Moving Up

Today is such a bittersweet day as it’s my last here at the concierge desk of the hotel. If we’re friends on Facebook or you follow me on Instagram you may already know: I got a promotion at work!

Starting next Monday I’ll be the new Executive Assistant to the General Manager at the hotel (every time I say that I think of Assistant to the Traveling Secretary). It’s a huge step up for me, and even though I still had to go through the interview process, it was extremely flattering that the GM asked about me personally.

Of course now this means a whole new wardrobe! I even gave away some of my office wear a few months ago since I thought I’d be living in uniforms. Luckily I was able to find two beautiful Calvin Klein suits at Burlington Coat Factory for only $60 each (retail price of $280!).

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I also have some gift cards to Old Navy and TJ Maxx so I can at least get a good rotating selection of tops. It’ll be a work in progress for sure.

I guess the big question now is: what should my blog name be?? I’m not technically a concierge anymore, although the “Jogging Concierge” does still have a nice ring to it. I hope to still be active in Boston and surrounding areas, but we’ll see if I feel like changing things up in terms of name and identity.

And on another (singing) note, this past weekend I sang alongside my mom and other lovely ladies of Stardust Chorus to sing at the Algonquin Club in Back Bay. It was such an amazing experience, and I’ve forgotten how much I love singing in a group. We’ll have to see if it parlays into something I do on the regular. And it’s always fun to be able to play dress up:

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So those are the updates in my life! Oh, and on the garage front:

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We have electricity! Such a lovely thing. 🙂

What’s new in your life??

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2016 BAA 5K

First off: Happy Marathon Monday!! It looks like a beautiful day for the runners and spectators. Good luck to everyone running!

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This past Saturday I ran the 8th annual BAA 5K. It was my first year running, and it ended up being such an amazing race.

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Dad and I at the Boston Common before the start.

The race had about 10,000 entrants, so you can imagine the crazy crowds as we tried to line up. Dad and I were around the 9 minute line, although we could have done better getting closer to the front because we ended up behind some walkers.

It was a bit crowded at first but it started to open up after the first mile. I was also FAH-reezing and my finger tips on my right hand were white. My legs and feet were also a bit cold so I think that helped me run fast, since I couldn’t feel them. 😉

The best part of the race though is when we crossed over the marathon finish line just around the 2 mile mark.

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It was at this point too that my dad caught up to me. He thought he had passed me at the beginning and was surprised to see how fast I was going! I was losing a bit of steam but kept him in sight just a few paces ahead of me. I did have enough in the tank to bolt across the finish line but unfortunately the chute was too narrow for me to really get my strides in.

Stats
Time: 27:38
Pace: 8:54
Gender (F): 1395/5033
Division (F 30-34): 236/785
Overall: 3411/8708

I had SUCH a wonderful time at this race. And it has definitely boosted my confidence with running at a faster pace. Even though I have no races on the calendar, I’m certainly going to continue my running about 2 to 3 times a week and see where my fitness can take me. I’m contemplating another half marathon, actually, but it’ll be a year or so before that happens. 😉

Was there a race you did that gave you that “I can fly” feeling?? 

BAA 5K Training – Week 6

Monday 3/28: Rest

Tuesday 3/29: 2.19 in 20:00 @ 9:07 pace. Today I just set my timer for 20 minutes and was on my way. Another lovely day for a run! A bit windy, but not too bad.

Wednesday 3/30: 4 miles in 38:35 @ 9:38 pace. I was able to run with my sister-in-law, Grace, along the Charles River. We had such a great time and the weather was perfect!

Thursday 3/31 & Friday 4/1: Rest

Let’s talk about what happened on Friday. I was called in to help out at the desk because they had a call out but as I was driving down Rt. 2, a turkey decided to slam itself in to windshield.

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Thankfully I wasn’t hurt but it sure shook me up a bit. Now I’m driving a rental until I can get it fixed.

Saturday 4/2 & Sunday 4/3: Crazy weather and unpredictable schedules kept me busy these two days.

And as I write this on Monday (with this crazy snow outside!) I have every intention of getting out there this week since the races is less than 2 weeks away. I feel confident about it though, and I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fun. 🙂

Are you experiencing some crazy weather where you are? Have you ever hit a turkey?? 

Loretta’s Last Call

When you think of bars around Fenway Park you may automatically think of sports bars galore with beers on tap, hot dogs on the menu, and TVs highlighting the games of the day. But did you ever think that hidden on the corner of Lansdowne Street that you’d find a little taste of the South?

