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Your Hallo-weekend Schedule

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, October 27, 2016

Its almost Halloween! We hope your weekend is filled with crazy costumes and as much candy as you can eat. Monday is Halloween, so this weekend is all about being festive and getting in the Halloween spirit! There are a lot of exciting (and free!) events happening in Boston to ensure that you have a happy Halloween! Here are a few events to help you start planning your weekend of Halloween fun.             


Saturday: Halloween Pet Parade


Who doesn't love dogs in costume?? The Annual Halloween Pet Parade at Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the perfect Halloween event if you're someone that loves animals and would enjoy seeing them dressed up as characters.  If you have a pet at home (with a costume) you can enter them in the parade and costume contest! If you don't have a pet (or if they refuse to wear clothes) come to Faneuil Hall anyways to watch hundreds of Boston animals and their owners show off their Halloween best. Afterwards you can walk around Faneuil hall or the Harbor Walk (maybe grab some lunch, a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or more Halloween candy?) and see Christopher Columbus Park in its peak of fall foliage. 

Halloween Festival


The annual Halloween festival at Blackstone and Franklin park is back again with a full day lineup of fun events! Stop by from noon until three to enjoy activities like pumpkin decorating, face painting, costume contests (for humans and doggies) ice cream trucks, yoga class, scary stories, a haunted burial ground tour, live music, and craft making. This festival is a kid friendly event and is totally FREE - also easily accessible by the T :)! You can even be extra festive and arrive in costume.




October 30th is the final SoWa open market of the year, and end of the season will be marked by Boston's largest Halloween party! The day will feature your typical SoWa open market, with over 150 vendors, artisans, farmers, and food trucks, and additionally have festive Halloween activities for all ages. The special event will feature things like pumpkin painting, a live street musician, face painting, live music, and a costume contest (once again - for you and your pet!) The BPD will also be there letting you see the back of their cruisers (without having to be arrested!) Winter is coming...and if you haven't been to the SoWa open market this year, Sunday is your LAST chance until the spring. 

Enjoy the holiday! Don't forget to send us pictures of you and your visitors celebrating Halloween! You can also tag us in your Instagram posts with #homestay boston or @globalimmersions !  

Halloween Around The World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Do you know where Halloween originated? If you guessed the United States.. you're wrong! Halloween actually began in Ireland  about 2,000 years ago as the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, an ancient Celtic Festival held in County Meath. The birthplace of Halloween, naturally, is home to one the biggest celebrations of the holiday.  Throughout Ireland, Halloween is celebrated with bonfires, party games, traditional food  such as barmbrack - an Irish fruit cake that contains coins, button, rings, and other (non-edible) fortunetelling items- and, of course, beer (among other drinks of choice). Why bake buttons and rings into a cake? Fortunetelling is part of the old Irish Halloween tradition and if a young woman gets a ring that has been baked in a pastry, bread, or even mashed potatoes, then she'll be married by next Halloween. Tricks are also an important part of the Irish Halloween tradition  - kids knock on doors, then run away before the doors get opened by the owner  (usually after they've already gotten candy from other houses). Thus is the origins of Trick-or-Treating.

Curious about Halloween celebrations in other cultures? Take a look at some other countries that will be decked out in costume this October 31st. 

Mexico doesn't actually celebrate Halloween, but their Dia de los Muertos celebration begins on October 31st and continues through November 2nd.  During this festival, Mexicans remember the deceased, tell their stories and celebrate their lives. Celebrations include family feasts, skull-shaped sweets, tequila, dancing, mariachi music, and parades of people dressed as skeletons to honor past ancestors.


Halloween in Japan has become more popular over time, although still remains different from Halloween in the  United States. Due to the well established popularity of Cosplay (costume play: dressing up as manga / anime characters) in Japan, the costume and commercialism aspect of celebrating Halloween is appealing to Japanese people.  However, the Trick - or - Treating aspect of Halloween is not so appealing and will most likely not gain popularity in the country. Why? Because of their culture. It is important in Japanese society to avoid being a bother or pain to someone else. Having to go around collecting candy from others is viewed as too much of an inconvenience and is therefore discouraged. Halloween is mainly centered around dressing up and partying, which can be seen by the large masses of costumed people flooding the streets of Tokyo and the city's Shibuya district.
 

In France, Halloween is known as an American Holiday and is not celebrated for any other reason than to dress up and party. Halloween has been adopted by the French in recent years and is popular due to the French's love for fêtes and costumes. Notable Halloween celebrations in France occur in the town of Limoges, where there is a Parade of Ghosts and Ghouls every year, and at the Breakfast In American Diner in Paris. The French typically wear traditionally scary costumes - like witches, mummies or ghosts- rather than cute costumes - like superheroes, princesses, or celebrities. 


Germany celebrates Halloween as All Saints Day, from Octobrt 30th to November 8th. All Saints Day is spent attending church, honoring the saints who have died for the Catholic faith and visiting and remembering dead family members. It is also the tradition for Germans to hide their knives on All Saints Day, so the returning spirits won't be harmed by random knife movements during the day. Germans have also adopted American style traditions of Halloween and many people wear costumes and partake in celebrations at night. Trick- or - Treating is not very popular and it is only in the metropolitan cities of Germany that you will see groups of children actually go door - to door saying either Süßes oder Saures or Süßes, sonst gibt's Saure (Trick or Treat!) as they collect treats from their neighbors. This is partly due to the fact that just eleven days later it is the tradition of children to go door - to door on Saint Martinstag with their lanterns. They sing a song and then they are rewarded with baked goods and treats. 

Sources: The Travel Channel, GaijinPot, The German Way


Your Columbus Day Weekend Schedule

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Happy (almost) Columbus Day weekend! As many of you have the day off from work, this long weekend will be an excellent opportunity to explore the city and participate in the many celebrations happening in Boston. Columbus Day weekend is a lively time in Boston, full of parades, festivals, and other events - and may of them are free! If you're unsure of how you'll spend this (somewhat controversial) holiday, don't worry, here is a list of all the happenings this weekend so you can celebrate the discovery of America right! 

Friday October 7th (through Sunday October 9th): HONK! Street Music Festival 

Where: Davis Square, Somerville 

Time: Varying times 

Cost: FREE


Music appreciation meets activism at the HONK! festival in Davis square. This lively three day event draws brass bands from all over the world to Somerville in celebration of not only music, but the community as a whole. This is event is special because it is organized entirely by volunteers and is already in its tenth year. The festival begins Friday and kicks off with a lantern parade through Davis square neighborhoods followed by a band showcase. On Saturday over twenty five bands will take over Davis Square bringing live music and a dance party! On Sunday, many local community groups join the band members in a large parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square via Mass Ave. These local groups include activists working for extremely important causes such as economic justice, protecting the environment, world peace and ending racism. HONK! Also features a Day of Action, on which bands convene to play on behalf of a cause. For more information including schedule and times click here. 


Sunday, October 9th: East Boston Columbus Day Parade 

Where: East Boston

Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Cost: FREE

The Boston Columbus Day Parade is an old tradition in the North End and East Boston neighborhoods. How old?? Since 1937. The parade celebrates Christopher Columbus's expeditions to the Americas as well as Boston's Italian heritage (in case you didn't know Columbus was from Italy) and the commitment if Massachusetts military units to American freedom. In even numbered years (aka 2016) the parade begins in the Suffolk Downs parking lot in East Boston, marches down Bennington Street and ends at Maverick square near the waterfront. Where to watch? The best viewing spots are along Bennington Street (Blue Line / Maverick). Get there early to claim a good spot! 


Monday, October 10th (aka Columbus Day) : Columbus Park Fall Festival 

Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm 

Location: Christopher Columbus Park, Boston's North End (100 Atlantic Avenue - next to the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel) 

Public Transportation: Blue Line / Aquarium T stop 

Cost: FREE


I can't think of a more appropriate place to celebrate Columbus Day than at a park named after the explorer himself. This festival, which is sponsored by many local North End and Waterfront businesses, has become an annual event for the city and Columbus Day tradition for many families in the Boston area. The festival begins with a children's parade through the park, followed by a ceremony at the Christopher Columbus statue. There will also be a lot FREE entertainment and games (i.e. magicians, storytellers, musicians) My lunchtime suggestion: Bring a blanket and grab food from one of the nearby North End Italian bakeries or pizza joints, one of the many food stalls at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, or The Boston Public Market.

Opening our Doors Day

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm 

Where: Multiple locations around the Fenway neighborhood 

Cost: FREE

More information:  Find a complete events schedule for Boston's Fenway neighborhood here 


The Fenway Alliance is inviting Boston residents to participate in the city's biggest single day of free arts, cultural, and educational events. The special festival will feature over sixty different activities, performances, tours, music shows, and games (did I mention for free??) Festivities will begin on the Mass Ave side of the Christian Science Plaza at the intersection of Huntington and Mass Ave with a kids parade (featuring a brass band), many performances, and...FREE CUPCAKES!! Also, as an added plus the event includes free admission into several Fenway museums (think: Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the Mary Baker Eddy Library Mapparium)


Find more fun things to do this weekend in Boston here and on our facebok page

How Do You Like Them Apples!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Autumn season is a great time in Boston to be out doors and admire one of the most beautiful seasons in Massachusetts. A fun activity this time of year is visiting farms around Boston for apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, corn mazes and more...because (although it is delicious) pumpkin spice iced coffee isn't the only way to experience Fall. So put on your best flannel and enjoy the finest foliage (and cider donuts)  that New England has to offer. 

Boston Hill Farm, North Andover MA


Boston Hill Farm is a PYO orchard and farm stand located thirty minutes from the city in the quaint suburb of North Andover. The farm is open for berry picking in the summer and pumpkin and apple picking in the fall. Beginning in mid September through October the Farm hosts Apple Festivals every Saturday and Sunday and offers pumpkin picking until Halloween.  After you've decided on the perfect future Jack o' Lantern you can visit the farm stand for homemade treats like honey, jelly, fudge, and ice cream. 

Connors Farm, Danvers MA


When I looked at the map of Connors Farm is reminded me of an amusement park. There aren't roller coasters or anything like that but it definitely has more entertainment attractions that your average little red barn. In addition to apple picking and a fresh farm stand, Connors Farm is famous for their Giant Corn Maze which opens this year on September 10th - and this year its Charlie Brown themed. During October they open the Hysteria Scream Park (think: Giant Corn Maze but scary) in celebration of Halloween. Like I said before, there's no roller coasters, but there is rides! Hay rides that is....you can take one around the whole farm!

Russell Orchards, Ipswich MA


Russell Orchards might be well known for their apple picking, but the best part about the farm (in my opinion) is definitely their cider donuts. They are well worth the drive from Boston and are freshly made at the store everyday. Actually, one of the things that makes the Orchard's store so special is that everything is made fresh and all of the produce they see is grown right there on the farm. Right now, the store also features produce, honey, and eggs. My other favorite part about Russell Orchards is the animals :) You can visit all of the barnyard animals and even feed them too. If you don't visit for the cider donuts at least come for the bunnies. 

Labor Day Weekend!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, August 29, 2016

Next Monday, September 5th, is Labor Day in the U.S. You may only know Labor Day as that Monday in September where you don't have to work, or if you're a student, it's that day in the beginning of the school year when you don't have class. But what does Labor Day really mean? Why do we have this holiday?



Labor Day is a public holiday that honors the American Labor movement and celebrates the contributions that workers have made to better the country. Labor Day has its origins in the labor union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

For many countries, Labor Day is synonymous with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on May 1st (you might also know this as May Day). For other countries, Labor Day is celebrated on a different date, often one with special significance for the labor movement in that country. (hint: ask you visitor about Labor Day celebrations in their country)


Labor Day in Canada and the United States is also considered the unofficial end of Summer (*sad face* ) as it is celebrated on the first Monday of September during the time summer vacations are ending and students are returning to school. 

