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) 🙂


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. 🙂

48 hours in New York

This past weekend, I had a great two days with my beloved family in New York.


With such a short visit together, we made the most of our time by sitting at the hotel, eating, and going on prolonged walking adventures throughout the city. Obviously. 🙂 Highlights from the days together were:

Lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s is a classic New York deli with overflowing corned beef sandwiches, top-notch pickles, and piping hot knishes. Although it hasn’t achieved the same notoriety with tourists as Carnegie Deli, it’s well known to anyone from New York and all Harry Met Sally fans (you know, the scene at the deli…).

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The place was packed but we were able to get a table and order without too much difficulty. Our feast was devoured before I remembered to take a picture, but deliciousness included corned beef sandwiches, matzo ball soup, knish, latkes, and coleslaw.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Heralded as the longest suspension bridge of its time, the Brooklyn Bridge serves as a great way to take a stroll and look over at the city. It bridges the water from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and there is certainly quite a different feel from one end to the other.

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Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien 

Breakfast during vacation with my family is always quite an operation. It’s more like brunch, or lunch actually, since it often may not happen until close to noon. But hey – maybe the anticipation makes the payoff all the better. Le Pain Quotidien is a bakery with several locations along the east coast, and their breakfast was delicious. One of our favorites was the belgian waffle with jam:

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And finally, Shake Shack

Shake Shack is a fast-growing burger, fries, and frozen custard joint along the east coast. But, don’t be fooled. This is not the burger at your typical diner. Shake Shack puts an emphasis on sustainability and community support, donating time and money towards social concerns like hunger, education, and the environment.

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Overall, a great two days spent with the greatest of company.


Grand Superior Lodge

After dinner at Betty’s, it was time to make our way to Grand Superior Lodge where we would be staying for the weekend. The lodge is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior, just a few minutes away from Two Harbors ‘central.’ The quotes are because Two Harbors is a very small town.  Here are some pics:

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They have old school decor:


Oh, and they like to keep vending machines on the outside of buildings:



Anyway…back to the lodge.


Welcome to the Love Shack, baby.


The Love Shack, like most (or all?) of the lodges within the Grand Superior Lodging Complex, was owned by a family who rents it out. The lodge felt very homey and welcoming:

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The family had lots of wall hangings and decorative pieces around the home:

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They seemed to especially like decorating with animals. There were LOTS of animals. Look at this bear peeking in the window:


It must be a baby bear since its feet don’t touch the ground:


The lodge we stayed in could sleep six if you wanted to cram. There’s a fully stocked kitchen:

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One bathroom:

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Plus an extra tub inside the master bedroom (we thought this was pretty funny):

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The main living area had a couch (with a fold out bed inside), a chair, and a fireplace:

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There was an upstairs loft area as well with a futon:

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The ceiling was slanted and very low. Note the distance between head and ceiling while sitting on the bed:


View from our window:


After getting settled in the lodge, we wanted to check out the rest of the resort property. We left the lodge by our back porch (with a grill!):


And walked down to the lake:

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We also checked out the swimming pool and hot tub in the main lodge:

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The main lodge also had a small sauna and an extremely tiny exercise room (one treadmill, one elliptical, and a few hand weights). It didn’t take long to figure out the lay of the land, so we headed back to the lodge to get ready for a trip to Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse (post coming soon about these adventures!).