Apple Picking 2015


Yesterday was quite possibly the most beautiful day of the week. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was in the high 60s, low 70s. Since David and I both had the day off, and didn’t need to work on the garage, we decided to spend the afternoon apple picking. After a short search, we decided on Lanni Orchards in Lunenburg. There was a fall festival going on, but luckily the crowds weren’t crazy.

When we arrived, we picked out our bag and got to picking. At Lanni Orchards, they don’t charge by the peck; they charge by the pound ($.99 per pound). There was a large pumpkin patch to pick from, as well as some remnants of blueberry/raspberry/blackberry picking. We hightailed it to the apple trees though.

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The apples on the trees were absolutely ginormous. I don’t remember the picking being so good. I don’t know if we just went earlier than normal, or if the weather allowed for ample growth, but either way we made out like bandits. We picked out Golden Delicious, Macouns, and Macintosh. I’ve already bookmarked an apple crisp recipe, and I can’t wait to make it.

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We also had a lot of fun taking pictures. :-)

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Such a great day spent with David. After we picked, we just decided to keep driving, and we ended up in New Hampshire for the afternoon. The day concluded with buying new running sneakers and enjoying a steak dinner while watching “House of Cards.”

Lanni Orchards is located at 294 Chase Road in Lunenburg, MA.

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Visiting the Wang Theatre

Earlier this month, the Greater Boston Concierge Association was treated to an amazing meeting at the Wang Theatre, to highlight their upcoming season. The shows being featured for this season include (but are not limited to): Riverdance, Elf: The Musical, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Once, and Rain: A Beatles Tribute. The Citi Performing Arts Center comprises of the Wang Theatre and the Shubert Theatre, both on Tremont Street in the Theatre District, and the Colonial Theatre on Boylston Street.

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The grandiose of the theatre really captures you as you walk in the doors. The chandeliers sparkle, and you’re tempted to walk up and down the stairs pretending that you’re entering in to a grand ball. (No? Just me?)

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After the meeting we were treated to a tour of the theatre. It started in the dressing rooms, moved its way down the back hallway, which was graced with signatures from past shows. (Most notable: Ron White, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld, and the Dalai Lama), and ended in the best spot possible: the stage!

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It was such an awesome feeling being up on that stage. As a theatre buff, and past theatre performer, it was like heaven. I would love to be able to get back in to theatre. Time will tell if I ever get that chance! :-)

What’s the best tour you have ever been on?

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When it comes to pastries and gelato, I develop a weakness. Well, probably more for pastries than anything else. There’s nothing like a flaky crust enveloped around a delicious fruit filling. So when the G(reater) B(oston) C(oncierge) A(ssociation) put out an invitation to try a bakery and gelato spot on Newbury Street, I jumped at the chance.

Amorino is located at 249 Newbury Street in the Back Bay. It opened in March of this year and has since become the hot spot for their Italian gelato. It’s Italian style but made in France. From their breakfast menu, which they started a month ago, I opted for the apple turnover. The crust was flaky and buttery with an applesauce-y type filling. It would have been better with chunks of apple, but it was incredibly tasty. They also have waffles and crepes on their menu. For a beverage I had the latte macchiato which is a dose of Italian espresso served over hot milk. It was so rich and smooth and didn’t need sugar at all.

I was also completely enamored with the interior. It had the rustic modern feel that I love, with its exposed beams and romantic-style chandeliers.

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When I was done with the breakfast items, I moved on to sample some of their flavors of gelato. The most memorable were the pistachio, coconut, mango (sherbet), and basic vanilla. The coconut had shreds of coconut in it, and the vanilla was the perfect flavor of vanilla bean. They come in 4 cup sizes and 3 cone sizes, and they’re famous for the flower shape that they create with the gelato on a cone. Apparently it’s a Korean flower, and the owner made mention that about 80% of their clientele is Asian, just for that reason!

The shop is open daily from 7:30AM to 11PM, and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the Back Bay area!

The items at Amorino were complimentary, but the opinions are 100% my own.

Click to add a blog post for Amorino on Zomato

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Too Busy

Can I breathe yet??

It has been such a crazy time these past few weeks. The second to last weekend in July, David and I went on a road trip to Canada and Ohio. I still haven’t had time to sit down and write everything up! But here are a couple of my favorite pictures:

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Toronto was to visit his aunt and Ohio was…within a reasonable driving distance. ;-) Hopefully I can get some time to share all of the pictures I took and tell you about the trip.

