Boston Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

This spring I was fortunate enough to get to see Sleeping Beauty by the Boston Ballet twice! I had plans to go with my sister since back in February, but then a friend in the pit offered me her comp tickets for opening night and I got to have a little date night with my husband. In what seems like a past life, I played bassoon in youth and adult orchestras in Cambridge/Boston. My former section mate from when I was in a youth chamber orchestra at Longy School of Music is now a professional musician totally killing it. It was SO cool that I got her comp tickets. I look up to her now as much as I did back in the 8th grade, made me feel so important to get her comp tickets haha.

When we went to see it opening night, it was a Friday evening. The audience on Friday and Saturday evenings can be interesting, more adults…..often more intoxicated. My sister and I went on a Saturday afternoon there more of a family/children vibe. Traffic was crappy getting to Boston on the Friday night, but it was a beautiful night. We didn’t really have time to do a sit down dinner, so we grabbed some slices and cannolis from Sal’s Pizza. By a slice, I mean almost a quarter a pizza! We sat on a bench on the common and ate our dinner while doing some people watching. It was definitely 5 star dining as far as  I am concerned!

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Beautiful spring evening on the common

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This skirt from J. Crew Factory has an elastic waist band- nice for my growing baby bump! Looks like its sadly sold out though! 😦

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The ballet itself was amazing as usual. We sat in the mezzanine at the Boston Opera House and had a great view. The story is pretty similar to the Disney movie except the fairies aren’t plump little old ladies, they are majestic ballerinas. The prince doesn’t fight Carabosse (the evil fairy who curses Princess Aurora), the Lilac Fairy does, she is really the hero in the ballet. Finally, the last act in the ballet is a star studded wedding reception for Prince Desire and Princess Aurora featuring Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood with her Wolf, and Beauty with her Beast. The music for “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream” is actually from the Tchaikovsky score, so you will recognize that tune.

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The chandeliers and ceiling details at the Boston Opera House

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The reflection of the chandelier lights on my husband’s phone made the sparkle lights on my shirt, ha! I know its a little blurry, but man, it just shows the wattage of those chandeliers!!!

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So there is a little window by the men’s room on the second level that looks out over the lobby. Kind of a neat view of the beautiful chandelier there.

The Saturday I went to see the ballet with my sister we had more time before the ballet. We got breakfast from Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant close to the Boston Opera House.  They had a great breakfast menu. We both got the American breakfast and loved the crispy breakfast potatoes and the thick fluffy grilled english muffins. After breakfast we went to walk around the common for a bit. There was a protest going on! We grabbed a cookie at the Cookie Monstah food truck (so delicious) and went to check it out. From what we gathered, one side dressed mostly in camo was supporting free speech, the military, government, and some- Donald Trump. The other side dressed in black- some with helmets on, some with ninja face gear on, seemed to fighting against Donald Trump’s brand of free speech. There were Boston police officers and park rangers all over the place. Very exciting but sort of ruined the scenery of the common. People were on the freedom trail tour walking through that craziness, kinda rough on the tourists I think. Our seats were third row for the Saturday performance which was AMAZING. All the sparkle on all the tutus, so close, it was beautiful.

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Everyone else was photographing the protest….annnnd I snapped pictures of the mounted unit, cute pony huh? He looks sturdy, built like a table, short neck, but overall, I would take him!

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Ceiling painting in the center of the opera house

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Ceiling painting towards the stage of the opera house

Sleeping Beauty is a beautiful ballet. The costumes, scenery, and music are gorgeous. I mean, Aurora wears three different tutus- a pinkish one for her birthday party, a blue one for the dream sequence with the prince, and then a white stunner for the last scene. For this ballet they took some stunning promotional photos at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA.

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Gorgeous right? Follow @bostonballet on instagram to see more promo materials and behind the scenes pics/vids.

The next ballet I would go to is The Nutcracker, but who knows, I will have an infant then, so all bets are off. Next season is going to be HUGE. Boston Ballet is doing Romeo & Juliet AND La Sylphide next season, total ballet swoon.

Here are some other Boston Ballet posts from the past to check out!

