I am completely wiped out.
It was a long day at work of interviewing people to provide showrooms for our walking tours, I didn’t even have time to eat. It was nice to come back to Oren’s house and find him bustling around in the kitchen making tandoori chicken, basmati rice and broccoli/cauliflower curry sirfry. It was delicious. He’s so talented with food.
I can’t believe it’s already mid-September! For Labor Day (which was not so long ago at all) Oren and I decided to make a trip up to Boston. Domestic travel is really cheap if you go where you know people and don’t care what you see. I like that Oren is on board with these little excursions because I really do want to see the country that I have in my back yard. I must plan a trip to California to see the family and friends out there.
We stayed outside the city, which was a good move because we were able to drive to the end of the Blue Line and take the T from there. We drove up on Thursday night braving traffic on the Parkway, and arrived late. We got up early on Friday for an action-packed day. Before we even thought about going into Boston proper on Friday, we decided to take a trip into Salem. It was an interesting enough place and we had a good time walking around, but to see any of the history of the witch trials you had to pay somewhat high fees, and all of the museums were inside and underground. It was such a nice day that it seemed a shame to go inside and look at wax figures, so we walked around instead.
There was a very old graveyard off a side street and upon walking in we discovered that one of the pilgrims from the Mayflower was buried there. (For all of you internationals that may not be overly familiar with American history, the Mayflower was the first ship of Puritans that came over to North America from Britain, searching for a place where they could pursue their religion in peace. They landed on Plymouth rock and hung out with the Native Americans….that’s the way we learn it in school anyway. The reality is much for unpleasant, rest assured. Some have put it this way: this was a ship full of people who were so uptight that Britain kicked them out.)
So after walking over some seriously old bones, we continued on to the port where we saw the remnant of Salem’s all-important trading years. It used to be quite an important, international port with a gorgeous customs house. However, after ships began getting bigger, Salem’s port was too shallow, so it declined, leaving a lovely, sunny harbor, complete with plaques detailing Salem’s bygone days.
After the whole morning walking around Salem (and meeting a Sydnysider selling kitchen supplies in a shop from whom we bought some ENGLISH Cadbury chocolate) we were tired, so we continued to Revere, MA and the Wonderland T stop at the very end of the Blue Line. I’m not sure why it’s called "Wonderland" but, a really nice metro official handed us Charlie Cards (reusable fare cards) for free! So we didn’t have to pay for the cards, just for the rides. Then we hopped on the T and found ourselves in the center of the city.
I know a lot of people in the Boston area, so it was easy to find things to do. Our first stop was to go to Cambridge to wait for Brenna to get out of class and have coffee with Shai. He passed this summer as a tour guide of Harvard, so he entertained us for a while with ironic quips and more of the hilarious historical facts of Harvard–particularly Widener Library.
Eventually we went our separate ways. Shai went to rescue a pillow of his from a friend’s room and we went to meet up with Brenna after her class. She just started a Biophysics PhD program at Harvard, and her Friday class ran 45 minutes over. It was alright in the end though because we went to this awesome restaurant a few block away called Daedalus. It was delicious and we ate in the outside bar. Then we met up with Erik after he survived the hellish NYC – Boston bus ride and got ice cream!
The next day we walked…everywhere. We followed the Freedom Trail from Boston Commons into the North End to Mike’s Pastry where we purchased the best cannoli I have ever experienced in my entire life. 🙂 We made it back to Cambridge and then we did a very unintelligent thing–we walked from Harvard to MIT. After a whole day of walking, this was not the best move. When we finally arrived at the T station near MIT, Oren and I were so tired that we sat for a half an hour just watching the people come in and out of the station.Of course, an Israeli family passed by us. Somehow we always run into Israelis when I’m with Oren. I guess it’s some kind of weird magnetism.
After Brenna and Erik left us to go their own way and we recovered a little, we went to South Station to meet Emma as she was coming in from her shift at work. We tried to find Chinatown, but failed until the last second. We caught a glimpse of it as we made our way through streets lined with retail stores that were all closed or closing for the night. There was no time to stop once we found Chinatown because Emma’s train was coming in.
We went for dinner and a drink at The Barking Crab which is right on the water. We had to wait for an hour but it was worthwhile. We passed the time talking outside, enjoying the breeze off the water. The restaurant lived up to our expectations, and after enjoying plates of seafood and a local beer, we headed back to the blue line, walking along the harbor as we went.
The next day was Sunday and it was time to leave. Emma had gotten us tickets to the New England Aquarium where she was interning all summer, so we went to the aquarium for free. It was REALLY crowded and I didn’t like it that much, but there were plenty of penguins and a great fur seal show, so I was ultimately happy. After a long weekend of walking EVERYWHERE, we were ready to hit the road. So we rode the Blue Line back up to Wonderland for one final time and got in the car to find our way back to I-95.
We stopped in Stamford, CT to have dinner at a 50s café with Stephanie. We tried to play songs from the jukebox on the table, but they didn’t seem to be working. 😦 The service wasn’t great either but the food was delicious. It was nice to catch up with Stephanie but eventually it was time to leave, and we made it back to Piscataway tired, but satisfied with another successful trip. 🙂
Things I Learned While in Boston:
1. All streets in Boston and the Greater Boston area have the same name.
2. You would never realize this because the streets almost never have labels on them.
3. Jukeboxes on tables in 50s cafés are really just for show.
4. There will always be traffic on the Parkway.
That’s all for now. Working has commenced once more.