At Loretta’s Last Call you’re treated to some of the best Southern cuisine. Before we even ordered, they were bringing out corn dogs, fried pickles, pimento grilled cheese, short ribs sliders (on the most delicious biscuits!), fried green tomatoes, catfish sliders, and chicken wings.

Everything was delicious, with my favorite being the sliders, fried pickles, and pimento grilled cheese sandwiches! The biscuits were so buttery and light, and the fried pickles were so perfectly fried that I couldn’t get my fork away from them. I wasn’t a huge fan of the corn dogs, perhaps because they used andouille sausage, and while I appreciate the flare, I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to my dogs. 😉

When it came time to actually order dinner, I was too full to enjoy anything heavy. I ended up going straight to dessert and ordered the angel food cake with strawberries. It was slightly moist with the most freshest tasting strawberries and whipped cream. Totally hit the spot.

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For cocktails, I started with a moonshine concoction that was perfectly sweet and potent. For our second, the waitress said that she could “throw something together” that included cinnamon infused tequila. It was quite the margarita and gave me the liquid courage to engage in the evenings activity…

LINE DANCING! But really, I didn’t need the convincing; I love line dancing. David and I even danced an epic Cotton Eyed Joe at our wedding. There were two dance instructors that taught us two dances. One was to Boot Scootin’ Boogie (LOVE!) and the other was to the music of their house band. I had so much fun and can’t wait to go back again for some more dancing. And one of the best parts was when a bunch of people would just start dancing to the songs. Apparently there are people that go every week, and it felt like a flash mob of stomping boots and swinging around!

Interested in getting out your cowboy boots? Currently they have dance lessons on Tuesdays and Sundays, however the schedule will change once Red Sox season is in full swing. They also have a calendar of rotating events here.

This evening was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Loretta’s Last Call is located at 1 Lansdowne Street, right behind Fenway Park.

Loretta’s Last Call Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Back Deck

Originally posted in March 2014

As the winter continues to drag on (seriously, is there more snow in the forecast?!) my mind wanders to the warm summer days and nights, filled with ice cold beers and BBQs. I know that the season is a few months away, but one can certainly enjoy the outdoor aspect in downtown Boston: at Back Deck restaurant off of the Boston Common.

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The restaurant welcomes you with a large deck tent over the bar and plants flanking all sections of the dining room. It accurately portrays that look of a “back(yard) deck.”

From the Open Table website:

Back Deck offers professional backyard grilling in a laid-back city setting seven days a week. Back Deck brings the outdoors inside with details like exterior carriage lighting and glazed brick in the dining room and an open kitchen that invites guests to watch the flame-licked fun. Back serves… polished takes on cookout classics as well as dishes cooked over an open flame at homes across the globe. Almost all of the menu is grilled on three hardwood charcoal grills hand-picked to accommodate many differing options.

Our server, Tom, was extremely attentive and knew all of the specialty items to try. For a cocktail, I had the Berkshire Summer (Greylock Gin, lemonade & cucumber juice garnished with cucumber) which was refreshing and made me wish for its namesake. For an appetizer, Tom recommended the Grilled Hot Wings (Daddy-O’s Style, with Gorgonzola dressing & celery sticks). The wings were perfectly juicy, had a bit of a spice to them and I loved the grilled flavor.

 

For entrées, David opted for a choice from their burger menu and I had a large plate. David had the Mexicali Burger (pepper jack, sliced avocado & green chili salsa, chipotle mayo on the side) which he said was cooked perfectly and very tasty. As opposed to the traditional French fries, they paired it with potato wedges. I stole a few, dipped in the chipotle mayo. Smile My entrée was the Rosemary & Lemon Chicken over Spaghetti (grilled chicken thighs over pasta, prosciutto & peas, grilled asparagus, topped with basil pesto) and it was absolutely delicious. The chicken had a light lemon flavor and the spaghetti was, dare I say again, perfectly cooked. The prosciutto added the right amount of saltiness while the asparagus was wood grilled and crisp. I thoroughly enjoyed my plate.

 

We contemplated dessert and realized the whole dining experience wouldn’t be complete without trying anything. We ended up sharing the Snickers Sundae (honey-vanilla ice cream, chocolate & caramel sauces, toasted peanuts, & whipped cream) and it definitely reminded me of a melted candy bar. I loved the subtle honey flavor of the ice cream.

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David and I very much enjoyed our evening at Back Deck. The food was quick and delicious, the cocktails were inventive and strong, and the service was top notch and energetic. I can certainly see myself frequenting this establishment again. Especially when the weather gets warmer. Smile

A portion of our dinner was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Back Deck is located at 2 West Street, Boston, MA.

Back Deck on Urbanspoon

 

BAA 5K Training – Week 2

This past week wasn’t especially high in terms of mileage, but I’m glad that my speed is gradually getting faster. If you’re from New England you know the weird weather we’ve been having lately! And since I had singing rehearsal on Thursday my runs were cut a bit short to keep my voice from getting too raspy. (That tends to happen when I run in cold weather). And to be perfectly honest, I just wasn’t feeling it this past week. I’m sure with the warmer weather upon us, I’ll be more inclined to get outside. I know that this is just a minor step back. 🙂

Monday 2/29: Rest

Tuesday 3/1: 3 Miles @ 29:35 @ 9:51 pace

Wednesday 3/2: Tempo Run – 2.46 miles @ 24:05 @ 9:47 pace

Thursday 3/3: Rest (Rehearsal today! I love singing with my mom and her friends)

Friday 3/4: Day off and just felt like being lazy. It was also snowing off and on today.

Saturday 3/5: 2.35 miles @ 21:29 @ 9:08 pace – I didn’t run with my Garmin on this one and turned around at an arbitrary point. I mapped it out on MapMyRun and thought this might be around the point that I turned around. I did try to just run fast too (the plan called for 3 miles fast)

Sunday 3/6: Rest – Helped David with the garage and just enjoyed his company before going to work.

 

Our Valentine’s Celebration

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend. And if you’re in the northeast, I hope you all stayed warm! I had to work on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and the lobby of the hotel was FAH-reezing. It didn’t help that the revolving doors were broken and the lobby is huge and hard to heat. Thankfully I had a powerful space heater and several layers on. I also took a few breaks to thaw out in the back office.

This past weekend was unbelievably busy. The hotel easily picked up 200 rooms in a 24 hour span, and we had a line to the door for check ins from 1:30 until about 5. It was chaotic but it made the day fly by. I worked 7 to 5 on Saturday and 7-2:30 on Sunday. After the Sunday shift, I hightailed it over to the Westin Waterfront where David and I were going to enjoy our holiday. Complimentary room for winning employee of the month last year!

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The view from our room was spectacular! Apparently it was the same room that housed President Obama, Chelsea Clinton, and Matt Damon. Swanky. 🙂 The concierge (Thanks Matt!) was so kind to send up some refreshments for us: champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and cheese/crackers.

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Before we enjoyed those treats, however, we had our evening to spend in Boston! We walked over to the World Trade Center to partake in this year’s Wine Expo. We arrived around 3:30 and stayed until the end at 5. We sampled wines from Italy, the Finger Lakes and South Africa. And of course, 90+ (one of my favorites!). We sampled a few of the food booths but some of the lines were too long to wait. I also ran into Marie, whom I won the tickets from. Loved seeing her again!

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After the expo we walked over to Miel at the Intercontinental for our dinner. And here is where our dinner could have turned in to a disaster. I admit, I was a bit out of it given how much wine I had and how little food I had eaten. My mind wasn’t completely straight, but thankfully, David’s was. I had failed to check to see if their regular menu was going to be available; lo and behold, since it was a holiday, it was a prix fixe menu. Normally it wouldn’t be an issue but we went there specifically for their French onion and pistou soups. I was almost ready to walk out, but David told the server how much we were looking forward to having those dishes. Our server, Stephen, was so incredibly accommodating and allowed us to modify our menus to have what we wanted (the menu was heavy on fish). I don’t know if it was because Stephen knew me since I used to work at the hotel, but in any case he could have easily said “no, I’m sorry”, but he allowed us to have our soups and then a steak dish for David and a shrimp pasta for myself. It ended up being a very delicious dinner, although far more expensive than what we were hoping to spend.

Overall though, our Valentine’s stay was lovely. We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant in the morning (steel cut oatmeal for me, blueberry pancakes for David), and after he left for work, I meandered my way around Boston until my shift at 2. Yep, I walked about 3 and a half miles through Boston in 20* weather. It was a beautiful day though, so I didn’t mind it. I had lunch and then did a bit of shopping on my way.

So that was our holiday! Not exactly how things were planned, but enjoyable nonetheless. And it definitely proved that David can remain level headed far better than myself. 😉

How was your holiday weekend?