Good morning! This is Matthew, and I’ll be your tour guide today. I’m going to try to write this entry as we go along today versus trying to remember every detail tonight. We might sacrifice a bit of coherence this way, but hopefully the addition of in-the-moment details counters that.
The Day’s Events
Coffee, of course!
A few minutes later than expected, we headed toward Back Bay Station to hop on the Orange Line. There are always interesting things to see along the way, but today, the things that caught my attention were A) signs you wouldn’t expect to see while underground and B) big shiny red trucks with flashing lights and lots of cool buttons. Evidence follows.
After arriving at Back Bay, we stood in the station with the other patient riders, rode a few stops, arrived at Jackson Square, and walked for about 15 minutes to retrieve the life juice we had been so anxiously awaiting. Well, guess what?
The Haven is shut.
It’s a shame, because I was really looking forward to trying their Scotch Egg. We checked all of the opening times during the planning portion of our trip, so we either missed this one or the hours changed in the last month or so (likely the former, but I’m going to blame the latter).
So, our defeated, caffeine-deprived bodies spun an about face and headed back from whence we came — Jackson Station on the Orange Line. This time, we headed Outbound toward North Station.
Again, we waited patiently for our train to arrive, then boarded the train. There is always 30-90 seconds of delay before the doors close just to make sure everyone has boarded and is clear of the doors … but not this time. After a minute or two of sitting motionless in the station, we heard the driver’s voice over the tannoy telling us that there was a medical emergency a few stations ahead, so we were being placed on hold pending release from dispatch.
Okay, no problem. Hopefully everything is going alright up there.
After a few more minutes of no movement, they announced shuttle buses were available and the train service was terminating — which unfortunately doesn’t bode well for the emergency situation ahead of us. It was at this time we made the call to charge ahead on foot, knowing we would have to find a coffee shop en route — which we did: The Underground Cafe.
Valeri had waffles and a latte and I had a pasta salad and a dirty chai. It’s a strange combination, I know, but I’m not beholden to your oppressive meal standards. I do what I want.
That particular part of our adventure set us behind, so we made the call to shift visiting the Harvard campus to later on today and jumped ahead to visiting the USS Constitution. Valeri and I share the opinion that this was a better experience than yesterday’s Tea Party Ship, but we generally don’t like participation sports. :)
The museum itself was spread over a couple of levels and did a great job of documenting how the USS Constitution served the U.S. Navy and how it has undergone several massive restorations. One of these projects was almost entirely funded outside of the Navy’s purview — basically becoming a “crowdfunded” project. The Navy realized how much the ship meant to the public, so as a gesture of gratitude, they sailed around the U.S. Coastline to showcase the newly renovated vessel. Since then, it has been continuously maintained by the U.S. Navy.
As we stepped aboard the Constitution, the true scale became apparent. The top deck was lined with canons pointed port and starboard, ready to inflict massive amounts of damage to any adversaries within firing distance. The lower levels were just as impressive, with even more and longer guns on either side.
There were mock cabins and a galley setup for our viewing pleasure. Throughout the ship, they had actual crew members stationed ready to satisfy any curiosities we might have. Listening to the answers was the most enjoyable part, in my opinion.
My favorite exchange exchange went something like this:
Random person: “What is this thing for? I think I might have an idea.”
Crew member: “Okay, what is it for? I like playing this game.”
The crew member told the random person that while their guess was good, it was incorrect, then proceeded to tell them what it was actually used for.
To describe the USS Constitution, I’m going to borrow some words from one of the coolest guys I know: it’s a bloody big ship.
Next, we were ready for food — specifically Nepalese cuisine. Tasty Mo:Mo was calling our names.
There isn’t a whole lot to say here — we ate good food, and we have the pictures to prove it:
Quick note: There were more Momos than you are seeing here. By the time we realized we hadn’t taken a picture of our food (evidently we’re those kind of people), we had already consumed most of it.
After as many Momos as we could eat, we headed along to our next stop: Bunker Hill.
The trip to Bunker Hill required some walking and two different buses that connected through Sullivan Station. We hopped off of the 93 and on to the 101 which delivered us safe and sound to the area surrounding Bunker Hill.
The museum was closed, so we made a couple of loops around the monument, taking pictures along the way. Then we moved on toward Castle Island — which meant more buses and more connecting buses.
I loathe buses. They are slow, jerky and I hate them.
The second set of buses didn’t do anything to change my opinion — and at first, the destination wasn’t winning any awards either … but then I realized how close we were to Boston Logan International Airport — very close. We watched probably 20-30 planes fly final approach into either Runway 14 or Runway 9 — it could have been either based on the approach vectors we were witnessing from the ground. Quite a sight.
As we made a loop around Castle Island, I think I probably bored poor Valeri to death babbling on about what little I know about the mechanics and procedures of flight. She’s a trooper … but I think she knew her reward was food: Sullivan’s Island.
Valeri went with the tried and true cheeseburger, and I wasn’t starving, so I ordered chili cheese fries. You know, I don’t think I’ve had those for years. The last time was likely when I was young and my mother would occasionally take my younger brother and I to Sonic for a quick bite after school. Cherry Limeades, anyone?
Anyway, after we ate our food in the company of squirrels, seagulls and the occasional commercial jet, we decided to head back toward the Airbnb for the night — after 12.46 miles our poor feet were begging for it. I was attempting to avoid getting on yet another bus, so I insisted that we walk to the nearest T Station — which was Broadway on the Red Line to Back Bay. A thousand-ish steps and a flight of stairs later and our feet are happy to be resting!
With that, I’ll leave you good people alone! Thank you for following along.
Tune in tomorrow as Valeri will be picking up the blog for our last full day in Boston before we head to The Big Apple!
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“Boston is the one place in America where wealth and the knowledge of how to use it are apt to coincide.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson