Monday Munchies: Neighborhood Nights Out @ TAMO Bar- Boston, MA

As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!

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There is a relaxed, fun vibe to TAMO Bar. You notice it the moment you walk in with the dim lights and upbeat music in the bar.

TAMO Bar is located in the Seaport Boston Hotel, located in the Seaport District of Boston. It’s a great location as it is great for visitors to Boston to stop in for dinner before going to for a show or concert. Or maybe it’s just the perfect stop to relax with a drink by the fire after a long day on your feet at the convention center.

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TAMO recently relaunched their Neighborhood Nights menu. They offer a great deal every Monday and Tuesday night throughout the fall that allow guests to enjoy two courses each and share a bottle of wine for $40 per person. I love the flexibility with it as you can skip the appetizers and each have an entree and a dessert, or maybe you just feel like appetizers and dessert. So fun.

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Price and I recently went and had a great weeknight date at TAMO to try out their Neighborhood Nights menu.

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We decided to share an appetizer, each get an entree, and share a dessert to enjoy together on our neighborhood date night. Price and I typically share things off each others plates so sharing an appetizer and dessert is nothing new to us. But first, lets get to the good stuff, the wine.

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Of the 6 bottles of wine that are available we elected for one of their whites, the ’14 Sauvignon Blanc from Chateau Lardiley in Bordeaux. We figured we would be eating light since it was a three course meal. We didn’t want to go too heavy and miss out on dessert from being too full. Then we moved onto our tough decisions for our meal.

We started with the Salt and Pepper Calamari, a large pile of freshly fried rings and tentacles is always good.  The batter that Chefs Richard Rayment and Robert Tobin created reminded me of the batter on tempura shrimp and vegetables. It was served alongside a sweet and spicy chili sauce. Our only complaint was that it could have used a bit more heat, with extra peppers or jalapenos.  It was a nice light start to our night and first glasses of wine. Then on to the main course.

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Price selected the TAMo Burger. Burgers are traditional and safe, almost any restaurant can have a burger. There has to be something different and special about this burger if TAMO has it’s name on it it had better not be just any plain old burger. And it wasn’t.  The TAMO burger was a flavorful burger mound smothered in sharp cheddar, bacon, caramelized onion, lettuce and tomato atop a nicely grilled brioche bun.

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It was one of those meals where nothing sticks out because it all taste so great in concert. And the bun had grill marks! GRILL MARKS! You know TAMO stands behind their burger and it shows.

My Tacos Al Pastor were fantastic!

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I arrived before Price and waited in the bar, and the gentlemen seated next to me ordered them and I knew right then that I would have to get them. Impressive since we actually ate tacos the night before. But I couldn’t resist.

Every bit was enjoyable with the warm tortilla, crisp lettuce, tender shredded meat, juicy pineapple, and drizzle of crema. Also, it was visually pleasing as much as it was delicious with the bright green avocado nestled next to the wedge of yellow pineapple. You really take it all in.

My only comment would be that I don’t like iceberg lettuce (with the rare exception of a wedge salad) so I didn’t love it in my tacos, but I’m just being picky.

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The night was complete with the S’mores in a Crock dessert.

I love when restaurants take the classic S’mores dessert and change it up, so I wanted to see what the chefs did to jazz it up. They crumbled up graham crackers and combined them with melted chocolate and ooey gooey marshmallow. That delightful mess is then topped off with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Admittedly, we did wait too long to dig in since I ran to the bathroom and Price waited for me before digging in solo. That allowed the gooey marshmallow to cool off and firm up a bit. So I highly suggest that the moment it is set down on your table, you dig right in to enjoy the textures at their finest. Plus, the contrast of the hot S’mores mixture and cold ice cream play off each other really well.

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Besides the awesome Neighborhood Nights special that TAMO Bar is hosting this year, they ave deals and specials on Sundays and Wednesdays. On Sunday’s you can hangout and watch football while enjoying their  “Wings 3 Ways”, which includes Buttermilk Fried, Korean Style, and Chimi’s Spicy Chicken Wings for $20. On Wednesdays they offer a wine flight (three, 2 oz. pours) for $12.  You can even have a specialty paired entree for $20. They change up their wines and pairing every week!

