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They Sure Do Love Their Dunkin Donuts

June 30, 2008

I haven’t given up on this blog – there’s just been a lack of internet access.  Fourteen bucks for 24 hours in this hotel, sheesh!

Now I’m at the Hilton Back Bay, enjoying my king-sized bed (I love this bed, I don’t ever want to leave it), and the city of Boston.  I have a flight out of Logan Airport pretty early in the morning, so this is more or less the end of my trip.  And aside from the few setbacks early on, it’s been great.

On Saturday, my last day at Pine Manor College and the Solstice Summer Writers’ Conference, we had the second half of the student readings.  I read an excerpt from my YA novel, and afterward had several people come up to me, telling me they wanted to read more.  I think there’s an unspoken rule in the writing community: you can tell someone whose work you don’t care for after a reading, ‘Good job,’ but no one ever says they want to read more of something they didn’t like.

So I left Chestnut Hill, MA feeling pretty good.  Took a taxi to my hotel, where I noticed a shopping mall right next door with a Barnes and Noble.  Having lost some of my reading material in the duffel-bag-that-was, and with a B&N gift card burning a metaphorical hole in my pocket, I walked over to the Prudential Center after checking into my hotel room and jumping on the bed.

I bought the newest volume of my guilty pleasure manga (and can’t believe I have to wait until November to find out what happens!) and the second Pocket Muse book.  Then I went back to the hotel, ate in the hotel restaurant which was pretty lousy and infested with flies (ick), but I got free ice cream because I didn’t like my dinner.

Yesterday was my big day.  I got up early to go to the mall to purchase my ticket for the Boston Duck Tour and decided to save that for today.  Then after a yummy, gooey chocolatey croissant from Au Pain Bon, I bought a two day pass for the red Beantown Trolley, one of those tours you can get off and on whenever the mood strikes you.  I’m really glad I sprung for the two-day pass.

I took it most of the way around once, just to take pictures.  I love my digital camera.  One of the first stops was Copley Square, home of the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church (below).

The John Hancock Tower in Copley Square, and the backside of the church.  I heard a lot about that tower in my two days here, and those gigantic reflective panels.  Don’t think I retained a word of it.

They seem to love four things here in Boston: their sports, freedom, Paul Revere, and Dunkin Donuts.  Starbucks gets a lot of love, too, but they get love everywhere.  Oh, I forgot Sam Adams.  Put him down twice – once for the man, and once for the beer.

This is about the only picture you’ll get of me this entire trip…

I’m the one in turquoise in the middle panel. 

This is the Leonard P. Zakim-Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge.

The weather was great yesterday, as if Boston had been waiting for me.  (Though the sky was not that particular shade of turquoise, credit Photoshop with that.)  I have to say, Massachusetts has been showing me the love weather-wise.  Yes, it’s been hot and humid, and most of my clothing was inappropriate, or unmatched, but it only seemed to rain when I was indoors.  I was starting to feel like I could control the weather, which reminded me of a story idea I had while in Vienna, listening to a violinist play the Thunder and Lightning Polka as a storm raged outside the concert hall…

This is the old State House, and apparently the Declaration of Independence was read from that balcony.

I got off the trolley at the Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market stop.  It’s known for, among other things, its street performers.  This man, and his partner, had an act that involved throwing that hat at each other.  I think acrobatics were included.  After the partner missed catching the hat the first two times, I didn’t stick around to watch.

So I did some walking and some shopping, had a hot dog, visited the Cheers replica bar.

One of the more curious things about Boston is that despite being what I think of as Irish Catholic country, they have a Holocaust memorial.  It’s a little spooky, the six columns covered in over 6 million numbers, steam wafting up from the grates on the ground to represent the gas chambers at the major concentration camps across Germany and Poland.

Then I climbed back on the trolley, and got off at Boston Common, which is really a beautiful park.  I took a lot of pictures at the Frog Pond (which had no frogs but plenty of children).  Apparently it’s a skating rink most of the year.

Then I went across the street to the Public Garden, home of the swan boats.  They sure love their bird themed transportation in Boston.  I took a little spin around the lagoon and saw some adorable ducklings.

Now, this entry is already extremely long, and image heavy, and I’m about to lose my 24 hours of internet.  So I’ll continue the saga tomorrow when I’m home.  There’s some subway adventure, a lovesick robot, news on the job front, and amphibious watercraft to look forward to.


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