Right now I’m just trying to breathe and relax. Within the last 6 months we’ve lost two people at the desk and one is down to part time. I’m essentially the only real “full time” concierge, and that’s translated into long hours and long weeks. Thankfully I’m not completely drained by it because I love my job, and I’m more than happy to help out when I can. And once we hire some new people, I’ll be number three in the roster! I’ve never risen up so far and so fast at any desk. And once I’m eligible, the hotel is sponsoring me to go for my Les Clefs d’Or. I just have a couple more months until I can apply, but now I’m get all my paper work lined up to start the application process.

Otherwise, life has been good for myself and David. We just received word that the town is allowing us a special permit to be able to build a new garage on our property. (Because we have no road frontage, any new construction/foundation has to go through the board of appeals.) Last weekend was busy, busy as we attended a Red Sox game on Friday night (they won!) and spent an afternoon in Providence with my mom’s side of the family on Saturday. Sunday was a 12 hour shift at the hotel. It was busy in the afternoon but the evening quieted down a bit.



I love the fact that today and tomorrow I have nothing on my schedule. Next week will be 6 days of work, with one day of hanging out with my mom at her company’s work outing. I expect the week after to be the same (on the work front), but I’ve been assured that they’re working diligently to find replacements. It’s a BUSY desk to work at so they have to find the right fit.

Running has taken a bit of a back seat, but I do have a training schedule planned out for my next 10K in October (the Tufts 10K). It’s an intermediate plan that has more running days so I’m hoping it works well with my schedule.

I guess that’s all the updates I have so far! I hope to “talk” to you guys more on the regular, but things may stay crazy up until October.

How has your summer been so far?

Posted in 2015, Boston, Concierge, Family, Job, Life | Leave a comment

Starting from Scratch

As of last Friday, my Jogging Concierge self hosted website is gone. I did a transfer of my files (or so I thought) on Friday afternoon, but not everything transferred over. I’m missing posts from April 2014 to February 2015, and a lot of my pages are “temporarily unavailable”.

I’ve been wondering if it’s worth it to try and salvage what I may have lost, but in the end, I just don’t know if it’s entirely worth it. As much as I love re-reading what I’ve written, I feel like things in my life are so different than when I started. Ah who am I kidding, of course they’re different! So over the next few days (weeks, months?) I’ll be deleting my old posts, all broken links and broken pictures.

I still enjoy writing, but I think I have to cut my losses and start anew…still as the Jogging Concierge of course. I have to copyright that name. ;-)

Posted in 2015, Alaina, Blog | Leave a comment

My July 4th Weekend

This past weekend, I was able to spend the 4th of July holiday in Boston. Unfortunately it was because I was working aaaall weekend. I arrived at 2pm on Friday…

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…and didn’t end up leaving until Sunday at 3:30pm. Even though the weekend was absolutely crazy, it was really a lot of fun, and the time just flew by. It was busy Friday night with transient guests wanting information on the Harborfest and restaurants to dine at. Saturday was spent selling trolley tickets and informing guests where the best spot to watch the fireworks was. It helped that I was able to work with this goof ball in the morning too.


Mario for president! :-P


We were festive by giving flags and blue Hershey kisses out to guests. Even though the day was non-stop everyone was just in a good mood, and I had no problem repeating myself on where to watch the fireworks. I felt bad though because I was telling people to go on the Mass Ave or Longfellow bridges to see the fireworks but it turns out they were closed this year! I understand with the Longfellow construction but I was confused about Mass Ave. Apparently it was because they were shooting fireworks off from there!


After my 14 hour shift was over, I hightailed it up to my parents room since they were staying here for their anniversary. We enjoyed some champagne and the fireworks. My mom uttered “this is so freakin’ cool” at least 10 times throughout the 20 minute show. It was amazing.

Check out my Instagram (@jogconcierge) to see the video I took from the hotel room! I was enthralled, and we all felt like little kids.

On Sunday after I got out, I immediately called David to ask if he could pick up some Harpoon Summer for me. I was craving a beer like it was nobody’s business. And for dinner we had ribeyes on the cast iron skillet.


The house got smoky but the steaks were delicious! They barely needed a knife, and even though they were a bit overcooked, they were still moist *cringe* and perfectly seasoned (Montreal seasoning).

