Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Old San Juan Dreaming

Hello everyone,

It is so cold in Boston these days, and we just had a giant snowstorm last weekend...  In an attempt to push the memory of last year's snowmageddon far, far away from my mind, I thought I would blog about somewhere much warmer; San Juan, Puerto Rico! 

A place full of palm trees, tropical breezes, colorful houses,,,

and the bestie, Linda!  =)

I mean, it just doesn't get much better than this!  

Linda and I wanted to escape the cold of our respective cities, so we decided to plan a little girls trip to somewhere warm.  We thought Puerto Rico would be the perfect first girls trip destination since we wouldn't have to worry too much about the language, the currency, customs, passports or anything like that.

Besides, it's beautiful!

After wandering around Old San Juan for awhile, we made our way to Castillo San Cristobal, one of the two old fortresses in Old San Juan.

and the view.  wow.

The fortress was quite large, and we spent most of the morning wandering around the catacombs of the structure.

There were dungeons and other dark crevices on display too, which was fascinating in a sad gloomy kind of a way...

After exploring underneath/inside, we headed back out to the sunshine and the beautiful views.

The fortress is pretty open to visitors wandering around by ourselves, but it also had different educational sections as well.  We started off with an educational video, and wandered around different sections of the fortress laid out the way it 'used' to be.

this is where the footsoldiers used to live.  I thought the archway was beautiful.  =)

After wandering around the fortress, we went in search of some noms in the Old San Juan proper.

the streets were pretty charming  =)

Our taxi cab driver had mentioned a restaurant we should try, so we decided to trust a local and try his recommendation!

and we found our favorite dish!  Mofongos.  My lawd. they were so. good.

I have to say, the whole Puerto Rican cuisine has my heart... err... stomach!  It was so delicious!  I wish I could recreate it at home.. maybe I'll try!  =)

Anyway, exploring the city was fun, but the next few days we explored the rain forest and the most amazing beach I have ever experienced!  I can't wait to bring the photos to the blog soon!  =)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mt. Holyoke

Hello everyone,

Have you ever done winter hiking?  It's a completely different animal than just good old hiking, let me tell you. David and I didn't know this though, so off we went to Mt. Holyoke to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life, quite content with our rain/snow boots, and expecting to have a nice little jaunt in the mountains.

To be sure, it was incredibly beautiful.  The photos don't really do it justice, but something about the snow and the ice and the overall quiet mingled with a faint murmur of the brook created an ideal setting for two city dwellers looking to escape and recharge.

I've always found that I need more frequent contact with nature than perhaps some others.  And this is probably why my favorite city is Seattle. As you've seen, our backyard park is a giant forest haha. (don't worry, Boston, you are my second favorite  ;)  haha)  I'm not sure if David feels the need as much as I do, but he also enjoys being outdoors, so it works out for us.  I mean, deep down, I think everyone feels the rejuvenating effects of being out in nature...  don't you think? 

But going back to the whole winter hiking thing...  
It became increasingly clear as we started our climb that we didn't have the necessary equipments.  
Though neither of us actually fell..........  we got as close to that as humanly possible, multiple times.

and while we didn't see many others attempting the climb, everyone else who did had what looked like ski poles and really intense boots.  At one point, we saw this man coming down the now-very-steep trail leaning heavily on his poles and still slipping, and we decided to turn around.  He caught up to us a bit later, and showed us the gear he recommended.  He had on hiking boots, and on top of that, he had little metal claw looking things strapped to the shoes so that he wouldn't slip.  We were definitely VERY unprepared for this icy hike.  He said that he saw us turning around as he was coming down. We must have looked pretty pathetic to him  =p  haha   

Despite the unpreparedness on our part for the climb, we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves just roaming around the mountain talking, enjoying the smells, catching each other from falling, taking photos, and laughing.

It was the perfect little half day getaway from the city, and I can't wait to go back and finish the hike once we have the equipment (or once the snow melts!)  =)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful rest of the day!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Welcoming 2016

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful new year!
It was extra special for us because it was the first time we were able be together to celebrate NYE and the new year together!

The obligatory NYE celebration photo  =)

and of course, the other obligatory photo of us being us  haha

David had been talking about the new Star Wars movie ever since it came out, so we decided to go watch it before having dinner.  Little did we know, it would be all sold out... all weekend...  So instead, we tried to go to the Boston Commons only to drive around for half an hour trying to find parking. At this point, it was looking a lot like our first anniversary misadventures...  haha  We gave up on Boston Commons, and tried to find something else to do.  By then, we didn't have much time until dinner, but we decided to try the Faneuil Hall anyway since it was only a few blocks away.

Thankfully, we were able to find parking, and we had a good time poking about in different stores. In one, I found a Princess Leia's hair-esq fluff muff, and we called that good enough for our Star Wars experience for the night  ;)

with the tree  =)  
It wasn't anything special--just walking around and shopping, but it was fun to just spend some time together.

For dinner, we decided to try a spot in Cambridge, recommended by our friends Daon and Tristan. They couldn't say enough good things about Oleana, so we got a reservation (which I highly recommend), and crossed the river! 

We weren't really sure what to get, so we started with the chef's choice vegetable sampler.  Because they were chef's choice, I'm not sure what they were called, but we had some sort of carrot hummus, followed by these amazing falafels... 

another carrot dish, but roasted this time, with some amazing crunchy something happening.  Maybe it was fried quinoa? I'm not sure, but it was delish!

The next dish was made of some sort of vegetable from the broccoli family, but it tasted a lot like kale!

And of course, we have to continue our tradition of getting lamb at date night! It was quite literally falling off of the bone, and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

I think my least favorite was the dessert, which was a fried cream puff sort of a thing...  but I think that's usually what happens with me at most restaurants.  It's so difficult to get dessert just right at a restaurant!  I much prefer bakeries for desserts.

It was so wonderful to spend NYE together and to ring in the New Year. (yes, I actually stayed up until midnight, which took effort for this grandma  ;)  haha)  The next day, we left the hustle and the bustle of the city to hike Mt. Holyoke, but more on that will come in the next post! 

Happy New Year, and thanks for stopping by!