A few months ago, my amazingly smart sister-in-law, Michaela, passed the final part of her CPA exam.
So when my brother Ryan emailed me about planning a surprise party in her honor — to celebrate not only her new CPA license but also the end of her studying for a while — I knew I had to be there for the fiesta.
Ryan and Michaela live just outside Boston, and the party was planned for Saturday, September 10.
Two weeks before my marathon.
Dun dun dunnnn.
I stressed over whether or not to make the trip up for about a month beforehand. There were no cheap flights, no cheap train options and the bus smells like fast food, so that option was out, too.
In the end, that Handsome Friend of mine used some fancy discount code and snagged a rental car so we could be there to scream “Surprise” when Michaela arrived.
So that’s what I did this weekend. I went to Boston. And for one entire weekend, I let my mind drift — at least a little bit — away from marathon training, and focused on my super-successful new sister.
Do you want to know more? OK I’ll tell you things.
The drive up Friday night was uneventful.
I made a pit stop before hitting the road…
Why did I go there? To pick up a new AQUA (er, light blue, really) shirt!
I dig it. I hope you do, too.
We got to Ryan and Michaela’s house (she wasn’t there) around 11:45 pm and were sound asleep by midnight.
Saturday morning, thanks to the whole marathon taper thing, meant a not-too-crazy long run. Ten manageable miles, said Coach Cane. He wanted the first six at my marathon goal pace + 45 seconds per mile, and the last four miles at my marathon goal pace.
The pacing I could handle.
The route through Boston I could not.
So I called on two of my favorite Boston bloggers for a little help.
We met up at the Museum of Science on Saturday morning (Handsome Friend came too!), ready to run some miles.
Fun fact: I greeted both of them like we were best friends, but apparently we had never met in person. Crazy. I seemed to have forgotten that fact…
The run itself was pretty uneventful. Ten miles seems like nothing after months of big-time training! The route — around the Charles River — was really pretty, very flat and packed with runners and bikers. I liked the vibe.
And of course, the company was great. I loved chatting with Corey and Lauren and pretty much forced them to give me their marathon advice. They are really good runners. I was more than excited to steal their hard-earned running knowledge.
I was also sad when the run ended. To delay the “saying goodbye” part, I demanded that Lauren and Corey take jumping photos with me. It’s apparently my new favorite thing to do.
After the run, we parted ways and I took a little trip to Quincy Market. I ate a lot. It was good.
Then it was party time!
We ventured back to Ryan and Michaela’s house (she was out with her mom for the day) to shower and “help” get ready for the party. If “helping” means “sitting on my butt and taste-testing everything” then I was a huge help. You’re welcome, family.
My mom was cute and got festive by decorating the backyard with accountant-type things, like numbers and calculators.
Michaela was so surprised when she arrived, which was great. Success! She actually didn’t realize what the party was for right away and she was adorable.
The party was great. Lots of food. Naturally.
And there was lots to drink, but I stayed sober. Tapering is hard.
The best part of the day was just getting to spend time with my family. I was smiling the entire time.
I was sad to leave Boston this morning, but coming back to NYC just felt right.
I don’t want to get into writing about 9/11 because I realize that it’s therapeutic and nice for some people to share their feelings about that day, but that’s not really my style. Everyone else’s words are much more beautiful than mine would be.
I will say that running around the Bridle Path in Central Park this evening as the sun was starting to set felt so good. I ran without music and people watched as I ran. I’m sure there are people today in NYC who are afraid and of course there are hundreds of thousands who are grieving. But the people in the park seemed at peace, and it was a really nice feeling. It’s a tragic anniversary, but an important day to reflect and be thankful.
New York, I love you. Thanks for taking good care of me.
Ali, it was SO awesome to meet you and run with you!! I came home from that run feeling so grateful for blogging for helping me find such sweet, funny, down to earth people like you who enjoy running as much as I do.
The party sounds like a major success! So glad you had a nice trip and I hope you come back someday 🙂
What size aqua shirt are you wearing in that pic? I’m trying to decide which size to order:) Thanks!
My shirt is a Medium. They run a bit small.
so glad you enjoyed your time in boston! running the charles is pretty great!
I’m jealous that you ran with Lauren and Corey, they’re two of my favorites! And the jumping shots are amazing…
Glad you enjoyed Boston. I run the Charles/Museum of Science route alllll the time. love it!
hope to see lots of I <3 sweat Ts on the Esplanade veryy soon. yayy for online ordering!
Congrats to your sister in law!
Very nice. All except for the Red Sox shirt Let’s go yankees! (sorry, im a native NY-er.)