What can you do to celebrate Labor day? When the it was first created, The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: "A street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations, followed by a festival for the workers and their families". Since then, A festival or parade has remained the basis for a proper Labor Day celebration, though with some changes made over time. Now, we see Labor Day filled with fire work displays, last trips to the beach, outdoor BBQs, and, of course, $ales. If you're looking for ways to spend you Labor Day this year, consider taking part in these events around Boston: 


Labor Day Fireworks over Boston Harbor-

Fire works launched from barges anchored off the North End and Seaport will illuminate the sky over Boston Harbor in celebration of Labor Day and the beginning of fall. The show begins at 9pm on Saturday, September 3rd. 

Where to watch: The best place to see the display is from the lawn along Christopher Columbus Park or by Long Wharf in the North End. The fireworks can also be easily seen from the South Boston Waterfront (especially around Fan Pier/ Seaport), the downtown waterfront, and Piers Park in East Boston


Labor Day Sales- 

Do some back to school shopping or revamp your fall wardrobe with Labor Day Sales throughout the city. The best places to shop? You can take advantage of reductions on already discounted prices at places like Assembly Row or Wrentham Village. If you're looking to stay in the city to shop, check out sales at Faneuil Hall, the Prudential Center, or shops around Downtown Crossing. 

For more Labor Day activity ideas click here. Enjoy the long weekend with your visitors!! 

 


Greetings From Japan

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our group programs coordinator, Gen, has been away recently, visiting his family and friends back home in Japan. Gen has been writing about his experiences in Japan and providing us with some insight on Japanese culture. Read Gen's post below to learn about one of the traditional holiday seasons occurring in Japan this month! 

Greetings from Japan! I am currently back in my country Japan just temporarily, seeing my family and relatives for the first time after two years and reuniting with my old friends.  These past two weeks have been wonderful and have really been enjoying the authentic Japanese foods here, but also I’m excited to come back to Boston in about a week and be back in the office!

So, in this Blog I’d like to talk about one of the traditional holiday seasons in Japan, called “Obon.” The Obon holiday runs for about a week before and after the 15th of August, and just like the Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays in the U.S., everybody takes some days-off from work to celebrate this yearly tradition. Typically, people travel back to their homes to visit their families, and have family reunions with a lot of foods and drinks to celebrate with. Towns and villages throughout the country organize large festivals at parks and shrines for those who celebrate the holiday. It’s not very common in where I am from, but in some regions people celebrate the holiday with parades and massive bonfires. There are no rules about what foods to serve and it varies a lot from prefecture to prefecture. Here in Ishikawa prefecture, people usually prepare fresh fish and root vegetables like radish because Ishikawa by the ocean and abundant in rich soils.

When did this tradition originate? The exact time is actually not certain as different websites say the different times in history, but the general idea is that it began around 600 A.D. as a Buddhist ritual to welcome ancestral spirits back to the earth for the week to demonstrate respects to them. Haka-Mairi, or grave visits, are one of the most important and widely-practiced family traditions for this holiday. People visit the graveyard of their ancestors, decorate the gravestone with flowers and special ornaments, and pray for the well-being and good health of their family members for another year to come. Again the traditions and ritual customs vary slightly in different areas in Japan, but the picture below is how these gravestones during the Obon time usually look. 

I talked about the religious aspects of what Obon is, but the most important part of this holiday is that this is when Japanese people have reunions with families and friends, and along with New Year’s Day (or Oshogatsu) this holiday brings back all generations in the family. Many families plan their August activities based on their own Obon celebration date in August. With all the Obon themed festivals, fireworks and “bon-odori” Japanese traditional dance events, this holiday is the absolute favorite for many Japanese.



