Monday, May 6, 2019

Boston, Massachusetts

I took a work trip to Boston for three nights, and it was probably the longest stretch of time I've spent in what is truly a very cool city.

Flying over the city, walking near my hotel

My conference was at the Westin in Copley Square, a beautiful hotel that has restaurants and shops and a skywalk to the nearby mall.  I loved the mixture of historic and modern architecture in the area.

Copley Square area

On my first afternoon/evening, I walked to The Salty Pig for lunch.  I had their Salty Pig pizza with salted pork, pale ale caramel, and arugula, but subbed tomato sauce for the mustard... so good!  Then I walked to Flour Bakery + Cafe at the behest of my cousin's reco and grabbed a sticky bun.  In the evening, I connected with some college classmates in Southie for a nice night in.  (I was fortunate to have friends and family to connect with each evening I was there!)

The second night, I took the T to Fenway to meet my cousin for dinner at Wahlburgers!  I had the BBQ Bacon burger with white cheddar, bacon, housemade BBQ sauce & avocado spread (I skipped the jalapeƱos), and it was delicious.  The tater tots were also awesome.  It was a really good burger spot, and the decorations were very Boston and Wahlburg (movie posters everywhere) at the same time.


I also got to see my friend Lindsey on my trip to Boston!  I've been wanting a Louis Vuitton Neverfull for years now (yes, I'm basic, deal with it) and since Linds has her own collection, I figured it would be fun to shop together.  I chose a "damier ebene" canvas with the "rose ballerine" interior color.  Our salesgirl Athena truly made it a magical experience for this first-timer.  Is it normal or practical to spend so much on a handbag?  Probably not.  But if that's what you want in order to reward yourself for a milestone, I say there's no time like the present!

We finished the night with Italian food at Sorellina, where I had a delicious meatless bolognese (the Impossible Foods stuff!) and dessert so good that we didn't take pictures of it.  We had a slumber party at the hotel that night before I had to leave early in the morning.

I love Boston, and I need to spend more time there.  I want to explore more historic landmarks, the architecture, the food...  so much!  I could spend a week there and still leave things undone.

Do you have any Boston recommendations in case I go back?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Nashville Food Tour

Sometimes it's fun to play tourist in your own local area.  That's exactly what I did for a work event with coworkers!  We took a private food tour with Dabble Studio in Germantown and explored a multiple neighborhoods and types of Nashville classic fare.

We started off with hot chicken at the Listening Room Cafe, which moved to SoBro (South of Broadway neighborhood) a couple of years ago.  It's a great music venue, and the food was food too!  I've heard it's the kind of place serious music listeners visit, i.e. don't talk while the music is playing.

Our next stop was East Nashville, to get a bushwacker at 3 Crow Bar.  The bushwacker is the unofficial cocktail of Nashville, but I'd never had one before this tour.  I know, I know... I've lived here for seven years, what gives?  I'd heard that is was like an adult Frosty, and I'm not a chocolate person. But it's a delicious boozy milkshake that everyone should try at least once, and the liquor sneaks up on your fast.

Also in East Nashville, we had a sampler of hot dogs (and soda!) at I Dream of Weenie, probably one of the most Instagrammed spots on that side of town.  I loved the Cheerwine, which is such a Southern thing.

And it wouldn't be Nashville if we didn't stop at a mural for a photo opp!  Seriously, the number of murals in Nashville is insane.  I once did a post about visiting a bunch with my friend B, but now there are so many more... I love Kristin Luna's post about them with so many I haven't visited.

It wouldn't be a Nashville tourist

I had to leave the tour before the final two stops, because I had to get home to pick up Kenny at daycare.  But after I left, they hit up one of the best BBQ joints in town (Martin's Bar-B-Que in Belmont) and got dessert at Colts Chocolates in the Gulch.  Talk about a great way to spend an afternoon!

I'd definitely recommend you check out a food tour if you're coming to Nashville; this one hits so many different neighborhoods (they give you history and trivia along the way) and is a great way to enjoy a taste of Music City.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Little Rock, Arkansas

In the fall, I started a new role at work, which means I get to do more of something that I really enjoy... hitting the road for customer meetings and other events!  I've already done a quick day trip down to Fort Lauderdale (literally, I flew down and back in the same day), and recently I hit the road to Northwest Arkansas for a meeting.  Since it was a rather long road trip, we broke it up by stopping in Little Rock going to and from Nashville!

Outside of Little Rock, we headed to De Valls Bluff for one of my coworker's favorite BBQ joints: Craig's Bar-B-Q.  Craig's is a cash-only, family-run dive that is absolutely a gem.  Look, it's not fancy.  At all.  But we watched a steady stream of locals taking food away the entire time we were there, and we were able to get four sandwiches (three BBQ, one grilled cheese) and drinks for under $20.  For real. 

Craig's BBQ

Craig's is one of those road trip detours that is absolutely worth the trek!  The pork is sliced vs. pulled (sort of the thickness/consistency of brisket) with homemade sauce.  We got it spicy, and it's served with a slaw inside.  I'm not even a slaw person, and I loved it.

On our return trip back through Little Rock, we decided to go a different direction foodwise... Asian noodles and dumplings!  We hit up Three Fold downtown and got soup noodle bowls, dumplings, and a steam bun to sample the goods.

Little Rock (and its environs) impressed us foodwise, and there were a bunch of places I wish I could have tried.  But we also tried to see some cool sights!  We drove by the State Capitol at night and it was gorgeous.  They had great statues and monuments around it, and it was beautifully lit.

We also did a quick walk-through of the Clinton Presidential Library & Museum.  Regardless of your politics, I think visiting Presidential libraries and museums is pretty cool... it's like walking into a time capsule of a President's time in office.

President Clinton is one of the first Presidents that I remember, so it was kind of cool to look at the technology, the news headlines and major events, and more that happened from 1993 to 2001.  I really enjoyed the full scale replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room, and seeing Cadillac One.

I also enjoyed seeing artifacts, gifts, and decor from the Clinton White House.  There were saxophones, china settings, letters, even a white Chihuly Christmas tree!

I wish we'd had time for a guided tour, but maybe next time!  It was really fun to blaze through before hitting the road back home.  These types of road trip stops remind of how much there is to see in America and its "flyover states".  I usually fly when I travel, focusing on my destinations.  On this trip, I enjoyed focusing on the journey and figuring out things along the way off the cuff!

Thank you, Little Rock!
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