At The End Of The Tour…Sunrise on Nantasket

The rest of the trip was pretty low-key, spending most of my time by myself. I decided I needed a break from the Dublin boys, so Cola and I went to dinner at Uno’s. We were seated in the table next to the bar, and were constantly flashed by a flabby drunk man who kept claiming to be a Boston PD officer (but the “badge” he kept flashing was a shamrock hologram.) We went back to the hotel room, looked through all the pictures, and packed our bags. We had to leave for the airport to catch Cola’s flight by 4:00 am, so I forced myself to tuck in by 12:30.

After our goodbyes to Terawrizt and Lethal, Cola and I headed off to Logan Airport around 4:20 (cutting it close!) Luckily, the Mass Pike and Ted Williams Tunnel were fairly clear, and she made it on time for her flight. As I wound my way out of the terminals, I had this flash of memory of Strang telling me about Nantasket Beach…the closest really beautiful beach to Boston, but it gives you the Cape Cod experience without driving the extra 35 miles. I consulted a map, and headed there in time to catch the sun rise. Armed with my husband’s nifty camera, I experienced my first sunrise over the Atlantic. It was 28 degrees with a whipping, wet wind, so in between pictures I was thawing in the Murano. From first picture to full sun over the horizon took about 55 minutes. And after pulling out of the Nantasket parking lot, “Here Comes The Sun” came on my ipod playlist and I got a burst of warm energy for having seen this beautiful experience. Above are the best pictures of the morning.

I drove around Hull and Pemberton Point, where you can see a lovely view of downtown Boston only 12 miles across the bay (in comparison to the 37 miles it takes to drive to that point.) I drove back to the city through Hingham, Weymouth, Quincy, and onto the I-93. I had an hour to kill till I had to drop off the rental car, so I headed back into the city. This time I spent some time in Back Bay and Copley Square. I found a meter, fed 45 min of change, and walked around to take more pictures. On the way back to the airport, I got mixed up on the rental car return directions (which called for route 1A). After going down Route 1 and passing the bridge to Chelsea, I realized my error and had to pay an extra $3 toll to get back. I got a nice exit row window seat coming back, and happily returned home to Taylor and Rosie.

The bad: Paying $9.50 in tolls in 3 hours
The good: Having a tollbooth operator give me back and extra nickel because I’m cute

The bad: Having to drop Cola off so early at the airport
The good: Being up early enough to catch the sunrise over Nantasket

St. Patrick’s Day in Boston

These past 4 days I’ve been exploring Boston, except for my Saturday tonsillitis detour. Cola and I have been escorted around Beantown by the Bawston Strangla and Shaymin, both hip hop musicians, as well as spending lots of time at the Dedham Fairfield Inn with Terawrizt and Lethal Dialect, musicians straight from Dublin. I knew that coming on this trip would be an adventure, not only by touring it by people intimately knowledgeable on the area, but living a little bit of the Irish Boston lifestyle. I’d had a taste of Boston the previous week with Rosie, but it was basically a two hour walk around Boston Common and an adjoining pastry shop.

My flight arrived on Thursday night around 11:30 PM, and I was picked up at BOS-Logan by Strangla and Cola. Strang drove us through the Boston theater district (which 10 years ago was NOT a safe place for a beautiful woman to walk through at night.) We got slices at the New York Pizzeria, and headed to Dedham for the night. Cola and I spent the evening in the lobby with Shaymin, Lethal, and Tera. I stayed up till 3ish, and headed to bed much earlier than the others.

Friday morning was at the hotel lobby again. We didn’t have an easy mode of transportation since we were relying on Strang and Shaymin’s cars. The four of us walked about 20 minutes to a shopping center where we looked around for “trainers” (sneakers) for the boys, and ate lunch at Panera Bread. On the way back, we stopped at Costco for berry smoothies from the snack bar. While at Costco, Cola bought large bottles of Crown and Jack Daniels (that was roughly the size of a gallon). Once we were back to the hotel, the shots of Jack and Coke were shot like crazy till late afternoon when Strang picked us up. He drove us around Boston, giving us the tour of Boston University, Fenway Park, and walking down the Charles River. He drove us back to Dedham, and the others spent more time drinking until Shaymin arrived. We had dinner at Vinny T’s, the authentic Irish restaurant adjoining the hotel. The pizza and pasta was fabulous, and I watched as the others consumed more beer. We went with Shaymin to the premiere of the new Joey McIntire movie, “On Broadway.” It was a fabulously executed movie about Irish family life in Boston, taking away a lot of the cliches that I’d previously attached with Beantown. I really recommend it. After the movie, we went to Club Luna for about 45 minutes. Since Lethal is underage, he waited at the entrance as we watched DJ Drama’s performance and did some dancing. Again, I went to bed earlier than the bunch, feeling a little under the weather.

When I woke up Saturday, my tonsils were enlarged so much that I could barely swallow. My ears ached, I had a temperature and body aches, and I was wheezing like crazy. Since Taylor had been sick for a few days, I was worried. I looked into urgent care options in the Dedham area, and my only choice was an ER in Norwood. Unfortunately, without a car, the cab ride would be $25 each way. I finally got in touch with my doctor in Michigan, who called in a Z-pak and albuterol for me. Tera and Lethal chivalrously trudged through the snow to the pharmacy to pick up my meds, and came back with takeout pizza from Vinny-T’s. I spent the majority of the day in bed sleeping, and didn’t leave the hotel until 9 PM when Shaymin picked us up for chinese food at Tahiti restaurant.