Independence Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Hopefully your independence day this year was filled with fireworks, American flag T-shirts, barbecues, and plenty of potato salad.  As I was impatiently awaiting the start of the Boston fireworks this year, from the comfort  of a roof top in Mission Hill (see above - pretty scenic right??), I wondered if our celebration, fireworks and all, is really as uniquely American as we perceive it to be. So, I decided to do a little research about the Independence Day celebrations of other cultures and I discovered that firework shows, eating contests, BBQs,  parties, and parades are actually a pretty universal thing and seem to be the standard way to celebrate freedom. 


Australia: January 26

OK so Australia Day isn't exactly the Australian equivalent of Independence Day but it's pretty close. On this day the Australians celebrate the first arrival of the British (I know total opposite from the 4th in America) and the first unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove. Australia and America have different reasons for celebrating, but the way they celebrate is similar. Just like Americans, Australians celebrate this day with family gatherings, festivals, fireworks, and (of course) BBQs. Each city has its own Australia Day traditions, for example Sydney holds its famous boat races, while Melbourne has a People's March to celebrate the diversity of the nation. Overall it seems like a pretty good time.

Ghana: March 6

Ghana was the first African colony to celebrate its independence from Britain in 1957. Every year on this day the people of Ghana celebrate with fireworks parades and traditional street parties. And if you think street parties sound fun, on the coast people have beach parties and celebrate with dance moves that combine traditional elements with hip hop.


France: July 14

France's independence day commemorates the day of the storming of the Bastille prison during the French revolution.The day begins with a military parade on the famous Champs-Élysées. The French also attend Firemen’s galas, where fire stations across France are open to the public for dancing, drinking, and partying and even some live demonstrations. A party with French firemen?? Oui s'il vous plaît. 


Peru : July 28 -29

The way Peru celebrates their independence day is actually brilliant. Why? because they take two days to do it instead of one. As someone who thinks July 4th is the greatest American holiday, I am really into the idea of dedicating two days to celebrate. In Peru, they celebrate their independence on July 28, the date when José de San Martine proclaimed Peru’s independence; AND July 29, on which they celebrate the Armed Forces and National Police. The festivities kick off with a cannon salute in Lima, followed by Te Deum mass, led by the Archbishop of the capital city and attended by the President of the Republic. The Gran Corso, (aka a giant parade) also takes place in downtown Lima.


India: August 15

August 15th marks the day the British brexit-ed India ending the three century long period of British rule. Billions of Indians every year commemorate the historic day by decorating their houses, offices, and schools with the deep saffron, white and green of the Indian flag. Families gather to watch the annual flag hoisting ceremony, broadcasted live from the Red Fort in New Delhi. Independence day in India is a beautiful celebration because all over the country the sky is full of colorful kites, which to Indians symbolize freedom. Definitely the perfect day for a picnic outside in my opinion. 


Indonesia: August 17

Celebrations on August 17th begin with the flag ceremony at the National Palace. The flag is hoisted by carefully selected high school students from across the country. It is immediately after the ceremony that the real party starts as neighborhoods ready themselves for street fests with games and music concerts. On this day in Indonesia, the traditional game is "panjat pinang", which is a typical non competitive sport where people try to scale palm trees that are covered in oil (because climbing a non -slippery tree isn't hard enough?) in hopes of grabbing the prizes that have been placed at the top. This challenge is important because it symbolizes the struggle of Indonesians to achieve their independence from the Dutch. If you aren't down to get super greasy climbing trees, then you can try your luck at the hotdog shrimp chip eating contest. Yum.


Mexico:  September 16

The Mexican independence day (no - it's not Cinco De Mayo) memorializes the Grito de Delores, or the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest from Dolores. Mexico city is the hot spot for all the festivities as more than half a million people gather there each year. It is a tradition for the president to repeat the cry of patriotism and then there is a firework show. ¡Viva!

 


A Father's Day for Everyone

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 16, 2016

Father’s Day is this Sunday. Yes, red alert, Father’s Day is THIS Sunday. I’m sure between summer expeditions and the (occasional) work that must be done, you’ve probably forgotten to plan something for dad’s day. Well, don’t fret. I’ve got you covered.

