  The reaction of the Newbs, Employee2 and Employee3 was not so comforting to myself or any of the nearby passengers.

Employee3 finally reached into the machine to grab the bag causing the slight delay panic in the security line.  It was my bag.

She approached me cautiously and said, “Excuse me ma’am, is this your bag?”  I tried to hide my nervousness with the confidence of a well versed, mature, upstanding commuter tone by saying “Yes.  Is there a problem?” (inside my guilty self hunkered down died a little).

This woman then gave me very specific instructions… “Please walk over to the table and we are going to need to check your bag…. No, no ma’am. please stand on this side so I can be standing directly to the machine…. Ma’am will you please set your bags down and stand back?”  My gosh… I was trying so hard to follow her instructions but everything I did was wrong.  People were staring.

The next words out of her mouth as she was swiping my bag for remnants of  bomb making materials were “Do you have any utensils in your bag?”  I’m sorry, what??  “Utensils, Ma’am.”

I immediately denied, because that’s what any first grader 26 year old would do.  Until I had the pumpkin bread flashback.  I sincerely wish I was able to provide some kind of filter, but I loudly proclaimed “OOOMMMGGG!!!! YES!!! I DO!!! It’s a butterknife from spreading cream cheese on Tuesday!!! hahahaha”  People tell me I give too much information… I have no idea why.

I wanted to dig out the butterknife causing this horrendous holdup but I knew better than to challenge Employee3’s authority by reaching into my bag, unauthorized, at the security checkpoint table.  The results were in and my bag was free of any bomb making materials, so I told her she could just dive in my bag and get the butterknife.  She was not so impressed and my lack of professionalism with regards to the butterknife scare.

She dug and dug and I even had to instruct her “No, not there… probably further down… yeah, under my laptop… maybe even under that filing index.  Yeah just go all the way towards the bottom…”  Then she pulled it out in all its glory… my butterknife.

Once she removed the metal weapon butterknife from my bag I figured they were just going to throw it out and I could finally get out of there.  You’d think… however that’s when Employee3 decided to rally her TSA employee of the year nominations by tracking down a supervisor that would allow me to take a butterknife (keyword, knife) on the plane.  Please no.  Please just stop.

I tried to stop her three separate times as she bolted back and forth between supervisors… she even rubbed the edge of the butterknife over her head with her gloved hand as she yelled across the security area prove it was not in fact a a sharp object.  She was acting as if I was throwing a tantrum about not being able to take my butterknife on the plane.  Look, lady… I already ate my pumpkin bread.  Please let me continue my 5a commute in peace.

And THAT my friends is the story of the time I tried to takeover the world carry a butterknife through airport security at the San Diego International Airport.

I Found Love on Bustins Island – The Adventures of Sarah & Vinny

23 Apr

I got an invite (read: I convinced UltiMegan and her friends to let me tag along) for a weekend in Bustins Island, Maine.   In true Sarah-form I heard ‘island’ and came totally prepared: a couple of swimsuits, a couple of tank tops, a pair of shorts, flipflops, and a t-shirt or two.  I’m an idiot… although an island, an island off the coast of Maine is not warm in April.  Lesson learned.  (A special thanks to Megan, James, Byler, and James’ grandmother’s closet for outfitting me appropriately for the weekend).

After a pit stop at Bob’s Clam Hut, we made it to Freeport around 10p and loaded up the good ol’ Buttbreaker with our gear… well… their gear, my swimsuits.  We ventured into the icy waters of the Atlantic, battled the waves through the screaming eel infested waters and made it to the island guided by the light of the stars.  It was better than a dream.  I love Maine.

Bustins Island is three miles off the coast and has one little gravel ‘road’ that loops around the island.  I use the term ‘road’ loosely because there are rarely any motorized vehicles there; in fact, if there were more than one it’d likely cause a huge traffic jam.  There were 11 people on the island that weekend, and we were eight of them… if that gives you any idea how remote this is. The island has about a hundred houses on it, most of which are over a hundred years old.  There is a GINORMOUS rope swing, a post office, a troll bridge, a haunted house, a house built on rocks, houses with outhouses, lots of lobster traps, and a Bustin Jieber cemetery.  Traipsing through the island has made me want to become a professional explorer. 

I’ll upload a picture gallery later so you can look at how cool the island is, because I’m going to devote the rest of this post to Vinny.

By law, any weekend getaway in Maine must involve a lobster dinner.  Saturday evening we went to the market and got eight LIVE lobsters.  Once we got back on the boat with them, I of course had to peek in the bag and pick out my favorite.  You know how they say you find love when you’re not looking for it?  Well I found love this weekend.  I wasn’t looking for it.

Meet Vinny.  If you can’t tell by our faces, it was love at first sight.

I took him back to the house and we hung out on the porch for a bit.  He loved the blue chairs! 

    

We worked on a crossword puzzle together

He introduced me to his friends – they were HILARIOUS

Had a couple beers (don’t worry I checked his ID and this was totally legal)

         

As all best friends are required to do in this era, we took a ton goofy pictures together

    

 I gave him a ride in the wheelbarrel cart!  

He had such a blast he wanted to give ME a ride in the cart too!

I taught him how to ride a bike

                   

Great job, Vinny!

We drove the boat

Hung out in nature

But alas, the inevitable:  time to boil the seawater/seaweed mix for cooking.  I knew this was going to be real tough on me, but Vinny being so noble and sacrificial started the propane tank so I didn’t have to.

He said he needed some alone time.  I found him sitting silently, staring into the ocean.

I got a little emotional so I grabbed him for one last romantic view of sunset… the sunset of our love.

Here is our final goodbye – he was so brave.

R.I.P. Vinny – Your love and sacrifice will be remembered forever.

On a few unrelated notes – I have no idea why I’m not invited on weekend getaways more often.  I have no idea why I’m single.  Maine lobsters are the best lobsters.  James is an amazing cook and an excellent host.  Bustins Island is AWESOME.  Life is gooooooooooooood.

Burb Dwellers vs. City Slickers

16 Feb

A few weeks ago I received the greatest compliment of my life.  I was wearing a LBD (‘little black dress’ for those of you that don’t do Cosmo-speak) and a girl said “You are so tiny – are you wearing Spanx?”  I will never forget those words.  I have held on to them and repeat them to myself daily.  Was I in fact wearing Spanx??  Irrelevant.  Should I do the college girl thing and write those words on my mirror next to my favorite Bible scriptures?  Considered it (and no… I’m 25).

Men: my apologies for making you endure the above paragraph.  Moving on.

I received a compliment this week that might top the Spanx one (if you can believe it) …  I was going on one of my rants and when I finally stopped to take a breath; I sat in silence for two seconds (embarrassed) and prepped myself to hear the… “so anyways…” response that is typically received after my rants.  I was completely and utterly shocked as my friend ended the 2.3 seconds of silence and said: “Will you please blog about this?” WAHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So if you’re sick of me blogging, my apologies but this one is not my fault 🙂

As for my rant….

Let it be known that I know better than to compare Boston and NYC, but something they have in common is that they both get a bad rap for people being rude.  This absolutely drives me nuts.  People in these cities are incredibly nice, genuine people… so where does this bad rap come from?  I’ll tell you… it comes from the ‘Burb Dwellers’ (BD) that visit our cities for a day or two, get yelled at a couple of times by the ‘City Slickers’ (CS) and then go back and tell their family and friends how rude the people are.  People that live here are not rude… we’re only rude to tourists that invade takeover come into our city with no consideration of us and I would even go so far as to suggest that people from The Burbs are in fact much more rude than people in our cities.  Walk with me.

For those of you in The Burbs, or even other cities for that matter: what do you do when the car ahead of you is driving 10 mph under the speed limit?  You get frustrated and you go around them, right?  Perhaps you speed past and perhaps you look at the driver to make sure they know they’re being an idiot…. oh good gracious, they’re texting.  And eating.  And buttoning their shirt.  And changing the radio station.  And leaning over to get something out of their purse…. “what a moron!!” you say as you drive by.  CS’s generally walk everywhere and are not driving cars with windows that shield others from the comment(s) they say as they pass.  So if a BD is doing something that’s disrupting the flow of traffic on the city sidewalks it’s likely that they’re going to hear about it.

Which leads me to: What causes the CS to be rude to a BD?  I’d say the answer lies in defining ‘rude’

We’ll start with the pace of the city is inherently faster.   Think about it – when there are more people in a smaller space, things are expected to move a little quicker to maintain an agreeable pace.  To my BD friends – remember of the episode of Seinfeld with the Soup Nazi?  If someone didn’t know what they want to order, he would yell “NO SOUP FOR YOU! NEXT!”  Rude, right?  But then think about having to stand in line for 45 minutes of your lunch hour to order soup.  Believe it or not, small talk in this situation is down right rude and if you’re going to stand there twirling your hair, smiling, asking everyone about their day and expect the whole world to be thankful that you graced them with your presence… then NO SOUP FOR YOU! NEXT!  The “Soup Nazi” (or CS, if you will) is not intending to be rude; he is extending a courtesy to everyone that is having to share the same time/space. 