Evening at The Nutcracker     Boston Ballet premieres Le Corsaire

Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2015

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Evening at The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet‘s Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition for me for a long long time. One of my first memories is actually of being sick sitting on a booster seat for The Nutcracker at the Wang in Boston, the former home of the Boston Ballet. My mother says I was 5 and slept through much of the ballet. The Nutcracker is magical. The story of a Nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve and a journey to a magical wintery palace….the costumes, the music, the sets…all in the beautiful Boston Opera House.

This year I went with a few girlfriends and we met up at Teatro Restaurant beforehand. I can’t recommend the food there enough. I got linguine with shrimp and it was delicious. It definitely made up for not getting a goodie at the Boston Common Coffee Co, which is my usual pre ballet ritual. Boston Common was beautifully lit up which really set the scene for the winter magic of the ballet.

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The Boston Opera House was all decked out with Christmas trees and other greenery. We grabbed champagne and Nutcracker gingerbread cookies and head in for the show. One of my former section mates was playing bassoon in the pit orchestra so I went to say hi during intermission. We hadn’t seen each other since I was in 9th grade!! Crazy…oh and thanks Facebook haha!

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It was a Tuesday night show, so I will admit, the ballet seemed a little skeleton crew-ish? The Nutcracker Prince had to also fill in for the Snow King so the Nutcracker Prince was missing from the last scene when Clara bids adieu to the palace. The dew drop was also missing? Kinda weird, but it was still a great show. I guess its just something to remember for next year.

The Nutcracker has always been a part of my Christmas season. I haven’t been in a while, but I also love the Holiday at the Pops by the Boston Pops Orchestra. What are your holiday traditions??

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Boston Ballet premieres Le Corsaire

This fall, the Boston Ballet’s Le Corsaire was the North American premiere of original choreography by Marius Petipa from the 1800s and Ivan Liska from the early 2000s. Petipa’s Le Corsaire originally premiered in St. Petersburg in 1863, and much of this new version was reconstructed by Liska from Petipa’s choreographic notations. Ivan Liska’s version premiered in Munich in 2007, and has now made its way to us in Boston in 2016.

My mother loves the ballet, and so I grew up attending the ballet as well as playing many of the famous classic ballets in youth orchestras. Le Corsaire was beautiful, dramatic, dreamy, and exciting- everything I hoped for. Corsaire is French for pirate, and there are swashbuckling fights, treasure, and scandal! The basic premise is that Conrad, leader of the pirates, falls in love with Medora, the foster daughter of Lankedem. Lankedem disapproves, but eventually agrees to sell Medora to the Pasha. Conrad vows to save Medora, and he rescues her to the pirate island. Lankedem is angered because he will lose his payment from the Pasha so he goes along too, and takes his chance to get Medora back when a fight amongst the pirates breaks out. Conrad wakes from a sleeping poison to find that Lankedem has taken Medora back to the Pasha and vows to again rescue her. Conrad and his fellow pirates go to Pasha’s palace disguised as pilgrims. The Pasha puts on a show for his guests only to have to pilgrims reveal themselves and rescue Medora in the end. The final scene is of the pirates, led by Conrad and Medora, on their ship off to the next adventure!

My husband came to this ballet with me, and we of course observed all rules and traditions of my trips to the ballet. We dressed up (even though I was not feeling great), walked around the Boston Common a bit, got a goodie at Boston Common Coffee Co (carrot pecan muffin top, so good), got a fancy drink at intermission (chardonnay for me), and no making fun of the male ballet dancers, which wasn’t hard at this ballet because they were all pirates. The costumes were exquisite; I especially loved the tutus in the Jardin Anime scene. The next ballet that I will attend will be The Nutcracker in December and then The Sleeping Beauty in the spring. Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev ballets are my favorite 🙂

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Despite feeling under the weather, I managed to throw on my gray wool skirt, black tights, penny loafers, and a sweater for the occasion.

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Boston Common is so beautiful, all the colors right now are stunning

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Looking up in the lobby of the Boston Opera House

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The Boston Opera House has such beautiful ornate moldings and chandeliers

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Another beautiful chandelier, this one in the lobby.

