Apr 24, 2019

The Boston Diaries 4: It Was One of Those Days.

Monday.  What a day.  But at least I got my Starbucks with my Starbucks name :-)



Monday was a day that didn't quite go to plan.  Long term readers of the blog will also know that I'm a traveller that 'can't let go'.  My trip itinerary is usually planned out on a Word table (because I'm too bad at Excel to do spreadsheets), I have trip plans on TripAdvisor, I book things through TripAdvisor. I have a set routine for heading to the US, which I am sure you all also know from memory too.

Which is great until things beyond my control don't get with the programme.  A promising day trip I booked and had confirmed tickets for was a non-event because the established company organizing the tour changed their system after I made my booking and mixed my dates up.  I only found out when I rang the company because no one else was at the meeting point.  They were apologetic and apparently I'm getting a refund but as Monday was the only full day I had in my itinerary for sightseeing, it was a massive disappointment.

And then, it rained.  And rained.  So hard I soaked through 2 pairs of socks and shoes.  So hard the paper bag carrying my dinner from Chipotle burst open in the foyer of my fancy hotel....  I had also left for dinner without my wallet beforehand.  

I can laugh about it all now with the benefit of a good nights sleep. It's the kind of stuff that doesn't make it to Instagram.  Probably with good reason.  But it happened.  I like to think that I got all my trip bad luck done with on Monday and that it's going to be smooth sailing from here on in.  In light of the harsh realities of the rest of the world's current suffering including the senseless terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka and the less headline-leading but very real rates of homelessness I see on the streets here, my disappointments are pretty feeble.  But it feels good to have written it all down and let it all out.  

Never fear, though.  There were photos from the day all the same.  Let's discuss.


Trader Joe's is in the process of taking all my money.  I highly rate the above combination as part of a protein-rich breakfast.  I will be bringing home that pepper grinder with me....


I've been watching all the cable.  Specifically E!  The Real Housewives, the Kardashians (I'm not even ashamed....) and E! news.


Copley Square, the daffodils and Trinity Church before the rain set in.  The church is set on wooden pylons and has its own pump system that keeps these structures wet and strong.  The water comes from the Charles River which is maintained to artificially keep the tide as high as possible to maintain the foundations of many of Boston's buildings.  Boston is built on a great deal of reclaimed land.


The magnificent Boston Public Library to the left and the Old South Church on the right.


Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower.


After the drama around the tour I was meant to be on today, I decided to a Boston Duck Tour tour instead.  Tours run several times a day and there are pick up points all over the city.  Providing an overview of Boston, the tours are basically a drive and sail - yes sail - by of many landmarks in the city.  The 'ducks' are amphibious vehicles based on those used during the war to transport both men and equipment.



Our conDUCKtor (geddit) was engaging and fun.  We drove past sights so proper photos weren't really possible.


This is photo of our 'duck' waiting to enter the Charles River while another 'duck' leaves it.


And then we were in.



Sailing under bridges and along the river along Boston's city skyline.


We passed other 'ducks' whilst on the water.  As the waters were so still, children onboard were able to help steer the craft during our journey.


The roof of each 'duck' features the signatures or service men and women.


The Museum of Science overlooks the river and its canopied area in front of the dome is a popular place for weddings and other functions.



The pylons of the Longfellow bridge which joins Boston to Cambridge features masonry depicting the Vikings early members of the community felt were part of the city's history.


There was a time when The Charles River was heavily polluted and this had dire implications for the local ecosystem. 

Mass renewal programs have been undertaken by the government and the waters are now home to fish and the birds who count on them as food.  A mother was nesting with her eggs on the wharf as we sailed by.  You can't see her clearly in my photo because she ducked (!!) down at the last minute.


Out of the water, we rounded out our tour with a drive on Beacon Street.  There are purple windows in some of these pricy houses and they are an oddity that resulted from the original glass' nature changing over time.


I have to head back to Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden before I leave to walk at least a portion of the Freedom Trail.  Fingers crossed.


In the latest instalment of 'Living the Life of a Refinery 29 Money Diaries Contributor', I have discovered Sweet Green salad bars.  You know me, finger on the pulse of the youth.


The Shroomami bowl is the bomb dot com.  With broccoli, of course,


Didn't stop raining all day, actually.  Just as well the hotel is so fabulous because I ended up doing some yoga in its gym before dinner.  By the time I had finished, the cup of mint tea I brewed at the gym beverage station had reached its optimum drinking temperature.


Officially, I was there doing yoga to road test my new activewear find ... Athleta.  Its parent company is GAP but it has that Lulu feel.  I'm such an activewear devotee that I'm not going to even pretend that I felt some guilt at 'cheating' on the Lulu.  Athleta's camo is on point and their leggings have decent pockets.  Sold and sold.



And here we are.  The conference began today and this is our course material for the next five days.  The consolation is that the slides for every single presentation are contained within these hefty tomes. So far, it's been amazing and I hope that this bodes well for the rest of my stay in this fascinating city.

Fingers crossed the weather stays okay and I get the chance to round off my sightseeing before I fly out Saturday.

Have you ever had one of those days whilst away on a high stakes trip?  Did it end well?


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