San Diego: Food, Fun, and Fauna

Continuing the recap of my San Diego trip with family in August, I would say there were three primary highlights of the trip.

1. Food (obviously)

Food was delicious and also provided lots of good table time sitting around and talking about the days. My favorites were True Food Kitchen (a natural food cafe with great juices):

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Breakfast at Cody’s La Jolla:


…Cody’s also had a dog menu!!


And all meals eaten on the back patio of the house facing the beach:


When we were at Cody’s La Jolla, a woman sitting near our table commented to us that she was impressed that no one had their phones out during the meal…good job quality family time!

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2. Fun!

Fun defined as activities out and about but primarily biking

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Papa Bear in action:


We took a couple breaks during our rides to check out the water and views (clearly my parents have a thing for wearing college apparel):



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3. Fauna

So fauna might not be the most appropriate word, but it was an alliteration. We went to the zoo – an establishment I have had a great affection for since childhood.


This was the best day. We were at the zoo for a loooong time – 6 hours maybe? But it is huge! And amazing! And has pandas!

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Good times on the gondola:

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Last but not least, it’s always a treat to enjoy the eccentricities of family. 

Samuel with homemade sun protection:


Classic Dad explanation mode:


And…unfortunately I don’t have enough photos to document it, but the number one most exciting thing to happen was…meeting a new family member! I hadn’t yet met my gorgeous and lovely baby (although not quite a baby anymore!) cousin. We only had a brief visit, but it was great to spend a little time together! (the light in the picture isn’t great, but you get the idea) :)


When do I blog?!…and family trip to San Diego

Wow – I have seriously missed blogging! The blog has definitely become a creative outlet for me over the past few years. Unfortunately, I’m back in school full time (and a half) and my life feels crazy. I wake up, I read. Day happens, I read. It’s time for bed, I keep reading and then am way too tired the next morning. Something’s gotta give…but right now I am waiting for this recipe to finish cooking in the oven as I prepare for some guests that Noah and I are having over for Shabbat dinner tonight. I’m sitting here trying to do work but thinking, “oh my gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post and that makes me sad!”

So…here goes! Throwback to AUGUST when I saw my wonderful FAMILY in sunny SAN DIEGO.


I love my little bro so so so so much. In fact, besides grad school and a new city and Noah’s job, he is one of the reasons I was excited to move to Massachusetts because he also goes to school here! Unfortunately for me and very fun-ly (not a word, I know) for him, he is London this term so we won’t be reunited on this side of the pond until next semester.

As for San Diego…we spent a lovely 10 days next to the beach enjoying food, sunshine, bike rides, long afternoons of reading, and the occasional trip in the car. We stayed in a condo with a full kitchen, so one of the first matters of business was stocking up on food. Check out this crazy cart escalator at the grocery store:

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There was much disagreement about how much food to get (I’m sorry, parents! You can do whatever you want next time. <3), but everything worked out great in the end.

The condo itself was gorgeous – lots of space with a great view directly onto the beach volleyball courts (oh, how California!) and the beach:

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One of the highlights of the trip was going to the Puzzalarium:


The Puzzalarium is an “escape the room” place (they’re springing up all over the place now!). Basically, you and a group of people (hopefully your family and close friends) get locked in a room. Using only clues that you uncover within the room, you need to “escape” within an hour. If you don’t solve all the clues by the end of the hour, you lose. But don’t worry, they still let you out.

The Puzzalarium was so much fun! So fun, in fact, that Noah and I are planning to go to another “escape the room” place in Boston with some friends next week. Unfortunately, we missed the hour cut off at the Puzzalarium by about 35 seconds. I blame myself. But I’m over it now. In brighter news, we had some good times taking photos in the waiting area:


I will hopefully have another post about San Diego coming soon, but in the interim I’ll close by saying a highlight of the trip for me was hanging out with my forever baby bro. It was so fun to go on a trip with him where we were able to spend so much time talking and goofing together. :)


Car Shows and Furniture Hunting

As I’m getting increasingly settled in Boston, I’m trying to find balance between fun playtime activities and all the logistical stuff that needs to get taken care of after a move. Lucky for me, a lot of the logistics stuff has turned out to be pretty fun too.

