the annual eye exam visit: gastronomical adventures
A few weeks ago, Ian went to Phoenix to rub elbows with other landscape architects and be part of the team accepting one of the highest awards in the profession. This happened to coincide with Dane and Micki's now annual trip trip to Boston for a yearly appointment at the Boston Foundation for Sight. He thought about skipping Phoenix, but they (Dane and Micki) wouldn't let him. So while he was schmoozing and eating In-n-Out, we enjoyed the flavors of Boston.
They arrived Saturday afternoon to overcast skies and wet pavement. After unpacking and unwinding, Micki and I took a stroll to Dorado to pick up dinner. We had our fingers crossed for some hot tortilla soup to combat the weather and Dane's cold, but with the weather waffling between two seasons, Dorado hadn't yet transitioned into their toastier soup option. But even without hot soup, you can't go wrong with Dorado, and we enjoyed football and an introduction to Breaking Bad (which I've concluded is too depressing for me to continue watching) over baja street food.
Sunday morning we slept in before grabbing breakfast at Pavement and heading to [REUNION]. Dane jumped right in after the gathering, helping out with the tear down crew (just think Dane, if you moved here, you could do that whenever you want!). Our next stop of the day was SoWa Market. Micki and I's visit two years ago was short thanks to getting lost on the T, and she wanted a redo. Also, over the past two years SoWa has blossomed as a food truck hot spot, which was a great pitch for Dane.
It was another soggy day, but not enough for a rain-out concern. But when we arrived at the SoWa parking lot, all of the food trucks were missing. We started asking arts and crafts vendors, who directed us to the farmer's market on the other side of the building (containing the vintage market), who directed us down the street to the Trolley Building. Success. Dane and Micki went straight for Lobsta Love, while I got in line for a green muenster at Roxy's (where I also impressed the order taker with my abbreviation of the day's drink as "blackberry etc. lemonade").
After lunch, Dane headed home to watch more football and make tortilla soup for dinner, while Micki and I got our shop on. We buzzed through the farmers, vintage, and open markets. We didn't end up actually purchasing anything, but we had lots of fun looking (particularly at things like shiny red boxing shorts next to a 1950s milkshake machine and a ceramic black and white poodle lamp). We also meandered in and out of shops on Newbury as we slowly made our way home to delicious soup and more Breaking Bad.
Monday after work and an eye doctors visit (everything continues to look good, pun intended) and new lens, we met up at Sweet Cheeks. (Now serving biscuits at lunch and to go, which is both delightful and dangerous.) We stuffed ourselves on biscuits, mac and cheese, and straight up good barbecue while I told them about my Julia Stiles sighting and they caught me up on Micki's appointment.
Ian arrived home in the wee hours Tuesday morning, and took the day off to spend it with them. They picked me up at work in time for our dinner reservation at Lumière. It's not cheap. It's not on public transportation. But it is committed to inventive and high quality local food, and boy does it deliver. We even got an extra dessert as an apology after a snafu with one of the desserts we originally ordered off the prix fixe menu. Most surprising dish? Concord grape sorbet with sweet cream sauce, candied peanuts, and peanut butter cookies. I didn't get that was a riff on pb&j until I had a bite.
Wednesday morning, we bid them safe travels with promises to video chat soon. And as I reflected on their weekend in Boston, I thought how interesting it is that family and food go hand in hand. There is something comforting about sitting around a table and sharing a meal, whether it's take out, homemade soup, or a three course meal. It brings people together. Makes them closer. In community group recently, we discussed Acts 2's compelling picture of the early church — full of love, support, selflessness, joy, and shared meals. It's no accident that a paragraph on true community mentions food three times.
In a culture of constant motion, I'm so thankful for time with family, laughing over dinner. And as we continue to build our community here in Boston, we will be sure to make space around the dinner table for our friends and neighbors.