Still a Draft!
Wednesday Kira and I arrived into Boston’s Logan Airport and viola! the sun comes out.
Thursday we set out on our walking tour of the city. Around the Cambridge/Harvard area, down through MIT, past Washington Park, and across the bridge into the Back Bay. We walked past Boston University and then down to Berklee School of Music. Here is where I’d perviously found my ukulele.
Alas, times change, and the Boston music store where Dan and I had previously found our $40 uke’s no longer carried them. Instead we found a Horner brand that was a bit more dough and I opted out. Sadly, we walked out of the store with no ukulele. Purposeless, we wandered down to the Prudential building and sat to watch folks walk by. The sun set and the wind picked up and the concrete beneath our seats became a block of ice. We bought some chocolate covered almonds and then hurried home with sore feet.
Friday the sky was a bit grey and the sun tried, to no avail to peek through. We woke up and scurried downtown to meet Stephanie. Finding her among a crowd of Harvard band members striking up a tune, we walked to Boston Commons, enjoyed a short history from our friendly tour guide, popped into the Boston Library, and finally sought out and found the famous Freedom Trail. A red line that courses through the streets of Boston and leads to a slew of remarkably historical places.
Friday night we came home a bit loosened by some collection of Bostonian elixars and via video chat demand Jon Clark to get on a plane the following morning and fly out here for the weekend. He complies. Saturday, a bit taxed by our engagements the previous night, we accomplished a little more than a brief tour of the Taza chocolate factory. It was unique and delicious chocolate and we picked up a couple of bars, so perhaps if you’re nice we’ll share.
Saturday night we enjoyed the first snow of the winter here. So, naturally, we woke up Sunday morning to run a 10 mi. qualifier for joining the Tufts Team for the Boston Marathon through the fresh wet snow and bitter morning frost. Of ~250 I was able to run with a group that finished ~ top 20. Not bad. Sun is out now and its time for a nice post-snow walk to the bay. Hoorah.
Then what happened….??…
Monday Jon, Kira, and I ventured out on the Orange Line and found the Saumel Adams Brewery. It was informational, but they only served 3 tastes. Boo. From there Jon left for Kansas City and we two remaining returned to the apartment where we waited for Andrew’s plane to arrive.
Tuesday Andrew, Kira, and I ventured out south east to the Harpoon Brewery. It was not very informational, but they had a full hour tasting session that included as many drinks as you could put down, within reason.
Wednesday through Friday we were in Philly!
300 miles of driving straight through NYC. I think I’d like to never make that drive again unless we spent some time enjoying the bright new-spring days that we were driving through. As it was a timed drive and in the beginning of the New England winter, it was just a chore. However, we arrived comfortably and were warmly greeted by Christopher.
The following day we woke up to start our one day tour of the city. Starting with a visit to our favorite chocolate factory, John&Kira’s. However good their chocolate it, it’s very good, their factory was reminiscent of our visit to Dogoba in southern Oregon several years ago, except this time it excluded the illegal invitation in to see the working machines and chocolate lined up. Instead it was an awkward phone call wich led to a representative meeting us outside to hand us a catalogue and illicit an order (at a discounted price). So we took our photo, bought some chocolates, and laughed as we drove away from their brown door in the frigid Philly air.
Then we ventured to the grandiose Philadelphia Art Museum and took refuge for many hours, gawking at the magnificence of the displays. It was fantastic.
Cheese-steak, Home Made Dinner, Sleep, – School, Independence Hall, Drive East.
Saturday put’s us back in Boston again…and it’s really frigid… and thus Sunday is colder and comes with rain.
Nowhere seemed to be the theme after I arrived in Boston.
Julia and Chris put me up for the night and then went off to sail in the morning. Their last day until school started. I began to walk.
I have never been to Boston. I wanted to know where they served tea, but I never asked. From MIT across the river to Fenway and its monster through the park and to downtown. Past china town and across another river. Into South Bay and to the water. Couldn’t find Sam Adams and his men, caught the bus back to MIT. Up into Cambridge and Dan called. Back to MIT. To the apartment, back up to Cambridge for lunch, across the river, picked up some ukes, into the park, down the street, Pour House for dinner and conversation with the waitress, back to MIT. Asleep.
