Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lobster at Twin Seafood

Even though I had to go to work early at 8am today, it was nice to see the sunshine through the tree branches. I was so happy to see it wasn't gloomy and raining in the morning. Everything at work went by smoothly today so that's a plus. Had some downtime in between to grab lunch, where I went back to The Local Table for some of their tomato basil soup today and a garden wrap. I needed some veggies for the day since I missed my breakfast today (slept in) where I usually have my daily serving of fruits. Oh ya, Happy Halloween everyone! Since it's Halloween and I finished at work a little earlier than usual, I decided that it's time to check out the local seafood place. This is Twin Seafood in Acton, Massachusetts. My coworker told me about this place on the drive around on my first day here. He showed me a lot of places for food, but this one was always on my to-go list since this area is known for their fresh seafood so I had to try it out. Twin Seafood
It was only 4:30pm when I arrived there so I wasn't surprised when there was no one else eating there. It is a bit too early for dinner, but I like to eat earlier and have tons of time to relax, watch some tv, and type this when I am back at the hotel.
Dining side of the store from the main door. Twin Seafood interior And to the right of that is where most of the yummy stuff are. They sell some raw, but they also have a service to grill them for you so you can enjoy it at the store as well. Mmmm...what should I have? First thing to do was choose out a lobster, I really have no clue how to go about picking a lobster and no idea what is suitable for one person's serving. Luckily the guys that run this place are very friendly and gave me some pointers. I end up choosing a 1 1/2 pounder fresh from the tank. Since it was so early, their water wasn't boiling yet so they told me it was going to take about 50 minutes to heat up the water and boil the lobster. I wasn't in a hurry so I agreed. But it was very hard to not eat anything while being surrounded by all these beautiful and delicious seafood so I opt for 1/2 a serving of fried oysters to munch on while I wait for my lobster. I am usually not a huge fan of fried foods because the oil usually masks the taste of what's inside for me. But these oysters were so juicy that it actually wasn't that bad. 1/2 serving of fried oysters While I was munching on my fried oysters, there were many locals coming to get their fish for dinner. Some even have them cooked here to take home to save some time. When there was some downtime in between all the customers coming in and out, I asked Jim if I could photograph their place, he agreed and even offered to take some lobsters out for a photo-op haha! Jim at Twin Seafood Jim with a pair of 2 these babies were massive and alive! I probably wouldn't be able to grab a hold of them. Jim with a pair of 2 pounders After about 40 minutes, my lobster was finally ready! I think this is the first time I have a 1 1/2 pound lobster all to myself. It is also quite intimidating because I really have no clue on which way to attack it from. I put away my camera since I know it was going to get messy, but man I wish I took some pictures of the meat in this thing. I attacked the claw first since that is the easiest part to eat, but the first squeeze of the claw-cracking tool resulted in my face full of lobster juice. Luckily no one else was there to observe my silliness. I was totally in my own world while cracking and ripping apart the shell and devouring the meat though so I probably wouldn't have noticed either way LOL. The claws, legs, and the head was easy enough, albeit not without battle scars. The torso was a bit tougher, but I got through. I looked at the tail like an idiot and didn't know how to get to the meat in it, the tiny little legs were in the way and those hairs on them look pointy as heck. A woman that was shopping there saw my confused look and offered to help me out. Turns out there is a super easy way to squeeze out the whole piece of meat from the tail in one go. Apparently this is well known as the "Grand prize" LOL My 1 1/2 pounder served with a side of butter. 1 1/2 pounder boiled with a side of butter After the oysters and lobster, I was totally stuffed. My stomach is still bloated right now as I am typing this. But it was a fun and enjoyable experience and the lobster was just soooo goood. I am envious of the locals because they get to have all these fresh seafood for the price of a regular lunch back home. I am going to go back for lunch tomorrow to try a grilled piece of fish. If you get a chance or happen to be in the area, I highly recommend you to check them out! Looking at these pics is making me salivate again even though I just ate mine only several hours ago!
Jim and Dan posing for a picture with the 2 pounders.
Jim & Dan at Twin Seafood