Has anyone out there been watching The Crown on Netflix? I just started, and its been very well done so far. I’ll be honest, I could use more English countryside and horses, but I am only in the 3rd episode.

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The 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta

Hello everyone! It has been a crazy couple weeks. We finished ripping up carpets and putting down hardwoods in our living room and bedroom and painted the walls. The place looks completely different with fresh paint and nice oak hardwoods! I am glad we finished up in time for one of my favorite weekends, the Head of the Charles!

I decided against going down on Saturday because it was pouring for most of the day, but I did head down on Sunday because I was volunteering! Sunday is also a great day to go because parking is free in Harvard Sq and its the day of the Championship 4s and 8s! This was my fifth year of volunteering. I volunteered my senior year of high school and freshman year of college, and then the first two years out of college. My first two years we got long sleeve tshirts, the next two years we got fleeces from Nautica BUT unless you were there Friday night you got the big sizes so I gave those away. Brooks Brothers took over the volunteer apparel in 2009. This year they did a fantastic blue and red down vests and black hats. Love it. I have volunteered out on the docks in the past and I have volunteered in the info booths. This year I was in the info booth right across from the Brooks Brothers tent at Attager Row, the retail area between Elliot Bridge and the finish line. My fellow volunteers were great, all very helpful and interesting people. Volunteers aren’t just rowers, they come from all different backgrounds to help this amazing two day event go as smoothly as possible.

I think that having rowed in the event two years does help me to be a good info booth volunteer, as well as the fact that I got to learn how to row on the Charles in high school. I know all the bridges, all the boathouses, and the good places to watch. I have had some mishaps out there too:  I coxed a boat (the only time I ever coxed a boat) into the shallows on the Cambridge side by the Weeks Bridge (oops), rowed around in the basin during what felt like a hurricane, and swamped a four. Swamping the four meant hopping out of the boat to flip it, and then getting back in…not easy. For next year I am going to put together a HOCR guide- all the food, shopping, places to watch, and such. It will be really fun for me to write 🙂

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I did take a break to run over for a pic at the Brooks Brothers photo area.

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It was a cold and windy day, but gorgeous blue skies.

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I just loved the pink and navy unisuits on this crew

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Four launching out of Cambridge Boat Club from the Eliot Bridge.

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Beautiful scene by the Eliot Bridge. The boathouse up towards the left belongs to the Belmont Hill School and the Winsor School.

There were some fabulous highlights this year. Gevvie Stone who won the silver medal in Rio won the women’s championship singles. The O’Donovan Brothers who were hilarious in Rio rowed in a quad for a second place finish, the US Para Team rowed in the mixed eight race, and the gold medal women’s eight was on hand for autographs. The HOCR just after the summer olympics every four years is always a little special. I would love to row in the HOCR again. We shot for an alumni 8 but didn’t get a bid, maybe next year!

Now, sadly the HOCR gear from Brooks Brothers is not available anywhere else but their tent during the event. I really liked the HOCR long sleeve cotton sweatshirts but they were a little too expensive for me. The official HOCR merchandise is really nice too and can be a bit more affordable depending on what you are looking for.  There was no KJP presence this year in the Brooks Brothers tent which was interesting. The past few years there was an area within the Brooks Brothers tent featuring members of the KJP team and products.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Whose coming to the HOCR next year? Counting down already…

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Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2015

Sunday night, my mother, sister, and I went to see Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. I am a huge fan of the Boston Ballet and the Boston Opera House. I go 2-3 times a year- definitely the Nutcracker every year, and then any other classic ballets. I have been to Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, La Bayadiere, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky ballets are my favorite.

Before the ballet, we walked around downtown crossings a little. We checked out the window displays at the Macy’s which were so cute, they were all scenes from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Oh and there’s a Primark in there now?? Gotta check that out….

Then we went to one of my favorite places, the Boston Common Coffee Co.  We somehow snagged three seats, and got a congo bar to split (think one of those layer bars with chocolate and coconut), and drinks. My favorite thing there is the iced chai with soy.