To start…a trip to a car show! No, this was in no way part of moving logistics since I am not in the market for an extremely expensive classic car. But it was fun! Throughout the summer, the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline has been hosting car shows. Each week, there is a different theme and cars are displayed on the museum’s lawn. Noah likes cars and I like it when he tells me things about cars, so we went to an Italian car show there!


There sure were a lot of cars! There was a whole section of Ferraris that seemed to be getting a lot of attention…

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I recognized the name of this car right away from doing crosswords…


I was interested in the crazy door action on this car, but Noah said he prefers a more classic look:

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There were a lot of Fiats at the show as well, but this one caught our eye in particular:


This car was built for Gianni Agnelli, the chairman of Fiat. The car was designed because Agnelli wanted a car that he could carry aboard his yacht, so he needed something small, light, and that could be easier lowered off the boat and used for transportation on land. This car – a Fiat Jolly – was the result, and less than 400 were made between 1958 and 1969! They were sold only briefly in the U.S., so they are very rare here. Check out the inside!:


We also went furniture shopping! This was, obviously, a matter of necessity (#no furniture #movingin5days), but it ended up being a lot of fun. :) We went to two stores (so far), but we’re planning on going to at least a couple more places before making a decision. For this shopping excursion, we ventured out to Natick because there were two big furniture places we wanted to check out there: Bob’s and Jordan’s.

We went to Bob’s first and spent about an hour sitting on various couches and asking sales people information about delivery, fees, etc.


Bob’s had some stuff I really liked (especially this extra wide chair that was soooo comfortable)…


…but there was also some stuff that was pretty gaudy. Leather couches with cupholders? No, thank you.

Jordan’s, however, was quite the experience. First of all, the store is on top of a big hill that seems to overlook the rest of the town, so even when we were at Bob’s, Jordan’s was literally looming over us. When we made our way up the hill to go to the store, even the outside was way beyond expectation. It kept going…


and going….


and going….


Noah said it best, “This is the Taj Mahal of furniture stores.”

Inside, there were more surprises:

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What is that?!?! 

It seems as though the inside of this Jordan’s has a New Orleans theme. And an IMAX Theater. And an escalator where paintings of paparazzi “take” your picture (complete with camera flashes and shouting). No big deal.

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After the initial shock of our surroundings, we looked around at furniture. That endeavor, however, proved to be no less overstimulating.

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Wow – what a store. The search for furniture continues, but I think it’s pretty likely we’re going to return to Jordan’s furniture warehouse (cheaper priced furniture) for a couch. Stay tuned!

Celebration of love – 60 years strong!

This weekend was a special occasion…Noah’s grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! We were lucky enough to get to go to Vermont to celebrate the day with them. And it was a celebration indeed! The festivities focused around a wonderful dinner.

The main event was a grilled trout that was stuffed with herbs and scallions and marinated for about an hour (we speculated that longer marination might have resulted in an even stronger flavor):


The fish was a bit startling to look at – (EYEBALLS!) – but the yummy smells got going as soon as the fish was cooking. Getting the fish on the grill required a somewhat involved process of moving the fish from the pan to the grill without letting all the herbs and such from the inside spill out:

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Meanwhile, the indoor preparations were also underway: setting the table, preparing a cucumber/radish/yogurt dressing side dish, and cooking a “salad” of sauteed peppers and green beans over lettuce:

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Soon enough, the fish was done!


Everything was delicious, and it was really nice to see three generations of the family there!

The happy family – 60 years strong!


Plus, there was lemon cake with passionfruit filling for dessert so…who could ever complain? :)



<3 <3 <3

Boston Highs and Lows

I’ve been in Boston nearly three weeks now, and – my – what a whirlwind it’s been. Here are some of the highs and lows…

High – finding an apartment!

After a relatively painless few days of apartment searching, Noah and I have our own place! We’re moving September 1. Yay!!! (side note: photo below is to trick you and is actually not of the apartment we’re moving to…)


Low – stolen bike :(

My beloved bicycle was stolen while it was locked to a bike rack and I was at dinner. Major bummer…but in optimistic spirits, this can become a high…

High – a new bike!


I got a new, beautiful, Trek FX Disc 7.2. I love it. :)

High – exploring the city with Noah!