(you too mom)

Father’s Day, in my eyes, is basically the same as Mother’s Day. It’s about honoring the people that raised you, and engrained in you the most precious values you have. I mean, this Mother’s Day was the first Mother’s Day I’ve spent with my entire family in 6 years. Yes! 6 long years. Even though I didn’t give you guys plans for Mother’s Day, (which shame on me, I know), I’ve decided that this blog is not only about honoring your dad, but also honoring your mom (for God’s sake, she pushed you out of her womb). You know, there are many types of families out there, with two moms, a single mom, a single dad  - so no matter if your dad is present (I’m lucky and blessed that mine is), you’ll have something to do this Sunday!

Father’s Day for Dad:

For the Brew Junkie:

Brew is an in beer, just to put that out there. If your dad loves beers, and you’re in Boston (which you should be, Boston is amazing), they’ve you’re pretty lucky. Boston has some of the best local brews in the country. Because “local” in Boston means anything from New Hampshire to Maine, that leaves us with a huge variety. If you’re looking for some place to get your beer one, check out: The Publick House, Sunset Grill, Boston Beer Works, and Cambridge Brewing Company.

For the Breakfast Junkie:

My dad isn’t much of a drinker, but he is a lover of breakfast food – and by breakfast food I mean a Swiss cheese omelet with a side of extra crispy bacon. Oh, and the coffee that he always forgets to order. If your dad is anything like mine, brunch is most certainly a necessity on Sunday morning.

Museum of Science:

I know what you must be thinking, brunch at the museum? Yes! Brunch at the SCIENCE museum, seriously could not get any cooler. Though I’m not a fan of buffets, not because I don’t love all the food I can gobble down, but because I tend to over eat, cry, and then continue eating, I would sign up for a Wolfgang Puck brunch any day. Not only will you be chowing down on some seriously delicious eats, but you’ll be seated in the Skyline Room overlooking the Charles River.

(i don't know these people but how cute are they)

Café Fleuri:

Barbecue is a summer staple, but sometimes, it’s also a dad staple. So because it’s both summer and Father’s Day, The Langham Hotel is pretty ideal. All their brunch items are BBQ inspired. Oink Oink!

For the Animal Lover:

The Franklin Park Zoo offers free admission to all dads. Yes, free admission. Do you think if I wore a mustache and a cap I could pass for a (young and handsome) dad?

Father’s Day for the other dad, Mom:

Yes, Father’s Day for moms is a thing. We’re very used to having a mental image of what a typical family is, but it’s 2016, there is no such thing as a typical family. Like I’ve mentioned, there are families with two moms, two dads, a single mom, a mom and a dad (and maybe you just want to thank your mom again); there’s seriously every kind of family out there. So why not take this day to celebrate the mom in your life too?

For the Spa Lover:

The Emerge Spa has a Father’s Day treatment deal, but it’s also valid for moms. Between getting a relaxing pedicure, a cucumber facial, and the (not so relaxing, but sometimes needed) wax, you’ll make mama very very happy.

For the Vino Lover:

Did you know there’s a Boston Wine School? Yes, you can register for classes, have some tastings, and learn about different kinds of grapes all in the same place. So for the vino loving mama in your life, you can either take it back to your college days and sign up for a class, or you can take her of a City Wine Tour. Mamma Mia!

(sorry I'm wine-y)

For the Instagram Lover (just so she can post super cool boat pics):

Take her on either the lunch or sunset cruise with Spirit Cruises. There’s an open bar, a DJ, and panoramic views of the gorgeous Boston skyline. If your mom’s a photographer (very much like mine), the cruise back drop is perfect for a new insta post.

This coming Sunday is about loving the ones you’re with, and the ones in your life. There’s obviously a special shout out there to the people that raised you, so raise your glasses (beer, wine, or iced coffee), and thank them. They deserve it.

