Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mexican Food, Mariachi Band and Mi Amigos ♡

While home in Massachusetts recently, I had the distinct pleasure of spending some quality time with some of my fwiends in the Boston area.

Arriving in Boston on the night of Thursday March 14 (in my mother's brand new Honda Element that she allowed me to borrow... thanks Mom!!), I checked into Hotel de Kara... aka my friend Kara's Cambridge apartment ;) The two of us got to catch up and were soon joined by me buds Jrod, Derek and Jenna. Cue immediate laughing and jokes and love.

On Friday, after much deliberating and an excess of self-indulgent quips via a long email chain amongst 20 people, we decided that our group of UMass' finest would meet up at El Potro for dinner - a Mexican restaurant in Somerville that boasted a live mariachi band on Friday and Saturday nights. Not just any mariachi band... but the "Best Mariachi in the Boston Area" - Mariachi Estampa de America!

Massive kudos to El Potro for allowing us to reserve space for 11 people, even when they claim to not take reservations. We arrived to see a long row of tables had been moved together and set for our group - hoozah! The waitstaff totally put up with all 11 of us showing up at different times - literally the arrival times spanned at least an entire hour - but they let us hold down the 11 seats we'd requested. They must have realized there was a profitable light at the end of the tunnel for them ;)

With a table full of amazing friends catching up with one another plus tacos, enchiladas, margaritas, nachos and tortas a go-go, shit was wicked good. I had El Potro's Tacos Chipotle - spicy chicken tacos served with rice and beans. Unfortunately the place was so packed and chaotic - what with a live mariachi band playing and all - that I had to suffer with an on-fire tongue/lips combo as I made my way through the tacos because no one would come and refill my water glass :(  The food was so delicious that I kept trying to take further bites of it, sans water. It hurt... so good. My lips were chapped for the next 3 days because of it. #BattleWounds.

The mariachi band was extremely spirited. And loud! They were a lot of fun though and added real character to the place. They made their way around from table to table, playing for all the groups in the restaurant. We even got to hear them perform Feliz Compleanos for a couple of tables.

They took up position at the head of our long row of tables right as our friends Stephanie and Gerry came into the restaurant and sat down in the end chairs to join us. So the two of them basically arrived and could immediately not hear a single thing happening elsewhere at the table! #OOPS. Poor timing.

After a confusing group bill-paying scenario of epic proportions (seriously, this was one for the books) we finally gave El Potro their restaurant back and allowed them to seat the growing number of people who had been lined up at the door for 45 minutes. Whateva.

The only picture I have of the evening is this blurry shot that I tried taking while we walked between El Porto and the next bar we ended up at:

.  awesome picture  .
Even though there are plenty of friends who still live around the Boston area, bulk style UMass outings like this one don't happen super often anymore - when we're able to actually get (almost) everyone together in one place. More often, it sounds like friends gather in groups of 2-4 people every week or every couple of weeks to enjoy each other's antics. A nice sizeable group of 10+ of us really only happens nowadays when someone (like me!) is home visiting from the West Coast... or around Labor Day when our friends Geoff and Abby hold an annual kick-ass party... or around Thanksgiving when my friends hold an annual "family" Thanksgiving potluck that usually attracts at least 20-30 people. Here's what that ends up looking like, if you're curious:
.  peeps on peeps on peeps  .
After we left El Potro we took a stroll down the block to find the next suitable establishment for our group. We settled on Precinct, where we were joined by a few other friends as well, with plans to watch our friend's band play... but they ended up going on too late for most of us to stick around for it. #GettingOld.

The next day (Saturday March 16) a few of us managed to get up and out to an Irish breakfast at Tommy Doyle's Pub & Restaurant in Kendall Square in Cambridge. I then spent a completely relaxing afternoon at Jenna's apartment with her fiancé Dan, plus Jrod and Derek. After some group hugs and some sad puppy faces, I said goodbye to me buds and hopped into the Element for my drive back to Pittsfield.

When I'm with my friends it's more than fine to just sit in a room and make each other laugh. Spending time with them all made me feel like a small weight had been lifted off of me - like something was put back into place. Meeting new people is always nice - and I'm trying my damnedest to become better at doing that in Vancouver - but being with the friends I love so much gave me a sense of relief. That just because I'm across the country from them doesn't mean there's one single ounce of love lost or forgotten. ♡


.  this picture does not belong to me. thanks danielle .
. umass homecoming game at gillette .

El Potro Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

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