Monday, August 15, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation :)

Charles Street sign with bilingual pun (my favorite kind)
I also appreciate the nice architectural details.
Shira's Shot, Tuesday, August 16, 2011
(I'm unable to move this shot below the older photo.)

Inside the Massachusetts State House
Shira's Shot, Monday, August 15, 2011

For the benefit of my younger readers, which is probably most of you :), the title of this post was the name of a typical first writing assignment given at the beginning of the school year in my youth in the dinosaur era. :) So here we go:

The trip there
The poor Punster, my long-suffering husband, got the honor of driving us from New York City to Waltham, Massachusetts, because (1) I'm a much less experienced driver (since he owned a car early in his single years and I never did) (2) I have no sense of direction, being perfectly capable of getting out of the NYC subway and walking two blocks in the wrong direction before I realize it (3) my formerly-broken wrists can only tolerate my death-grip on the steering wheel--see "much less experienced driver"--for about an hour before complaining, and (4) I've lately enlivened my days by having foot and leg cramps then, too, rather than just overnight--if I can go a whole 24 hours without muscle cramps, I'll be happy to give the hubster a short reprieve. In the interim, he managed to drive us all the way to the hotel without incident despite the fact that it was pouring rain throughout almost the entire trip. Bless him. I'm a very lucky gal.

Kashrut kaput, kinda
My resolve to stick to cold food when eating in non-kosher restaurants lasted all of one meal. :( I'm not disciplined enough to accept a vacation full of boring food, and have returned to type, following the typical, though not officially sanctioned, Conversative practice of simply avoiding ordering meat in non-kosher restaurants.

We finally located the one and only kosher restaurant in Boston itself that we could find online, the Milk Street Cafe, but got there an hour after closing--they're only open for lunch, until 3 PM. On the way back to the hotel, though, much to our pleasant surprise, we not only found ourselves in Brookline, apparently the local kosher-food center, but even stumbled upon Harvard Street/Avenue(?) where all the local kosher restaurants seem to be located, per the Internet, and had a delightful kebab dinner at Rami's Middle Eastern.

Maariv kaput, Minchah sometimes forgotten, but doing pretty well with Shacharit
Honestly, I'm usually too tired to do anything other than cook, eat, and prep for the following day when I get home from work. I'd rather use that 10-15 minutes to pack my gazillion nutritional supplements, floss my teeth, and set out the next day's clothes. As for Mincha, I sometimes forget it when I don't say it during my lunch hour at work. But this is the first time that I've taken my tallit, tefillin and siddur along during a vacation and actually used them.

Nu, the vacation, already?
The Massachusetts State House is gorgeous! I took a gazillion photos of that landmark and several others, and will upload when awake. I couldn't take many exterior shots of just about anything due to the aforementioned pouring raining, not to mention the wind, which literally disassembled my umbrella, leaving a heap of disconnected spokes dangling from the fabric, but I hope we'll have somewhat better weather for tomorrow's trip to the stops on the Freedom Trail that we didn't see today.

And now, "To sleep, perchance to dream . . . " ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 update
The Internet refused to cooperate until today--I couldn't publish from Internet Explorer, so the hubster was kind enough to get me unto Google Chrome. Will try to post more this evening, if awake--we're now in New Hampshire, getting ready to go hiking in Franconia Notch State Park. I grew up camping in the North Jersey mountains with my parents and siblings, so I've always been a mountain gal. Give me a walk with a waterfall and I'm happy. And talk about a room with a view, our motel room overlooks a river! Lovely.


Blogger Miami Al said...

Milk Street Cafe is a business lunch location. You entertain clients there, you get taken out there when meeting in Boston on business, etc., it's not the local establishment.

Last time I was in Brookline, there were at least a half dozen good places... Taam China was terrific... I remember going there for a friend's birthday before I kept Kosher and being impressed, but this was a long time ago.

Boston/Cambridge also has a growing number of vegan restaurants, a friend is part of a group of vegan investors setting up vegan restaurants there.

Wed Aug 17, 10:56:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Miami Al, I'm happy to report that we did manage to grab a quick snack at the Milk Street Cafe on Tuesday, minutes before closing time, when we went back to continue our walk along the Freedom Trail. Their peanut-chocolate chip cookies are scrumptious. Yum!

As for Brookline, we were looking all over for signs leading there on the way out of Boston and didn't see any. You can imagine our pleasant surprise, then, when, crossing over a bridge on Beacon Street, we suddenly found ourselves welcomed to Brookline. We were even more surprised when we found Harvard Ave. without having to stop and ask. We went back the next morning and had lunch at Cafe Eilat. That's quite a nice Jewish neighborhood, there, with kosher stores, restaurants, and two huge Judaica stores.

Hmm, if we're ever in the neighborhood at dinner time, we'll try Taam China. We drooled over it, but didn't want to eat a big fleishig meal so early in the day.

Wed Aug 17, 11:13:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you daven at any of the shuls in Brookline?
Kehillat Israel has a reputation for being one of the most traditional Conservative synagogues in the country. You would probably like it.

Wed Aug 17, 02:27:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Talia bat Pessi said...

My mom and I were in Boston in March to see Lady Gaga and Good Charlotte, and we ate at Milk Street for lunch one day. We never bothered going into Brookline. There are these great meals called La Briute that are self-heating, a little bulky and expensive but great to bring on vacations. We were just in Atlantic City and we had a suite, so we brought chicken cutlets and kugel, kashered the microwave, and heated them up.

Wed Aug 17, 10:14:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Anon., I davvenned bi-y'chidut (prayed alone), as our hotel was nowhere near any synagogue, to the best of my knowledge. We'll be home for Shabbat.

Talia, I should try some of those La Briute meals. What's your method for kashering a microwave? We put a cup of water in there and try to let it heat up until the water boils away (or the plastic cup melts, whichever comes first :) ).

Wed Aug 17, 11:47:00 PM 2011  

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