And after one beer and dinner, I passed out. I pretty much slept from 8PM to 8AM, and it felt glorious. I still have a couple of days of work before my 2 days off, and I’ll be working 6 days next week to cover someone’s vacation. Thankfully my vacation is coming up right after that! David and I are road-tripping; hoping to hit Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

How was your 4th of July weekend??

Posted in Boston, Dinner, Holidays, Hotel, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago today, my beloved Grandmama, Laureanne, passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was only 70 years old. I can honestly say that not a day goes by where I don’t think about her. She was such a wonderful grandmother to her 6 grandchildren. She loved her oldest grandchild (21 years) with the same intensity that she loved her youngest (11 months). I remember fondly the holidays and celebrations in their house in Bangor, ME and the summer weeks spent on Moulton Pond in Dedham, ME.

Myself and Grandmama at my high school graduation in 2002


Grandmama and Grandpapa visiting me in college in 2003/2004


Goofing around at my cousin Aimee’s high school graduation in 2004


My last photo of Grandmama at my cousin Mae’s christening in 2004


I’ll always have the memories of eating her delicious “food…good food”. Or when she would stock pile ice cream and cake cones at their cottage for me and my cousins to enjoy. Some of my favorite meals were her lasagna and ground beef over mashed potatoes (beef scallop? Is that right Mom?). But nothing stands out more to me than when she would set up breakfast with everything you could possibly imagine (cereal, bagels, fruit, pastries, OJ, yogurt, etc…) It’s no lie to say that I always ate extremely well when we visited.

Holidays, especially Christmas, were always the best. They had the fullest tree, set up in the living room next to the baby grand piano. They would illuminate orange candles in their windows, and even though they may be out of fashion now, I would love to put them up during the holidays (if nothing more than for nostalgia). At Easter, they would present us with carefully crafted baskets filled with chocolate and stuffed animals. And at every holiday, as a family, we would all walk to church; a community in which my grandmother was a beloved member. She had such a boisterous singing voice that I can still hear today. I can smell her too. And she always gave the best hugs.

I could, quite honestly, write an epic essay on how much I love and miss my dear Grandmama. She was one of a kind, and I am so grateful to have these wonderful memories that I get to recall anytime I want. My family and I still tell fond stories about her, and we laugh and smile. I’m sure we’re all thinking of her on this day, as we do every day. She is constantly with us, looking over us, and watching out for us.

Je t’aime Grandmama.

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2015 BAA 10K

This past Sunday I ran the 5th annual B.A.A. 10K in Boston. This was also my 5th time running and despite the fact that it was one of my slower times, it was one of the most enjoyable. The day certainly didn’t start that way since it poured and poured. It was buckets out there. The walk from the hotel to the start was mostly steady ran and just before we got to the Common, it was pouring buckets. Did I mention it was raining? My parents were on the fence about running but I rationalized that I was already wet, and I paid a lot of money for this race. I wasn’t about to let my 5th race be in jeopardy because of some rain.

Did I mention it was pouring?

You know when it wasn’t raining though? While we were running. After about a mile or so, my body felt normal because the rain made it feel like I had been sweating. I had some road blocks at the beginning: my shoe came untied 100 yards in to the run and at about a half mile I had to use the port-o-potty. After that though my pace was fairly consistent. I slowed down at a few of the water stops but I powered through the hills up Commonwealth Avenue and back down again. This was the first BAA race that I actually had gas in the tank after the 4 mile marker.


Time: 1:06:09
Pace: 10:40
Division: 412 / 603
Gender: 2291 / 3235
Overall: 4695 / 5960

The only thing I can’t seem to wrap my head around is how well I ran that last 5 miles of mine (9:05 pace) in training and how I couldn’t manage to pull that off at this race. I felt great the whole time and was even picking up the pace towards the end. Makes me wonder if I miscalculated my 5 miles or maybe the rain slowed me down?

Either way, despite the fact that I was happy with the race, a small part of me is still grasping for that PR. I’m starting to incorporate shorter, faster runs in to my training. Just this morning I ran 2 miles at an 8:52 pace! My next 10K is the Tufts race in October and we shall see what I can accomplish! I keep saying that time and time again but I truly want to master my fuel and my training.

Posted in Boston, Races, Running | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments