We’re Baaaaaack!

Hiya Blog!

Did you miss me?

We had a lovely long weekend in Boston. What a pretty city!

Boston is noted as a city of “firsts.” It is the birthplace of the American Revolution, Harvard University, Benjamin Franklin, John F. Kennedy, Paul Revere, the Boston Tea Party, and let’s not forget, the New Kids on the Block. I know, right!

NKOTB

Yes, I used to be a huge NKOTB fan back in the day….Joey McIntyre was soooo dreamy to 8 year old Sabrina.

Anywho, I had always imagined that I would one day travel to Boston, as I longed to see Harvard law school for quite some time. Perhaps this was due to my legal education, or Harvard’s longstanding history, or its prestigious nature and beautiful architecture, or maybe because it is where Legally Blonde took place; either way, it was something I’ve always dreamed of visiting.

What I did not imagine is that I would be traveling to Boston for the primary purpose of getting a second opinion at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute regarding my metastatic osteosarcoma. How’s that for a first?

As promised, here is my post-Boston trip wrap up.

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The car ride, although tiring, was pleasant. I did manage to sleep in the car, which became rather useful due to the sleep I relinquished each night in Boston. If you didn’t read my last post, well, you really should. In that post I mentioned that essentially all of the hotels were booked up this past weekend in Boston, and as such, my dad, mom, as well as Garrett and I were forced to all stay in the same hotel room together. This meant lots of snoring and no sleeping for Sabrina. The one thing I desperately needed to bring with me was earplugs, so naturally, the one thing that I forgot to bring with me was earplugs. After about five hours of my parents (mainly my dad) snoring loudly and proudly, Garrett and I took matters into our own hands and we made ourselves earplugs out of toilet paper. Necessity is the mother of invention.

The next day we made sure that we bought some proper earplugs. This kept the snoring symphony to a mere background noise as opposed to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Oh, and since the suspense must be killing all of you, Garrett opted for a more formal bedtime attire. He chose pyjamas.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let me breakdown the rest of our little adventure.

As you all know, the main reason for our trip was not to visit the hometown of the New Kids on the Block, but rather to receive a second opinion from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

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I can assure you that the building was very nice and welcoming, and it didn’t smell like urine or have that unpleasant hospital odour. Everyone that I dealt with was very friendly, especially the oncologist that I visited with. However, I did not receive any information that was particularly enlightening or life-altering. In a nutshell, I basically was told everything that I had already heard back home in Toronto. There was no miracle cure or drug. Additionally, there was no immunotherapy drug trial for sarcoma taking place at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute anytime soon. So, that was a bit of a letdown.

I was given the name of a drug, which my oncologist in Toronto had previously mentioned to me as something we might consider in the future (although this drug is not covered by OHIP…..surprise, surprise). I also volunteered to become part of a research study to gather more information on sarcomas, as I believe there is definitely a lack of research and information with regards to these types of cancer.

Something that I found a little troubling was some of the exclusions associated with clinical trials. Virtually all clinical trials have many exclusions as part of the eligibility requirements. For many trials in the United States, one of these exclusions tends to be that you will be excluded from participating in the trial if you have had another cancer within the last five years. I remotely understand the reasoning behind this, but essentially it seems to me that these individuals are being unfairly punished for having had the bad luck of receiving more than one cancer diagnosis in a short period of time. Highly frustrating.

Even though the information communicated to me at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute was not really what I was hoping for or expecting, the Boston trip was well worth it nonetheless.

Just the fact that I finally was able to stroll around Harvard Law School (as well as seeing Harvard main campus, and the Medical School) was extremely memorable for me, as I have been enamored with this institution for a long time. What a gorgeous school that Harvard is.

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And guess what, I am now able to say that I peed in Harvard Law School. I don’t think my name will be adorning their walls on a plaque for that, but still.

How cool am I?

How cool am I?

Although it was a very busy weekend, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for us to navigate the city on foot. It didn’t feel congested or crowded at all. It was wonderful. Even in very touristy spots such as Harvard Square or Quincy Market, I didn’t feel stressed strolling around. Driving in the city, on the other hand, was a bit challenging for my dad as there was quite a bit of traffic on the streets. We even took part in a Boston Duck Tour which came highly recommended to us, and it was a riot, as our “con-duck-tor” was hilarious. We were able to get a glimpse of the “Cheers” sign while on board the Duck Tour (although the pic below is not the one we took).

Cheers

And of course, my favourite part of traveling to foreign places is to eat! Well, I think that’s my favourite thing in general. Total foodie. I have to say one of my favourite restaurants in Boston was Legal Sea Foods. I had an absolutely delicious crab cake with a side of quinoa salad. I was so taken aback by the party in my mouth that I completely forgot to take a picture of my meal. I always take pictures of my meals when I am on vacation. That’s my thing! So the best I can do is a picture of me outside of the restaurant…sorry folks.

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As you might imagine, the seafood in Boston is very yummy. And Garrett can attest to the fact that the beer in Boston is also very yummy.

Here is Garret with his beer sampler.

Here is Garrett with his beer sampler.


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As for other memorable dishes, here is my wonderful seafood risotto.
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My delicious Chilean sea bass
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Garrett’s superstar pasta with clams
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And we cannot forget Garrett’s mouthwatering New England Clam Chouda….this Clam Chowder was actually award-winning!

He looks like a kid in a candy store in this pic.

He looks like a kid in a candy store in this pic.

I also must confess that I was able to find a very delicious organic healthy restaurant in Boston which was absolutely rammed. I think me and every other New Age hippie or vegan on the planet was thinking the same thing that day. I had a “Green Goddess” bowl. Now to all of you carnivores out there (which used to be me in the good old days), it might look too green and too scary, but I can assure you that it was really tasty. The dish also consisted of sprouted beans, and I was in “Beantown” afterall.

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And for my dad, no trip is complete unless he is able to have a meal at an Italian restaurant. So we headed to Boston’s Little Italy, which I have to say we were all quite impressed with. The espresso and cannoli were really good. We ate at a busy little restaurant named Limoncello. You’ll have to take my dad’s word on the cannoli as I just stuck to espresso that night.

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A very good espresso.

A very good espresso.

Here’s my mom’s tiramisu..apparently it tasted just as good as it looked.
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I am also a huge fan of cupcakes. I love making them (and I used to enjoy eating them too). So, I was told to visit Georgetown Cupcakes, which is a gourmet cupcake shop started up by two sisters from Toronto! Since I am staying away from refined sugar and dairy these days, I decided to order their vegan apple-cinnamon cupcake; however, I just took one bite from it (but I didn’t try the frosting). If you are wondering who ate the rest of the cupcake, that should be rather easy to guess, it was Garrett.

My pretty vegan apple cinnamon cupcake.

My pretty vegan apple cinnamon cupcake.

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For all of you baseball fans, we did stop by Fenway park. The Boston Red Sox were not playing though.
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All in all, we had a fantastic little road trip. Boston is definitely a city worth visiting, and I would welcome the opportunity to head back there someday. Although we accomplished quite a bit in the short time that we were there (especially given the circumstances surrounding our visit), there are still things I would like to see and do. I could always do a bit more sightseeing, a little more shopping, and a lot more eating.

Till next time, Boston! We love you 🙂

The view of the city at night.

The view of the city at night.

Love, health, and Beantown!
xo

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