boston

My own Boston Tea Party

Today was my last day in Boston before I head home to Kris, the doggen, work, and coaching. My last day of being a Bostonian tourist. I had a number of items left on my list to da, which included seeing Faneuial Hall, parts of the Freedom Trail, the general downtown architecture, and the Harbour. I had planned to see at least one of these yesterday, but spent the day in the Museum of Science instead.

Shock! Me? Science?

Not.

George had told me last night that he wasn't going to let me take the train into town today and drag my suitcase and all the other crap I had with me around on my siteseeing adventures. Instead, he would be able to drive me into town for a short tour, being my tourguide.

Whoo!

Because I slept in so late, we ended up on a fantastic whirlwind tour of downtown. George showed me the various styles of brick architecture, different eras and styles in different parts of town, then parked the car under the Boston Commons, in an underground parking structure with the park on top.

California needs to clue into more efficient use of space like this. Way needs to. Take the earthquakes in stride and start building down.

We then walked through the park, found the Freedom Trail, toured a itsy bitsy cemetary, walked past the Fanueial Hall, through the Quincy Market behind it, over the Big Digg to the North End, which ends at the Harbour. I then had my very own Boston Tea Party (with real English tea from George's wife, Ruth). I was laughing so hard I'm not sure any of the photos did the moment justice.




George then led us further along the Freedom Trail, a red line that runs through the city, along many (16?) historic markers and buildings. We went through Little Italy (or the Boston equivalent, if that's not the correct name), and stopped at the North End Church, where Paul Revere put up his two "one if by land, two if by sea" lanterns before racing the ten miles on horse to Lexington.

The most interesting part of the church, other than it's historical reference, was the high walls between the pews. Basically, every pew had a little cubby hole where people could pray and no one else could see you there. Hell, you could have sex during mass and no one would know.

We wandered back along the trail to the Daily Catch for lunch, and then hoofed it back to the car in time for George to drive me to the airport and me to check in my bag in time.

Once again, I had a retarded journey through the security line, with amazingly stupid TSA workers manning the lines. I swear, I need to get a job at one of these places, just so that I can start yelling at my fellow employees, "STOP BEING MORONS!"

But that's the subject of another post. For now, my Boston adventure is over. George, Ruth and Frances are some of the most wonderful hosts I've ever had (and wonderful people I've ever met). Unfortunately, they introduced me to the most amazing hot fudge sauce. I may have to order them more as a bigger thank you note for hosting me for my first Boston adventure...

Boston photos

Random shots from Boston these last few days:

No taxi this morning

I didn't take a taxi this morning to the conference. If I had known that Bostonian drivers couldn't drive in the rain, I would have slept in and skipped trying to make the first session of the conference.

Instead, I stumbled down to the lobby, where I had arranged to meet up with a co-conference attendee to catch a taxi ride together. We were told the taxi wait was 30 minutes, because traffic was so bad, how about taking the bus to the subway?

Uh... okay.

First, start by standing in the rain for 15 minutes on the corner over there. The free local shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at the subway station. The directions were actually "go through the building over there," but we missed the "through" part, and hence the bus that arrived every 15 minutes.

So, my conference companion, Troy, and I started asking each and every pedestrian walking by which way to go.

Well, actually, I asked them. Not sure it didn't completely annoy Troy, but well, I didn't care much. If I'm up this early, I want to get where I'm going as quickly as I can.

So, we missed the bus. Again.

One woman finally gave us the brilliant suggestion of taking the ferry. The ferry? Sure! it takes you to the Aquarium, where you can catch the blue or green line.

Uh... okay. I'm so full of this pauses and agreements today, I can't stand me anymore.

So, we head down the pier to where a boat is coming in. It was an itty bitty boat, with maybe an 80 person capacity - waaaaaaay smaller than the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry I'm used to riding, but, hey, so what. If I'm lost in Boston next to the Boston Naval Yard, why NOT take a ferry where I need to go?

The ferry took us to the Aquarium. What I found most entertaining about the ferry was the slide the ferry did as it pulled into the dock. The ferry ended up parked, er, docked at a 90° angle to its incoming direction. Quite enterntaining to both realize this was happening, and watch it actually happen.

So, off the ferry, then off onto the street, and off we go. It was three blocks before I remembered one of my travelling cardinal rules: "Always look at the map before you start out, don't trust the map reading directions of your companions." We started out all of 20 yards from the subway entrance, and ended up about 200 yards from where we were going, backtracking the way back.. Eh....

So, back we went, onto the subway,. This time, I did look at the map. The helpful subway guy told us to go a particular way than what the submay map indicated we should go ("less walking"), so we went the way he suggested, ending up only slightly lost, but catching each train as we went along.

The subway ride was uneventful. I did notice that everyone on the trains seemed to be living an extrememl ordinatry life. Is that all we are? I wondered. Completely ordinary?

Eventually, after two subway stops and their complementary track changes, we made our final stop, walked up the stairs and hoofed it to the event center. If we hadn't wasted the first 15 minutes standing in the rain, we would have ended up at the convention center at approximately the same time as the people who called a cab 10 minutes before we arrived in the lobby.

I'm not sure they had the better trip.

Boston. Again.

"Kitt!"

It was one of the last things I expected to hear when I walked into the baggage claim area at Boston's airport. For having never been in Boston before last year, I keep coming back here enough.

Maybe I should apply to M.I.T. for graduate school. Now THAT would probably please all of my M.I.T. friends.

I turned to the sound of my name, expecting to see some person I'd met at the various Drupal events recently. I did not expect to see Vinny.

He was on his way home, having spent the weekend in Boston with his mom.

We have good timing.