One of the highlights of our explorations so far has been an architecture cruise on the Charles River with the Charles Riverboat Company. The cruise lasted about 90 minutes, and we got a Groupon deal for it so it was pretty cheap! We went up and down the Charles, getting some great views of the city skyline, learning about the prominent buildings and history of the city.

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High – a visit to Martha’s Vineyard 

We spent a lovely 5 days on Martha’s Vineyard with Noah’s family, and it was the perfect relaxing vacation – lots of reading, game playing, bike riding, and delicious fresh fish!

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Low – sleeping in too late!

I’ve been enjoying my lazy schedule a little too much and have been sleeping in! This has, unfortunately, meant that I haven’t been getting up in time to go to the November Project with the full group. I have, however, still been going to the Harvard Stadium once a week to run the steps on my own – my time has gradually been improving!


High – learning the little things

One of the most fun things about moving to a new city is learning the little personality traits of the place. I’ve really enjoyed learning little things about Boston and its eccentricities. For example, we’ve seen some of these solar-powered Soofa benches that have been installed throughout Cambridge recently. The benches have hook-ups for you to charge your phone while you’re out around town!


Here’s to many more “highs” during my Boston years. :)

Visitors are the BEST

My much-alluded to 5 weeks in California this summer were hot, wonderful, and in the business of happiness. Unfortunately, however, they were not spent with my best bud…BUT he came to visit!

(picture taken at Noah’s Bagels in LA)

Noah visited for a weekend, and we spent Shabbat at camp and then took Sunday to go out on the [heavily-trafficked-and-sprawling] town [of Los Angeles].

Happy day.


The day started with a momentous occasion…the renting of my first rental car!


First stop was The Grove, an outdoor shopping center/food market in LA with a fun downtown-y feel.


We enjoyed some time walking around the stores and stalls, looking at the various treasures:

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Eventually, it was time to get down to business with the food, so we went to the Farmers Market area:


The Farmers Market is basically a large collection of restaurants, food shops, and specialty stores. After looking around for a little while, I got a vegetable crepe with cheese from the Crepe Company:

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After The Grove, we drove to Santa Monica for some beach-walking and more window shopping.

California sunshine:


The beach was crowded! And there appeared to be some sort of anti-war installation:

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Overall, a great visit and day out and about. :)

Closing a Chapter

It’s now been almost two months since returning from my year in Jerusalem, but it doesn’t feel as though I’ve really ended that chapter yet. This may be due, in part, to the fact that I was only in Boston for one week before heading to California for 5 weeks and then coming back to Boston only recently. Since I haven’t really felt settled anywhere else and I haven’t had much time to make a new “home,” I feel like I need a little closure (I’m thinking of Friends now, for anyone who gets the reference).

As a step along the way, here are some memories and pictures that I didn’t get a chance to blog about during the year…

On one of our Friday adventures, Noah and I visited the Bible Lands Museum (across from the Israel Museum) where we learned a lot about archaeology and the connections between archaeological finds and the historic time period of the Bible…


on our way home, we walked through the Wohl Rose Garden – flowers weren’t really sprouting yet, but we still got some great views looking out on the city!

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I passed this little piece of ‘graffiti’ everyday on my walk from home to Pardes – always a good reminder in the morning. :)


Secret from my past: I used to be a total RENT-head, and I’ve seen the show 17 times. <3 As fate would have it, dreams were realized when an amateur production of RENT happened in the holy city last spring, making it my 18th showing and Noah’s first!


My excitement before the show was immense, and I made Noah this nifty chart to help him learn the characters beforehand:


In our final weeks in Jerusalem, Noah and I wanted to go back to the Old City to do some last-minute touring and also to take advantage of being only a 30 minute walk from so many amazing/holy/important/fascinating places. On our last trip to the Old City, we visited the Hurva Synagogue, a historic synagogue in the Jewish Quarter that is still used for worship and study today:

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For our last Israeli meal, we went to a lunch restaurant in the shuk that we’d wanted to try for a while. The restaurant is called Azura, and it’s a meat restaurant serving various types of traditional Middle-Eastern meat dishes and a killer hummus:

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And there you go…final moments from a year to remember. 

אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני – if I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget.
Psalms 137:5