Rhode Island Comic Con

Just found out now that there is a comic con going on at Rhode Island this weekend! Wooohooo! Apparently it's the first ever comic con happening in Rhode Island, and for me first comic con in US. So I am definitely going to go check it out! Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Local Table

The morning was rainy and windy due to the remnants of Sandy still lingering around. The storm gave me a nice workout today since I was moving equipment from building to building out in the weather. I only wore these canvas-type running shoes to this trip so they were soaked right from the start which wasn't pleasant at all for the rest of the day. By noon time, the rain had cleared up and the sun was coming out. It was actually good enough for me to go out to lunch with a t-shirt. Ohhh it's so nice to see this type of weather after the storm! The Local Table
My coworker told me about this little cafe in the next town called The Local Table. I only had an hour of downtime today for lunch so I decided to check it out since it was the closest place that was not a greasy food place. I am trying to avoid greasy foods because my stomach don't really handle them very well.
The Local Table
I had a small bowl of clam chowder soup and a New England Turkey Sandwich. The clam chowder was really good, it was the excellent mixture of taste, ingredients, and texture for me. It's not as strong and fresh tasting as the one I had at SS Lobster, but the taste is not bad and there were big chunks of clams in it.
The clam chowder was served with cute butterfly-shaped biscuits. Clam Chowder with Butterfly-shaped biscuits The sandwich reminds me of the Thanksgiving sandwich I had at Kimball Farm on the weekend. The ingredients look really similar. Although I'd prefer the Kimball Farm sandwich more. It was maybe because I was already full from the clam chowder so I thought the sandwich was only so-so at the cafe. I ended up packing back half of the sandwich for later. I just ate it now and it was delicious, also probably because I was starving LOL New England Turkey Sandwich The inside of The Local Table was brightly lit, clean, and relaxing. There were people reading, on their laptops, or chatting. I had a nice time there today and I might go back to try out some of their other soups. The Local Table

Monday, October 29, 2012

Power Outage

Shortly after the previous post, the power went out. That was the longest however many hours ever. Sitting inside my hotel room with no lights, no internet, and nothing to do. Not to mention I haven't even had lunch yet so I was munching on Wheat Thins and Beef Jerky only. 

Apparently six power lines were knocked over causing the whole town to lose power. 
The mix of rain and wind did create some pretty cool patterns on the ground outside though haha
Hurricane Sandy

Well since there was nothing else to do, I took out the SLUG Zombies to examine them. The details on these little figures are actually quite good! I can't wait to go home and paint up some of these figures. I think I might pick up some more before I leave, hope I can find some series 1 or 3.
SLUG Zombies

SLUG Zombies

SLUG Zombies

Zombies and Transformers

Finished up early at work today so I came back to the hotel. It's raining and pretty windy outside, but nothing too crazy yet. I am keeping up with Sandy on tv, there were already several on/off moments so a power outage might be imminent. I guess I should just stay indoors until it passes by. Man I want some lobster...

But even Hurricane Sandy cannot stop the war between the Decepticons and the Zombies! LOL

Kre-O Micro-Changers (Sunstorm & Galvatron)

Kre-O Micro-Changers (Crankstart)

Kre-O Micro-Changers (Scorponok)

Kre-O Micro-Changers (Waspinator)

SLUG Zombies (Human Captain Payback & Gator Jones)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday's Doings

Originally I was planning to go visit downtown Boston today. But decided against it because of Hurricane Sandy, the last thing I would want is to be stuck down there. Hopefully it will be all nice and clear next weekend, I really want to check out downtown before I leave.

After keeping up with the news on Hurricane Sandy yesterday and early this morning, I decided that I need some more supplies: a bit more food to munch on, some spare batteries for my flashlight, and some duct tape just in case I need to fix something quick. As Sandy is approaching, the sky has been gloomy all day and there was a steady slight drizzling since noon.

I decided to go over to the next town's Walmart to get these supplies since they also have a Target and a Toysrus I could hit up while I am in the area. Other than the previously mentioned items, I picked up another Angry Birds Pig Hotwheels car haha, they are just too cute to pass up. I really want the Scooby Doo Mystery Van, haven't had any luck with that one though. I checked out Target afterwards since I read on TFW2005 that there have been sightings of Transformers Prime Ultra Magnus and at $20 for the voyager here, they are a much better deal than in Canada where they go for $30. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything there either. And then next I found out that my GPS doesn't recognize Toysrus, so I couldn't get there in the end. A little disappointed, but I wasn't really looking for anything in particular either. Then I decided to go grab some lunch since I once again woke up too late and missed out on the hotel's breakfast (not that I am missing much anyways!).

On the first day of work in Boston, my coworker brought me to a place called Kimball Farm for lunch. Too bad I didn't bring my camera because it was a really fun place to eat. It is too much to describe so I will go back there next week with my camera and do another post on that. I found out last night that there was another Kimball Farm a bit further away from my hotel and I wanted to visit that one too since my experience at the first one was amazing.

This Kimball Farm is located in Lancaster, MA.
Kimball Farm

Here's the inside of the store/restaurant. This one is much bigger than the one I went to on Thursday.
Kimball Farm

The cute thing about Kimball Farm is that their tables are right inside their store, so you are literally sitting beside their merchandise. But since this one is much bigger, the atmosphere did not feel as fun as the other location. I will definitely go back to the smaller one and grab some pics there. You can literally "window-shop" while you are eating at the table haha!
Merchandise at Kimball Farm

Here's the counter to order your food, once you get your order, you can just find a seat anywhere. The menu selection is typical.
Counter at Kimball Farm

I settled on a Thanksgiving Sandwich served in a wrap and a mango smoothie. Also grabbed a brownie to take back to the hotel for a night snack.
Lunch at Kimball Farm

The Thanksgiving Sandwich wrap loaded with roast turkey, sausage stuffing, and cranberry mayo. This was surprisingly delicious! The sandwich I had at the other location was soso~, it was just the atmosphere that was attracting.
Turkey Sandwich Wrap from Kimball Farm

I took a seat on the loft since I thought it had more merchandise upstairs, but turns out it was on several tables in an empty area. This location just doesn't have the same feel as the other smaller location.
Loft View at Kimball Farm

After lunch, I decided to go for some ice-cream. There's a place close by that makes their own ice-cream. I read pretty good reviews so I had to try it. As I was driving there, I pass by some really nice buildings. This is one thing that I love about the area around here. The buildings are all very old style and just look really beautiful. I past by the town hall and just had to pull in and grab a few pics.

It was cold, windy, and raining. I must look mighty suspicious to pull into this empty road, jump out of the car and ran to the middle of the field to grab some shots LOL
Lancaster Town Hall

Here's a shot of my rental Ford Focus beside some building on the same street.
Ford Focus somewhere on Main Street, Lancaster, MA

Before I pull back onto Main Street, I decided to stop and snap this shot before continuing onto my ice-cream destination to show what this area typically looks like.
Main Street, Lancaster, MA

As I was driving to this place, I was thinking that I might be the only one getting ice-cream in this weather since it is 11 C (53 F) here. With the wind and rain, it feels even chillier. After driving right by and going on and on for a bit until I realize that I won't be coming to an end or intersection any time soon, I made a 50-point turn on the super narrow street and proceeded back to the farm.

