Tag Archives: Boston

Visiting Massachusetts – Hiking the Blue Hills, followed by a North End dinner


Saturday, 16-Nov-2019


As I mentioned, the main goal of this trip was to visit family and spend time together.  But that doesn’t mean we had to stay in one place now, did it?  And I’m pretty confident that if I was able to carve out some time to visit with everyone when we were back for Daniel and Erin’s wedding, we should also be able to visit with friends for a bit this time, right?


Steve unfortunately had to work on Saturday, but never the less Sarah, my Mom, and I all piled into the car on Saturday morning, and headed into Boston to meet up with Daniel and Erin (and their dog Biscuit too!) for a short hike in the Blue Hills.  We weren’t really planning on any specific hiking… just a chance to visit and walk around, you know?  Get out of the suburbs and into some woods while the weather was nice.

And let me tell you – the weather was NICE that day.  Perfectly blue skies, crisp air, and just a tiny bit of frost on the ground… the ideal New England Autumn day, in other words.  Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely cold.  But we’d planned for that, and had some nice warm clothes packed with us that we pulled out.  But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so everything seemed just that much warmed and brighter, thanks to the shining sun and bright skies.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what trail we walked on… Daniel probably knows thanks to his fancy new tracking GPS watch, or maybe some sort of implanted auto-download data feeds, but the short version was that we did a lovely short walk around the hills, passing a neat little cabin and a beautiful bridge.  A bridge which, obviously, Daniel and I climbed the side of while playing fetch with Biscuit.



After the hike, my Mom had to head out to a “friendsgiving” dinner with some of their friends in Medway – we were welcome to join, of course, but instead Sarah and I took the chance to catch up with some of our own friends in the city!  Daniel graciously offered to not only drive us into town, but also to give us a ride back to Medway afterward!

With those logistics dealt with, we messaged Dillon and Liz and headed into town to rest before dinner – nothing huge, just hanging out at Daniel and Erin’s place for a bit to drop Biscuit off and see some of the new condo accessories before driving to the North End for Italian.

See, I’m sure that Portland has a good Italian restaurant somewhere.  But truth be told, I haven’t been able to find it.  I haven’t really spent that much time looking though… since we can always just go to the North End when we’re back in Boston visiting everyone!

We hadn’t been to this restaurant before, but it absolutely lived up to our expectations of perfect Chicken Parm and a good atmosphere to catch up with everyone.  Really, that’s all I need in an Italian place – a good simple dish, and a good environment to talk in.  The massive boat of oysters (literally, check out the below photos) was just a bonus on top.

Not much else to say, honestly.  The conversation was fun, and catching up with very appreciated.  It was an amazing chance to fully unwind and relax, spending time with good friends in a comfortable place.  Huge thank-yous to everyone!

Another snow day in January.. wait, no! February!




Here in Boston, we’re ready for it.

Wait, what are we ready for?  Shut up.  It doesn’t matter.  We’re wicked ready.  For anything at all.  Bring it on.



And then, we had a huge storm, that somehow magically skipped everyone else to bury us in fluffy white snow.  Cool.  Screw you, New York.  You thought you’d have it bad… we just went on with our lives when we got our snow and your snow combined.

And then, a week later, it happened again.

This is the story of it happening again.


Actually, that’s a pretty boring story.  It snowed.  From the sky, as one would expect.  It piled up, as one would expect.  I shoveled it, and the other folks who park near me let their cars get buried under another foot or so of snow.  I got cranky, then I got over it.

Basically, we kept moving on, as Bostonians do.  Driving was harsh, and I had to take a vacation day from work, but ya know.  It is what it is. And shoveling wasn’t even that bad, since there’d only been one storm, and the snow hadn’t really piled up too bad yet.

I would later come to regret having mentioned that.  But for now, it was all good.  I dealt with it, put on my heavy snow gear, and ran around the city in the snowy twilight.  It really is beautiful, when the snow sifts through the streetlights…

A snow day in January

A snow day in January

Right before the end of January, actually…


They said it was going to be a storm to end all storms.  A blizzard named “Juno”, for one reason or another, and that it would be the most snowfall that New York city had ever seen.  Boston would get the worst of it, of course, with nearly three feet of snow landing on my doorstep.

It’s never as bad as they forecast, of course.

But this time… it was pretty damn close, if I have to admit.

This storm was going to be the storm that ended all storms.  The forecast called for over three feet here in Boston, and it was supposed to be the single largest snowstorm to ever hit New York City – literally, in recorded history.  Worcester was going to get more snow than it had ever seen in a single day, and most schools had already decided to close far before the storm even arrived.

In truth… yeah, it was pretty brutal.  We dealt with it though.

New York City didn’t get much – not nearly as much as they thought.  Worcester did get hit hard – they broke their previous snowfall record, with over three feet landing.

Cambridge… we were fine, really.  There was a Travel Ban in effect, so the plows had enough room to move and clear, so that wasn’t really an issue.  My office was closed, so I didn’t even bother waking up until late-morning, and even then I didn’t head out to start shoveling until after I had a good breakfast and took some time to relax and let it digest.  In told, I think we got a solid 30-36inches of light and fluffy snow… there really wasn’t too much trouble with it, to be honest.

See, we hadn’t gotten much snow yet, so there wasn’t a problem finding a place to put the snow.  I just piled it up in my front yard, and to the side of my car in the empty spots.  It was nice and simple… a fun time.  Not to last, of course, but “the ignorance of youth” and such.  Either way, the shoveling only took me two or three hours total, to have my walk and parking area completely clean… so that left me a ton of time to relax and sip cocoa.

Or, it would had if I was that kind of guy.  Instead, I had a snack, put my gear back on, and ran back outside into the snow.

I explored all over the area… I’m honestly not sure how many miles I covered, probably less than three, but I had a blast exploring and playing in the show.  I got the chance to walk in the streets a bit, thanks to the travel ban, but I stuck to the walks for most of it… I have good boots and snow-gear, so I could slog through the fluff without getting soaked… and that’s half the fun of a storm, right?  I even spent a bit of time running back and forth on an abandoned Mass Ave, body-slamming my way through the huge snowbanks that had been piled up by the plows.

Note: one of the banks was a LOT thicker and more solid than I expected… and I may have ended up sprawled out in a tumbling roll when my legs stopped and my torso kept going.  Think a very awkward cartwheel.  In the snow.