Provincetown was supposed to be our first day on the beach, but some gray and drizzly conditions made us change our collective mind. Before it got too late on Tuesday, we saddled up and moseyed into Boston, settling in neighboring Cambridge to stay with Sarah’s very good friend Regina. She took us to nearby Atwood's Tavern for some good local brews on tap, gave us couches to sleep on and fresh towels for the next morning. What a standup gal, that Regina. Cheers to her.
Photo © Yoshiki Hase
On Wednesday morning, we packed up and drove into Boston proper for a visit to the Boston Museum of Science. This museum is a local mainstay, with roots dating back to as early as 1830. We were struck by the sheer volume of visitors on the day we happened by, many of whom were giggling schoolchildren, trailed closely by their respective chaperones through a vast expanse of rooms and exhibits.
Photo © Museum of Science, Boston
These kids were having a great time. I felt terrible for the grownups responsible for them, because they were all over the place. And why wouldn’t they be? This place had a ludicrous amount of colorful, interactive gadgets to keep the kids entertained. Furthermore, every last item in this museum had some measure of intellectual value that the kids would understand, whether they knew they were learning or not. Whether learning about paleontology, optical illusions or (gasp!) the birds and the bees, this place was surprisingly accessible and lofty at the same time. And thanks to its sheer size, a handful of rooms were comfortably less populated than others – usually those which involved looking rather than touching.
As we climbed back into the car to drive to our friend Marion’s, I was sitting in the backseat with the door open, as Joey approached with two arms full of stuff to shove into the back of the car. He placed his laptop gently on the roof of the car, and said to me, “Don’t let me forget about this.” I nodded, immediately forgetting the instructions I had just received. Of all the people he could have told (me and Sarah), I was clearly the wrong one.
The moment we arrived at Marion’s house on Marlborough Street, Joey got a phone call from his friend and fraternity brother, Ryan Hubschmidt. Joey was shocked and elated to be fielding what he believed to be a random call from Hubby. Here’s my general understanding of how this conversation went:
Joey: Hey Hubschimidt, what the hell? How’s it going?
Hubschmidt: Yo man, did you lose your computer?
J: Uhh, I don’t think so…
H: Well dude, some guy just IM’d me from your screen name…
J: (face contorting in shock and amazement) …Oh man. I must have left it on top of my car before we started driving.
H: This guy said he saw a green Jeep do a U-turn on a bridge, and saw something go flying out of it, and when he picked it up it was a laptop, so he IM’d a bunch of people in your buddy list to see whose it was. I gave him your number so he can call you.
J: Oh man.
Sure enough, right then, Joey’s phone rang on the other line, and an unfamiliar voice came in on the other end, essentially describing what had just happened and where we could meet him. So we immediately piled into Marion’s car and booked it back to the scene of the incident.
We got out of the car and met Bo and Daphne. Bo had been riding his bike across the bridge when I yanked the car into a three-point U-turn (making it not actually a U, but some other shape altogether) and sent the laptop flying off the roof of the car. He picked it up and dusted it off – damage was aesthetic only and no passwords were enabled, so he had no trouble finding its owner. We gave him twenty dollars for his trouble and kindness, and handed him a business card to boot with our email addresses listed therein.Later, we got an email from Bo telling us that he was grateful for paying him, but that it wasn’t necessary whatsoever, and that he had donated our $20 to Relay For Life. Ridiculous! If more people were like Bo here, the world would be a much better place. If you see this guy around, buy him a beer. Marion and her boyfriend Scott waited patiently for us to complete this exchange, and then drove us into town to Quincy Market. We got to look around at the amply sized shopping area, and even caught a few moments of a street performance before we got a bite to eat. We jumped into gastro mode, which for us requires that we each go to a different vendor and purchase a different morsel of food. Sarah had eaten here before and highly recommended the pizza from Regina Pizzeria. There was no arm twisting involved in that decision.
Sarah got a bread bowl, chock full of more delicious clam chowder. Joey’s dish was the one that made me pause – raw clams on the half shell. This was something I’d never done before. I’d seen it done, most recently on Man v. Food when the host had to eat some fifteen dozen of the things.
Ever intent on expanding my boundaries, I dressed one with cocktail sauce and let it slide down my throat, and I found it to be far more unpleasant than not. I think I need more time and practice before I can come to terms with literally drinking a whole solid animal. This first time was just too weird for me.
Next, we took a stroll through Boston Common, spotting a swath of historical landmarks and bronze statues along the way. We had our GPS at hand for directions, and felt the better experience in Boston would come from walking around, rather than taking cabs or the subway. So we walked a mile or so to one particularly visible monument, the Bunker Hill Monument, which bears a striking resemblance to the Washington Monument in D.C.
Joey has the great idea to “just run to the top.” He’s usually not into that kind of thing – you know, physical activity. But he led the way, and so we all three made the trip up to the top. I came in first, Sarah second and Joey a sweat-dripping third. It took a few moments of deep breathing before we could move on from the top of that building, where, if they were smart, they’d have a full bar.
Though there was no bar, there were some fantastic views, as you can see here.
After our long descent, we found our way back to Marion’s to get prepared for our big night in Boston, which was so incredible that it requires its own entry. More on that from Joey very soon.