I am bracing myself for a work-week after a mini-vacation, but at least I have a lot of pictures and memories of a fun weekend in Boston with Christina!
We landed at Logan at around 10:00 am, Friday morning. It was warm, sunny, and beautiful! Christina and I checked into our hotel and immediately ventured out to walk through the city.
We were going to do the Freedom Trail but quickly realized that there is no real path to follow and we weren't in the mood to follow a colonial tour guide. Instead, we just decided to wander. We walked through The Common, took a swan boat ride, which, maybe it's for kids but you can't beat a tourist attraction that costs $2.75. The line moved very quickly and we had a nice chat about the Red Sox with the teenagers working on the boats.
We passed the Massachusetts State House which makes me think of that last scene of The Departed, from Matt Damon's apartment with the rat.
Afterwards, we walked through the more of the city and ended up at Faneuil Hall. At this point, we were both ready for lunch. We sat outside and enjoyed lobster rolls while watching kids do some sort of ladder dancing routine. After lunch, we went back to the hotel to relax a little bit and get ready for our evening at Fenway.
The T was pretty simple to figure out, but mostly because everyone was so friendly to offer advice. Normally, unsolicited advice is irritating, but as tourists, it was nice to have some reassurance that we were heading in the right direction.
I think we had some pretty sweet seats, although, one can argue that the average ass was probably much smaller in 1912. In the first section that we were seated in, the guy next to me was practically sitting on my lap. There were an awful lot of Mets fans in the crowd. I don't think I have EVER seen a fight at Camden Yards but we witnessed at least three altercations involving the police. The best was a guy who was being firmly escorted out of the park by a smiling police officer. He was pleading with the cop in his charming and drunken Boston accent, "you don't unda-stand! I should be in theyah! They need my suppoht!" We did have a great time; although, ultimately, the Mets won. We were looking forward to a jovial post-game crowd.
Saturday morning, Christina and I went to Jamaica Plain to take the Samuel Adams Brewery tour. The brewery was easier to find than some of the historical landmarks on the Freedom Trail! It was recommended that we arrive at the Brewery early to avoid waiting in a long, long line. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes, so we decided to head to Ula Cafe for a scone and coffee. It was a really cute little cafe with cool music and a ton of bicyclers and puppies. Oh how I love a hippyish cafe. I wouldn't recommend someone go out of their way to go there, but if a person is going to be in the area anyway, it's a cute little place to stop for some coffee and maybe lunch.
Back at the brewery, a young Tom Green lookalike went through the ingredients of beer and explained the whole brewing process. If Matt were there, this information would have made sense and he would have retained it. Christina and I, however, were too busy counting how many times Tom Green said, "actually", while patiently waiting for our free beer glass and samples.
Yes, I look like holy hell in this photo. No makeup and drinking beer for breakfast. This is not classy-time.
Three small beers later, including one that was more than 10% alcohol, Christina and I wandered through Jamaica Plain. There are some pretty cool houses in this area. Some are beautiful and elegant, while some look like they belong to Mrs. Havisham. It seems to be a very liberal and left-leaning area. Love. We poked through a couple of shops on Centre Street and stopped for lunch at the Centre Street Cafe. Again, if you happen to be in J.P., this is a pretty cozy and cool place to stop for a meal. Christina had one of their brunch specials that included some salmon and egg and spinach, and I had a breakfast burrito that I'm pretty sure included an entire can of black beans. In the interest of not being too musical that evening, I scrapped about 3/4 of the beans, but if I were a local, I'd be pretty happy with taking the leftovers of the massive portions home.
Rather than getting back on the T, we decided to just take a bus back to the central area of Boston. The bus ride was a little more jerky than Disney World's Space Mountain and a lot more frightening. We hopped off at The Prudential Center and encountered a bunch of delightfully costumed kids who were in town for an anime convention. Christina commented that "this is what happens when children have unbridled access to the internet". I read on yelp that the skywalk at The Prudential offers really nice views, but those same views could be had for a little bit less money if you just go up to the bar and have a drink. This sounded like an ideal plan.
We left The Prudential Center and walked along Boylston and Newbury Streets. We passed the Boston Public Library just as it was closing, but lingered for a bit in Copley Square.
We wandered through Beacon Hill and stopped in some really cute little shops. We looked to our left and noticed that the Charles River was right across the street, so we made our way over to take a look.
From here, we made our way to The North End for a pre-race Italian dinner. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was decent. It's Italian food, after all.. it's kind of difficult to mess Italian food up. We had a nice table on the roof deck, and even though it was a little bit chilly on Saturday evening, it was a really nice atmosphere, without being too fancy for our run-down, touristy selves.
Sunday morning, we woke up at about 730 am, went downstairs, took a left outside of the lobby doors, and proceeded to run five miles. Okay, I did not run the entire five miles. But I did run some of the five miles, and while my time is nothing to be proud of, I am proud that I went out there and did it. I am never going to win a race, but I know that I can always improve my own time. Christina and I signed up for the Run To Remember and it was an absolutely gorgeous course. We ran through some of the same areas that we walked through in the days prior, but this time, the roads were blocked off and we could really take the whole city in from the center of the street.
(This is SUCH a terrible photo but it's the only proof I have that I participated in this race!)
I was feeling sort of disappointed that I was not ready to really run the whole distance, but I do feel that I had legitimate issues that pushed my training off a bit. (Foot injury, followed by two weeks of complete inactivity after Molly died, followed by the flu.) I hate that I'm listing my "excuses" but participating in this race made me see that five miles is truly a feasable distance and I am excited to be back in the mindset of training for more.
After the race, Christina and I hurried back to our rooms for showers and to pack up for check out. We visited with some friends that live in the Boston area who were kind enough to drive us back to the airport. Overheard in the airport from a woman on a cell phone at our gate, "It is really sad that in our society, a man can go out somewhere and have a woman rub her boobs in his face. I am DONE WITH YOU!" The entire gate was laughing. I can't imagine that she did not realize how loudly she was yelling at her boyfriend or husband. Really? You're going to have that argument at the airport? It was kind of a relief for everyone when the passengers were asked to board as quickly as possible so that we could take off before a storm blew into town.
Boston was amazing. We didn't have a chance to head over to Cambridge or explore the South End, but I'm pretty sure I will find a reason to head back that way. I'm happy to be home but not so happy to have to return to work tomorrow. At least it is a short work-week and I have a lot of fun things to look forward to this summer!