Up in the morning, a walk about campus, and back to the apartment to gather our things, then over to South Station and on the bus to Portland. Goodbye for now Boston. Awake in Portland, Maine. Dr. Todd unlocks his car and we’re off for Wiscasset at midnight. Down into East Booth Bay, a right at Lukes Gulch (private rd) and another quarter mile the car shuts its lights off. A small dingy rests on the dock. We push it in and awkwardly slip in. The beam is three inches out of the water. The guessing game is moment from finality. Which is it? The schooner? That yawl? This thirteen foot sloop? There she sat, “Remedy”. A 35′ sloop all the way from Hong Kong some 40 years prior, a Cheoy Lee – though that builder still means very little to me. A brief tour ends at our birth in the forward cabin and morning come too quickly and too bright. I rectify this by closing my eyes and opening them an hour later. That’s better. This bay is beautifully clear, clean, wooded, calm. So this is Maine, eh?
After loading gear, running errands, fetching breakfast, and doing a cursory check of the rigging we’re underway for the day about the Bay, hooray.
A bit of a motor, the genoa (so called “jib”) is unfurrled, around lobster pots and islands through the harbor and back to the mooring. Bath time, we’re all in the water, then rapidly back out again. It looked delightfully warm, but had the taste of high school waterpolo hell week. You can’t help but laugh when you’re out lasted and out shivered by a 65 year old man. I have no towel. I brought Dan his and seemed to be dry afterward. Into Booth Bay Harbor for our farewell Lobster dinner. A walk and then back to the boat. Content. Asleep.
Dr. Todd, by request, becomes James, then Jim, then Captain Jim, then back to Jim.
Morning starts with a quick row ashore, use of the facilities, postcards in the mail, and on last once over. Off the mooring and out to sea. My attention t the chart is somewhat overwhelming for everyone. I cool it. Jim’s in charge.
Chicago. No one is from this city, but everyone visits. Tourists everywhere, people everywhere, no one knows where to get a good meal. Even a hostess doesn’t hasn’t lived here, and she lives here. We stop at the library. There’s a wedding. We’d like to crash it, but the doorman is from here. He gives us a map. An intersection. A name. We walk. My legs feel great. Cooped up on the train is tough on the muscles. I had started a regiment of push-ups and pull-ups but nothing for the legs except a nip of scotch after dinner.
We find the bar, ____, it’s wonderful. Authentic german beer and food. Still no one is from here, nor does anyone eat the food, so its a blind order on beer and eats. Both are delicious. The bartender is swamped, would have hired me, but I have a train to catch. 10 PM we’re off to Albany. My Chicago walking buddy sits in a different car. I meet several ‘youths’ complaining about closed or broken toilets, slow and late trains, and their frustrations with the current administration of everybody and everything. I suggest they adhere to a strict pro-leisure tour curfew, but you can’t push a rope and you can’t quell the angst of a retiree.
Their complaints are mostly in jest and I get to laugh with them. They pass along some good advice, the first of many. After a nice bit of monologuing from my seat mate regarding cancer, love, life, fortune, and laughter, I exchange a goodnight with the stranger and struggle into an uncomfortable series of naps throughout the night. Breakfast leaves the seat next to me vacant so I catch a bit of wonderful rest. A good morning wakes me and sits me upright again and I excuse myself to the parlor car for the remainder of the ride.
Singin’ on The Train, and a New York Business Man.
He allows me to share his table. We converse. I listen. More advice. She draws my hat, I tell her about it. She listens. More advise. I listen. They share lunch and chocolate. I share the few remaining crumbs of Kiras ginger-zuchini bread, meager, but all I have. More from both parties. The conversation become a bit controversial, opinions appear. Silence. Lighter topics and then farewells.
The train had passed all of rural america which still exists. The Rio Grande, Antelope (or Gazelle something running along the tracks), Arkansas, Up-state New York. Great lakes and rivers, farm houses, towns without people and people without towns. Could have fished off the train there was so much water. All passed behind the tempered emergency exit beside our marked books and lunch scraps.
We’re in Albany. Change to the Boston Commuter. I write and read and watch a movie. The trees are big, dark, but not as handsome as some I’ve seen. We barrel along. The long ride is setting in. It’s dark, I eat a microwave pizza and have a can of ginger ale. My arms are ready. South Station. On the T. Off the T. At the Bar, one, two beers, two glasses of water for Chris and Julia. Asleep on their couch at last. Four days of sights and people and thoughts. I’ve arrived safely and soundly with much gained. Boston.