Travel · usa

USA Sept 2013: Baseball, education and a place where everyone knows your name…

 

Our final day dawns. No alarm call this morning but I’m awake in time to check in for our 8:15am flight tomorrow morning.  It’s another beautiful sunny day in Boston, and the feet and toes are holding up despite all the walking yesterday, so we decide to walk to Fenway – with a quick coffee/tea and pastry breakfast at the Pru.  We have seen more of the Pru this trip than anywhere else.

Morning beverages supped, we start our walk up Boylston towards Fenway.  We arrive at 10:30; good timing to pick up our tickets for the 11am tour and have a look around the Red Sox megastore.  We can’t resist making a couple of purchases; Mr Fletche is resplendent in his new baseball cap, and I am scrambling to get into my red t-shirt as we join the tour.

Fenway Park - Home of the Red Sox!
Fenway Park – Home of the Red Sox!

The Fenway Park tour is fantastic.  You really don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate the history of America’s oldest ballpark, and our tour guide makes it really interesting and humorous (particularly when he’s gently insulting the token Yankees fan on the tour…).  We sit on top of the famous Green Monster, and in the press box; we’re the first tour to see the “B Strong” Logo cut into the Fenway grass, and we get to see the team practicing for tomorrow’s opening post-season game.  Not as though I know who any of them are.  David Ortiz – “Big Papi” – is down there somewhere.  He is the only one I know.  The only other player I know (Ted Williams) retired in 1960.  And died in 2002.  Ted Williams hit the longest home run in Fenway history – 502 yards!  See, this trip was educational as well as fun!

Touring Fenway has been thirsty work, so we head to the Cask & Flagon for lunch.  A couple of sandwiches and fries later and we’re off to face our final major test of this trip.  Navigating the ‘T’ public transportation system.  We duck underground at Kenmore Square and load up a Charlie Card with $10.  We’re in!  One green line to Park St, and a quick transfer to the red line and we’re emerging blinking into the Cambridge sunlight.  The T seems so much efficient than the NY subway – and most importantly doesn’t eat our money.

At Harvard Square we are pointed in the right direction by a helpful student and we are soon basking in the sunlight of Harvard Yard, hoping to absorb some of the knowledge and intelligence stored in the surrounding buildings.

Harvard
Harvard

This is only a quick stop, so it’s back to our new favourite method of transportation back to Park Street.  From here, we traverse the pretty streets of Beacon Hill.  These streets would be so much prettier if only they did not insist on putting Parking Restriction signs on EVERY ONE of those lovely gas lanterns.

Hmm, now where can we get a drink around here?  After all, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…

Cheers, Boston, Bull & Finch,  Beacon Hill
Making your way in the world today takes everything you got..

We take in a pint of Samuel Adams at the Bull & Finch on Beacon Hill.  Otherwise known as “Cheers”.  Disappointingly, everybody does NOT know our name.  However, it’s fun to imagine Cliff, Norm and Frasier sitting at the bar and putting the world to rights.  I wonder how many times a day the barman is called ‘Sam’ by confused customers.  Belly full of beer, we return to our favourite spot in the Public Gardens for Kindle reading/squirrel chasing time.  I’m going to miss this spot when we return home.  The squirrels are not going to miss Mr Fletche…

squirrel, Boston, Public Gardens
If i pose for you will you finally leave me alone? Pic courtesy of CPF_Photography

With the sun setting, we head back to Hotel 140.  After a holiday of packing and unpacking suitcases constantly, this time we are packing for the final time.  I prise Mr Fletche away from a Spongebob Squarepants marathon to go grab some dinner.  I dress for dinner…my calves look huge!  I assume it is all the walking and cycling we’ve done this holiday, and not the amount of bread and breakfast pastries I’ve eaten.  Just in case, we opt for another ‘light’ CPK salad for dinner.  Followed by pumpkin cheesecake to share.  Isn’t pumpkin a vegetable?  (A quick Google tells me that pumpkin is in a fact a fruit as it is “a fleshy plant that has seeds inside and comes from a flower”.  Like a tomato.  So now I know.  And now you know too.  Aren’t you glad you read this far?)

And so to bed.  Early start in the morning to take us to Logan for our flight home.  Boston has been a good way to slowly adjust back into ‘normal’ life after the peace and solitude of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  We haven’t seen everything – we skipped parts of the Freedom Trail, and never made it to the North End – but we ticked off a lot of the things that we wanted to see.  I had a restaurant list as long as my arm, yet we have stuck mainly to eating wherever we are at the time we’re hungry.  We never got to see a baseball game but we got to see behind the scenes at Fenway and got to sit in seats that most fans can only dream of.

Birmingham, England seems so far away but at least there we can walk into a bar where everybody does indeed know our name.

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