Run, Boston, Run!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, April 14, 2016

Marathon Monday is quite possibly known as Boston's second Christmas. And I'm not even exaggerating here. I was actually speaking to one of my neighbors on Monday, and she told me how she marks off the whole weekend and week before Marathon Monday, just to prep herself (and she's not even running the marathon).

(just in case you didn't catch my title reference)

Before 2013, the Marathon was a day to go out, have a couple (or several) drinks, and cheer on friends, family, or random runners at the finish line. That all changed on April 15th, 2013. I don't want to go into the specifics, because quite frankly, we all know what happened at the Boston bombing. I was sitting on my friend's couch, enjoying her birthday festivities and my Georgetown cupcake, when all of a sudden, everything changed. I scrambled to find my phone, just to tell my parents and sister that I was okay, and that I'd try to keep them as informed as possible. Soon after, all cell services were blocked and I felt like I was in a some sort of trance. I was a freshman in college! I had never experienced anything like it, and needless to say, that was one of the worst weeks of my life.

I am beyond lucky to say that I wasn't on the finish line that day, and that my best friend had decided to leave Boylston about 15 minutes before the bombs went off.

Almost three years after that horrific day, Boston has gotten back on track. What happened during the marathon was one of the worst things Boston has ever seen, but what happened after, truly showed how one city can really come together in a time of remorse. There was a massive amount of support given to everyone and anyone who was in some way affected by the marathon bombing, and Boston didn't let anyone take their strength and resilience away. The city was the true embodiment of Boston Strong.

Though I do think we should take Monday to love our families and friends a little more, to thank whatever force you believe in that we're still around and we're still alive, I also believe there are many places around Boston to do so.

Boston Marathon Pre-Race Dinner

Whether you're running the marathon, or just watching it, there's always an excuse to carbo-load. At City Hall, starting at 4pm the night before, there will be an abundance of trays to any and all food and marathon lovers. If you're a superhuman running the Boston Marathon, you can eat for free! If you're lazy like me, and the thought of running more than 5 minutes absolutely horrifies you, you'll just have to pay $20 for all you can eat. On the menu are FOUR different pasta dishes, and a salad if you're feeling like pasta isn't enough for you.

Midnight Marathon Bike Ride

Now, I'm not much (or at all) of a runner. In fact, I actually hate running. I get bored, and I just don't have the will-power to force myself to do it. However, I do love biking. I am an avid spinner, and will literally bike anywhere because (thankfully) I've built up a resistance to do so. This event is basically perfect for me, but I will most likely find some excuse to stuff my face instead of attending. But don't be like me, and bike away! Every year, thousands of people gather and bike across the city, only to be greeted by a pancake breakfast right after. Yes, it's basically like pulling an all nighter for pancakes, but you deserve them after pedaling so much.

(pedal away pedal gods)

T.J. Spirits

This isn't so much an event, more like a restaurant that I highly recommend. Even though it's not located anywhere near the finish line, this place has some true marathon celebrations. You'll see your typical finger-lickin' wings, and make-your-own burgers, but what's most important is their marathon inspired beer. They serve Sam Adams' signature 26.2 marathon brew. It has a lower alcohol content, so if you're a runner looking for a post race drink, this may be the perfect solution for you - because if I were to have a regular beer on a post-workout empty stomach, I'd probably faint.

Cityside

If you're looking for a more up close and personal view of the marathon, Cityside has panoramic views that are just for you. On Marathon Monday, they open at 9am (say it with me: rise, and shine, and wine), so arrive there early for the best views on their rooftop patio or by the windows! Between the drafts, fishbowls, and greasy eats, you'll be glad you're watching the marathon, and not running it.

I rounded out what I think are some of the best to-dos on Patriot's Day. There are obviously hundreds of other places you can go, and if you didn't particularly like any of my suggestions (rude),  you can look on the BAA website and find some other places (mine are the best, just sayin').

