A woman with curly hair…

…talked me into trying pizza funghi at Ciao Pizza in Boston.

We’re at a different location for the layover here, and I’m loving it! It’s near a TJ Maxx and Home Goods, a grocery store, a brewery, and most importantly, a pizza spot where everyone seems to be happy.

Being the only flight attendant on your aircraft is lonely sometimes; so when one of my pilots said he was going out for pizza, I jumped at the opportunity. I had eaten only a couple of hours ago, but who doesn’t have room for pizza? Said pilot also introduced me to using Yelp. This shall be my new best friend, as it is how we came to discover this unique pizza place.

It’s a small joint with a counter along the window that faces out, and another counter that faces into the open kitchen. I’ve never seen so many kitchen workers with smiling faces, and I used to work in food service. If the atmosphere at any of the places I’ve worked at was like this, I probably would’ve never left. Sometimes it’s not the pay that keeps you somewhere; it’s the people you work with and the passion they all have for the job. This is what surprised and impressed me about this pizza shop. What also caught our attention was the fact that it has many Yelp reviews, yet still has a 5 star rating.

The only way to explain it is how the place makes you feel upon entry, and if you’re lucky enough to have the time to sit in.

A woman was sitting next to us waiting on her order. She is a well-traveled woman that knows my beloved Philly, and swears that this is the best pizza she’s ever come across. The pizza funghi was her favourite, which is one of the pies that I was thinking of trying. Her rave about it made the decision for me. I started to order it just as she did, with an extra crispy crust; instead, I decided to order it just the way they would make it.

Here is what appeared in front of me (not to mention that I had it in about 5 minutes after ordering it):

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The crust was soft, arugula was peppery and crisp, and the mushrooms along with the roasted garlic cloves was savory, satisfying, and rich along with that cheese. The texture of the cheese was soft and gooey, and I like that the arugula was there for a crisp component. However, just because of my personal taste, I may order it with a crisper crust. It was delicious and satisfying with red wine.

I finished up with two mini-sized cannolis and an espresso.

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These people went beyond just being happy; they were singing to the songs on the radio. To take it a step further, they broke out instruments! First it started with the woman at the counter breaking out a mini tambourine. Next thing I know, a guy in the back was playing a triangle. On yet another song, another kitchen worker snatched up a wooden flute or recorder from one of the shelves. Never in my life have I seen such fun in a kitchen. It was also a joy to watch these people at their duties; there was passion put into the work, even down to washing the dishes, and respect flowed amongst everyone. Even the owner of the store was there and chatted with us and other patrons.

That personal care is something that would have me eagerly hopping a flight back to this location. Let’s face it, I can’t count on my job to give me another overnight at this spot; sometimes, you gotta make things happen.

It would’ve been so cool if you all could’ve met this woman. She was worldly, and obviously has really experienced life. In some ways, I felt like I connected with her; she looks like a glimpse of what I may be like when I’m older. I hope to be like that when I’m older: well traveled, experienced in life, happy with where I am, and still looking forward to more.

Once her order was ready, she bid us adieu, welcomed us to the area, and stepped out into the chill of the night.

Cuba Libre and Converses on Saturday

Welp, we’re at the end of the week! Thus ends another work week, and here begins my week of rest. That’s right, your girl took a week off! A series of events spurred me to go take a good week off. It’s a week of not getting paid, but alas, some things are more important than a paycheck.

Last night, I went out with C and her children. We walked around during twilight in Philly with two small people, and stopped to get them something to eat. Then we got ourselves something to eat. I’ve heard good things about Cuba Libre, and have passed it on the street numerous times. Today, however, C and I were hungry and looking for something good to eat. The menu was intriguing… so much so that we stepped inside and asked for a table.

She had Levanta Muerta (Raise The Dead) Seafood Soup, and I had vegetable paella. It was bustling with people because we came at the height of dinner service. Despite this and the fact that we hadn’t made a reservation, all four of us were seated in less than 5 minutes on the upper level. The decor lit my imagination afire; the ceiling fans had blades that looked like big hand fans. Small trees that looked like little banana trees were in oversized pots throughout the restaurant, and the walls had facades of houses in different and bright colours.

Something about the space made me leave Philly for just a moment and enter into this world. Between that and the food, it was enough to leave an impression on me. In fact, it left so much of an impression that I returned the next day for brunch!

If  I could use one word to describe my brunch at Cuba Libre, it would be this:

scrumptious.

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Anywhere that puts churros on their menu as a breakfast/brunch item is automatically put into the Hall Of Awesomeness. AND… they had the nerve to serve said churros with a chocolate sauce! The chocolate sauce had a citrus note, and was delicious on its own. In fact, I enjoyed the chocolate so much that I dipped my fingers in its container and licked it off my fingers. Yes, it was uncouth. No, I didn’t care.

The waitress was kind enough to save me from getting any more undignified than I already was. “Are you finished?” she asked, in only the way that a waitress can. Without using these words, she used her tone and eyes to say “Put the saucer down. You look like an idiot.” “Uh, yes… I’m done”, I replied, and relinquished the chocolate sauce.

Yep, it was that kind of day.

I also got to spend some time at the Italian Market Festival, where I danced to “I Wanna Dance” by Whitney Houston. If you can’t get your dance on when that song comes on, something’s just wrong with you.

Chris Brown said “You’re like Jordans on Saturday” in a song. He clearly never wore Converse All Stars on a Saturday. It may not have flowed as well, but when I pull out my Converses, it’s Saturday regardless of what day it actually is. I wore a dress on Saturday, but I was grateful that I wore my Converses. I wasn’t the only one, either. I saw several girls with the same idea I had, plus more than a few guys rocking Converse shoes on a Saturday. One especially cute guy rocked the high tops with the star on the side. Nice.

I walked home tired and got caught in driving rain on the way home. Thankfully, someone that knew me was nice enough to stop and take me home. All in all, I had a good day. I was greedy, spent too much money (as I do when I’m downtown), and walked for hours… but I enjoyed myself.

This is what Saturdays are made of.