Since my office was closed for nearly a week and half for the holidays, I decided to visit one of my best friends in Boston for a few days.
I lived in Boston for a year and half for graduate school and AmeriCorps. I left Boston almost 7 years ago and haven’t been back since May 2012 for my sister’s graduation from BU. But it was good to go back and explore areas I had never been before (i.e. I worked in Harvard Square but had never been to Somerville, I lived in Mission Hill but had never been to Jamaica Plain).
I didn’t have much of agenda other than trying workouts and eating at delicious places with my friends. Since this is primarily a fitness blog, let’s talk about the workouts first.
Sweating it out
Let’s start with my newest obsession – climbing. I recently got a membership to Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) and slowly built up from climbing once in a while to once a week to now 2-3x a week. Plus I finally bought my own pair of climbing shoes instead of using my roommate’s shoes.
Part of my membership includes access to the other locations, not just the original location I go to in Brooklyn. The other locations include Queens, Chicago and Somerville (right north of Cambridge).
This place is huge (at least in comparison to the original Brooklyn location). Plus there were so many top roping routes to try. There are two floors of bouldering, and a co-working space, a ping pong table among other things, which is cool. Also, there’s a sauna!
Downside about BKB Somerville, their heater was broken so it was freezing inside. Either way, I had a ton of fun on all these long top roping routes. And jumping into the sauna after hours of climbing is the best way to end a workout.
Despite being crazy sore from climbing for three hours the night before, I went to spin class at Recycle Studio in the South End. The first class is only $10, which is a steal. I took the 10:15am Reboot Ride class with Erin. I liked that you get to choose your bike when you get there instead of booking a specific bike ahead of time.
The class itself reminded me a bit of SoulCycle with the pushups on the bike (i.e. using the handle bars to do pushups while cycling). Also, we started off class with lots of arm work which I didn’t expect either. There were a ton of hills and sprints as well as an arm weight section in the last 10 minutes of class. Overall, it was a very good workout and Erin was so energetic with a great playlist.
The studio itself is a little smaller than expected. There are two bathrooms and two showers in the studio as well as lockers. Also, I love that they had Malin + Goetz products in the shower.
Eating, eating, eating
I’ve been dying to try Tres Gatos for years and finally tried it! Tres Gatos is right in Jamaica Plain (JP) and is a tapas style restaurant. It’s very cozy and cute inside. It’s also attached to a small bookstore in the back.
We ate Gambas a la Brasa, Chickpea Fritters, and Brussel Sprouts. The sauces for each dish were full of flavor and spices. For dessert, we got Brown Butter Apple Turnover and Churros con Chocolate. Both were excellent.
Other places I tried in JP – The Purple Cactus for burritos (steak burrito was cheap and delicious), FoMu for vegan ice cream (I got the cookie dough ice cream) and shredded beef dish at El Oriental de Cuba.
After spin class on Saturday, I had to stop by Flour Bakery in the South End. Flour has multiple locations but back in grad school, I basically lived there doing work and eating pastries and drinking LOTS of coffee. It’s still absolutely delicious.
My friend told me about Sweet Cheeks in Fenway so we had to go there for dinner on a Saturday night. There were no reservations online but my friend called and she got us a reservation day of.
If you go, you HAVE to get the biscuits with the honey butter. Absolutely worth it even if you don’t order anything else. This made my meal. Either way, the ribs were good (maybe not the best I’ve had but still solid). Overall, good meal.
Other great places I ate during stay in Boston – the Regal Beagle in Coolidge Corner (really enjoyed those Apple Cider mimosas for brunch) and New Dong Khanh Restaurant in Chinatown (cash only but worth it for the beef pho!).
Besides eating and working out, I made time for one museum – the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum. It’s not a huge museum and you could probably get in and out within an hour and half. It’s nice but not as big as the Museum of Fine Arts down the street.
Overall, despite the weather (single digits), it was a good visit! I wish the weather was a little bit better for all the fun outdoor activities. I used to love rowing and kayaking on the Charles River.
Lastly, shoutout to my friend Beth for housing me and buying me all the snacks hahaha :))