Space.  For the CS who spends all their time in the city, you’ll notice that they value their personal space a lot because they rarely get it.  Let’s be real – there are a number of other ways I would rather spend my evening commute than being crammed in a subway car with my face smashed in the armpit of a half clothed member of Hare Krishna.  Since a CS is faced (or in my case… armpit in the faced) with people constantly infringing on their physical personal space, a CS places an even higher value on their implied personal space. 

Implied personal space.  To my BDs out there: I am referring to eye contact and small talk.  A CS will likely avoid eye contact with others because either a) that eye was just jammed in an armpit or b) it’s their way of coping with not having physical space.  This does not make a CS rude.  If a CS were to engage with every person they encountered in a day, well… it’s just too much!  The attempted friendliness from a BD infringes on the physical space that the CS never gets AND the implied personal space the CS desires.  Rude in this case is denying the CS both of those things.  There is a social awareness that needs to be understood before attempting to overthrow the accepted rules of personal space.

Social awareness.  The thing that tends to get to me the most and happens to also be a great example of the overarching difference between a CS and a BD is escalators… proper form: stand on the right, walk on the left.  The CS is aware of other peoples’ existence and will likely abide by escalator etiquitte.  The BD on the other hand lives in their own world where everything revolves around them and 9 times out of 10 will either stand on the left and/or try and walk on the right.  The CS in me has had to hold my tongue on escalators in shopping malls and airports when being submerged into BD territory – their turf… not mine.

Turf.  If you’re stepping onto someone else’s turf, your rules don’t apply… *eye roll* tourists.  I remember when I first moved here I stepped on a subway car immediately as the doors open.  A man walking off the subway (rather loudly and in my general direction) said, “YOU HAVE TO LET PEOPLE OFF BEFORE YOU GO GETTIN ON!  WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”  He was absolutely right, and ya know what…??  I have yet to make that mistake again because it’s a courtesy CS’s extend to each other to maintain the movement of the city.

So that’s my rant.  I’ve love that I’ve become part of this culture.  I love genuine and very intentional conversations.  I love understanding the rules of the city so that I can lovingly break them and develop relationships with people I don’t know or may never see again.  I hope that if I ever become a BD, that I will maintain my CS awareness by being conscience and aware of the people around me.  And more than anything I look forward to the day that I am taller than 5’5″ (aka… general armpit height) and don’t have to spend my commute under the arm of every person that forgets to wear deoderant.

::End Rant::

Visito[u]r Guide: Boston, MA

6 Feb

Yesterday while I was entertaining Bostonians with my killer dance moves on Storrow Drive I had that feeling of nostalgia remembering how much I love this city. 

Rewind.  

I was taking a walk along the Esplanade and as I was crossing Storrow Drive on the footbridge, I realized how weeeeeird it feels to be standing directly over a car that is going 50+ mph.  I’ve probably walked on these footbridges at least 23043259 times in the three and a half years that I’ve lived here and somehow it had never occurred to me that this is AWESOME.  I got excited.  So then I started walking in slow motion…  then backwards… then forward… added a moonwalk and realized that people driving under the bridge were smile-pointing at me.  Lord knows I should not be encouraged….because the next thing you know I’m dancing.  Obnoxiously.  My moves were obviously killer because everyone driving under me was laughing/smiling/honking/pointing/thumbs-upping/waving/dancing… etc.  That means they love me, right??  This went on for about twenty minutes until I realized that 1. it was freezing  2. my friend was waiting for me to actually cross the bridge (ie: not dance) 3. I had been spilling my $14 peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks all over myself and most importantly #4. I’m not half as hilarious as I think I am.  I LOVE YOU BOSTON!

That said – this really is an amazing city.  Last year I (very literally) spent 27 hours creating a PowerPoint for The Mullet Reunion Weekend (three of my best girl friends’/college housemates’ annual get-together) of things we could do while they were here; this PowerPoint has now become a template for all my visitors, and I’ve even had friends here use it for their visitors! (I need to start charging for that thing)  So here’s some free advice for things to do in Boston if you’re visiting, or live here and are bored with your life, or are trying to stalk me (please don’t stalk me).

