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Home Again
2007-07-09, 3:35 p.m.

Day 1051

What a weekend! Learned that: 1 - Boston is a very cool city, 2 - Massachusetts is very hilly, 3 - Boston drivers aren’t as bad or malicious as they’re reputed to be (coming from a New Yorker, that may not be a fair assessment though), 4 – shopping around for the cheap hotel rooms isn’t worth the effort OR savings, 5 – the farther east you go, the farther back in time you go and the corollary, 6 – the farther east you go, the narrower the streets get.

Boston has some scary narrow streets. Cars parked on both sides, enough room for the single lane of traffic to squeeze through, and some asshole has the nerve to think of trying to double park!

Parking is horrendous. Street parking is damn near impossible. That forces one to give up and access any of the numerous underground parking garages. But be prepared to pay.

We blew into Massachusetts Friday, checked into the Sheraton in Framingham (20ish miles west of Boston proper). Got a very good room at a very good rate thanks to booking early on Orbitz. ($160 a night room for under $90 – and The Bob was buying too!!) Had plans to go downtown and catch one of the Duck Boat tours. Cruised downtown, parked underground at the Prudential Center, met up with our cousins back on the surface and did the Tour.

Our tour Duck. That bright flash near the front? Yeah, me. Brilliant, eh? Shoulda killed the flash.

Got 8 zillion pictures. I’ll cull, re-size and post more later, maybe.
After the tour, went and had dinner at Legal Seafoods. It’s a famous outfit, I guess. Food was ok, service was slow, prices were outrageous. We had a large-ish group (20 people), but they were willing to split the check into groups as we requested. Still, our portion – dinner for 4 – came to about the same as a weeks worth of groceries.

Had our parking stub validated at the Duck tour place. Was supposed to save us a bundle on parking. Except that the validation is only good for up to 5 hours from the time you parked. Get to the tour a little early, as they suggest, then do dinner after and guess what? It takes 6+ hours. Validated parking would have been $10. In Rochester, that’s very high for one evening. With expired validation, parking came to $32. For 6 hours on a Friday afternoon/evening. I could park for a week in Rochester for that kind of money.

Family reunion Saturday was great fun. Played too much volleyball, showed the youngsters a thing or two about pitching a whiffle ball (too bad I was sucking it up at the hitting part), and did so-so at horseshoes. Hard to throw without real sand/clay pits. Too much bounce off of regular old grass, hard to make ringers stick. Depended more on luck than skill.

Anyhow.

Sunday we dawdled around a bit, headed back downtown and did a quickie little walking tour of Boston Commons and the Boston Public Garden.

An island in my next pond design?

Headed to The Bob’s younger brothers place north of town. For the record, The Bob’s little brother is 6 months older than me. 27 years difference in age between he and The Bob.. Very odd to watch them together. I think “Uncle” Don is starting to catch on to just how scattered his older brother is getting too. If not, we’ll show him up close & personal at THAT family reunion next month. We’ll give him the 3 day deep immersion treatment. Bob can fool some of the people some of the time, but if you watch him for a bit you can see how he’s getting to be very good at bullshitting his way through things. Then you catch him on things. I used to call him on it, but it’s gotten pointless. Catching him in a contradiction is moot, because he can’t remember what he said the first time anyhow. It’s like every 15 or 30 minutes is a whole new experience, and he’s more than willing to re-relate it all to you, because he’s sure you haven’t heard it any of it before. I need a 3 day decompression just from that.

Cindy was, of course, very well behaved. Never drank more than 3 beers in any single day, all well spaced out. Got all the cousins & aunts & uncles to fool. Tonight will be an entirely different story. Yeah, I know, don’t borrow trouble, blah, blah, blah, but it is what it is. We no sooner got he van unpacked last night, well not quite fully unpacked, and she’s all “Man, I need a beer!!” At 11pm. Yeah, all that sleeping while I drove all day and listened to her dad prattle on must have been nerve wracking.

Today, I’m still suffering the effects of proving to the younger cousins that a 48.5 year old guy is NOT too old be digging every ugly shot that comes over the net. Now they think I can play pretty well, but they don’t know I might not be able to do it 2 days in a row. Needless to say, my tired body did not attend Leo’s spinning class this morning. Leo will get over it, and so will I. Tomorrow? I’m thinking about a nice little 4 mile run. Easy pace. If that doesn’t whip the old legs back into shape, well, maybe those younger cousins were right. (Not a chance)

Turns out one of my more contemporary cousins is training for a half marathon in a couple of months. Well, WAS training. He might have tweaked a knee playing volleyball, and that could derail everything. If he has to scrap plans for running it this year, maybe I’ll offer to run with him next year. That will provide an excuse for a trip to Maryland, give both of us a goal to train for, and maybe provide the germ around which to plan another family reunion. Cool, huh?


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