Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend in Cambridge and Justus and Kelly's Wedding

This weekend, Seth and I had a special adventure. We traveled out east to Cambridge (Massachusetts) for Justus and Kelly's wedding! Seth and Justus were good friends and roommates in college and Seth was in the wedding party.

We drove out Saturday afternoon to Seth's friend, Patrick's apartment. Though I have seen Patrick in Cambridge before, I had never been to his apartment, which was quite nice. It was lovely of him to let us stay for two nights.

After we arrived in Cambridge and got situated, Seth headed out to the rehearsal and following dinner. Patrick, ever so kindly, agreed to take me on a tour of his local area and for some supper.

I have to admit, I am not a city person in general. I do like the opportunities of cities, but couldn't ever imagine living in one. Just as people who live in the cities often cannot imagine living in the suburbs. That being said, being able to walk everywhere is very, very cool. It combines efficiency and exercise, probably my two favorite things.

We were able to walk to a restaurant located in Technology Square called Area Four. There I had a super delicious and innovative pizza with spring onion sauce, mozzarella, arugula, asparagus, and peas.

After dinner, we went on a walking tour of MIT, a campus I always find fascinating with its eclectic architecture and aura of genius. We passed the famous Media Lab where e-ink and Guitar Hero were created. We also saw the Stata Building, designed by world-famous architect Frank O. Gehry.

I also, for the first time, got to walk along the Charles River. It was fun viewing these landmarks.

Sunday, Seth and I had plans for a walk into Boston. Our planned location was Niketown on Newbury Street in Boston. I wanted to check out the new Nike+ Training shoes, which track the intensity of cross training. Seth wanted to check out the Nike+ Fuelband, which tracks your activity throughout the day to motivate you to do more.

The walk to Boston and Newbury Street from where we were in Cambridge was around 2.5 miles. We started by walking through MIT. We saw an entertaining sculpture.

We then crossed the Harvard Bridge over the Charles River. The day was sunny and warm but there was a nice breeze.

There is an extra entertaining thing about the Harvard Bridge. As part of a prank, in 1958 a group of fraternity members measured the bridge using a pledge with the last name of Smoot. The smoot is now a non-standard unit of measure -- 5' 7" or the height of Mr. Smoot.

We arrived at Newbury Street around 11:30, before Niketown was scheduled to open. I was a bit thirsty from the sun and also, unfortunately, sunburned due to my lack of preparation. I had neglected to bring sunscreen. 

We stopped in a cute looking place called L'Aroma Cafe where we got a yummy pina colada smoothie. L'Aroma looked to have its own tea blends, almost exclusively black tea.

We window shopped and then saw a Lush store. Lush, as many of you know, if one of my favorite stores. It sells fresh handmade cosmetics, mostly for bath and shower. We stopped in and I picked up a fresh face mask, some soap, and a bucket of shower scrub. Excellent!

We then continued back to Niketown, now open. I have to say the store was giant with a selection of goods I have not seen anywhere else, but it was also hard to navigate. In a neat note, the store was very much Boston Marathon themed -- both Seth and I liked how the store was designed around its location. 

After walking around, a sales associate helped us to try on the shoes we were looking for, the Nike Lunar Hyperworkout+. These are the shoes with the sensors for Nike+ Training. They are quite fancy looking.

I usually wear a size 6.5, but in Nikes, I find I need to size up half a size to a seven. I tried on the Nike Lunars in both a 6.5 and 7 and realized right away that shoes were not right for me. The 6.5 fit properly length wise but was way to tight in the toe box -- it felt narrow throughout. I also found the soles of the shoes to be very rigid. I think that this is probably fine for lots of people, but I like my shoes as flexible and minimalist as possible when I train. I find that this helps my feet roll properly through jumps, which I think is easier on the feet and legs.

I was sad that the Nikes didn't work as that means I cannot try the fancy new Nike+ Training technology. Fortunately, we had much more luck with the Nike Fuelband. Seth and I had done a lot of research about the Nike Fuelband, as it's not a cheap purchase. 

Seth has been doing an amazing job getting more healthy and fit while losing weight. He has completed his 5K program and went from not running at all to being able to run over 3 miles and feel great. I am so proud of him. 

Because of his great success losing weight with increased exercise, the Fuelband seemed an ideal purchase. The band uses a set of three accelorameters to track activity (converted into proprietary Nike Fuel points), steps, and calories burned. It's a great way to see how much activity your're getting and set goals to increase overall activity. The band is designed to be used as a tool to motivate you, kind of like FitBit. As a bonus it's also a watch and kind of cool looking.

Purchasing done, we were ready for some lunch. We walked along Newbury Street until we came to a restaurant called, Piattini. It had reasonable prices and a nice outdoor eating area. Seth and I got some tasty paninis, eggplant parm for Seth and mushrooms with red peppers and onions for me.

After our slightly later lunch, we headed back to Cambridge and arrived at around 3:00, just in time to get ready for the wedding. It soon became evident that I had an unpleasant sunburn in the shape of the v-neck t-shirt I wore for our walk. This proved not very flattering with my strapless J. Crew dress. Fortunately, I had the lace shawl that my co-worker, Julia, knit for our wedding. Perfect cover up!

Seth and I walked another mile and hopped on the T, headed for the wedding ceremony location, the Museum of Modern Renaissance in Sommerville.

It was truly a unique location. We hung around for a while waiting for the ceremony to get started. The gentlemen seemed to be having a fun time. Here's Seth, Justus, and David.

The ceremony was wonderfully unique and personal. Afterwards, I hung out waiting for the wedding party, since basically everyone I knew (Seth, David, et cetera) was in the wedding. David's wife, H, took pictures inside the museum. I'm looking forward to seeing them when they get posted online. 

We then headed over to Saloon, located in nearby Davis Square. It was such a super cool place! It's a bar attached to a improv theater. It was dark inside and I was unable to take pictures, but here are a couple from the Saloon website to give you the idea. 

 The place had the most amazing food. We snacked on melon and caprese salad before a buffet dinner featuring eggplant parm, stuffed sole, and a meat station with beef and an entire pig. There were cupcakes for dessert -- mind was cookie dough.

 We enjoyed dinner and hung around for a fun time dancing before heading back to Cambridge to collapse in exhaustion.

Now we're back in Amherst and resting up from our fun weekend. Whew, what  great trip!

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