Our first evening in Boston was interesting to say the least. Navigating Boston is, um, complicated. We managed to find a parking garage near the convention center and went to the expo where Dean checked in, got his bib number, and bought his Boston Marathon jacket!
Later we needed to meet some friends at a restaurant in the North End. We were wisely directed to take the train because there is no parking in the North End, but we did not take the advise. We did not want to add hours to the parking garage. We misunderstood the charge. We thought we would be paying $20 for parking, but it was $34! We had only been there for 3 ½ hours! This was crazy! Plus, if we had stayed the rest of the time, it would have stayed $34, but it was too late by the time we knew this. We spent an hour trying to get 2 miles away because of navigating the one-way streets. We were all over the place, going in circles, etc. This is a map showing our route. It was actually worse than this, we just couldn't remember everything, but this gives you an idea:
This was very NOT fun. Of course, when we finally got there, there was no parking, so we ended up in another parking garage. This time it was only $11. We walked to the restaurant and had a nice time with Dean’s friend. By this time it was about 11pm and we still had to drive an hour and 10 minutes to Dean’s cousin’s house where we were staying for a couple nights. We were so tired (remember-up since 4am) that it was a miserable hour of driving, but we finally made it. Sorry, this sounds like a depressing start to a much anticipated trip (and it was) but it got better!
The next morning we were going to attend the Women’s Olympic Trials but due to the late night and Dean’s impending Marathon we decided to sleep in. We drove back into Boston. This time we decided to park in the Boston Common’s parking garage. It was somewhat central to what we wanted to do. And we were excited to see that on weekends and holidays, it was only $11 for the whole day! We walked through the commons taking our time.
and then went back to the Expo for a little while. When we were done, we walked back to the car down beautiful Commonwealth
then went back ‘home’ for dinner with Dean’s cousin Kathleen and her husband.
The next day dawned, Marathon day! I was apprehensive about navigating Boston all by myself, but by this time we pretty much had it down. I dropped Dean off in Hopkinton, where he took a school bus to the starting line. (to hear Dean’s own accounts of race day, check out his blog at ZerotoBoston) I drove on in to Boston, parked at the Commons, then made my way to the finish line (stopping first to take a picture of the place of inspiration for the TV show 'Cheers').
I found a spot right on the rail, and parked myself there for the next 3 ½ hours. I was within sight of the finish line. Cool. I saw the male and female winners and I saw Lance Armstrong pass by. It was all very exciting. Boston was crawling with people, very festive. After I saw Dean finish,
I headed toward our agreed upon meeting point. Boy, we did a lot of walking! Because of the course, roads were closed and it was a very round about way of getting where we need to go. It took me an hour of walking to get there! I met up with Dean and we ate a late lunch at a seafood restaurant. Dean did a great job, he finished right when he said he would. Way to go, Dean! You did it!!!We walked back to the car, so Dean could change into some clean clothes, then took the train back to the North End. (yeah, we wised up) We went to see Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church.
Then we stopped at Mike’s Pastries which we had heard were awesome from more than one source. And they were! We made our way back to the car then left Boston for the last time and drove an hour to our hotel right next to the airport. Another early morning, we had to catch a 6am flight this time. The silly thing is, this time our layover was in Atlanta, GA! Then back up to Raleigh. My parents and Roan picked us up. Roan was VERY glad to see us! We all had lunch together (Andrea joined us, too), where we caught up on Roan’s weekend. He went to a Passover dinner with my parents and helped out a lot. He did a great job and impressed everybody. Dad took him fishing and he caught seven fish!
We said our goodbyes and headed home to Columbia. We picked up Kai and Alyssa from their friends’ houses and went home, happily reunited.
Roan Quote: Roan helped Grandpa and Grammy at the Passover dinner. He helped count out five quarters for each person. When he was finished, the lady he helped gave him the left over quarters. He was so exited about this; he kept counting them and showing everybody his quarters. He was so cute, people kept giving him more. At one point, someone told him they didn’t have anymore quarters. He said, “That’s OK, I’ll take dollars, too!”