Friday, November 15, 2013

The Goose

We woke up a few hours later in order to make our appointment with the psychic.

One of the things that we had done, as Rhinda and I have done with several of our other trips, is join the Groupon or Livingsocial deals of a city well in advance of actually going there. This allows us to get deals for a city we're going to and make appointments and arrangements. One of the deals we happened to stumble upon was a deal for a psychic reading. Rhinda and I had always been interested in getting this done so we made appointments. No one else from the party was interested.

We made our way into the city using the T (Boston's underground tram service, which is both hilariously slow because of the curviness of its tracks but also rather convenient) and got ourselves some breakfast at Starbucks after not being able to decide what to eat.

I ate a tomato and cheese square with a chai latte. She had a pumpkin rosemary square with the seasonal pumpkin spice latte. This was definitely going to be the least awesome food of our entire stay. A failing on our part to try a little harder at eating New England food.

And then we went to the psychic. A strange place the Tremont Tearoom, it took us a long time to locate it since it was in an office building on top of a jewelry store. But we eventually did find it. Rhinda went first since apparently we're not allowed to be in the room at the same time (something something the psychic would pick up on both of our energies instead of just one) and they had a schedule to keep. We had half an hour each.

Rhinda said hers was strangely accurate. The psychic went into details such as that Rhinda gets her fiance to eat better (which is true) and other very accurate things such as "who wears the mask of deception?" when her fiance had recently revealed to her that he didn't want their children to be raised Jewish (this is something they had agreed upon years before and is important to her, having converted to Judaism back in college).

And then I went in. I would also have to say that some things were strangely accurate: she correctly guessed that I'm doing excellently financially and will be completely buttoned up in that way by the time I'm 30 (I have no doubts that this will in fact, be true). She also knew about my troubles related to some health stuff I've been dealing with (it was very specific though, she correctly guessed the area of my body that was ailing me, and this is not a part that can be seen or detected by a normal person). The rest of my session was focusing on an area of my life that has been taking a lot of my mental space and time: my love future. As you, dear readers, have likely gleaned from some of my previous posts, dating life abroad has been anything but rosy. I don't write about everything that has happened (because, well, that's personal), but needless to say, things have been abrewing. Her answers were strangely reassuring and unreassuring. I also pulled the deception card. I guess the question of "who is wearing the mask of deception?" though, doesn't have a good answer in this case. Am I wearing the mask of deception? I don't think so. But I don't think the other party does either.

[Future add-in: it appears the other party was wearing the mask of deception. So that answers that question.]

All in all a wonderful experience. Rhinda and I felt very good leaving the place, and continued on our day of fun together before the others arrived. One of our major goals was to choose our MAC lipstick colors for the big day in March. The makeup artist Rhinda has arranged for us will not only do our airbrush makeup (some incredible makeup innovation that blends with the oils of your skin to make it look more natural), but will also get us a tube of MAC lipstick for a discounted price so everyone can do touchups for the rest of the day. We were on the hunt for our perfect colors.

We had spotted a Macy's when getting our Starbucks earlier in the day so that's where we went back to. The MAC counter was conveniently located in the beauty section and we started hunting for good colors. We noticed a line out the door of Asian customers and realized quickly that Clinique was having one of their fall gift pack giveaway days (where if you spend a certain amount of money you get the gift pack with free products in it...Asian people love these family used to be one of those people in line).

A lovely gay man eventually came over and helped us. I found a gorgeous deep red and Rhinda found a pink purple. I bought mine immediately though, having been convinced that I should use this in real life and not just for her wedding, with a brush to help me draw the lines on straight. Trust me, this is one of the many reasons I've never gotten into makeup - you have to do it right otherwise you just look foolish. It's a lot more difficult than it looks. The irony of it all: the brush was more expensive than the lipstick itself. They clearly know what they're doing in the pricing department.

We then took the rest of the time to shop the career dresses department. Having not shopped in a Macy's in a long while I'd forgotten they even had a department like this. We ended up buying the same dress: a sleek black Calvin Klein number that was on sale. I need dresses exactly like these for work functions, VIP events at the V&A, and countless Internations meetups. My god, if only they had stores that sold things like this in London! And for so cheap yet quality!

