The first time I saw this body of water, I WALKED on it. It looks much different now.
Redefining the term "feeding the beast," in the main tank at the New England Aquarium.
J. Raymond had to leave his place much earlier than I awoke, and Emmy seems to be an even later sleeper than I. Thus when the time came for me to leave, it was done without good-byes and without fanfare. I headed north first, to a familiar Wal-Mart to get some things. While inside, the skies opened up, and it was pouring when I emerged. It was this event that indicated to me that I needed a new pair of shoes, as standing water on the ground began seeping into my left sock. The entire trip out of New York's Capital District was essentially a trip through a water park. It wasn't the same kind of rain I saw in western Minnesota - this wasn't violent rain, there was simply a lot of it. It made for some treacherous going all the way through the Berkshires. It had stopped by the tine I reached the Blandford service plaza for food and gas, but I wanted to make it a quick stop, because I was convinced that the deluge would be right behind me all the way to Boston. That was not the case, and in fact, I didn't see another raindrop the rest of the day.
The rest of the trip down the Mass Pike was without incident, and I arrived in Beantown about 2:30. This presented a slight dilemma. It was too early for check-in, so I needed to find something to occupy some time. The problem was that I had done much of what there is to do in Boston over several trips there in the past two and a half years. I decided to go somewhere I have previously visited, but not since a class trip in sixth grade - the New England Aquarium. (For anyone wondering, sixth grade = 1993.) It seemed pretty tiny, but there was still plenty there. The coolest part was watching a couple of girls dive into the tank and feed its residents. That, and the anaconda snake. Once that was done, I stuck around Boston Harbor for a few minutes, taking pictures and reflecting on the fact that I was looking out upon the Atlantic Ocean, only ten days after waking up along the Pacific. Then I got back on the T and headed for the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers; it's now established tradition that I stay there when I'm in this city. I went out to Cheers on Beacon Hill for dinner; the burger was accompanied not by Samuel Adams but by Harpoon - a true Boston beer. After dinner, it was back to the Park Plaza to shower and change, and then to debate where I should head out for the night.
I eventually settled on an old favorite, but with a new twist. As I usually do when I'm in Boston, I went to Ned Devine's / Parris in Quincy Market. The twist was that Kristen and the Noise was not present on this occasion (they spend the summer near their home base of Philadelphia). The band of this particular night was Lost in Paris. I got to the place just after nine, which turned out to be just the right time - there was a decent crowd, but not a line to get in. I tried to stay with the Harpoon, but it was tapped, so I switched to Boston Lager. This was a pretty chill night, even when I went to the stage to watch the band play. I thought they were quite good, especially in the way they used the electronic elements to expand their range of covers. I would have liked to see more of them, but circumstances compelled me to make an early exit from the venue. I had alcohol from my own container spilled on me...not once, but twice. The second instance was a sign that could not be ignored. At first, I thought this would play to my benefit, because I reached the T at 11:45. Finally, a night where I won't have to walk back to the Park Plaza! But alas...it wasn't to be. Despite having paid the fare, I grew impatient with the slowness of the train's arrival, and thus elected to re-surface and walk back. This one wasn't as bad as the others; it being summer, I didn't freeze my butt off all the way back. Once safely in, there was some random time prior to finally falling asleep. Not the best ending, but it still didn't put much of a damper on another great visit to this great city.
(Of course, it would have been infinitely better if an old friend from high school who lives in Brockton hadn't gone to New York for the weekend...but oh well. I hope to get back there soon...and maybe I'll drag some company along.)
Pictures: Day 32 (Boston)