Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The final round-up

SOAR over, we headed back to towards Boston, having decided to finish our stay there. In retrospect, this may have not been such a good idea. My thinking had been that, usually, we would fly in to a city all jetlagged, and not enjoy the experience as much as we should because of that very thing. But being more country mice than town mice, to have ended up on the Cape might have worked better? But, we did enjoy ourselves, anyway, so, who knows?

My sister had expressed a desire to visit Salem - the witch-trial one - and although not overwhelmed by the idea, we decided to indulge her (I don't think she reads this!) So glad we did - Salem is a charming town, notwithstanding the month-long spooky festival in full flow, and is definitely on our list of places-we-must-return-to. Beautiful old houses, many labelled with date of building and original owner and what they did. Nice sense of community - we ate our lunch in a little park near the centre, full of people enjoying the unseasonal autumn warmth and sunshine. Lovely, but not photos, I'm afraid.

We drove on, stopping again in Marblehead, another very nice town. We sat overlooking the huge and busy marina. Despite many people having already taken their boats from the water ready for winter, there was much scudding and puttering about going on - it looked idyllic.

Then on to Boston, or to be strictly accurate, Cambridge, wilds of, for three nights until our return home. The hotel was probably the worst of the lot, but bearable, and conventiently situated near a train/bus station. Now, the last time we had intended to visit Boston, we failed because the other two of the same three were variously under the weather - this time, it was me.

We had arranged to spend the day in Cambridge with a SOAR friend who lives locally, but I had a day of feeling decidedly ropey, so I sent them off and I lurked and rested. I was really sorry to miss the opportunity of spending a day with Elaine, but there you go. The three of them had a good time, she did them proud with the tourist services apparently.

I was much better the next day, thank goddness, and we set off on a tourist bus ride around Boston, which took us to some rather odd places, but saw all the high spots as well. A random selection of photos from that trip and the river boat trip the next morning.

By mistake - by which I mean, we walked in knowingly, but hadn't intended particularly to go there - we had lunch in "Cheers". Actually, quite a comfortable feel to the place, reasonable food, and our server was a Boston grad student, so quite a nice experience all round!

By design, we had dinner in Cambrisge that night with a Rav friend of the DSM. What was to lose, we thought, we had to eat somewhere. Soooooo glad we did - we got so spend the evening with a charming and interesting young woman (conversation never, ever flagged, and was barely about knitting at all!) in one of the most mind-blowing restaurants I have ever been to. Almost literally - the music was pretty loud, the place was packed out and the decibel level of the conversations all around us was off the scale. Cuchi Cuchi
was a million miles from a place we would have chosen ourselves, and we would have missed a rare treat if we hadn't gone. Wonderful ambience - loved the vintage dresses worn by the wait staff! Fabulous cocktails, simply couldn't resist, and I was able to find one that only involved one sort of alcohol. Great food, and as the ethic is food to share, it really worked well for us. We had a terrific time, a super way to spend our last evening.

Then the next morning, we left our luggage at the hotel and did a Charles river tour - we like to spend time outside before flying if we possibly can, and this worked well. (Although I was rather wickedly amused by how the man on the mike designated the boat - Charles l - as Charles One instead of Charles the First, as we had read it!) Left us plenty of time to get to the airport, only a short drive away, and after a lengthy but calm wait, we had an amazingly short flight back to Dublin and then on to Manchester. Flying via Dublin is definitely to be recommended!

And it was lovely to be home! I had a really good time, but even so, the thought of my own bed, not to mention the cats to cuddle was hugely appealing. The weather is pretty dire, hail would you believe, and it is cold, but we have new fibre and tools (upcoming post...) to play with, and workshops to arrange, and, and, and......

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