they're not in Kansas anymore.

Six days after sending Ian's family home, we trekked back to the airport to meet my family (plus Grandma, minus Nathan). For their first evening in Boston, we took them to Zaftig's, which is becoming our "thing" for visitors — the potato knish, kugel, and banana stuffed french toast are irresistible. (It's impossible to live in Brookline and not like Jewish food.)

They enjoyed the next few days via Old Town Trolley Tours while we did the work thing, then met up in the evenings for great food and neighborhood exploration. Which included a visit to the Regal Beagle for Dad's birthday dinner.

Ian took off Friday to show them around Harvard, MIT, and the MIT Museum, which Caleb and Dad found fascinating. The museum displays everything from robots to kinetic sculptures, all created at the school.

And we hit the weekend running. We wandered through the Holocaust Memorial and the Saturday market on our way to the Aquarium.


After waiting in line for 15 minutes, we bailed for the guy promoting aquarium membership — no line and Ian and I only have to go back once for it to pay off.

And we'll definitely go back. The aquarium isn't huge, but it's good. The penguins are there to meet you and then you slowly spiral up three floors of jellyfish, piranhas, sea dragons, salmon, sea turtles and a 200,000 gallon ocean tank.

sea dragons
lounging jellyfish

After the aquarium, we headed to the Barking Crab so Caleb could try lobster. It's a less touristy option for seafood and a good price, especially given how large the portions are. The relaxed crab-shack atmosphere is memorable — the lighting design is Christmas lights stuffed into crab and lobster pots hanging from the ceiling, and giant lobster claws, nets, and lobster buoys are scattered across the walls.

lunch at the barking crab

After lunch, it was off to the Mapparium at the Christian Science Center. Standing in a glowing globe circa 1935 (the Philippines was a U.S. Commonwealth) is a unique experience and relatively cheap at six bucks, but the show wasn't very informative, we didn't get to spend much time inside, AND they don't let you take photos. If you're only here a weekend, it's not a priority.

Sunday, my family experienced Reunion — our new home church, then we headed to Quincy for JnJ Turo Turo. After the Filipino restaurant fiasco in Philly, we were hoping for a win, i.e. authentic food.

And what a win it was.


Mom gave it two thumbs up for authenticity, and the pork bbq skewers alone were worth the trip. We finished our feast with halo halo — a parfait-esque dessert with shaved ice, sweet beans, fruit, gelatin and ice cream. Halo halo means mix mix, which is what you do before you eat.

mix mix the halo halo

We then ventured next door to the Filipino grocery store and picked up lots of buko juice and dried mangoes, because nothing holds a candle to Philippine brand.

On Monday while Ian went to work, I showed them around our final can't-miss Boston sights — the Public Garden and the Boston Public Library. Through October 17, BPL has an exhibit featuring vintage travel posters, which is such a romantic period of history.

away we go!
orient calls | munetsugo satomi
chicago | leslie ragan
a stern librarian

We made a pit stop at the Apple Store so Mom and Dad could learn about macs and make an informed decision on their next computer purchase (Caleb has a new Windows 7 laptop, so they're covered on the PC end).

We picked up b.good and headed to the Public Garden for lunch with a view.

in the public garden

The green line took us back to Coolidge Corner and Ten Thousand Villages. Mom and Dad were missionaries in Africa/Indonesia with the Mennonite Central Committee, which helped establish the store. They wanted to be sure and shop there before heading home.

Later that afternoon, we rode the bus to Watertown to tour the office (Caleb discovered the juggler they saw at Faneuil Hall is a Sasaki summer intern) and enjoy a final dinner together.

The week was bursting at the seams, but we had so much fun being a part of my family's first visit to Boston. And I think we have them converted — we sent Dad home with a Sox hat. Mission accomplished.