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To the Back Bay I Went


Monday, March 31, 2014

Once again, I haven't posted in a couple of weeks.  This seems to happen a lot when I travel for work and fun.  Where was I last week?  Boston.  I absolutely love this city.  From the amazing accents to the food and culture, this is my kind of city.

If you follow me on instagram, you would see some of my week through pictures.  I feel like my week was consumed with a ton of work.  I am talking running around Massachusetts for three days straight incurring toll after toll.  I must have hit at least 20 tolls in one day alone.  When I wasn't working, I was walking the city (Back Bay area), eating and taking in the alarm 9 fire that took place.  Let me just say, it was devastating.

Boston weather wasn't too bad (32 degrees to 45 degrees), but it was very much colder than Reno weather (right now).  Plus the wind chill each day added to the bitter coldness.  This Spring-like winter in Nevada has made me a wimp when it comes to colder weather this year.

Here are some places/restaurants/events from my Boston trip...
 
I traveled all day Monday, so the only thing I did other fly was go to Atlantic Fish Company.  I went to Atlantic Fish Company on my first trip to Boston several years ago, and was hoping it would still be as good as last time.  It was still as amazing that I went twice.  I did not take any photos that night, but I had a cup of their clam chowder and half a dozen oyster plus their fresh bread.  Let me tell you, the Blue Point oysters were some of the biggest, hearty oysters I have ever had.  So good.

Tuesday was a day on the road where I found myself in Marlborough, MA and found this cute coffee shop that had the best lattes.
The Coffee Loft

Tuesday I drove around the western part of Massachusetts and saw a lot of cute old country homes.  That night I went to Deuxave.  Deuxave is located on Commonwealth Street in the Back Bay area and on the more pricey side, but they had the best lobster gnocchi dish ("Night Moves" Scituate Lobster with Gnocchi).  This was a very interesting concoction of potato gnocchi, mushrooms, green grapes, curried walnuts, pearl onions and lobster in a citrus fricassee.  I savored every last bite and would have licked the plate clean if I could have.
 
For dessert (since everyone on yelp raved about it), I had the chocolate souffle' with a decadent coffee sauce.  I paired each dish with a glass of pinot noir recommended by the bartender.  As a finisher, they give you a dark chocolate truffle and mini macaroon.  I loved the macaroon as it was a light and fluffy grapefruit morsel.
Deuxave

Wednesday I stayed in Boston most of the day, but I did head out west a bit in the morning.  The weather was calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow that morning and there was maybe a dusting.  I was very happy about this as I didn't want to drive in the snow in a city/town where I didn't know my way around.  The bad thing....freezing wind chill and the fire that started around 3 pm.

The morning started off in Sudbury, MA at Karma Coffee.  This was another cute coffee shop that roasts their own beans and had the cutest little mascot.  I really wish I would have bought a traveler coffee mug since they were cermanic with a leather sleeve, but I figured I couldn't fit anything in my suitcase with how much stuff I packed originally.  I did manage to go shopping and stuff even more in my overflowing bag (my husband took the big suitcase on his 4 day warm weather work trip, and I had the smaller carry on for my 5 day winter work trip).
Isn't there mascot/icon so cute?
 
That evening I came back into Boston with a lot of smoke, a bunch of closed roads and chaos near my hotel.  I was on Exeter Street in the Back Bay and the fire was on Beacon Street (between Exeter and Fairfield).  The fire was literally a couple blocks up from my hotel.  The smoke was really thick and I couldn't help myself, but to walk as far as I could to see the fire.
Wednesday at 6 pm-ish
 
This was an 9 alarm fire which is one of the worst fires.  I watched in horror that day, night and the next day learning about how bad this fire really was.  They could not go in (they did only for a brief time which fatally injured two firefighters) and had to fight the fire from the outside.  This was truly devastating to see.

Wednesday night I ate at The Salty Pig.  If you love pig products, pizza and cheeses, then this is the place for you.  I just wish I had more people with me to order more things from the menu.  I started with a charcuterie plate recommended by the bartender.  It came with some mustard, pickles and crostini.  I don't remember the names of the meats and cheeses, but they were spot on.  Then I had their wood fire pizza.  The pizza was thin crust, fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato sauce and prosciutto.  Again, it was very good, and I couldn't even eat half since I had the charcuterie plate.  My husband would LOVE this place.
 
Thursday I ventured out north (almost to New Hampshire).  When I got to my hotel, I went to see the carnage of the fire.  DEVASTATING.
RIP Michael Kennedy and Edward Walsh, Jr.
 