Aww:) sounds like you def made the right call in going. Love Corey! What a fun run! Congrats to your sil!!!
wish I had known you were in Boston! And maybe if I didn’t have a half marathon on Saturday I may have been running in Boston too! Running around the Charles is definatley on of the best routes in Boston!
I’m so happy I got to meet you and your Handsome Friend this weekend!! It felt like we were old friends and I loved it. When are you coming back??
The jumping shots are awesome. I love how we look like we’re holding hands in the first one…and how I look like I’m throwing myself over the edge of a cliff in every shot. Clearly I’ve got some mad skillz. 😉
Glad you made the trip, and really glad to hear that the surprise party was a huge success. Congrats to your sister in law!!
I miss running around the Charles! And so jealous you got to run with Lauren and Corey! I want in on the next jumping photo, hehe.
Glad you had such a fun weekend with your fam! Those are the best kinds, and I bet you’re glad you got a little break from thinking about the big show. The next time you see them it’ll be game time! SOO exciting!
What a sweet gesture! The hanging calculators are cool.
Jealous that you have access to so many running bloggers on the east coast! The shadows are pretty awesome in those pictures.
It’s always fun to take a jumping photo. I recently got really into taking them at my cousin’s wedding. http://milehogger.blogspot.com/2011/09/recovery.html
The picture is at the end of the post. Because we’re not dancers, we spent the whole wedding jumping off of high things.
Good luck with the rest of your taper!
Ahhh you ran in my hood! I was out on the esplanade by the museum this saturday too! I wonder if I passed you. 🙂 Glad Boston treated you well!
love that you’re getting your runs in on weekend trips! it can be so stressful figuring out how to work them in.
that hanging calculator is amazing hahah!
I think your picture is perfect for September 11th…sometimes pictures say more then words every could. How fun that you got to spend the weekend with your family! Great after a long work week.
I could write about how pretty Boston was, or how cool I think it is that you met Corey, or how adorable alike you are with your dad, but what I really want to know is …
WAS THAT THE FIRST TIME HANDSOME FRIEND MET THE FAM? And if so, did they LOVE HIM or what?!
I apologize deeply for the nosiness and overstepping of boundaries but I love everything about families and nice boys!
Hahaha! You are hilarious.
Not the first time he met the family! They have met a few times and yes, my family is a fan 🙂
Thank you so, so much for being there! I had such a great time and I’m thrilled that you were a part of it 🙂
I love the jumping shot shadows too! Sounds like a really wonderful weekend with friends and family. Road tripping is always super fun, but if push comes to shove, don’t fear the Bolt Bus! Or the Megabus for that matter. It’s much less crowded than the Bolt. And they’re both so dang affordable! I ride them to/from NYC-Boston all the time.
I LOVE the jumping shots. Those are my favorite. 🙂
How awesome that you could be there to celebrate your SIL’s success. I love the surprise on her face when she realizes the party is for her. That is priceless!
Aw! So close, yet so far 😉 Sounds like such a great little trip and probably what you needed mentally too, right? SO cute that the BF scored a good deal on a rental so you could go!! And LOVE the aqua t-shirt!!!
Looks like a fun weekend with family and new running friends 🙂 I think it was a good decision to go and take your mind off of the marathon for a little bit.
Jealous of your long run! Sounds fun!!!
Glad you went — gives me reassurance, too, as I think 3 weeks before my marathon I’m in Orlando (well sun night through wed am so I will get my LR in) as an abstract I wrote got accepted for a medical conference (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) which is great for my career. Of course, I was freaking out, but life > all else. I’ll probably drink a glass of wine or have a cocktail, but I think it’ll be ok 🙂 (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself so my type A self doesn’t lose it.)
Another really cute post! Sad I missed you guys for the run although I don’t think I could hang for ten anyway!!! Loved the hanging calculators- hysterical : ) Your picture of the statue of liberty is beautiful and I totally relate to what you’ve written about 9/11 and feel the same way.
Jumping shots are the best! Glad you had fun in my city! Yay Beantown!
CONGRATS to your sister in law. I am in the process of taking the exam right now and it’s a reaaaal biotch. Glad you had fun in Boston! Sad I didn’t run into you (literally) while you were running the Charles, I probably would have invited myself along for a few miles 😉
The best part of your jumping pictures are the shadows! Fabulous!! And I love how there were numbers and calculators everywhere. Justin has his CPA and would probably enjoy decorations like that! I never threw him a party. Woops.
Wow, you really do have the same nose! I ran in Boston last year, it’s fun!
I LOVE BOSTON!!! Specifically running there – so fun 🙂 also love CPAs, they are pretty cool too 😉 glad you had a great weekend – marathon is getting closeeee!
I love the jumping shots! Maybe you can jump across the finish line 😉