  • The Obvious “Must Sees” and historic sites – most of which can be seen on the Freedom Trail
  • Favorite walks around the city
    • Esplanade (noun: ess-pluh-nod) – paved walking/running/biking/rollerblading path along the Charles River.  Quite possibly my number one favorite thing about this city.  Stop on the Mass Ave bridge for a great view of the Boston skyline
    • Comm Ave Mall – gorgeous in all seasons.  Dec –Feb they light ALL the trees with white lights and it’s soooo beautiful.  In the spring there are these huge crazy awesome pink  Magnolia trees, and fall – well it’s Boston, everything is gorgeous in the fall… and the brownstones along the way are ridiculously beautiful too
    • Jamaica Pond/Riverway – good if you feel the need to get out of the city without driving; a little gem I found not too far from my apt
    • Fens – used to take Dude here all the time after work; gorgeous in the fall and a little bit of a shorter walk.  Another gem that not a lot of people take advantage of!  ::Disclaimer:: DO NOT GO HERE AT NIGHT.
    • Public Garden/Boston Common – DOI!  Great for people watching too.
    • Forest Hills Cemetery – it IS in fact a cemetery and I generally would not go to a cemetery, but this place is BEAAAAUTIFUL!  Again, great if you feel like getting out of the city but don’t want to drive.
    • Arboretum – HUGE area with tons of walking trails.  Generally pretty packed with people/strollers, but really pretty.  Also provides a great view of the Boston skyline if you go to the end of the park and go up the ginormous hill.
    • Blue Hills Reservation – great walking trails, especially gorgeous in the fall.  I once got lost for 3 hours in there because we were pretending the leaves that were falling were bombs so we tried to run after them and catch them before they hit the ground in order to save the world.  DUH.  All fun and games until we realized we were off the trails and had no idea where we were… whoops.
    • Amory Park – small local park, so I guess not really a “walk” BUT! you can catch little league games here and play with cute cute cute puppies.
    • Memorial Drive shuts down on Sundays making for a great walk on the other side of the river, near Harvard.  Don’t recommend rollerblading there… FYI.
  • Coffee Shops
  • Breakfast Spots
    • Zaftigs – Jewish style deli.  Great food.  HUGE portions.
    • Busy Bee – comical service.  Cheap and divey – don’t go expecting to linger and drink your coffee, you will be kicked out.  Lots of charm and the best TRUE diner I’ve found here
    • Friendly Toast – Great food.  HUGE portions.
    • Paramount –Great omelettes
    • Mckay’s – Irish place with a huge/cheap breakfast sandwich and homefries.  Most of the wait staff are Irish which makes everything more fun AND it’s across the street from John Quincy Adams’ birthplace…. pretty awesome if you ask me.  I lived around the corner from this place when I first moved to the city and they saw A LOT of me.
    • Martin’s Coffee Shop – great little diner close to my apartment.
    • Stuart Street Grill – across from my office.  They have great breakfast sandwiches that are made to order and super cheapt; this place is a hidden gem for the local workers
    • Make sure and checkout Phantom Gourmet for good food – breakfast, lunch, dessert, dinner… ANYTHING!  They’re great and I love their “hidden gems”
  • Burrito Spots – the California in me had to include this as its own sub point.  I even ranked them for you:
    • #1 – El Pelon – My roommate introduced me to the super burrito.  Try it immediately
    • #2 – Villa Mexico (aka Grandys gas station) – Although in a gas station, this place is MOOOONEY and the woman (owner?) calls you ‘my friend’ making standing in a gas station convenience store totally worth it.  AAHHH that’s her on the front page of the website!! So cute.
    • #3 – Viva Burrito – great if you’re heading to The Garden for a Celtics/Bruins game; quality meets quantity at an extremely reasonable price.  Plenty of seating too.
    • #4 – Backbay Station burrito cart – don’t let the cart food fool you, SO GOOD and Mario and Luigi work there.  Stop by sometime… you’ll see what I mean.
    • #5 – Boloco – I love this place and eat here a ton, but I ranked it fifth because it’s more of a wrap place than an actual burrito place.  That said, their Summer burrito with white chicken is totes delish and I have yet to get anything else on the menu.
    • #6 – Boca Grande (tied for 6th) – decent burritos, but not my fave… pretty much Anna’s
    • #6 – Anna’s Taqueria (tied for 6th) – decent burritos but extremely overrated but they’re all over the city so good to get your fix in if you’re in a bind
