The first week kickin’ it at home brought some refreshing downtime with Nance and Len and a few blunt reminders that I’m temporarily removed from city living! My step count was quite possibly the most notable metric of change – man I had to work to get to 10k! At least one health walk helped push me over the edge each day. And since I’ve been running the same laps around the neighborhood since the early 2000’s, I spiced up the routine with a jaunt on the East Longmeadow bike path!


The route travels from behind Milton Bradley to the center of town Dunkin Donuts. It was interesting to see Shaker Road from the other side, and soak in the aromas from Frigo’s. On Friday I got in two out-and-backs to hit five miles; I’ll have to add the path to the EL running rotation!


In cooking, we brought together some fantastic flavor combos. Like the pictured grilled salmon, sautéed asparagus and mushrooms and grain salad. The salad was a concoction of farro, spinach, peaches, feta, walnuts and pickled onions with a sesame ginger dressing on the side. Highly recommend.



DC: The goodbye tour

And that’s a wrap! The DC countdown concluded this week with a disaster-less last day in the office and a bunch of last hurrahs! My DC residency can be noted from 2009-2017 (at least for now!). And even though this transition has been carefully calculated for quite a while, I’m still soaking in the fact that the time to move back to MA for an MBA arrived! Over the weekend I hugged it out, packed it up* and headed out of the District with Dad (*for the exception of the basil plant left on the windowsill).

And what’s a move north without a little reflection from the last eight years living in the “South”? DC. I’ve fallen in love with people, fast casual, running routes and my local license – and with it the pride of being a Washingtonian and establishing a home base on my own merit. Art museums, suburban adventures and DateLab. Guapos tacos and the Decades dance floor. Blogging! It’s been an active and evolving eight years.

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(A 90’s music going away gathering.)

And that first year wasn’t easy. In fact, kind of terribly challenging. But in between forced triples, late nights at the library and tearful and premature goodbyes, I developed grit and lifelong friendships. I found my stride in year two which carried me through initiations, honor rolls and a much needed adventure abroad in the third. Then AU wrapped up above the Best Buy, where I learned how thankful I am for roommates and how ready I was to not have an intern title.

(The latest fast-casual recommendation: Falafel Inc. in Georgetown!)

Working full-time brought deeper insight into TLC talent and a great appreciation for coworker camaraderie in garden-of-pain bootcamp workouts. Smoke alarms save lives and disaster deployments put just about everything into perspective.
(Last super humid run from Q St.)

Over these last few years of urban living (sans homework!) I’ve diligently checked things off the DC bucket list – and started blogging to document it all! The blog has kept me busy – and enforced the internal “do-er” in fear of the social stigma of not having anything to say. But of course, there will always be weeks where banana bread is the highlight! Updates shall continue from Chestnut Hill!

(The PanVan’s last voyage [est. 2004].)

I love the District; it’s hard to leave! But also about that time for change. So onward! … to unpacking, re-packing, traveling across the Pond and wrapping up that pre-orientation statistics work!


A Bristol 4th

Family, a feast and Bristol 4th festivities – there couldn’t possibly be a better way to celebrate America’s birthday! On the morning-of, Nance and Len, Rebecca, Noel, Aiden, Torin and Drew and I cheers’d to the holiday with our Del’s in-hand.

Earlier in the weekend I traveled up to Rhode Island to soak in the bay and finish off the party preparations.


Dad and I added some patriotic pizzazz to Union Commercial and then took a proper lunch at the Beehive Cafe.

And since we left the house in matching outfits, we (I) had a kind stranger snap a father-daughter photo just for fun.

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On Monday I hit the road for a jog along the East Bay Bike Path – a route discovered in last year’s race!

Then the Gills arrived and Drew made a surprise entrance! Fireworks with the family were just delightful.

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And then soon enough it was time for the 232nd 4th of July parade!

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Not pictured: Mountains of roadside snacks to tide us over until the backyard feast of old favorites like ham pie and baked shrimp and scallops, with new-age quinoa, kale and cucumber sides.

Pictured: A Del’s glamour shot.



Work It

Work it (girl): what a great power phrase! This new mural on 14th St., created by local artists No Kings Collective, brings even more flair to the energized corridor. It’s so fun! And after reading into the project a bit more, I now know that the temporary installation is designed to celebrate Whitman-Walker Health’s work with the LGBTQ community by creating a space that reflects it’s values of openness and diversity. Power mural.


Throughout the week I tried to work in a few other new sites on the DC scene, and also hit up some of the solid standbys.

In the old favorites category: Capital Crescent jaunts. I will truly miss them! I got in a few more morning runs, including Saturday’s six miler.

The Chaia taco trio also had to be consumed at least one more time before it’s more than a picturesque stroll through Georgetown away. Those poblano crema, jalapeño and cilantro favor combos simply cannot be recreated!

But on another new and high note, Amy, Claire, Sean and I made it to the Top of the Gate – the Watergate rooftop bar!
We caught up and snapped some fun candids, but also posed for a few during the golden hour.

As expected, the views were pretty great – with sights of both the Georgetown waterfront and downtown Rosslyn. The pinot was also delicious. And all of it a tad bittersweet.

– EmPan