Wednesday, May 18, 2011


After my last post went into some black hole in cyber space, I am feeling a bit insecure about this one. Will it still be there in the morning? Guess I am just going to have to take my chances....

Tim had a continuing medical education conference last week in Boston. Not wanting to be left with the kids, I recruited Mom and Dad to stay with them so I could go gallivanting about town while Tim was working! 

We arrived around noon Thursday with no real plan. But signs all over town informed us there was a Chihuly exhibit in town and we decided that would be our first stop. Having been cooped up on the plane since 6am, a walk seemed like an excellent idea. Once our iPhone GPS failed us entirely and the 3ish mile walk turned into at least six miles, a cab seemed like an infinitely better idea. When we finally made it, however, the art was fantastic.

We also had a very late lunch in the museum restaurant, Bravo, that totally hit the spot. The miles, even through some sketchy territory where all the languages spoken seemed to involve a large number of clicking noises, were worth it.

We then booked a Duck Tour. There is a fleet of WW2 vehicles that have been converted into tour buses. Buses that is, that also double as boats. We went through downtown and then set sail on the Charles River. 

Our tour had a dozen or so 10 year old girls that were having a birthday party. Luckily, they were all outfitted with plastic duck calls. One other couple, upon seeing the other tour passengers, and their noisemakers, set out to get a refund. We didn't mind so much. It certainly took the pressure off when our very enthusiastic tour guide wanted audience participation. The 10 year olds had that covered. 

The next few days Tim was occupied most of the day so I set out sight seeing. Being a mega nerd, I really enjoy historical tourism and pretty much couldn't get enough. My guide for the Freedom Trail came in full period gear. He was with an outfit called Lessons on Liberty and I loved his approach that was less dramatic and more historical. Not surprisingly, his day job was History professor.

I also went to see the Bunker Hill monument (sadly, closed for climbing, making it just a big stone obelisk,) the USS Constitution and the state capitol building. My favorite moments included...

We were below deck on the USS Constitution and I was walking around. The ceiling was rather low but I found I had about an inch clearance and could move about easily. I heard someone behind me comment, "Wow, she's really short!" Yeah but think about the advantage that would have given me on the high seas.

When I went to the capitol building, no one else showed up at the same time as me so I received a private tour. My guide was a darling little girl, who looked to be about 20, and she (I am not kidding here) described the inside of the dome as "wicked beautiful." The restraint I showed by not openly laughing is to be commended.

But you want to know what my favorite part of the trip was? I had a couple of friends from high school living in the area. Now I know many of you may routinely see friends of that era but I went to school at the American School of Paris (like France) and once we graduated, we scattered to the four corners of the earth. Facebook brought us all back together but I hadn't seen John and Alexandra in 20 and 15 years, respectively.

I had a friend question the wisdom of meeting up with those who I hadn't seen in so long, but I knew it was all going to be ok when John sent a message to me and Alexandra about getting together entitled "Let's get greasy." And while that title makes it sound infinitely more interesting than the actual outcome,  it was like the last time we all saw each other was yesterday. Seamless and wonderful, we caught up on what we had been doing since graduation and, for our spouses' sakes, kept the high school stories to a minimum. [Though the one about my drunken call to John's parents after he punched a glass door were worth retelling. "Hi Mr. and Mrs. P! John's had a little accident."] Wonder we are still all alive to reminisce.

The trip was fantastic, if a wee bit cold. (Those Bostonians may have thought it was good weather but they have yet to experience Roanoke in May.) Now we're back in full swing for the end of the year school parties, piano recitals, and general pre Summer mayhem. I am definitely looking forward to things slowing down and reading by the pool.

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