And now, for your continued enjoyment, the travelog I never intended to write continues.
We propellered off to the Boston area over Memorial Day. In another life, I spent a year living in nearby Lowell, where I existed on macaroni & cheese at 5 boxes for $1.00, my Texas-born dog learned about snow, and I temped at legendary places like Purity Grocery Stores, Wang and NEC Technologies. (Evidently I have a history of working for sinking ships or those already plundered by corporate pirates.) This was my first return to the area since those long-ago days. We quartered south in Brockton for Mike’s business travels scheduled after the weekend.
The slide show at the end of this post has a highlight or three, and here are a few additional discoveries/thoughts/triumphs:
I get better reception on my cell phone on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean than in the house where I live.
My brothers possess the super power of guilty timing, phoning me Memorial Day from my parents’ gravesite to tell me they love me, while I am out watching whales.
The Northeast is obsessed with karaoke.
It takes two days to feel the full effects of climbing and descending the 294 steps of the Bunker Hill Monument.
If it stinks, call it brie. “Funnel cake” is far more appetizing than “fried dough.”
Trying to get a prize-winning photo of a whale on a slow camera is not a good use of time; better to watch the whales and savor the memory. I’m pleased to say I figured that out quickly, right after missing the first breach. I’m also pleased I knew my perfect hat would be eaten by a whale courtesy of the wind serving it up, and therefore left it behind.
A temporary tattoo will survive a shower if not scrubbed with a washcloth. The “Dart of Death” still proudly rides my upper arm.
What half-wit decided on the area-wide policy of giving no quarter to cars moving onto the highway? Play nice already.
Dunkin’ Donuts shops spontaneously regenerate.
The attitude of USAirways gate agents varies widely. At La Guardia airport on our way to Boston, we were moved onto an earlier available flight without the least brow-beating or additional wallet-scouring. When I inquired at Logan for the same on my departure Monday afternoon, I was summarily dismissed and also witnessed a passenger being yelled at from 50 yards away by the same gate agents. Fly those friendly skies, I say.
Whales have bad breath. Should we tell them?
Rental cars should be standardized, or come with a manual. A keyless push-button ignition is disconcerting despite probably being a good idea.
I have little patience for public transportation. On arrival at the Brockton train station for our Sunday trip into Boston, the mechanized voice informed us that the train we had risen early to meet was somewhere else, not moving, and it updated that unhappy status every minute. Five minutes of this Fritz Lang Metropolis voice of bad news had me wanting to “baa!!” like a mindless sheep in a herd. We were definitely going to miss our scheduled historical walking tour. Taking matters into my own hands (and imposing my will on Mike), we (I) drove to Boston, easily securing parking which cost a fraction of the train ticket, and allowing us to arrive and depart when we wanted. There were no complicated schedules to decipher with exceptions for full moons, local vegetarian festivals or the mayor’s dog’s birthday. I like driving. It represents freedom to me. Call me a rebel. Rather a Bostonian attitude, I think.
What really happened to the donut Mike said he was taking to the car for me? Should I post its photo on a telephone pole?
A guided city tour is a good investment. Who knew JFK was going to settle the space program in Boston, only to have the program relocated to Texas by LBJ after JFK’s death? And how many people know about drowning by molasses? Or that John Adams provided legal defense for the British troops involved in the Boston Massacre? Or that the USS Constitution is still in service? We trolleyed the city on a sunny, breezy afternoon, and it was worth it, bad bean jokes and all.