At this point the first girl had arrived so it was time to meet up with her back at the hotel. We went back and gathered her while also putting down our new purchases.

We then headed out for the first of many food adventures that day. Quincy Market:

Basically an indoor market hall filled with all sorts of amazing food delights. Unfortunately this was the only time we got to eat in there, but if I'd had the time, there would have been so much more exploration.

This time around we got clam chowder in a bread bowl and a baked clam. No photos, sorry about that. I was a horrible photographer on this trip because I was having so much fun and others were taking photos. A lot of food photos you'll see on the blog for this trip were actually taken by Rhinda for posting purposes. My apologies in advance.

The clam chowder was delightful - not at all salty, very fresh clams, wonderfully soft bread bowl. Very different from the ones I've had in San Francisco with their sourdough breads. But all of them are tasty in their own ways. This was great though.

The clam bake was horribly disappointing. What looked like a bread-encrusted creamy masterpiece was a dry bready baked thing with clam bits in it. The only redeeming part of it was the tartare sauce that came with it. I was heavily disappointed. At $4 a pop you'd expect at least something that isn't dry. My mistake.

At this point another girl had arrived so we had to go back to the hotel again. It was also just about time for happy hour, something rare and elusive in Boston, so we were definitely going to RSVP.

We headed off to Q restaurant, where happy hour was booming for a very short time. We found out once we were snuggled in at the bar that only appetizers were half off; Massachusetts is one of those states that can discount food but not booze. We also found out the hard way that booze is only sold in dedicated liquor stores or some larger grocery stores (and only things like low-alcohol beer and wine).

So we took off ordering appetizers like we were starving (which we weren't) and enjoyed what we could. The cocktails, though not discounted, were still delicious:

We had sashimi (tuna, salmon, white fish), scallion pancakes, seafood salad, and black fungus (otherwise translated as "cloud ears" by my family). All of them were great, though my favorites were definitely the seafood salad and scallion pancakes (which had a side of hoisin, my long lost love). Everything was fresh and quite tasty. And after being half off, very cheap.

After this tasty meal we decided to hit a liquor store, after having had this rumor confirmed. We tried CVS, which is when we found out that clearly, there would be no booze to be had there. We at least bought mixers though, and then headed out to a liquor store. We had to take the tram to get to the nearest one. Granted Boston is not a big place and is still very walkable, when you have to take public transit to get to your nearest liquor store, you know that you're in a town that used to embrace prohibition with wild abandon.

We picked up a bottle of Grey Goose from there and called it a night (it was hereon out referred to merely as, The Goose). I said classy booze or bust, and this is what we decided on. We later emptied the one tiny ice bucket our room provided and tried to chill our one bottle as much as possible for later consumption.

Our plan was to then take a nap, as had been heavily discussed in Facebook messages before all getting together, but we had taken so long in procuring booze and eating happy hour that this failed. I'd like to state here and now that we did successfully nap all of the other days and that I would highly recommend this to other bachelor and bachelorette parties the world over. Rest is essential, and when you're getting to sleep at 3am or so every night and somehow still waking up at 9am, you'll want that rest. Trust me.

Instead we got ready to go out for a night on the town. To a speakeasy called Drink. It was a very classy joint in the recently renovated and rejuvenated part of town. Super excited.  I even drew on my lips that night with my new red lipstick. Rhinda heavily approved. She wore her new black Calvin Klein dress. We so fancy.

The drinks were actually spectacular. They were real drinks (instead of homemade concoctions) called things like The Bohemian (that's the only one I can remember that I had...and it was incredible). Apparently there is a whole world of drinks out there that I don't know about. Figures.

The last girl to arrive that day had some friends she'd met while in Vegas who lived in Boston who joined us. Not only did they secretly buy us a round of drinks (Rhinda thought that she traded in the little "Bride to Be" hat she was wearing for free drinks...a secret we will let her continue to believe), they also took us for late night Chinese food afterwards at a great restaurant called New Jumbo Seafood.

There we had things like fish maw soup, spicy fried calamari, black bean clams, and beef with bell peppers and onions. It was fabulous and greasy; the way that late night food should be. We ended the night at 4am.

Yes, Boston, the eating had just begun. And so did the fun.

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