    • #8 – Burritos Express – not that great, but had to be included in my ‘best of’ list because if you get the special they pay you $0.15 to take a can of soda… meaning the burrito special (soda included) is cheaper than a lone burrito… something tells me this place won’t be around long
  • Favorite Bars/Pubs/Drinks
    • Cornwalls – my old homebar where everybody knows your name… literally.  It’s a family run pub and if you go one time they’ll at the very least remember your drink order – the Cheers vibe is definitely what keeps you going back.  Or maybe it’s the local brews on tap.  Or the board games.  Or the bartenders.  Or the Cali Burger (my favorite burger in the city).  We may never know, but I’ll continue to go back until I find out!
    • Coolidge Corner Clubhouse – slowly becoming my new home bar; lots of beer on tap and locals only/minimal college students.
    • Post390 – my favorite cucumber cocktail in the city
    • Eastern Standard – love ALL their cocktails
  • Live Bar Music
    • Wally’s (jazz) – went for the first time this weekend and loved the hole-in-the-wall, low-key, exposed brick, underground vibe
    • Beehive – food here is a little over priced, but pretty decent… music is allllllways good
    • All Asia – the dive bar of all dive bars…  they have pretty decent local musicians and there’s never aaaaanyone there; support your local music!  Also important to note – this is where I first became friends with The Compass Rose; love you guys!
    • Courtside Karaoke – “music” might be pushing it, and it’s a horrible dive in east Cambridge (read: unsafe) and they have a claw machine with porn instead of stuffed animals… but both times I’ve been I’ve had the best time ever.  To quote Brittany: “It’s like I have my own personal Aretha Franklin”
    • O’Learys – tiny tiny bar with older guys that just like to jam.  More of a weeknight-need-to-get-out-of-the-apt-but-don’t-feel-like-dressing-up spot.  Not worth going if you have to travel more than 15 minutes to get there.
    • Green Briar – a little out there, but a good scene balance of going out but staying low-key.  Not worth the drive, but if you’re nearby you should stop in… definitely a good time.
  • Favorite Dance Spots
    • Bell in Hand – yeah, yeah… I know it’s ridiculous, but I have yet to have a bad time here.
    • Clery’s – good if you’re not feeling the Faneuil scene but still wanting (needing) to dance
    • An Tua Nua – horrible place where your feet stick to the floor and at least half of the people there used a fake id to get in, but for some reason my friends go here a lot and it’s aaaaaaalways a good time.. no joke!
    • Wednesday nights at MIT – Swing dancing!  I’m a horrible dancer and I only went one time but had a blaaaaaast!!  Everyone there is so good and willing to teach you awesome moves and twirl you around as much as your little heart desires.
  • Churches
    • Park Street Church – my home Church and an awesome place for people in their 20’s looking for community.  Highly educated pastors that aren’t afraid to tackle tough issues and guide you through the issues using scripture.
    • Reunion Church – awesome community and an incredible pastor with really inspiring sermons
    • Hope Fellowship – haven’t made it out there for a service, but I know a lot of really awesome people that go there, so I can only imagine it’s great
    • Unite Boston – great way to get plugged in to the Christian community in Boston and see events going on at aaaalllll the churches
  • Sports Leagues
    • Social Boston Sports – great/afforadable way to play the sports you love with people you’ve never met.  Super social and good competition without going over the top.
    • Boston Ski and Sports Club – pricey and pretty hardcore; I’m about to start playing in their volleyball league because me and my vball friends (that I met at SBS) have outgrown the SBS league and won the championship at least twice… haha… hopefully we survive in this league!!!
    • Monday nights there’s a good crew that gets together and plays ultimate.  Sadly I haven’t played in over a year, but still sending my love!  They used to play at the Hatch Shell and now are in Cambridge at MIT, but maybe will move back to the Hatch Shell once it starts staying light out past 5pm

So there you have it!  Some of my favorite spots around the city and things to do.  If you live here, or have ever visited… please feel free to add your favorites too.  This place is incredible.

Sincerely,

Sarah “I’m quitting my day job to write travel guides” Iverson

P.s. The pictures below are mostly from my phone… you should probably come visit and take better pictures for me 🙂