Megan survived Hurricane Earl.

megan and anna in the public garden

We had a lovely Labor Day weekend with our good friend Megan, who flew in Thursday evening. After a (hopefully) restful night on our air mattress, we sent her off into the city to explore while we worked. Then, true to our new tradition, we brought her to Zaftigs to indulge in the essence of Brookline (i.e. tasty Jewish food).

We slept through (wimpy) Hurricane Earl and woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning. So much for our first hurricane. After lounging around, we headed to Orinoco for lunch. It's a great way to avoid the dinner crowds, and their corn pocket sandwiches and traditional empanadas make a delicious light meal.

From there, we took the green line to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. We'd heard it is a can't-miss museum in Boston, and Megan was the perfect excuse to visit. At $12 a ticket, it's much cheaper (albeit smaller) than the MFA, and offers a decidedly unique experience.

an unassuming building

In Ms. Gardner's will, she stipulated the museum not change, so every item is exactly where she placed it. It's next to impossible to decipher how she organized her collection, leading to the conclusion that either a) she was an eccentric rich lady who always got her way, or b) she was intelligent in a way we can't understand.

The seemingly illogical nature of the rooms was a little distracting at times, and it was strange to see bits of art cemented into place instead of painstakingly preserved as they would be today. But the art is pretty incredible. John Singer Sargent's El Jaleo (1882) hangs at the end of a long hall — a captivating image that draws you in. And the ethereal Lady in Yellow (1888) by Thomas Wilmer Dewing is among my favorites.

assessing the entrance

That night, we attended Micah and Marianna's football + Chick-fil-a party. I didn't take photos and they did such a great job recapping, I'll defer to them. Suffice to say, it was a taste of home shared with great company, and our mint chocolate chip shakes were a hit!

After Reunion on Sunday, we headed to Cambridge for an afternoon of wandering.

megan and anna at harvard
bike at memorial hall
tanner fountain in reflection

After a couple hours exploring Harvard, we headed to Coolidge Corner and met Ryan and Tyra to catch The American. I would like to warn you this film is not a thriller or an action movie. But because it was billed as such, we were all sorely disappointed. And because of the "thriller" label, we assumed the R-rating came from violence. Not so. It was the other kind of R-rated. Why do films/literature insist on being so explicit? Why is this considered "mature" and "serious art?" What is not shown can communicate just as powerfully (Alfred Hitchcock) and takes more talent. A moving story is buried in this slow-as-molasses film, but it's not worth the digging.

Monday morning we headed downtown on a fastforward of our standard Boston tour.

ian enjoying the park
megan and her cannoli from mike's
an urban prairie

It was with heavy hearts we said goodbye Tuesday morning. Megan — it was so good to have you, and we're so thankful for your friendship. Come back soon!