So, I'm in here Boston now, for the 2008 North American Drupal Conference (I'm sure most Drupal people would go "Huh?" with that description, and just call it Drupal Con Boston, but historically there have been two Drupal Con conferences a year: one in North America and one in Europe, so I'm using that name).

This is the first conference I've gone to where I have a list of people I want to meet and a list of questions I want to ask various developers. I happy to be excited about a conference, even though it feels odd to be so.

If meeting Vinny is any sign, it's a good one. This should be a good conference.

Boston x4

On my way to Boston today for the fourth time this year. Not bad for a city I hadn't visited before this year. I'm hoping I'll have an opportunity to visit with George, Ruth and Frances when I'm there, having not seen them since their visit. We'll see. This job sounds like it might be work 80%, sleep 20%. Given the red-eye flight out, and the risk I'm taking triggering a migraine, I hope I get more sleep than that.

So, drop Mom off at the airport at 2, return back at 8 to leave myself.

You have every other disease

Growing up, my little brother used to clap in the house. He started when I was around ten years old, and he was six. He'd enter a room and clap clap clap.

Drove me nuts.

I told him to stop it. I told him to stop with the clapping already. I yelled at him. I did everything I could to get him to stop with the GD clapping, but he continued until he just grew out of it.

Around the same time he grew out of it, I grew into it. I randomly clap when I'm walking. When I don't have anything on my shoulders, and my arms are swinging free, I'll clap and make other percussion noises with my hands.

Last night, after Kris and I crawled into bed, but before either of were really settled down to go to sleep, I got back up and wandered to the bathroom. After doing my business, I returned and crawled back into bed.

"Do you think you might have Tourette's?"

"No."

"Wait a minute. You have every other disease known to man. Why not Tourette's?"

It was then I realized I had announced my return to the room with a single clap.

"Well, maybe."

Mocking the start

Onto the reason why Kris and I were in Boston in the first place: the wedding!

Kris' cousin and best man at our wedding, Mike P, was married, and Kris was in the wedding party (yeah, I think I mentioned that before, when I was trying to figure out if he was in the groomal party, the bridal party or the wedding party). The wedding was supposed to be outside, along the shore next to a light house, with the bride arriving by trolley and a band leading the wedding guests in a minstral march behind the pied piper (or trombonist, as the case was) back to the reception.

The weather didn't cooperate, and the wedding wasn't close to what they planned. Unless, of course, you ignore the frantic wedding planners, the musicians playing in a too-small space, the puking kids and mistaken accents. Do that, and the wedding was exactly what they planned.

Since the weather decided to be crappy, and rain the entire weekend, the wedding moved from the lighthouse grass to the local yacht club. The dance floor was transformed into a squashed theatre, and every crammed into the seats as the wedding planners frantically put up decorations that, had the weather cooperated, would have been out six hours before we arrived. Even as the bridesmaids were lining up, and the music adjusted for the wedding processional, the runner was being laid for everyone to walk up.

The background music when we were waiting for the wedding to start was played by a guitarist and a (snare) drummer. The music was light and pleasant. The bridal processional, however, included a trombonist. Now, as a former euphonist/baritone player, I can say definitively the instrument is not a quiet instrument. Neither is the trombone, many of which I sat next to in band or marched next to at some band competition. Playing a trombone softly is like trying to throw a disc with no spin: it ends disastrously.

The trombonist managed maybe a third of the notes he was supposed to play. Not because he couldn't play them, clearly he had enough experience to play each note with gusto and skill, but rather because he couldn't play softly enough. Brass instruments aren't made for playing softly, and it showed. As he was missing note after note after note, I cringed, feeling bad for him even as he turned red, presumably from embarrassment.

Fortunately, the bride was able to walk down the aisle without musical accompaniment.

The ceremony started with the officiant, I think Rachel's (the bride) uncle. Some of his first words were, "We're not here to mock the start of this relationship..."

At his words, the room gasped. What? What did he say? Well, d'uh, of COURSE we're not here to mock the start of this relationship, are you crazy? We're here to CELEBRATE the start of this relationship, we're excited for them!

The officiant looked up at the crowd, puzzled, found his place in his speech and started again. "We are not here to mock the start ..."

What the heck? No, no we're not.

Oh, wait.

You're from Boston. We're in Boston. You're saying mark. We're not here to MARK the start of this relationship.

Gotcha.

With you now.

The ceremony was fun, with some inside jokes in the vows, as well as other entertainment. Since we were rained out, we weren't able to follow the band from the light house to the yacht club, site of the reception, since we were already at the yacht club. There were other details like that which were lost. Following the band was supposed to take up some time, so that the food was ready once the ceremony was over and we had moved. Unfortunately, we were a half hour too early, and did the usual stand around and wait for the pictures to be taken.

The wedding party and photographers were HIGHLY efficient with their picture taking. I recall being surprised when Kris came up to me and asked what I was up to, and thinking, waiting for you to finish taking pictures.

At the reception, the kids were shuffled off to another room. The main dining room didn't have enough space for the adults and the kids, so sitters were hired to watch the kids while the adults had fun at the wedding.

Well, as Kris says, there's always drama in his family, and today was no exception. His nephew was sick, and ended up vomiting in the middle of the reception. I don't think either Jenn or Shaun had a particularly good time at the reception, which is unfortunate, because it was lovely.

Here too many times

I've been in Boston way too much in the last year. This is visit number five inthe last year and a half, and it's to the point that I can actually find my way around. I can't give directions, nor can I neccesarily find my way home blindfolded as I once did out of Hollywood in college, starting with only an intersection. I do, however, recognize city names. I recognize buildings. I know which direction is North. I can navigate to the airport. I can drive without being flustered.

I have clearly spent too much time in Boston.

Time for a new city.

Boston water

Boston Naval Yard buildings

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