After that we had probably 15 minutes before we had to head in, so we ran to the common to the see the lights! I snapped this lovely photo of a fully decorated Christmas tree, so pretty.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…

Growing up, the Boston Ballet’s home was the Wang, a beautiful theatre in  Boston. I don’t remember when they moved to the Boston Opera House, but the first year they moved, we actually went to see White Christmas at the Wang instead of The Nutcracker. We suspect they moved because the Wang wanted to have different Christmas shows. Its not even called the Wang anymore, its the Citi Performing Arts Center (after Citi Bank). I also think the ballet has gone through ups and downs and maybe for a time wasn’t getting enough ticket sales for the Wang. In 2012, Mikko Nissinen, the director of the Boston Ballet, overhauled The Nutcracker. New choreography, new sets, new costumes….I’ll be honest, I love some of the changes, but even 4 years later, I miss some of the costumes from before. The Nutcracker has always been a part of my family’s Christmas celebrations. There’s something special about grabbing tea and a goodie before the show, heading in to the show and knowing to use the lower bathrooms, not the upstairs bathrooms, absolutely loving the show, and then talking about how we miss the green costumes for the flowers, or the pink Sugar Plum Fairy costume on the ride home. We love the new Snow Queen costume though 🙂

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Boston Opera House

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Upper lounge of the Boston Opera House- love all the gold, the chandeliers, and the Christmas greenery/decor

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The curtain for The Nutcracker

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Painting on the ceiling of The Boston Opera House- gorgeous

This year, Boston Ballet is doing their new production of Swan Lake again, so I probably won’t go. In a couple months they are doing Onegin, so I will go to that one. Who else wants to go??

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Favorite Christmas Tree Ornaments

I am going to keep my writing brief because I definitely fell off my horse tonight into the wall of the indoor. We had just done a jump perfectly after many tries and he bucked while I was leaning forward and off I went. I’m sore, but ok. Got back on for a little while so no one starts to think that bucking me off is a good way to end a ride, but I will be rocking some IB profen, a heating pad, and lots of hot cocoa tonight to recover. I have a red line on my back from where I made contact with the bottom of the wall….I will be fine haha.

This post is about some of my favorite ornaments. I hope that you enjoy them!!

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An older ornament from my parents, the swan boats in the common

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Santa in his workshop, one of my favorites from my childhood

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One of my favorites from my Breyer’s ornament collection

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My Barbie ballerina for Nutcracker season

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Another great one from my Breyer’s collection, how many little girls have asked for a pony for Christmas? 🙂

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This one is a gift from my mom, love it

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Rowing on the Charles in Cambridge ornament, perfect for a tree belonging to two rowers!

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I have the whole set of Rudolph characters, the Bumble, Hermey, Yukon, Rudolph, and Santa.

I hope everyone’s holiday preparations are going well. I had a big food shopping trip tonight for the weekend into next week….it was painful and slow moving. Of course I ran into a student while I was limping through the supermarket still covered in dirt haha, oh well. Happy Friday everyone, one week til Christmas!!

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Weekend Eats: Park Plaza Hotel & The Bancroft

This past weekend I went out to dinner on both Friday & Saturday night! Many of you know from reading that I am trying to save money these days, but it couldn’t be helped. Friday night, I went out for a friend’s birthday to Off the Common, the lobby restaurant in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The Park Plaza Hotel was built in 1925 and actually used to be beachfront property before the bay was filled in to make Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Crazy. There are so many restaurants in that area; we chose Off the Common because we had a room in the hotel and it was really easy for meeting up with people right in the lobby. We had wine and ordered mussels, lobster mac & cheese, buffalo chicken pops, the charcuterie plate, and a chicken & mushroom flatbread to share. From there we went out to Whisky Saigon and had a great time dancing with friends. There was an interesting crowd there, college age all the way up. The music was great and it was really easy to get a bartender, which is a huge plus in Boston. Only thing I didn’t like was the only water they gave you was bottled for $5….oh well.

Here are a couple pics I took off the Park Plaza Hotel website….its a gorgeous older hotel, definitely in a great location too!

