The Great Escape

Last night my sister Alaina and I made a little escape of our own to the aptly named restaurant Great Escape in Salem.

Sometimes it’s hard to step away from work, household chores, exercise routines and family duties and just take some time for yourself, but going out with friends (or in this case, sibling friends) is a great way to relax and recharge!

The restaurant is in an old jail and they are working that theme in a really fun way, similar to the Liberty Hotel downtown Boston.

The service was fantastic, as was the food. We split the bruschetta for an appetizer, and I ordered the steak tips for my main course. We only ate half our dinners, we had to leave room for dessert of course! Alaina had told me she loved the canoli there and that it might be better than any she’s had in the North End. Being a North End resident and a lover of North End canolis and food challenges in general, I couldn’t just believe this to be true and had to try it for myself. I have to report that she just *might* be right.

#shesright #Imscaredofthemafia ;/

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Cold runs and canolis

Despite the fact that is was a mere 11 degrees yesterday morning, I geared myself up with hat, gloves and 25 layers, and went out for a 5 mile run around the Charles River! I was freezing and so slow, but really enjoyed myself other than that. It was sunny and beautiful and everything I had been missing for the past year.

Today was a little warmer (only 10 layers required ;)) and I was only doing 3 miles, so I thought my run would go a little faster. It didn’t 😦 I’m seeing myself quickly becoming obsessive with my Garmin times. I keep checking my pace constantly, and the traffic lights and cars in the city making me have to stop consistently are not helping with that! I’ve become one of those people who frantically run in place when stopped at a light (I’ve never really liked those people) hoping it will keep my pace up on my watch.

I’ve had a few questions about GPS watches recently, so I’ll just throw it out there that this is my first (I don’t have anything to compare it to) but I am really loving the Garmin Forerunner 110W I got for Christmas. It’s small, comfortable, easy-to-use and has a cute pink stripe.

I don’t think it’s the most technologically advanced GPS watch out there, but if you just want something to track and find out everything you’d ever need to know about your outdoor runs it seems perfect for that and relatively affordable. Now that I have this, I can’t even imagine how I managed to run without it.

In non-running news, we had a special guest last night! Kai, one of our good friends and fellow teachers in Costa Rica was making a east coast appearance (she resides in Oregon). We showed her around our neighborhood and had a great North End Italian dinner in front of a fireplace, while catching up on some gossip and speaking a little Spanish.

Here is a photo of me and Kai about 1 year ago during our orientation in Costa Rica:

And now us (with Ross), freezing our butts off (while canoli shopping) in Boston’s Little Italy:

How ridiculous is the giant hat I’m wearing? It’s also very warm and so comfortable I might not take it off until summer. My sister got it as a Christmas gift for Ross, but he’s unwillingly letting me borrow it until July.