For dinner I had, you guessed it, Atlantic Fish Company.  Now I know there is so many amazing Boston restaurants to go to, but I hadn't had their lobster raviolis that I loved so much last time.  They were equally as good as last time, but this time, I added a side order of lobster ($16) recommended by the bartender.
Lobster Ravioli and a side order of lobster (when in Boston...)
 
After dinner, I walked to J.P. Licks for some ice cream which was the perfect ending to my lobster dinner.  Along the way, I walked by Ladder 15 Engine 33 fire station.
 
 
Friday I flew home, and was very happy to see Walter the dude and my husband.  

Here is a cute picture of Walter last night after his bath to liven the mood just a bit.

I would say my Boston trip was a success and I can't wait for my next work adventure.

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Mexico


Friday, March 21, 2014

Hola, from Mexico, or unfortunately from my work desk.  Mexico was amazing as usual.  I am tan, refreshed and relaxed (ok that is fading).
 
We were fortunate enough to be gifted a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from my great aunt in-law as a wedding present.  We only had to pay for our flights and going out to dinner.  Total score.
 
We flew to Mexico on a Sunday and I expected throngs of Spring Breakers (like last time), but there weren't any on our flight.  But they were there in Customs with us.
 
We got to have this view EVERYDAY.
Our condo was in the perfect location on the Malecon.
 
Get ready for lots of pictures of food (because we LOVE to eat), the beach, sunsets and everything else random.
 
The first day we explored the city a bit, window shopped and had dinner at Polo's.  Umm can I say the best red snapper EVER?
  I can't seem to find the before picture.  Probably because I inhaled this dish and may have had two of the strongest and most amazing margaritas.

Monday was spent relaxing by the pool, picking up delicious lattes and seeing these two little dudettes along the way.
Walter would have loved it here, but I am not so sure if he would want to leave.  Sorry Walter, that is why you had to stay at home with Grandma and Grandpa and your auntie.

Tuesday was spent pretty much the same way, but add some shopping in there.  Plus we saw amazing sunsets that night and every night.
 View from our condo
Sunset on our walk to dinner
Los Muertos Pier

That night we went to Panchos Takos.  People on Trip Advisor raved about the al pastor tacos, and they were right.  The tacos, guacamole, quesadilla, sauces and beers were top notch for less than $20 for the two of us to eat.
 My husband thoroughly enjoying himself
 Al Pastor in progress
Amazing sauces and spicy pickled veggies.

I just wish we would have gone back there again, but PV has so many amazing restaurants, it is hard to not try them all.

Wednesday we took a water taxi to Yelapa.  Yelapa is a little remote village with amazing views.  We had been there before, but that didn't stop us from going again.  Do yourself a favor and go.
 Our water taxi to Yelapa (I also want to note that I got those awesome shades from Venice Beach for $4 and they lasted the whole trip and are still good to go)
 We planted our butts on beach chairs for a lot of this trip and drank some amazing margs and beers.
 But we did manage to take the short (10 minute) walk/hike to the waterfall.  Since it isn't rainy season, the waterfall wasn't too big, but still worth it.
Yelapa Pie Lady
This is when we were about to get back on the water taxi to head back to PV.

That evening we splurged and went to Casa Naranjo.  We crab bisque, marlin empanadas and a take on a caprese salad as starters.  My husband had a pasta with mussels, scallops, fish and octopus with a blank ink and tomato sauce.  I had the red snapper in an adobo sauce with veggies, rice and guacamole.  Heaven.

Thursday we hung out by the ocean, walked around a ton, ate even more food and planned the rest of our trip.

We went to Red Cabbage for dinner and had very traditional Mexican good.  We had the Chiles de Nogada which is roasted poblanos stuffed with rice, cheeses, nuts, spices and other goodies with a cold white cream sauce, nuts and pomegranate seeds.  It sounds weird, but it is amazing.  We also had their mole which is another specialty, plus some sangria.  So good.

Since we had an early dinner, we had dessert after at Joe Jack's.  Another great restaurant.
Upstairs balcony
 Butterscotch Budino
Strawberry Mojitos

Friday we made some plans to go to Las Calcetas (hidden private beach excursion).  But with that we wanted a cheaper price (hey when you can save, you can save), so we got talked into going on a Residence Collection experience (sort of like a time share).  We went into it knowing we wouldn't do it, got a pretty great free lunch, beautiful views and a fun different afternoon for us.  Well worth the 75 minutes.

We also went back to Joe Jack's that night for dinner.  We shared their ahi poke and dare I say that it was better than any I have ever had, even in Hawaii?  I had the fish tacos that they are known for, and let me tell you they are THAT good.  And my husband got a burger.  I guess he needed a break from all the Mexican food.  But his burger was pretty good I would have to say.
 Pretty awesome burger with Mexican cheese and bacon
 In honor of pie day, we got their coconut pie.  If you know me, you know I love coconut and this is one of my favorite desserts ever.
 
