Megan and Phil walk all over Boston

Winter is fast approaching. We've pulled out our down coats and shearling-lined Bean boots to guard against the wet chill mixed with snow flurries that signal the eternal long New England winter is imminent. Which makes looking back on Megan and Phil's Labor Day weekend visit that much more wonderful, photos full of t-shirts, sandals, green grass, and that brilliant summer sun.

Megan has graced Boston with her presence twice before (both memorable: the first coincided with Hurricane Earl, and the second involved stealing a homeless man's vodka).  This time, she brought Phil, a good friend from our K-State days. We spent four days walking all over Boston (55,965 steps according to Breeze), packing in as much as we possibly could before their Monday afternoon return to Kansas.

innovation district

We started at the office. Phil, as a planner involved with public transportation, was excited to navigate the MBTA to Watertown and also tour Sasaki. Megan was excited to eat at Roxy's on the way home (one of the many reasons why we're friends).

The next day we were up bright and early. We took the T to the Innovation District, and meandered over to the harbor to get in line for the Harpoon Brewery tour. Our last attempt at this particular tour (which also happened to be with Megan) was cut short as they sold the last tour tickets to the people in front of us in line. We were determined this wouldn't happen again. We shouldn't have worried. Harpoon had recently opened a new beer hall, which also exponentially increased their tour capacity. We purchased our tickets, learned all about Harpoon's brewing process, then hung around the beer hall for pretzels. (Forget the alcohol; I could eat those pretzels all day.) Post-pretzels, we headed straight to Yankee Lobster for our next meal, then walked it off by exploring more of the Innovation District and playing bocce at Sasaki-designed Lawn on D. And we kept on walking. We strolled the Greenway so Phil could experience the Big Dig, and we ended up in the North End for cannoli and lots of history (and inadvertently the Saint Anthony's Feast celebration).

innovation district
harpoon brewery tour
innovation district
lawn on d
north end
north end

Sunday, after a great morning at REUNION, we headed to Fenway for a ballpark tour followed by Sweet Cheeks biscuits. We enjoyed learning more about the history of Fenway and the Sox, and exploring the places most fans don't get to experience on a typical game day: the visitor's locker room, the Green Monster seats, the press box, and more.

fenway park tour
fenway park tour
fenway park tour
fenway park tour

On Monday, we had some time to kill before Megan and Phil's flight home, so we rented a ZipCar and headed to a place Ian has wanted to visit since we moved to Boston five years ago: World's End. In the late 1800s, Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture, designed it to be a residential subdivision. The carriage paths were created and trees were planted, but the houses were never built. The peninsula was eventually shortlisted to be the UN headquarters, and later considered for a nuclear power plant site, but the community worked hard to raise funds to protect the land. Now, it's a beautiful park with tree-lined walking paths and stunning views of Boston and the harbor. We walked around the entire peninsula, and even managed to dip our toes in the Atlantic.

at world's end
at world's end

Megan and Phil, thanks for spending your vacations with us! We had so much fun wandering around the city, eating good food, and nerding out about city planning and landscapes. Come back soon! (And Phil, congratulations on your engagement! Next time, bring Ashley too!)

Visit Flickr for more photos of our weekend!

boston public garden


Ian + Anna in the DR: 2014 in summary

It feels impossible to come up with words to describe our DR trip. It is exhilarating. It is exhausting. It is heartbreaking. It is joyful. Each year is both familiar and new, and each year we learn a bit more about how we can support the Vargas family. This year, that looked like painting houses in La Mosca, tangibly showing the community that Luis's church wants to meet their needs. It looked like us running the annual medical clinic out of Luis's church, watching the health of the community continue it's slow and steady improvement. It looked like us hosting a field day, playing games under the hot Dominican sun in a muddy field littered with trash, attempting to control the chaos and loving on the happy and endlessly energetic kids.

anna + ian in the DR 2014
anna + ian in the dr 2014
anna + ian in the dr 2014
anna + ian in the dr 2014
anna + ian in the DR 2014

The passion we first felt on our first trip has deepened over the past four years into a strong commitment to the Vargas family and the community of La Mosca. We are so thankful for the way they support and encourage us, and that we have the opportunity to serve alongside some of the most joyful and selfless people we have ever met. And we're already counting down the days until we get to see them again!


thankful list | November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from the Cape!

01. a much needed relaxing weekend on the Cape.
02. a cozy guest bedroom in a house filled with family (and cats).
03. growing up with Car Talk, a.k.a. Cah TahkThanks for everything, Tom.
04. my first opportunity to see a Sasaki project (Dudley) in process in person.
05. another dentist appointment with compliments on my "bionic teeth."
06. a fun quick project at work playing with new-to-me software (nerd alert!).
07. yoga.
08. being part of the annual awards committee to recognize awesome coworkers.
09. a Green Line operator with an amazing radio voice and kind words.
10. our veterans.
11. a caterer tasting (free food to try and earn our business!).
12. a fun craft project.
13. Grandma Judy moving in on the Cape.
14. seeing Aunt Patti.
15. copyediting at work.
16. Friendsgiving (thanks for hosting, Todd and Danielle!).
17. lunch with our community group coach.
18. a happy retirement Mylar balloon at the office going strong after 2 months (seriously?!).
19. a great annual review.
20. the company Thanksgiving potluck, raising money for a local food bank.
21. the Pioneer Woman's soul sweet taters.
22. Micki and Grandma Judy in town again.
23. another cater tasting (so much free food!).
24. a shopping trip at three of my favorites: The Container Store, David's Tea, and Shake Shack.
25. experiencing the new Wegmans at Chestnut Hill — the rave reviews do not oversell it.
26. extra help for REUNION Sunday morning setup at the Hilton.
27. the start of Advent Conspiracy.
28. a short work week.
29. a short wait for the bus to the Cape.
30. Thanksgiving with family, for the first time in five years.
31. helping to decorate a house for Christmas (a full-sized Christmas tree again!)
32. fun shops full of things like starfish and whale ornaments.
33. kitty snuggles.
34. a freshly laundered winter coat that didn't cost a stack giant stack of quarters.
35. a K-State football win on a big TV.
36. in-laws that I love to hang out with, even when Ian's not around.
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