Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hiking, Cuban food, kitties, and quince paste, oh my!

I got an email bright and early this morning after planning my day of a work out, lab, and grading asking if I wanted to go hiking. Uh---yes! It was supposed to be gorgeous out, and while the clouds never really went away, it did get to about 55ºF, which is beautiful for this time of year.

We drove to Blue Hills Reservation, which is only a short drive after the requisite 20 minutes it takes to get anywhere from the Big Dig. We chose to take the red circle path, promising "intermediate terrain" which is code for boulders. And rocks. It wasn't too bad going up, but going down would have been pretty rough, I think.

We reached the top, and oh what a view...

That's Boston in the distance - I have a feeling these hikes would have been stunning with the fall colors, but as most of the trees are oak and pine, it looks lovely now as well. We took the Puddle Path back down, which was a bit longer, but much less steep. Alas, the slippery wet leaves from the rain on Friday made for slippery terrain, and I'm nursing quite the goose egg on my shin and a really bruised hand (apparently it's my thenar muscle?). But it was so worth it:

Then, we went forth to Jamaica Plain (ha--you're jamaican me crazy!) and had lunch at a Cuban place - Cuban sandwich, fried green plantains, mango shake, and flan. =Amazing. Plus, there was a Spanish grocery store across the street, and such awesome things as quince paste, dulce de leche, mango jam, guava paste, and Castipan, this weird confection that calls itself "cereal paste" but is apparently rosewater-flavored jellied candy rolled in sugar. I tried one tonight, and I was surprised by how not sickly sweet it was. Instead, it was really rather tame and encouraging of contentment instead of overindulgence (actually, that's how the entire meal was...we all left full but not crazy-gonna-die-or-never-eat-that-much-again full).

The final stop of the amazing day was the MSPCA (the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). I gotta say...ending the day by having kitties sit on my lap was pretty much perfect. They also had bunnies! I wish there was somewhere closer where I could go to volunteer to get my animal fix...having a pet here in the dorms just isn't all that practical.

And now I'm icing my shin/hand and catching up on The Daily Show. Tomorrow I'm holding a french toast study break with all the fixins, so my hand needs to be in tip-top shape for all that flipping!


Chris said...

We take little Pawl Revere to the MSPCA and I am tempted every time by onlooking kitties and one particularly loyal-looking albino pit bull.

I ate a lot of dulce de leche in Argentina. Mmmh! In Mendoza, we even tasted a dulce de leche liqueur of which I hauled a bottle back to the states for my grandma!

Aya Smith said...

Beautiful and mysterious photos there... sounds like you had a wonderful time! haha, I'm jealous ;D