Friday, July 6, 2012

Check That Off the Bucket List

Happy belated independence day, everyone! I trust that the July 4th festivities in Logansport or wherever you were were lovely, and I hope you enjoyed them. I spent my Fourth of July in Boston, while wearing my ever-popular American flag TOMS. I am officially more American than every single person reading this. It was a very scrapbook-worthy, very patriotic, and very strange day, and I figured it was only right to tell you a bit about it.

 Our day began with the commuter train from Woostah to Boston. This was largely uneventful; I just felt it should be mentioned. Once in Boston, you may be wondering, what was our first stop? The Old North Church? Paul Revere's home? The site of the Boston Tea Party? No, friends, our first Boston hotspot was CVS. Several people in our group needed various CVS-y items, so we found one and stopped there. This wouldn't be so strange, but considering this stop was merely the first of what would be three CVS runs throughout the day, it's pretty freaking weird. Post-CVS, we headed over to Quincy Market for lunch. This stop was the start of both the seafood frenzy and the rapidly dwindling money supply that characterized my day. It was also here that I shared a four-seater lunch table with an elderly Asian man. (Told you my day was strange.)

 After lunch, our walking tour of the greater Boston metropolitan area began. We found our way to some fountains on the edge of the North End that were serving as a playground for some local children and had entirely too much fun joining in and taking obnoxious pictures of ourselves in such poses as the Broken Doll and the Mexico. We traversed the North End, passing by Mike's Pastry as I cried, wishing to be inside eating cannoli, and stopping briefly at the Paul Revere statue for the obligatory Paul Revere statue picture. Then we went to the Old North Church and saw and heard all about its role in the War for Independence, on Independence Day. This was the latest of many moments this week where I have been reduced to few thoughts other than "What is my life".

 To round out the daytime portion of our day, we spent some time by the water, trekked over to Bunker Hill (where I led the group of people who were going to nap on the lawn and NOT climb to the top of that giant monument that we had already walked 3000 miles to see, thank you very much), and had another delicious and astronomically expensive seafood meal. If you're wondering what I mean by "astronomically expensive," consider this. The night before, we had a fancy Italian dinner (including multiple bottles of wine for the over-21's) in Times Sqaure for fifteen people. Our bill for this Boston dinner - for seafood for nine people at a restaurant called the Barking Crab - beat that one by about $50. After Wednesday, I am pretty sure I will never spend money on anything, ever again.

 After dinner, we commenced with the official Fourth of July activities. On our way to the fireworks, our group was split up in the attempt to find a bathroom. My portion of the group forged ahead, heading down to the Esplanade/the thing I'm not sure how to spell so let's call it Escalade. The crowd already stationed along the whole path and the crowd making its way down to the water was insane. In the middle of this trek, my phone died and my terror at the prospect of losing the group began. We had just managed to find a spot (read: found a slice of sidewalk where we could stand without completely being trampled) when the announcements began. "Due to an imminent thunderstorm, the fireworks will be delayed 25-30 minutes." Cool. We decided to wait it out, assuming (correctly) that standing our ground would eventually earn us an actual spot on the ground. We waited in this spot for things to start back up, which, of course, they did. We listened to Jennifer Hudson - special guest of the Boston Pops for the night - over the loudspeakers, wondering just how far away from our spot she was, and awaited the fireworks. After about the second firework, the predicted rain finally began. Luckily, I had brought my umbrella with me for the day. Unluckily, I left it with a girl who, by the time the fireworks started, was sitting in an ice cream shop 12 miles from us. By a stroke of incredible good fortune, I had tossed my Folk Choir issue-gear rain jacket into somebody's backpack as we walked out the door that morning, and that bag was still in our group. By the time we reached the train station that night, I was soaked to the bone, exhausted, and fresh off the heels of watching every explosive thing in Massachusetts be blown into the sky, but I had marked "Boston for the Fourth of July" off my bucket list, and it was awesome. At this point, break week is pretty much over. We'll be South Bend bound tomorrow morning, and I still have so much more to blog about from this absolutely ridiculous week. If you're not jealous yet, you will be, so get ready - we'll see you back at Vision week 3.

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