Before I sign off, I'd also like to remind everyone of the holiday on Sunday, April 17th. If you happen to not know (shame on you), it's INTERNATIONAL (yeah she's internationally known) IT'S MY SISTER'S BDAY, DAY. You might be busy prepping for the race, or carbo loading, but whatever you're doing, send some positive vibes out and have a drink for her. She likes champagne (Moet and Veuve only, duh) and chocolate lava cakes, so order those.

Happy birthday my munchkin. Even though no one likes you when you're 23, everyone loves you when you're 24. 

(even leo)

The Bunny's Guide to Brunch

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, March 24, 2016

Guys, Easter Sunday is coming up and you know what that means: Easter Brunch! Yes, I will also be attending mass at the St. Francis Chapel inside the Prudential, but post mass I'll be devouring large portions of bacon and avocado eggs beni.

I don't know if you guys are planners like me, but reservations are a must have for any brunch, especially Easter brunch. So unlock your phone, and load up your open table because I've compiled a list of must have New England brunches.

Bar Boulud

This place holds a particularly special place in my heart because it's one of the places where I celebrated my 21st birthday, and where I've actually had Easter brunch. With locations around the world, this is a guaranteed winner. You can opt for the prix-fixe menu, or go a la carte - but I will say the prix fixe features brioche pain perdu (guys this is the real French toast, go for it), and roasted leg of lamb. If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE lamb, so I'm basically drooling over here. It's a little on the pricey side, so if you're trying to break the bank or are in need of your girlfriend's forgiveness, aller et manger!

(voici leur pain perdu)

The Beehive

If you're an early riser and love the idea of live music and all you can eat baked goods, check out Beehive. This place opens its doors at 9am, and vows to play live music all day. What makes it so unique is not only its tunes, but its Mediterranean inspired menu. You'll be indulging in things like lamb sausage polenta, roasted leg of lamb, and scrambled eggs with lamb and feta. Wonder why I'm loving this place so much? I'll give you a hint: lamb.

Blue Ginger

I've written a blog about changing up your brunch style, and taking it towards the Asian route, but I'll reiterate that all here. Blue Ginger is possibly the most respected dumpling palace in all of New England, mainly due to its head chef. His name is Ming Tsai, and you may have seen him on a little show called Top Chef. I've met him before, and watching him make buns and dumplings is truly an art. If this is your first attempt at an Asian style brunch, Blue Ginger should definitely be your go-to. On Easter, they'll have a wok-stirred omelet station, and of course, a wide variety of dumplings. Make east and west one, and have some miso on Easter.

Brasserie Jo

Located right under the Colonnade Hotel - the one with the rooftop pool and delicious piña coladas - Brasserie Jo continues with the theme of amazing drinks. This is a PSA: they have a make-your-own mimosa and bloody mary bar. You know what that means? Bottomless and ever-changing fruity and tomato-y concoctions. And since it's Sunday, and on Sunday calories don't count, make a pit stop at their customizable cupcake station. Have a red velvet for me!

The Breakfast Club

I'm not only a sucker for breakfast food, but for rom coms as well (hi hello yes I'm basic - this definitely isn't breaking news). Any place that shares the same name as one of my favorite movies, and serves delectable home fries, all at once, is a place for me. Between their never-ending omelet selection, and their dishes named after the movie's main characters, I'd so schlep to Allston for this. I also happen to love peeps, and this diner has PEEP MILKSHAKES. Their milkshakes are most certainly bringing me to their yard.

(love you guys)

Craigie on Main

Okay, so what if you're Jewish? Are you not allowed to partake in Easter brunching? Hello, of course not! Craigie has a Passover-esque Easter brunch menu, which I find so hilariously delightful. Make your bubby proud, and order the bagel platter. Now go and mangia!

Oops, that's not Yiddish. Let me try this again:

Now go and fress!

Easter is a time to be with family and friends, and what do most of those gatherings include? Food! This Sunday is basically Christmas for anyone who loves brunch, so put your calorie-trackers down, and indulge away. Nobunny will know.


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