Currently they are doing some work to this part of the hotel, this pic is better than mine!
Currently they are doing some work to this part of the hotel, this pic is better than mine!

Here is the Off the Common restaurant. Very casual and lounge-like, I really liked it!
Here is the Off the Common restaurant. Very casual and lounge-like, I really liked it!

Saturday night my fiancé, Jon, and I went to The Bancroft in Burlington, MA. We had a gift card and had a birthday party to go to at Kings afterwards. The Bancroft is the latest restaurant from the Webber Restaurant Group, who also own the Gibbet Hill Grill at Gibbet Hill Farm in Groton and the Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham. The Webber family bought the Gibbet Hill Farm back in 2000 and their mission is provide a quality dining experience using sustainable & local food sources. Most of the produce for the restaurants comes from Gibbet Hill Farm and I believe most of the meat comes from Blood Farm in Groton.

The food was so good. I ordered the Reissdorf Koelsch, a delicious German beer, and the seared Ahi tuna with carrot puree. My fiancé got the Kurobuta pig chop with truffle polenta fries. We also got the yukon gold mashed potatoes to share, and their chocolate cake  for dessert. The cake came with their homemade vanilla gelato and was filled with a chocolate espresso sauce. If my wallet/body could handle eating like that every night, I would haha. The bread came in the most adorable little cast iron tray, and the beer came in the correct glass for a koelsch…everything was really just perfect. I don’t usually take pictures of my food, but maybe I should start huh?

A couple of the drinks on the cocktail menu cracked me up. One was “What would Bill Murray Do?” and another was “It’s a baby whale, bro”. Now, the second one is only funny if you have seen the youtube video of two guys with wicked Boston accents talking about a sun bathing sunfish. Totally normal behavior for a sunfish after its been on a deep swim.  I will link it here, but he drops a lot of F-bombs, so beware the setting that you watch it….it is really funny though.

Saturday morning, we went and checked out the Fruitlands in Harvard MA, it was so fun. It was a perfect activity to do with the pup on a nice fall day, I will post it tomorrow! First thing off my list of 50 places to see in MA!

Now as I said, I don’t usually go out to eat this much because eating out is expensive, but Friday was a birthday dinner for a friend, and we all split starters to keep out tab down because we are all saving money for one thing or another. Saturday night was lovely because we had a gift card from my fiancé’s boss for our engagement.

What did you do this weekend? Any good restaurants or outings? I hope so!

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Fun Finds for a Friday


Ohhh the alliteration! Today I am just sharing a few things that have cracked me up from my facebook newsfeed. Buzzfeed lists are hilarious. You can literally lose hours of your life going through them. This one is making the rounds on my facebook feed because for myself and many of my friends, every single one of these is true.

18 Red Flags That You Learned to Drink in Boston

Probably the only one that wasn’t me directly was the hazards of walking on cobblestone because I don’t wear heels BUT I can tell you I have been the support team for many friends struggling down the cutest little obstacle courses in Boston. #13, #15, and #18….oh man. Since I graduated from college, I have done 2 St. Patrick’s Days out of Boston- one was in Mt. Holyoke which was crazy, and one in Manchester NH which was ok, but I def missed Boston.

Another gem that I found on Facebook through my very funny friends is Matt Bellassai and his Whine About It Wednesday videos. They are so funny and usually spot on with what everybody’s REALLY thinking about a topic. He was supposed to take a break this week, but I just heard he posted a surprise video!! I haven’t been able to watch it yet. Here’s his Whine About It for the worst things about fall…..soo good. This is another rabbit hole you can lose a few hours of your life haha. I think there are some swears though FYI…I usually wait until I get home from work to watch them 😉

I have created a new page on my blog: 50 Things I want to See in MA. I am getting started tomorrow, and I can’t wait. There are so many beautiful historic spots and homes in Massachusetts. I can’t wait to see them all and share them with you. Some of the places I actually have been before, but I am looking forward to going again to document the experience!

