Next stop on my 3-week trip to the east coast was one week in Chicago for work, followed by Boston for a weekend to visit my brother.
I must say, my project in Chicago went above and beyond compared to last year. I came in with a much more positive attitude and was able to handle stress SO much better than last time #growingup. It turned out to be a lot of fun seeing my team again, and the days flew by as we bonded over fancy meals and long hours in the team room. But even so, it always feels like my life is on “hold” during these business trips. I definitely miss my life and friends in SF, and I’m eager to wrap this up and hit “play” again!
I had some time to explore my first night in town. I stayed around the Loop (a.k.a. where all the corporate stuff is). Chicago in the summertime is really a treat.
Every single meal was the DIE for. I really do think Chicago is one the top 1 or 2 best cities in the country for food. Some of my favorites: Bar Siena which had the most yummy donuts I’ve ever had in my life. (Excuse the blurry pic).
And Prime and Provisions – a SUPER fancy steak house where my team went crazy with ordering wine, seafood, and steak.
Other than that, weekdays in Chicago were basically stuffed with work, work, work. By the end of the week, I was beyond excited to head off to Boston to unwind and visit my older brother.
Thursday: Start of the breweries
Little did I know that last weekend was actually my brother’s LAST weekend in Boston. He is moving this week to Pittsburgh for his new job, and so it was a bit crazy knowing that it was the last time I’d probably be visiting Cambridge and hanging out with his grad school friends, who I’ve gotten to know over the past 6 years! It was really nice of my brother to host me even though he had lots of packing and organizing to do before this big move.
I landed in Boston on Thursday night. First stop – a brewery near my brother’s apartment called Slumbrew. My brother and I are both huge beer fans (read: beer snobs)…and so you’re going to notice a common, alcoholic theme to this whole weekend 😉
We ordered one flight each. You know you’re siblings when you both choose the EXACT same beers for your flight. 😛
Bro and I talked about everything in our lives over the last few months (we hadn’t seen each other since the holidays). Great way to start off our beer-themed weekend.
Friday: office day + impromptu goodbye
My brother and I headed to his department at MIT to get a few productive hours of work in. By 2:30pm, we were at happy hour :). This was my brother’s unofficial “goodbye” happy hour, and I was so touched by how many people came to say goodbye, buy him drinks, etc…even the first years who had quals to study for came out! At one point, one of his friends turned to me and said “Isn’t Andrew like the grandfather of our group?”…I laughed. It was clear that he had made such a positive impact on his friends and entire department.
Saturday: brewery hopping + steak dinner
Saturday started off on the productive side. I got some alone time with my computer and checked out a yummy bakery close by.
Then, for brunch, Andrew and I went to an AMAZING Portuguese spot. With each dish, they ask if you want fruit or creme-of-wheat…and as gross as it sounds, the creme-of-wheat was hands down the way to go and makes this place so worth going to. I could eat an entire meal of it!
The rest of Saturday was dedicated to brewery hopping around some fabulous spots in Somerville. First stop, Aeronaut. A hip taproom with picnic-style tables and games. Bro and I got some one-on-one time before his friends joined the fun.
We also checked out a micro brewery that specializes in ciders.
My favorite photo of the weekend 🙂
For dinner, my brother pulled out the big stops and made steaks. They came out DELISH. My brother always plans the best [and most yummy] things for my visits. His girlfriend, Emily, also joined along. It was so nice to meet Emily finally – she was so sweet and hilarious in person and I was so happy to get the chance to bond with her finally!
Dinner served with a side of Project Runway 🙂
Sunday: morning run + flea market + goodbye!
Sunday started off with a morning run on the Charles River. It was breezy, not-to-hot, with beautiful views of the water…there was a moment I just felt SO glad to be spending August where it actually felt like real summer.
Bro and I went to Shanghai Fresh for lunch. The food was FANTASTIC. Super authentic and a hot spot for Chinese people in Boston. We shared soup dumplings, fried dumplings, friend shrimp, scallion pancakes, noodles…YUM.
Afterwards, we walked a few blocks to the Central Flea Market. I love browsing around these things and supporting local artists…I even bought some groovy sunglasses.
Emily joined along, and the three of us grabbed a drink at the market’s outdoor beer-garden. The last beer during our beer-marathon weekend 🙂
And before I knew it, it was time to fly back to Chicago for another week. What a wonderful weekend! So many fun moments, good vibes, and yummy food, all before sending my big brother off to start the next chapter of his life.
This is my last week on the road. Right after flying back home later this week, I’ll be going on a backpacking trip to the Sierras with Julia/Rahul/some others. I couldn’t be more stoked for this. We’ve been planning for almost 6 months! After weeks of over-eating, being super sedentary, and working my butt off…I can’t wait to have an active weekend in beautiful nature and completely unplug from civilization.
Have a wonderful week!!!