Monday, January 29, 2007

Tracks and Trails

This was a busy weekend. So much so that I feel like I need a weekend from my weekend.

Friday afternoon we finished up Geoff's car for Pinewood Derby and I took it over to be weighed. Because we knew the rules better this year (there are a lot of 8 geoffunwrittens that I need to talk to our cubmaster about -- I think it would be helpful if they were on a webpage or a handout but I digress) I managed to do the car right and have it at the perfect weight.

Last year we had to glue coins to the car at the weigh-in to get it to the right weight. This year I had Doug drill holes in the bottom and I glued weights in. Long story short, it worked out much better and Geoff came in 5th place in a field of 15. Not too bad.

We had a lot of fun. I even got all the badges and patches and stuff sewn on to his new tan shirt, so he's looking more Webelo-ish by the minute.

Saturday afternoon Geoff went to a friend's house to work on a project for school. Let's just say -- this will be rather interesting when the boys are done.

Sunday I got up early and went to the grocery store. I am sick of stopping at the market on the way home, or hoping that Doug will stop at the market... and more often than not lately we've ended up with take out or stuff thrown together and it just isn't good.

I thought since it was so nice yesterday we could take the dogs for another long walk in the woods. It was about 35 degrees with no wind, and a light coating of snow. Perfect for a long woods walk and maybe a geocache.

Doug had other plans. Doug wanted for us to go to Boston to walk part of the Freedom Trail and have a nice day out. Okay. Sure. Sorry dogs -- you lose.

boston freedom trail perspective on feetWe all got in the car and headed out, parking at Government Center. We walked through the Holocaust Memorial and then over to the North End to the Paul Revere statue and mall, and the Old North Church.

We went up to the Copps Hill burial ground, where neither of us had been, and enjoyed the views from there. Then, down the hill and over the bridge to Charlestown to the Navy Yard and the USS Constitution.

I think I'd been to the Constitution once in my life, maybe when I was very, very young. Not sure. Doug had never been. I think Jess had done a field trip there way back in the day. Suffice to say, this was a touristy spot that was so close yet something we'd never gone to see. I kind of liken it to me growing up just outside NYC and never EVER going up to the top of the Statue of Liberty until I brought Doug to NY for the first time in 1987.

It just isn't something you do when you live there.

We must have looked like tourists too. We were crossing the bridge and a guy comes walking towards us heading into Boston. "The Constitution is right around the corner," he says to us, pointing across the marina. "You can see it when you get down the way, and then turn right and follow the trail and you'll get there."

"oh. Okay. Thanks." I replied.

"Bunker Hill monument is that building up there," he says, gesturing to Boston's own statuesque phallus. "But you can't go to the top. It's closed. But that's what it is."

Dude, I know. I'm FROM here.... is what I was thinking. But I held my tongue, and felt just for one second, a bit of thanks.

This guy obviously mistook this very northeastern from-around-here family for a family of folks "from away" as they say in Maine. And he took a second to become a self-appointed helper guy, an ambassador of Charlestown. He could have walked past us sneering. But no -- he took the time to be kind and point out to the possibly not-too-familiar where they were headed.

So, thanks random walking guy for being kind. Good on you and good reflection on Boston. If I were from away, it would have impressed me greatly in this world of not too much kindness. Thumbs up. Thanks.

Anyway -- we got over to the Constitution and went to the museum. Then we went on the boat (where 11 federal employees in a quonset hut go through your stuff and x-ray you and metal detect you. Eleven of them. We need ELEVEN people to do this job. Thank you terrorists... you keep the hacks employed!) and we thought we'd just walk about and gawk like the tourists we obviously were.

31 our tour guideBut a Naval Airman was on board getting ready to give a tour. And it was a really small group... so he took us places he normally doesn't take tours. We got to go down to the surgery and check that out, and crawl about in the captain's quarters. It was really cool, and he was charming and sweet and really really tall. I felt for him in all his six foot six glory when we were down in the surgery, which is maybe 5 ft high if that.

He asked if anyone would want to be a cook on the ship and Geoff raised his hands eagerly. The guy laughed and said "that's the worst job, but you can have it buddy. I'll go do something fun like rig sails and swab decks."

It was a cool tour and a lot of fun. I'm glad we went...

We walked back to Fanieul Hall area, and then went to the Union Oyster House for dinner. It was a lot more expensive than we'd planned for to have dinner... but it was good and the beer was tasty and life was good.

We were home before 7pm, but it felt like midnight.

And now -- I'm off. Gotta do a quick blowdry of the hairs and be on my way. Have a great day y'all.

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