Eating at Joe Jack's

Saturday we took our trip out to Las Calcetas which is a private beach owned by a former film director.  We took a caterman out there with 150 other people where the alcohol was flowing and whale watching.  We were fortunate enough to see a momma and baby whale.  Plus they were breaching, so it was a real treat.  I have some videos of it, but they are huge.  So this picture will have to do.  But I really couldn't get the baby as it was breaching.
Once we arrived, they have a lunch (with fresh made paella that you can watch them make from scratch) waiting for us.  Then we had plenty of activities to choose from plus beach time and all you can drink again.  We went kayaking and snorkeling.  The snorkeling was beautiful.  I have never seen that many kinds of tropical fish, stingrays and other water animals.  It was even better than Costa Rica.  The water was really clear and one of my favorite parts of our trip.  We didn't think we would see many fish, so we didn't buy the underwater camera and I so wish we had.
 
Sorry for the lack of photos on this part of our trip as they are on my husband's phone and he is currently traveling for work.
 
We took the caterman back after more beach time, relaxation, seeing and holding animals (hawk, parrot and monkey) and drinks.  Such an amazing day all around.
 
We were fortunate to see this sunset when we got back.
 
This was our last night in PV, so we made the most of it.  We walked around a ton, walked the Malecon, shopped some more, had a few drinks and enjoyed our last moments in paradise.

Sunday we got up early and went up to the pool for a little more sun and beauty.  We had to leave our condo at 10:30 am to catch our flight and same as last time, we were really sad, but happy to get home to our pup.

Here are a few other random photos from our trip.
 Sand art on the Malecon
Awesome graffiti areas in PV
 
So until next time Puerto Vallarta.  I can't wait for our next trip and I am counting down the days.
 
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Cheers to Spring


Thursday, March 20, 2014

In honor of the first day of Spring, I am showing you my new Spring-ish nails.  If you know me, you know I love mint and I think mint is the perfect color for Spring.  So without further ado...
I love everything about these: mint, gold, chevron and glitter.  What more could a girl ask for in a manicure?

What is your favorite spring color nail palette?
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My New Beauty


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I had planned to write about my Mexican vacation today and then I had to go to a health fair, where I had to fast and have blood drawn.  Basically my brain feels like mush right now from lack of coffee.  Why don't I get a cup here at work?  Because it is literally sludge.  Please let me make it through this day coherently.

Since I don't have the brain power to write a ton, edit some pictures and post said pictures, I will tell you some other news.  Remember how I sold my car a couple of weeks ago?  What I didn't tell you was that I ordered a new car two months ago.

I had been looking at cars since October, but I just couldn't pull the trigger.  Especially since my husband needed a new vehicle too, and he bought a truck in November.  Ugh, we so didn't plan to get new cars so close to each other.  That is what happens when you buy your respective cars before knowing each other eight plus years ago.

We searched high and low from Nevada to California to Utah to Oregon for the car I wanted.  It didn't seem like it would be this hard to find the color and a few of the things I wanted (the dealership could add the rest later), but apparently they make a ton of white, black and silver cars with one or the other major features I wanted.  So I did what another friend did (and suggested to me), I ordered my car.

And I got an email three weeks ago saying it would be in on March 17th.  So that is why I sold my car on March 8th.  I only went carless for a week as I was in Mexico last week.

So what did I get?
I bought a 2014 Subaru Legacy Limited and I am in love.  I have never had a new car before and the new smell is such a treat.  No more fake air freshners in my car.
The features that I couldn't find together on anything other than white or silver?  The moonroof and navigation package.  I splurged a bit and got the spoiler, side modelings and remote start.  Plus a few other necessities for the rugged mild winters here.  But I am beyond happy with my new car and I am sure to have it for another 10 years.
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Why I Disappeared


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It literally feels like forever since I wrote a post and that is because I was in Mexico soaking up the sun, enjoying my fair share of mojitos and margaritas and exploring the sights.  Let me tell you....IT.WAS.AWESOME.

But now I am back to reality and back to work.  Boo.  But I am back with a tan, some jewelry, amazing photographs and maybe an extra pound or three (who really knows and who really cares?).  Once I upload some photos, I will do a Mexico blog post, but if you follow my instagram (you should here) you would have seen a few that I have already shared.

Here is a teaser to get you through the next day before I can catch myself up on work and normal life.
One of the many gorgeous sunsets in Puerto Vallarta
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