No matter when you go to TAMO Bar, you are sure to have a great time.

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TAMO Bar

Seaport Boston Hotel

1 Seaport Lane

Boston, MA 02210

617.385.4315

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While my meal at TAMO was complimentary, we provided our great waitress, Van, gratuity, and all opinions are my own. 

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Monday Munchies: Tasty Burger Food Truck

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I love Tasty Burger!

I love food trucks!

Tasty Burger Food Truck = LOVE! LOVE!! LOVE!!!

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Tasty Burger is a Boston area burger joint that has damn good burgers. They have juicy, flavorful, hearty burgers that are paired so perfectly well with fries, onion rings, or their tots. Or skip the burger and grab a chicken sandwich or hot dog. No matter, it will be wonderful. A cold beer washing it all down doesn’t hurt either. It’s just that kind of place with that kind of food.

They have 5 locations in Boston and Cambridge, in neighborhoods like Fenway, Back Bay, and Harvard Square. Each location is great. Their Fenway location, which we frequent most often, was an old gas station that was reworked and redesigned so it went from changing oil to frying in oil.

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But what happens if you work downtown and you start craving a burger? Well, have no fear! They have a food truck that you can visit or even rent out for events. Cool!

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Thankfully, the truck stops at City Hall plaza on Thursdays. So just a short walk and I am in burger nirvana! Sometimes Price and I have burger lunch dates so we can split tots ($6+) and a drink ($2.75) while we munch on burgers. The City has new summertime seating which makes kicking back for lunch a real treat.

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On a recent trip, Price had the Bacon Cheeseburger ($5.85), that he thought was a great combination of a perfectly cooked burger (medium is standard) with salty, crunchy bacon, and fresh lettuce and tomato.

Tasty Burger prides itself on the products they produce and sell as they strive to source their ingredients from the best places. They create 1/3 pounds burger patties from steers that eat a “100-percent vegetarian grass and grain diet.” They visit the pastures where the cows are grass fed, purchase their hot dogs from local butchers, and get their buns from local bakers. They are hands on with sourcing their products and produce and in the end the quality shines through.

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They have the best eco-friendly packaging for their burgers. I love peeling back to wrapper to reveal the burger.

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I love their Spicy Jalapeno ($5.75). It has just the right amount of kick with burger that is topped off with a spicy cheese sauce and then roasted jalapenos.

Besides their delicious burgers, they also serve vegan & gluten free veggie burgers ($5.75), Fenway Park Sausages ($6), bowls of chili ($3.95+) that you can load up with toppings. And lastly, they have 1/4 pound hot dogs ($3.95) that can get piled high with toppings like bacon, chili, sauerkraut, or their cheese sauces. Such epic food.

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I’ll be honest, their lunch can set you back pretty well as their burgers average $5 and then a plain tot is $6 and a soda is ($1.75 or $2.75). And if you get loaded tots it is now $9, but that is exactly why Price and I make this our special lunch date. Great large portions to share and it saves on getting a sitter!!

Grab a friend, grab a chair, and grab some Tasty Burger for a great lunch. Then head back to work with a naughty food coma! ha!

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Be sure to try the Official Burger of the Boston Red Sox’s at one of their food truck stops or at one of their 5 brick and mortar locations, which has much more elaborate menus that include chicken sandwiches, the most addicted thinly sliced onion rings, and brain freeze inducing milkshakes.

Tasty Burger

Food Truck Menu (check for schedule HERE)

Fenway

Harvard Square

Southie

Back Bay

Fenway Park

So Fresh and Vibrant – The New Boston Public Market

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Years of planning, development, design, funding, and building have come to fruition for Boston’s brand spanking new Boston Public Market. The hard work has paid off at the beautifully designed space is filled with amazing artisanal vendors.