Hope you all have great plans for the weekend, happy Friday!

c/o Mon

Head of the Charles Recap from Sunday

In my experience, fall head racing is full of amazing rows in gorgeous scenery AND some really cold windy days. I started rowing the summer before my senior year of high school, and rowed in the Head of the Charles my junior and senior year of college. I volunteered at the regatta 4 years, three before the year I rowed in it, and one the year after I graduated from college. The swag for the volunteers has really improved. When I was volunteering, Charles Schwab was the big sponsor and we got long sleeve shirts, and then Nautica took over and we had fleece zip ups. Now that BNY Mellon & Brooks Brothers runs the show, the volunteer jackets are awesome soft shell fleeces. I gotta volunteer next year.

We had a bunch of former and current WPI rowers to watch. There were alumni in the master’s singles races, the Director Challenge quad races, an alumni mens 8, and then the current varsity mens in the collegiate 8. The women’s team didn’t send a boat…..I guess they are going through some restructuring, getting back to basics, and are just focusing on the spring. Kinda sad though because I remember how big a deal the Charles was. I would have been bummed to miss out.

It was really cold and windy on Sunday. My essentials for survival are below:

Barbour Jacket, crew fleece ear warmers,LLBean Flannel & Boot Socks, Woolover cashmere/cotton crewneck sweater, bean boots, & LLBean thermos
Barbour Jacket, crew fleece ear warmers,LLBean Flannel & Boot Socks, Woolover cashmere/cotton crewneck sweater, bean boots, & LLBean thermos

My Barbour was amazing at protecting me from the wind, and we filled that thermos with tomato soup, which was a life saver. It also saved us from buying clam chowder for $10, eek!

I did stop by the Brooks Brothers tent to check it out. The KJP team was there hand painting your choice of oar blade design on leather bracelets. They were cute, but I really want a painted oar bracelet custom made with the oar blade design. It might be possible, I will probably be looking into this for a Christmas/bday gift 🙂 They were all super nice just in case you follow them on instagram and have always wondered what they were like IRL. They also loved Mizpah, who doesn’t though?

In front of the Brooks Brothers tent with Mizpah. Nice single behind me huh? One of a kind!
In front of the Brooks Brothers tent with Mizpah. Nice single behind me huh? One of a kind!

Going to rowing events make me miss rowing so much. The excitement of rowing to the start, the togetherness of the struggle through the race to the finish, and then the camaraderie after the race. Its just something you can’t replicate. We hung out with some of our former coaches, got to see some alumni, and blasted the heat in the car pretty much all the way home to warm up! Here are some more pics from the day!

Harvard's Newell Boathouse...we tried to stop here once for a bathroom break and their sprinklers to keep the geese away turned on!!
Harvard’s Weld Boathouse…we tried to stop either here or the Newell once for a bathroom break and their sprinklers to keep the geese away turned on!!

Me and Miz hangin out
Me and Miz hangin out

View of Northeastern's Henderson boathouse
View of Northeastern’s Henderson boathouse, pretty much at the finish.

Henderson Boathouse, where I learned to row in 2001, and where WPI has the privilege of launching every year
Henderson Boathouse, where I learned to row in 2001, and where WPI has the privilege of launching every year

LLBean everywhere....and Miz chewing a bully stick
LLBean everywhere….and Miz chewing a bully stick

view of the Eliot Bridge, last bridge before the finish...lots of collisions here
view of the Eliot Bridge, last bridge before the finish…lots of collisions here

We did end up paying $20 to park in the Harvard Stadium lot. Without the dog, we would have parked at Alewife and taken the T in, but I don’t know how Mizpah would do with that. We brought sandwiches, water, and the tomato soup in the thermos, so we didn’t buy any food, which was awesome. It was awesome to go support alums, reminisce about past years, and hang out with some awesome crew people. If you are ever in the Boston area for this weekend, I can’t recommend coming out to the river enough. Layers though….warm layers ha. The two years I got to row in it were both choppy, cold days. One year it was so bad, they shortened the course to stay out of the choppy basin. My fiancé asked me if I would have wanted to row in the cold yesterday, and I think the answer is yes, with the cold weather and all. I hope everyone got to do some fun fall activities wherever they were this past weekend!

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