This is Rota-Spring Farm Ice Cream in Sterling, MA.
Rota-Spring Farm Ice Cream

When I got there, there were a couple of people. They had many flavours to choose from so I had a tough choice deciding. I figured this place is only 20 minutes away so I can come back to test out other flavours during the week too. As I was waiting for my order, a gentleman behind me asked me what lens I was using. We had a small chat while his wife waits in line to order (a small line form shortly). Turns out he was a Nikon user as well, we chatted about lens and what we shoot, then I told him it was my first time in Boston and he recommended some places I should check out. He also mentioned the vanilla ice-cream here is the best. It was nice to chat with some fellow photographers on my lonely trip haha, I am definitely going to take his advice and go back for some vanilla ice-cream this week!

I settled with Pumpkin, Peppermint Patty, and Purple Cow. Finished it in my car to stay out of the wind. After eating the whole thing I felt like I had frostbites on my tongue!
Pumpkin, Peppermint Patty, Purple Cow

Originally planned to go for lobster at a local restaurant tonight, but found out they closed at 5:30pm. I guess it is probably safer to just stay and eat at the hotel bar rather than venture out to find a place with Sandy approaching fast.

Hope I can check out more local eateries with the remaining time I have here in Boston. Food, toys, and sight-seeing is my favourite to-do's at any new place I visit haha!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shopping and Dinner

Decided to go do some toy hunting in the afternoon, I wasn't looking for anything specific, but just wanted to check out the toys in US. I first hit up a Target, the store looks like a Walmart we have in Canada, but the toy section was about 1.5 times the size of ours. I picked up a Hotwheels Pig car (from Angry Birds) and some more snacks for storage.

Then next I hit up a Toysrus and MAN OH MAN, the selection here is sooooooooooooo much bigger than the TRU's in Canada. I probably spent at least 30 minutes browsing the action figures section alone. I was thinking if I lived in US, I will impulse buy even more stuff LOL! It took a lot of control to not buy a bunch of stuff there. I actually had several items in my hand, but decided to put them down when I went to checkout. I ended up grabbing 6 blind-packs of Kre-O Micro Changers. I saw they had numbers on the bottom of the package and I happen to find all 6 different numbers so hopefully I will get the whole set. What's even better was when I paid for them, the total was under $10! (at $2.99 each). Turns out there was a sale for BOGO! I haven't seen a BOGO sale for several years already in the TRU back home. So that was a nice surprise!

Kre-O's and Pigs

Since I was quite a far distance from the hotel, I didn't want to go back after sun down because I am not familiar with the roads here. I am only getting around with a GPS, but I basically never used the GPS before so I am still getting used to it. So I decided to go grab dinner a little earlier. There were several places I put on my list of must-go places. I found another lobster places that had really good reviews this morning, it just so happen that my toy hunt lead me quite close to that place so lobster it was.

Here's a view from outside the place, the place wasn't really that big and it was packed so I didn't grab a picture of the inside. It is an interesting little diner type restaurant. Once I went in the front door, I saw that the place was divided into two sections. The left part was the diner and a small part on the right had fish, lobster and other sea creatures in large tanks. I saw people picking out huge lobsters and putting them into paper bags.
SS Lobster Ltd

The menu had many items from salmon, lobster, to swordfish and even alligator! The bad thing about myself is when there is such a large selection to choose from, I always end up ordering more than I can handle. I started off with a bowl of clam chowder and a small cup of ginger ale. The clam chowder was a bit watery than I prefer, but the taste was definitely the best I've had since I came here.

My remaining order came in less than 10 minutes after grabbing my seat. I ordered the Deep Fried Alligator Bites (I've never had Alligator before!) for my appetizer. They look like any fried piece of chicken, but once I sunk my teeth into them, I fell in love! The meat is more chewy than chicken and the taste is very distinct, I tried to think of something similar to it, but can't pinpoint any.

Deep Fried Alligator Bites

And for my main course, I had the Double Stuffed Lobster Roll. There must have been at least 20 pieces of lobster claw meat in this bun. The lobster was really fresh and tasted amazingly good, even better than the lobster I had in Barcelona. It was very juicy and tasted like it was just out of the water. Although I soon realized I have ordered way too much food for myself alone. Thankfully they have take-out trays so I took the leftovers back to the hotel and am munching on them as I am typing this right now. I hope I get a chance to go back to this place before I leave and go back to Canada!