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I have been waiting anxiously for the 30,000 sq. ft. indoor, local-only, year-round public market to open ever since the first sign went up on the windows at the space at Haymarket Station. I’ve enjoyed my walks by to catch my bus home as I’ve had the chance to take peeks into the windows as the window signage has come down

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They have various kinds of vendors from ones that sell baked goods, produce, prepared foods, and meats. You can find everything from fresh local seafood to freshly made donuts and ice cream to stir fry.

I had the pleasure of attending a preview event of Boston Public Market on Wednesday night. Getting to tour the space was so exciting.

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We started off in The Hub of the space, which is the central spot in the Market where they have displays to feature different vendors, the schedule of what classes and programs are happening in The Kitchen.

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Directly off The Hub is an area that the architects nicknamed as “Meat Street” as that is where the butchers and seafood vendors are located. There are several vendors that sell organic, pasture raised meats (beef, chicken, lamb, rabbit, sausages, etc) and locally sourced seafood.

Reds Best is a Boston based fish whole-seller and retailer that prides itself in providing you with fish days sooner and fresher than the fish you can purchase from your local grocery store, for the same cost. They track all of their fish with bar-codes and scanners so you can learn where exactly your seafood came from and who fished it. It really is a unique system that allows you to connect with their network of fisherman.

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The Kitchen is a 4,000 sf test kitchen style space connected to the market which has a kitchen set up to allow people to gather around for informal free classes or to attend a class to learn how to make a specialty meal. They are in the beginning stages of scheduling their class programming, but they are aiming to providing classes and cooking demonstrations at 3 price points – Free, $5-25, and $25- $85 depending on the length of class, topic, and ingredient cost.

It can even function as its own space to host parties, book signings, or classes well past the closing of the market (8pm). It’s such a fun idea to take a class together to learn how to make the dinner you are about to enjoy. Such a fun date night idea!

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I couldn’t get over the amount of fresh flowers that were throughout the space. They were just so beautiful. I can’t wait to get some flowers one day on my way home to brighten up our home. I was eyeing some stunningly beautiful boutiques for just $8. Awesome.

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Union Square Donuts is a favorite of mine (previously reviewed HERE) and anyone who has tried their amazing donuts. They are going to be very busy with people coming in for a donut on their way into work!

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Then we stopped by and chatted with one of the lovely owners of Mother Juice, an organic, cold-pressed juice, smoothie and plant-based cafe. They started as a food truck and then went brick and mortar in Cambridge and now they have their stall in the market. They serve vegan and gluten free foods that they locally source. Obviously, they don’t get their bananas locally, but they do the majority of their sourcing locally, even from the other market vendors.

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I absolutely love that the Boston Public Market has set up is a Cookbook Exchange. You can exchange cookbooks from ones you have well-loved (or maybe they are collecting some dust!) so that you can constantly try new cuisines from the cookbooks that are currently ready for exchange at the market.

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The market will be a buzz with people, but the outside will have plenty of great bees buzzing around the area, including the near by Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Boston Honey Company has set up a hive in their stall where bees can come and go as they please through a hatch along the facade on Hanover Street. Take a peak and look for the large blue and yellow stickers, which help them locate the hive from the outside of the building. I learned so much about bees in  just the few minutes that we stopped by the stall.

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Be sure to sample some of their honeys! They have a lovely selection of honey from their bees that are established in Massachusetts, New York, and Georgia. The bees winter in Georgia while it’s too cold in New York and Massachusetts, where they have hives to pollinate apple trees and produce honey.

I tried and loved the Galberry variety, which is from their hives in Georgia.

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Hopsters, a Newton based brewery, has a 1,000 sf beer alley, where they will sell beer, hard cider, and liquor brewed, fermented, and distilled in New England.

In connection to The Kitchen, they will do pairing classes. But if you can’t make it to a class be sure to request a sample of their beers (with proper ID, of course!).

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Nella Pasta is nationally recognized for their deliciously unique varieties of freshly made pastas. I previously took a cooking class from the BCAE (recap HERE) and was able to first hand learn about their pastas and taste their fun varieties of ravioli, like roasted butternut squash & sagebroccoli, feta & toasted cashew, and potato, leek & roasted garlic.

While there owners Leigh and Rachel were busy at work producing a gluten free variety.

