To Boston!

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.

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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.

Then….?

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.

Sneeky Bastards, Bikes, Broken, Birthday’s, Berkeley, & Hillsburough

The drink was a bit bitter. My intentions were grand! Here they were:

Find a vehicle in Philly (<$1000) and start driving west. Head to Ohio, meet Dan, head to Kansas, then down to Oklahoma, meet Megan, jet west, through beautiful high desert of New Mexico and drop into Tucson. See friends, ride moto bike, ditch new car in Tucson, skidaddle out to CA for Pancho’s birthday party, then up to San Francisco for departure to Geneva where vacation begins a new chapter of indifference. Perfect! right? maybe. Step two always requires step one to work.

Step one: I combed the clasified adds for trucks, bikes, and cars which seemed good for another 4,000 miles, that’s all I need. I found several, one was a plough truck – that would have been novel eh? A pannel van. A ’93 Toyota. A ’82 GMC customized catering truck. I made my choice, I contaced the owner of the GMC. I set up an appointment. I got on transportation and 3 hours and a mile walk later I arrived at the truck. Old, fresh paint, rusted floor boards, good tires, walk in fridge, broken ignition, good engine. Perfect! $1300. – given issues $1000. I made arrangements with the owner, discussed registration procedures and possible problems, created contingencies, and agreed to meet the next day in order to hand him cash and get title.

The next day I call the owner in the afternoon and establish I’ll arrive within 3 hours and after 2 hour drive out of Philly I arrive at the truck cash in hand excitment in my shoes and call the owner. Sold!

… to someone else. – Anger. RED ANGER! — Oh.. if I had no scruples…. I look around, the lot is quiet, no one arround, the van has no locks, no keyed ignition…it’s vunerable, my spite grows. I’m mad. Breathe.. revenge is never as sweet as it tastes.

I’m talking to him on the phone.. I can’t believe what I hear. I’m trying not to be rude, but calmly tell him how rude he has been. It’s difficult. I can do nothing but communicate my incredible astonisment and dissapointment in his decision. My enormous frustration. I urge him to make better decisions in the future and hang up. What else can you do? I walk away, rage in my pocket. My joy and faith in people crushed by one silly man. (he was french.. does that match any sterotyping? I don’t know.. I don’t care.). I’m depressed and we begin to drive back to the city. We stop at an REI and after a bit of a conversation with a 20 employee I remember the good in people and compassion in life. Alas I buy a plane ticket to end my east coast adventure the following day and begin to forget about ‘perfect plans’ and look forward to supprising friends for a Michael Franti show in Tucson and a casual drive to California.

I arrive at the Phildelphia Airport at 4 AM in an attempt to change my tickets to an ealrier flight. I’m struck with typical airline resistance and attempts to charge and inhibit me. I remember to breathe, communicate, and perhaps the little bit of karma I wish I had two days before arrives and without issue or cost I’m in Tucson 11 hours earlier than anticipated.

My ukulele keeps me company all the way along. Perhaps it’s close to being my adult Teddy-Bear. It’s good.

Back in Tucson I get to slow down again, refresh my bags, and reset my mind a bit. I get to share stories with familiar faces and feel updated. I drink hard and sleep well. I change my moto-bike’s oil and ride about. I prepare to leave again.

Continuing on to California is a bit more laborious than I anticipate. Kira accompanies me and make two attempts west California. Attempt one left Kira and I without radio coverage as the presidential debate began followed by a flat tire, Taco Bell dinner, and a slow-drive back into Tucson. The next morning we made our second attempt and successfully and arrived in Laguna Beach in the early afternoon on Friday and thus vacation restarted. Saturday we put ourselves into the car and drove north to Edwards AFB for Pancho’s birthday party, the big tee-dubyah-oh.

A choo-choo cake and some choo-choo cake eating with a choo-choo later Pancho was triumphant, the neighborhood kids were fed and properly sugared, a giant dump truck was unwraped and everyone was sufficently sacked out. Well done. Kira departed and then Andrew left back to Berkeley. Mom went to work and I was back in Laguna stuck to online political news and O’Riley. I needed to surf.

Jeff and I get out to San O’s. Surf is decent. Sky is overcast. 10 or so dropin’s later, including one heavy onboard chest landing, our arms are tired and our grins gigantic. The rest of the week seems to slip away until a brief surf session with Sam and Monica where Monica takes one to go into the books, skagg to the eye.. bloody… it was a short day.

Two days later we depart northward. Up to Rosamond to check on the hangar site and play a bit with a tractor. I gots to gets me ones of theses. Boo-yeah!

After Rosamond, I begin driving north and vacation starts for everyone else. Mom has my blackberry and I’ve got … what? … what? … My vacation has been going for about two months now, as you may have read, but Mom is electric with relaxation and she napps and talks and it’s clear this truely is a much anticipated vacation. 7PM puts us in Stockton for dinner and muppet show with Tripp and Karen followed by a serious game of Risk (a draw due to time). Just like the sentences, the following day comes quickly and we’re in Berkeley. I don’t think I’ve laughed with family this much for a while. It’s grand!

… Mom, Andrew & Angela left a couple of hours ago and left me at Angela’s place for the night. I’m now sitting in a coffee shop, surf n’ sip, in Hillsburough, a nice community south of San Francisco, listening to podcasts waiting for my flight tomorrow morning. – what’s next? no se. But tomorrow I’m off to Switzerland and France. I’ll be sure to note when I decide not to return.