Double Stuffed Lobster Roll

Work, Zombies, Chocolates, and Sandy

Finally got some time to chill and relax since I arrived in Boston on Wednesday night. Right after my arrival, I worked 16 hours on Thursday, didn't even eat dinner since by the time I got off (11:30pm), everything around here was closed. The place I am currently working in is a small little town with barely anything but trees here. It's a nice change from Toronto though since it's so beautiful and the roads are so fun to drive on. I got a pretty loaded Ford Focus for my rental so that's been a blast to drive.

Then Friday I worked for about 10 hours, it was a less busy day though, had some downtime in between to catch a power nap. For dinner I just grabbed a drink and some pasta at the hotel restaurant with my co-worker that I am taking over for the next week and a bit. I am sooo glad it's the weekend so I got to sleep in today!

Woke up at 10am today and watched the news on hurricane Sandy, have been hearing people talk about Sandy for the pass few days. I've never experience a hurricane so I guess I am not as alert as others and I don't really know how to prepare since I am staying at a hotel. I had already planned to hit up the local Kmart to grab some snacks and water (the water in the hotel tastes disgusting) for my stay here. When I got there, it seems like many people are already preparing for this storm since the water section was cleaned out. I managed to grab two packs of 24-pack Aquafina water bottles, I guess these are higher in price so they will be the last to go.

I also picked up a pack of SLUG Zombies 12-pack that I've seen so many bloggers in the states rave about. This was one of the things I was looking forward to on this work trip...getting toys and food that's only available in the states. After that I went to Dunkin' Donuts to grab a small breakfast. I was originally planning to go for some seafood by the coast, but I am thinking I should avoid the coast for the next few days with Sandy coming.

Anyone have any tips on what I should stock up on to prepare for this storm?

Milk Duds and Zombies

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taking off again!

I still have jetlag from Europe and I need to be taking off to Boston tomorrow again. This time it's for work though, so it's not all fun and games like in Europe. I do however have two weekends over there so I will probably go explore a little around town (bringing my camera). It's also my first time traveling by myself so I am a little nervous but also excited!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back from Trip #1

Just got back from Barcelona right now, super tired but I need to catch up on my emails for the past week since I had no internet access on the cruise. I had a great time and took a lot of pictures, I think I have around 60gb of images on my hard drive! So that will take a while to process.

I already miss the cruise, especially the food there, but HOME SWEET HOME right?

Came home to this...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Time to fly

Well, it's finally time...time for me to go on vacation!

Ever since I first started working in '10, I haven't took a break at all since it just seemed so great to be working finally after all those years of studies. But I guess everybody will eventually need a break, right? So this Friday, I will be flying off to Barcelona with my family and we will be embarking on a cruise for a tour of some parts in France and Italy for a week. The last time my family went on a trip together was well over a decade ago so this might just be a much needed break for all of us.

We will be returning on the Sunday after the week and then I will be flying off to Boston for work on the Wednesday right after. I will be spending two weeks there. This will be my first time traveling alone so I am both excited and nervous. I will be working most of the day during the week, but I've already been looking at some tours (so far interested in the whale watching one and the Salem Witch Trial tour) for my two weekends over there.

Would anyone happen to know of any comic/toy shops I could hit up while I am there as well? I will be in the Boxborough area, which is quite a distance from Boston itself, but I will have a rental car so I should be able to go anywhere.

Also I am thinking of bringing a toy with me to Europe to add a dash to the typical tourist photos, who do you think I should bring? I was thinking of Danbo since he seems to be neutral enough to appear in any situation, and he is easily replaceable since I still have two more of these toys if the unfortunate does happen. Although Danbo might be too ordinary nowadays since he seem to be a popular subject even for non-toy-collector-photographers LOL!