Happy Halloween, Voxers!
I’d been meaning to write about our Boston trip, but MMS caught up to me. Unfortunately there are no documentary photos to go along with this, as I never got a chance to buy film for my Olympus XA-2 point-and-shoot, and I didn’t want to drag the big, digital Pentax *ist D around. Apologies, though this entry is not entirely without illustration.
I have to admit, I went into this trip feeling ambivalent for a number of reasons:
1) It’s a long drive from Bangor to Boston, and we weren’t familiar with the area at all. We actually stopped and spent the night in Portland, waking up early Saturday morning to head south instead of doing the whole trip down in one night. This wasn’t the original plan, but was a good idea nonetheless. We got lost in Boston even in daylight, so trying to navigate the neighborhood at midnight would have been hell.
2) I’m not a city girl, and the S.O. is even less a city boy. We’re country mice. I love the idea of living within walking distance of everything you could possibly want to do or see, but the crowds kill me. 2-3 days in the big city and I’m ready to see wide open spaces again.
3) I knew that we’d only have a short amount of time to explore, and while I certainly wanted to see some sights, the original reason we were there was to see my friend and her future hubby. I hadn’t really thought about it until she brought it up, but we hadn’t actually seen each other in three years! Where the hell does the time go? Anyway, rushing around from one stop to another like regular tourists wasn’t going to work, ’cause there was much catching up to do.
4) Finally, we planned this entirely at the last minute, and spontenaiety is not my strong suit. The fact that we went through with it at all is a tribute to the S.O.’s patience and my own ability to hold my silly nerves at bay. I think I did particularly well considering I only flipped out at traffic once – a giant truck came flying up on our right side, and at the time I didn’t realize we’d moved from a two-lane high-way to a three-lane. I thought said giant truck was trying to pass us in the breakdown lane, and this meant certain death for us in our tiny little Golf. I’m such a dork.
Anyway, as is usually the case, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. We had a great time and did quite a bit, all things considered.
First things first, shopping! Because you can’t visit the big city without getting mall-ed at the mall (hah-hah). We braved the weather and headed out to the monstrousity known as the CambridgeSide Galleria. The S.O. drooled himself silly at the Apple store (iPods) and Borders (Sony’s new book reader), while my friend and I shopped for clothes (mostly for her, some for me). I found the best scarf and hat at Old Navy, and thoroughly enjoyed my very first Cinnabon. Yes, I said my first – I was a Cinnabon virgin until last weekend, and I didn’t know what I’d been missing. I probably should have stayed in the dark, because if they ever bring Cinnabon to Bangor, they’ll have to roll me out of the store like Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
But I digress. After the shopping spree our legs and feet were quite sore, so we lunched at the California Pizza Kitchen, then headed to the science museum to catch an Imax movie about Greece history. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I was also an Imax virgin (giving my friend a second chance to look at me incredulously and say, “You’ve never what?!?”). The movie was okay, but the experience itself was a riot. Now I want to see all my favorite films on a 180-degree dome screen, just for the novelty factor.
After the film, we visited the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. It was interesting, though I enjoyed it more for the art sculpture than for the human anatomy lesson. I understood that these were real human body parts, plasticized, but everything still looked… well, like plastic. I really had to admire the amount of work that went into each of the sculptures, though. It’s an artform in its own right.
After the exhibit we crashed at my friend’s place, ordered take-out, and talked until all hours. The next morning we got up early and headed out around 9 to explore Harvard and Harvard Square. Taking the T was easy-breezy, and the S.O. only got panhandled once! Good times! I enjoyed my very first (so many firsts!) chocolate croissant from Au Bon Pain, then we wandered over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History (free admission to local residents, so my friend got us in at no cost). I’m pretty sure I visited this particular museum as a child, but I didn’t realize it was so huge. So many exhibits! I particularly enjoyed the minerals exhibit, the glass flowers exhibit, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. I think we spent a good two hours wandering the place and still didn’t see everything, but by that point we needed to think about lunch, since the S.O. and I wanted to head back to Maine around 1 or 2. I did stop at the museum’s gift shop before we left and bought a souvenir – Cranky – the most awesome little wind-up toy. He’s currently sitting on my desk at work, holding up my tag from the natural history museum in his left paw. I’m in love with him, and now I want an army of crazy wind-up toys from Kikkerland.
We also stopped at the Lush body shop in Harvard Square, where I almost lost my sense of smell from sniffing all the fancy soaps and washes and cremes. Mmmm. After fifteen minutes there, everything smelled like cocoa butter – my hands, my clothes, my S.O. (rawr!). When we told him we were going to the Lush shop, the S.O. thought we were talking about a liquor store, and it might as well have been just that! A place to get drunk on smelly stuff, mmmm, smelly stuff. I passed on purchasing anything then, but I might have to order some Chocolate Whipstick lip balm.
Finally, we had a long lunch at UNO’s before it was off into the wild blue yonder. All around, it was a great trip. We didn’t get a chance to do everything I wanted (we never made it out to the pastry shops in the North end, and I would have liked to have spent more time at the museums) but I expected that much. Next time we’ll have to take a couple days off from work and do a long weekend in the city, now that we know a bit more about the area firsthand. Thanks to everyone who recommended things to see and do!
A quick gaming update: The S.O. and I missed it since we were out of town, but our guild finally defeated Ragnaros on Saturday; this was only their second serious attempt, but they got him, even though half the “regular” raiders were off at Halloween parties or touring Boston (*ahem*). Now we can officially say we’ve cleared Molten Core (though I’d like to see it for myself sometime soon!) Since it seems the Burning Crusade expansion won’t hit the shelves until January 2007, it looks like we’ll all have a shot at trying Blackwing Lair as level 60’s. Mmm, more dragons.