The next morning I was feeling significantly better. After so many times being stranded without a car, I knew a rental car was in order for the rest of my trip. Cola and I took the commuter rail into South Station (where I picked up a rockin’ Boston hoodie). While on the train, we were bombarded with green-clad, already drunken people en route to the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was a wild bunch, and I took lots of people pictures, just to prove how crazy it was. We connected onto the Silver Line metro into Logan airport. Next, we were picked up by the rental car agency shuttle, and haggled the counter agent into an SUV for $7 more than the compact car price. We drove out in a shiny new Nissan Murano. With our newfound vehicular freedom, Cola and I drove to Cambridge. We drove around MIT and Harvard, snapping pictures out the window. Once back at the hotel, we primped up for the big show at the Midway, where all of our boys would be performing. The show was less than ideal…I didn’t like the venue or the set up of the all-ages and 21+ show split, but the talent was real, and it was fun to come out of my shell for a music genre that I usually ignore. But the illness of the night before caught up to me around 11pm, and I headed back to Dedham and fell asleep quickly.

This morning I was ready to leave hours before the others, so I drove around the immediate area, seeing if I could score a better green shirt than I was already wearing (didn’t happen.) We took the Dublin boys to Chili’s (which they hadn’t even heard of), then headed towards Boston. We explored the same Irish cemetary I’d found the week before, downtown Boston, and then another jaunt to Cambridge. I successfully navigated myself back on side roads, including the infamous Jamaicaway.

Boston around St. Patrick’s Day has not been the jolly fun time I expected, but I’m really glad I went. Tomorrow I will head home to my comfortable environment, the sadder by wiser Nicole. I have had experiences that I will never forget, and I’ve bonded with Cola so well.

Checkin’ in from Beantown

I’m about 36 hours into my trip to Boston. Cola and I have been given the royal treatment…seeing the sights, eating the food, and experiencing the Irish lifestyle (which means everyone but me is drinking like crazy.) Bawston Strangla and Shaymin are our official Boston ambassadors and Terawrizt and Lethal Dialect are our boys from Dublin, keeping us company at the hotel during the daytime. More details and pictures will follow. I’ve come down with tonsillitis and am enjoying my comfy hotel bed.

Thursday Green

Tonight I’m leaving for 5 days in Boston with my Irish sister Cola. I’ll be landing at BOS-Logan around 11:30 PM, and will probably stay up way to late with Bawston Strangla, Shaymin, Terawrizt and the rest of the crew. I’m not sure all that we’ll be doing in Beantown, but it’s sure to be an unforgettable trip. 4 days till St. Patricks Day!

Updates and Priorities

I found this sign at a sandwich shop in Canton. What a great life philosophy, eh? Thanks for the comment love in the post below! My best response yet (of course, it took a threat!)

I leave for Boston tomorrow night. I’m more excited about this trip than any other trip in a long time. I’ll be a VACATION. I’ll be staying in a Fairfield Inn (my favorite) I won’t have to worry about only doing kid-friendly activities, or just “hanging out” like Taylor usually wants to do on vacation. Cola and I are going to be seeing the sights and recommuning with our Irish heritage. And I’ll be designated driver on one of the most drunken days of the year. I want to see Harvard and MIT, Salem, Emerald Necklace, The Charles River, Fenway Park, Jamaica Plain, Chestnut Hill, Concord, and drive up the Cape.

Yesterday I finally resolved my Circuit City complaint. I went into the Westland location again, armed with copies of all my emails and receipts. The manager from my original visit was let go, and the new manager was in training in Florida. So I worked with the regional HR rep for Circuit City (their offices adjoined the store) and he apologized profusely, refunded the additional installation fee and gave a $24 service credit. So I walked out of the store with $93 credited back on my debit card and a smile on my face. It pays to be persistent!

I’m really, really behind in school. I’m supposed to have 50% of my coursework done by tomorrow’s conference call for my Critical Theory and Writing class, and I’m still finishing up module one. I also am still figuring out my algebra/statistics class…but now that Taylor’s into his class…we can work through it together. I decided I need to be a casual blogger again. It’s going to hurt…blogging has become my favorite hobby.

I’m going to make some of my chocolate banana bread pudding once I post this, homework for a few hours, go to the gym, and homework for a few more hours. Gotta make up for part time effort on full-time coursework!

And might I add…

Only eight more days till my St. Patrick’s Day trip to Boston with Cola! I’m excited! However, I actually might find myself in the Boston area briefly on Saturday. Rosie and I are thinking about a quick trip to New England to enjoy a few Elipsus performances. We’d fly into Providence after school Friday, catch the downtown Providence, RI show Friday night, sleep, drive an hour or so to Boston for a noon show, and immediately turn around and hit the New Haven, CT show, sight-see a bit, and sleep again. We’d fly home Sunday morning just in time to make it to church.

I figure with work-life coming up pretty shortly, I’d better take advantage of a random, spontaneous mother-daughter trip to New England before it’s too late.

Also, I got another email for an interview at the UofM residency office, but I turned it down. I have enough on my plate this week for interviews.