Saturday, October 4, 2008

Drenched In History

My best friend Chandra and I decided a few months ago that we would travel all the way across the country for the opportunity to see the New Kids reunion tour. Our flights meshed on the trip over and Chandra and enjoyed chatting on the flight from Las Vegas to Manchester, New Hampshire. We decided to fly into New Hampshire because Southwest doesn't fly into Boston and their flights were significantly cheaper than any other carrier. On the flight I sat next to a guy named Jeff who was from Portsmouth, NH and he was willing to give us all sorts of recommendations to restaurants and places to visit. In fact, he wrote 4 pages in my little notebook with all the directions. I had tenatively planned our itinerary and was open to making some changes. The four 1/2 hour flight flew by while I enjoyed conversations with Chandra and Jeff.

We landed late Wednesday evening/Thursday morning, picked up our rental car and settled into our hotel. The next morning we followed Jeff's instructions and drove to Portsmouth to check out the city. We visited the river and the site where one of the first colonies in America was established. After a delicious lunch of clam chowder we drove to York, Maine to see the Nubble Lighthouse. This was my first lighthouse and I will be honest, I was a little disappointed. I had expected it to be much larger. It was however, still beautiful. Later that afternoon we drove to Salem, Mass. - the historic city of the witch trials. This ended up being a highlight for both Chandra and I. The town was full of witches and pumpkins. It would be a great city on Halloween. The town really plays up on its history and we entered more than one store that sold witch potions, herbs and tools for practicing wicans.

Friday, the rain started which never really let up the rest of the weekend. Chandra and I named our trip "Drentched in History" because we were literally drentched the rest of the weekend. Friday morning took us around Salem and into a few more shops. We checked out the Salem Witch Museum to learn a little more about the 1690 witch trials. After the museum visit the rain was getting us down so we decided to head to Boston earlier than planned.

After getting turned around a couple of times we finally found our hotel. We dried off, checked our maps and then decided to venture out on the T to discover the city. This was Chandra's first experience on a subway/train and she was a little nervous. We safely made it to downtown Boston and we set out for the Freedom Trail that has a number of historic Boston sites that link to the Revolutionary war and era. We skipped lunch in favor of some canoli's from Mike's Pastry Shop on our way to Paul Revere's house. While touring his home, we stumbled upon a very knowledge guide who regaled us with his historic ride to warn about the British troops arrival. I kept thinking as she spoke that she made a great storyteller. I wish I had brought a recording device to capture the story. After visiting his home we wandered to the Old North Church (1 if by land, 2 if by sea). Because of the rain we ate dinner really early, simply so we could get a little dry. Our guide book suggested Ernesto's pizza. Chandra and I both agreed that it wasn't the best pizza we had ever eaten, but it was good. Ernesto's is a locals favorite and I can see why.

Once we were finished with dinner we still had a few hours to kill before the concert so we decided to wander a little more. We quickly changed our minds when we couldn't find the Holocaust Memorial. We swung by the local CVS Pharmacy for the third time that evening (1 trip for ear plugs, 1 trip for extra socks...mine were soaked, 1 trip for an umbrella), after which we just decided to head to the theatre and wait for the show. We arrived in no time and got our tickets (15th row on the floor...great seats). I had purchased a deluxe package and so we also got a stylish bandana, key chain and a glowing heart necklace. (Check out the pictures and you can see the awesome necklace). We chatted up some of the other fans around and just waited for the big event.

I am going to save my detailed description of the concert until next week. On October 11th I will be seeing the New Kids again in Las Vegas. I have a ticket that will allow me the opportunity to meet them and get my picture with them. I have included some pictures from the concert with Chandra. The show was fantastic, we screamed, cheered and generally just had a blast.

We had a short T ride back to the hotel following the concert. We were both exhausted and quickly went to sleep. The next morning it wasn't raining yet so we decided to get most of our outside activities done first. We headed to the water to see the U.S.S. Constitutuion. The ship was free to tour, which was good, because their wasn't much to see. We then walked up the Bunker Hill memorial and caught a bus to take us back downtown. We wandered through Boston Common and the Public Gardens which were stunning. While we were strolling through the park the rain moved from a few drops to a much stronger drizzle.

Near the park is the fashionable Beacon Hill. The homes in this area are some of the most expensive in the city. We spent a little while there so I could take a couple of pictures. There was one particular street I was looking for in the neighborhood but I couldn't find it. Later that night I was flipping through out guide book complaining to Chandra about the picture I didn't get to take when I discovered that the street I had been looking for was we had found and taken pictures of. I have included it in the pictures below--it is the photo of the brick houses, flag and mossy paver street.

After the parks and Beacon Hill we window shopped down the very expensive Newbury Street, caught lunch at a delicious burger joint and then decided to head the Museum of Fine Art. The rain had really picked up and we didn't want to get any more wet. The duration of the afternoon was spent in the Museum checking out Impressionist, Medieval, and Modern Art, as well as Egyptian ruins and mummies.

We managed to do everything I planned all weekend much faster than expected so we often had pockets of time with no place to be. After the Museum we had 3 hours before we were scheduled to attend "The Light in the Piazza" a musical at the Boston Theatre of Fine Arts. I wasn't sure where the theatre was located so Chandra and I pulled out our trusty map and decided to walk. Forty-five minutes later and soaked to the bones we finally found the theatre, picked up our tickets, and then tried to decide where to eat dinner. After walking back and forth across the street three times Chandra finally settled on a little diner. We took our time drying out and chatting as we waited for the show to begin. The musical was well done. It was held in a very small, intimate theatre with seats for about 200 people. The performers had a great voices and I was impressed. During intermission my shoes and socks were still soaking wet so I decided to take my shoes and socks off for the duration of the show. My prune like toes were happy with my decision as I hid my feet under my coat, as to not freak out the other theatre patrons.

The night ended with another ride on the trusty T line and back to our hotel. Sunday arrived much too quickly and ushered in the end of our fun. We drove our car back to Manchester and enjoyed our final hour chatting at the airport waiting for our respective flights back home.

All weekend we were surprised to discover how close everything was. We would be looking for something on our map, a street or a building and then look up and discover that we were already there or only a few feet away. I kept joking that it was like being able to teleport because of how fast we would arrive. This did pose a few challenges while driving because we often missed exits and turns because they came faster than expected. We were never lost, just turned around a few times. Some of the joys of visiting a new place.

I had a great time all weekend. New England was gorgeous, food was good...but the best part was spending some quality time with one of my dearest friends in the world. We became best friends because of our mutual affection for the New Kids and this weekend was a nice reunion not only to see them again, but to restrengthen the bonds of our friendship.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow--gorgeous pics. Todd served his mission in Boston, I really want to visit! :) Can't wait for the NKOTB post--loved the pics. I was totally a fan. How fun you get to meet them! Tell all! :)