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One of my favorite stops was at Red Apple Farm, based out of Phillipston, MA. We sampled their freshly fried apple cider donuts and apple crisp. Those mini cider donuts are going to be trouble for me this fall! Highly addictive.

I also picked up a bottle for their Fire Cider ($25), a apple cider vinegar based digestive tonic. I totally understand its namesake. Man, a shot of that really packs a punch!

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Care for some fudge?

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There are 3 non-food vendors in Boston Public Market. One such vendor is American Stonecraft, which is a Lowell based company that takes field stones from New England farms and cuts and hones them into trivets, coasters, and bowls.

From stunning, vibrant blooms, in season produce, organic meats, freshly made to-go meals and baked goods, the Boston Public Market offers something from everyone. The first of its kind to offer products from locally sourced farms, it’s a really special place.

Boston Public Market

100 Hanover Street( above the Haymarket MBTA station)

Wednesday — Sunday 8 a.m. — 8 p.m

Enjoying Summertime Burgers and Cocktails at The Hard Rock Cafe- Boston, MA

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Without a doubt, Summer is my favorite season. It makes me insanely happy. I’m so thankful that it has finally really arrived here in Boston.

One of the best way to spend Summer’s hot, humid days and cooler nights is outside on a patio. You can’t beat great company, food, drinks, and atmosphere on a wonderful summer day. There are so many restaurants in Boston with patios and extra large windows that open up allowing you to soak up that summer sun, it’s easy to over look some. For a very long time I overlooked The Hard Rock Cafe here in Boston.

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Located next to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, it’s perfectly located for you to grab a bite and a drink while you are sight seeing or meeting friends after work. You can grab a seat outside, along the windows, or up at the bar. You can enjoy live music outside or TV’s with music videos inside. The musically themed memorabilia pepper the walls to make the space come alive.

Price and I kicked off a recent date night at The Hard Rock Cafe with some of their new Summer Cocktails. Their five new cocktails provide you with plenty of options to help you beat the heat! Options like the Hard Rockin’ Mai Tai and  Summertime Blues are really enticing with their blends of muddled herbs, sweet juices, and hard liquor. The cocktails are served in fun souvenir mason jars that you can take home too! (They apologized profusely to us for being out of the mason jars, which why our drinks were served in hurricane glasses.)

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Price ordered the Summer Splash Daiquiri as he felt the layered frozen drink made it the perfect summer time bevie. It was a perfect “kick off the weekend” type drink too. The fruity mango and strawberry flavor was enhanced with a lot of rum and a splash of amaretto. Even the pretty color looks like a nice Summer Sunset in a glass, and who doesn’t want that.

I’m telling you, that the Back Porch Tea is something special as well. I took one sip and my eyes lit up, I slid my glass across the table to Price while telling him “You HAVE to try this!”. After his own sip he began nodding back in approval. We quickly began talking about how we will have to make it ourselves one day. It’s an experience in a glass.

We enjoyed our drinks and recapping our days and week together until the food came, and then all focus fell on our big, beefy burgers. Be still my heart!

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As I am always on the hunt for fresh New England seafood and lobsters it felt like it was a no brainer to get Hard Rock’s recently launched “Local Legendary” burgers. It is one of their classic burgers topped with a scoop of fresh lobster salad. While the burger is typically served with cole slaw and seasoned fries, I opted just for the fries. I like cole slaw, but I knew I wanted to focus my attention on the burger and the seasoned fries. And my stomach is only so big!

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This was such a delicious Summer-time meal! The large burger was well seasoned and the large scoop of lobster salad on top was lightly dressed allowing the flavors of the meat and lobster to shine on their own and together. The lobster salad was filled with large chunks of lobster claws and tails. I was really impressed. The accompanying sriracha mayo was served on the side, which I think was a smart choice and I don’t think the burger really needed it. I added it to a few bites but was more and satisfied with the burger as it was prepared.

My burger was slightly under-cooked by a minute or so from my requested medium-rare, but I wasn’t mad about it as I like my burgers under done (aka… ‘mooing’). However, Price’s was a perfect medium.

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The current Hard Rock burger and beer pairing  caught Price’s eye. Hard Rock worked with Goose Island to create a Tropical Bacon Burger to pair with their IPA.

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Price’s burger was a beer glazed 8 oz. patty of Certified Angus Beef atop a pile of lettuce and tomato.  It then had a layer of cheddar cheese and Cajun Spiced bacon and to top it off, a slice of grilled pineapple and mango salsa.  When he thinks of Summer dishes, it’s always burgers.  The sweetness of the pineapple with the savory beef and fresh produce made for wonderful mouthfuls bite after bite.  The burger comes with a side of teriyaki sauce which is fitting with the pineapple and meat.  The burger is so big that Price had to cover each bite with a little sauce because the massive burger was messy enough on its own.

His original plan was to order the beer pairing as well when his burger arrived, but the Summer Splash Daiquiri packed such a wonderful rum punch that he decided to stick with ‘just’ that.

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Just like the choices and attention to detail that was put into the burgers, the fries had their own unique taste and sauce. For an additional $1, you can upgrade to their Savory Artisan Fries.  They offer 3 different kinds of fries that are jazzed up with seasonings and are paired with their own dipping sauces. I picked out the Parmesan Romano Fries with the Garlic Aioli and Price got the Herb and Garlic Fries. I loved my fries so much that I am tempted to just go back one day and order a side of fries to munch on at lunch while sitting on the nearby Rose Kennedy Greenway.

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We enjoyed our first date night out since getting married at The Hard Rock because they serve awesome food and drinks with a smile in a fun, lively music filled venue.

Hard Rock Cafe Boston 

22-24 Clinton St

Boston, MA 02109

(617) 424-7625

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While I received this complimentary meal (minus tip) in exchange for a review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Hard Rock Summer Cocktails

It would be a big bummer if you couldn’t make it to a Hard Rock soon to try their summery burgers and drinks, but at least you can make yourself your own cocktail home by using these recipes below!

Back Porch Tea

Muddle the following:

  • 4 each   Basil leaves
  • 2 each   Mint sprigs
  • 1 each   Lemon wedge
  • 1 oz        Cucumber syrup

Combine with:

  • 1 oz        Light rum
  • ½ oz       Gin
  • ½ oz       Elderflower liqueur
  • 1 oz        Lemonade

Summer Fizz

Muddle the Following:

  • 1 oz Black cherry infused syrup
  • ½ oz Lime juice
  • 4 each Fresh raspberries

Combine with:

  • 1 ½ oz Light rum
  • ½ oz Orange liqueur

 

Scenes from Memorial Day 2015

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I live for 3 days weekends. And Memorial Day is a great one. It kicks off the summer season. Plus, it has a great meaning and purpose. Honoring our past and current service members is so very, very important.

We met up with our friends Mark and Allie, along their kids Macari and Micheal, to spend some time together on Boston Common, the Tadpole Payground, and to get some lunch.

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There were over 37,000 flags on Boston Common to represent the lives lost my service men and women since the Revolutionary War. It was quite stunning to see. The blanket of flags on Flagstaff Hill that leads up to Soldiers and Sailors Monument was quite beautiful and sad at the same time.

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After the kids had enough of wandering around and climbing on Soldiers and Sailors Monument we headed over to the carousel on The Common.

Autumn loved it!!

She enjoyed the ride so much that she refused to let go for a bit. I basically had to pry her off her horse. I imagine we’ll have to go again and again one day. Oh the struggle! ha!

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We then ventured over to the Tadpole Playground so the kids could play together and explore the big jungle gym.

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Autumn took to Macari quickly and had so much fun going up and down the jungle gym complex. She happily took her hand to go up and down stairs, enjoyed getting carried around, and going down the slides together.

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Once everyone had worked up a thorough appetite we headed over to Parish Cafe for lunch. We almost made it through the meal but the kids got antsy and wanted to stretch their legs outside the patio. They ran around the area by the flower planters, along the ramp to the neighboring church, and the sets of stairs to the church and adjacent apartment building.

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By the time we parted ways just before 1pm, Autumn was filthy and exhausted. It was a sign of an awesome day.

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