Boston: Day 6

Ugh. Today was not the most productive day. I began the day by picking up my rental car. But it didn’t go smoothly. At first they wouldn’t give me the car because they said Equifax declined it or denied it through their system even though the score requirement was well below what my score actually is. When I called customer service he told me he could cancel the previous reservation and start a new one. I’d pay $217 for four days instead of the $90 I originally paid. Not happening. Eventually the woman at the counter figured it out and I got the car after almost an hour.

I began my day with a 60 mile drive to Springfield to visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It wasn’t worth the time or the $24 admission fee. It seems like they put in the bare minimum as far as exhibits and information. There’s a basketball court that takes up most of the first floor. Seems like a giant waste of space to me.

Followed up with a trip to Springfield Museums. It’s four museums located adjacent to one another around a Dr. Seuss sculpture garden. Yes, a Dr. Seuss sculpture garden. Honestly, the sculptures were pretty great. The Dr. Seuss museum is opening here later this year.

The first museum of the four I went to was the Museum of Science. I’d hardly call it a museum. It was mostly dioramas. Which are nice, but an entire museum made of them isn’t worth the price of admission. Then moved on to the Museum of Fine Arts. A much needed pleasant surprise. They had an exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian. I think it was called Jeweled Up. It was regular everyday objects JEWELED UP. Absolutely stunning.

I planned on ending the day at Six Flags New England. I love roller coasters and it had become a nice day outside. I went to the main gate and told them I have a Go Boston card. Which grants me free admission. I was told by two workers that the people who deal with my card had left at 5:00. It was 5:19. The card is extremely simple. I pull it up on my phone. They scan. That’s it. But they said no. The alternative was I pay $63.99. Absolutely no chance of that happening. I left. And that was my day.

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Boston: Day 5

I began the day with the Walk Through History tour along the Freedom Trail. The guide was in full costume and had lots information to share. It wasn’t even that bad that it started raining on us.

I followed with a brief trip to the New England Aquarium. It wasn’t high on my list so I visited for less than 90 minutes. The main attraction was the whale watch I was planning to take part in. It was going to be my first time on a boat. Of course it was canceled. So I walked across the street and watched two features at the IMAX theater. One on whales and the other on the Galapagos Islands.

I followed with another trip to Faneuil Hall. I ate and got to see three different street performers. All different acts, but all extremely entertaining. And that was my day. Today I pick up my rental car to visit some things a little outside the city.

I’m about halfway through my trip. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Boston: Day 2

I got off to a late start yesterday. I was tired, but my late start was due mostly to being cold. I’ve had warm weather for months now. Coming here was like walking back into winter.

First stop was the Harvard Museum of Natural History. A very nice, small museum. I’m still struggling to wrap my head around the lack of central air here. There were huge specimens on display, including a kronosauraus. Which makes a shark look like a shrimp.

That museum was followed by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. I lucked out because the two museums are actually connected. Less time walking, more time learning.

This one had some really cool pieces on the Mayans. I felt like I walked through the Mayan Empire at one point. The most fascinating for me was an exhibit on a project Harvard students tackled a few years ago. They dug up certain areas around the campus to unearth any artifacts related to the now-demoloshed Indian College.

The third and final stop of the day was the MIT Museum. I had no big expectations for it. I knew it was small and focused almost exclusively on MIT work. Which is extensive, but seemed limiting. I was wrong. The museum is definitely small. But there’s an exhibit on ROBOTS. I haven’t seen anything like any of them. It was really cool. And lots of interactive exhibits. And one on the works and research being done by current students.

I made it all the way through all three museums I visited yesterday. I’m looking to keep the streak alive today.

Also, I has my first Mexican food here. It was forgettable. 

Boston: Day 1

Yesterday I encouraged every one of you to travel. So I feel it’s only appropriate to take you with me to Boston for these next eight days.

5:30AM

I will never enjoy having to wake up that early. For anything. But I hated it just a little less yesterday. I was already fully packed. Out the door around 6:15.

8:45AM

LIFTOFF. Guys, my flight was overbooked. But no one was dragged off the flight. There was one mishap. An older man in a wheelchair got separated from his wife. He boarded without her. She was not going to be able to get on. A woman who also was not going to be allowed on volunteered her husband OFF the flight. All was well. I was in the FIRST seat inside the door! Score!

2:45PM

I arrive at my first vacation destination. The Harvard Art Museums. Originally not on the itinerary at all, but I’m against the captivity of any animal. So I scrapped my plan to go to the Franklin Park Zoo and instead turned my attention toward art.

The sun was so bright in my eyes I actually couldn’t see the button to take the picture. Also, caused this odd look on my face.

6:00PM

My first meal in Boston is free because the service I received was terrible and I would not leave without complaining.

6:45PM

I arrive back at my Airbnb for the Night where the walls are a bit thin and the air is chilly.

Tomorrow will be a full day. Three museums on the docket and also the first night of my personal challenge to eat at a different Mexican restaurant each night.

I’m off!

When I was much younger (nearly 20 years ago) I went on the vacation of a lifetime. Disney World. For something like three weeks. The experience was nice, but I was so young that I was limited in what I could actually do. And no roller coasters.

Today the vacation of a lifetime happens a second time. Eight days in Boston. As you can see my interests have changed as I’ve grown into an adult. Disney World is about magic. It’s about enjoying being a kid. It’s about escape. Boston? To some those things may also apply. To me it’s about history. The birth of this great, flawed nation I love with all my heart. It’s about growth. Learning. And Red Sox – Yankees doesn’t hurt anything. ☺

In the few short years I’ve been an adult I’ve wanted to travel the world. What better way to learn than from other people, cultures, and places? There’s so much the world has to offer to stay in one place all the time.

So I’m not. I’m not a multimillionaire. I don’t have a bank account with $50k in it. But I have a good paying job with a company that encourages its employees to take time away from work. I make more than enough to take one big trip a year, and if I really focus on my finances I can squeeze two trips out of a single calendar year without changing much of what I already do.

Last year I went to DC for only four days and it was INCREDIBLE. Guys, who cares what I say about books? If there’s one thing you take from your time reading my blog let it be this:

There are few things we’re able to do in our short time on earth that are as rewarding as traveling. I cannot encourage you to travel enough. Your reasons may be different than mine, but there’s really no reason not to take a trip every now and then. Cost. I know it’s expensive. Buy tickets way in advance. Save for months. It’ll be a sacrifice. But it’ll be worth it. I promise you.

The Countdown Begins

A week after I quit my job at Half Price Books last July I made a decision regarding my next vacation. Washington, DC. Again. I visited last May and I simply couldn’t wait to get back. The dates? January 18-25. To experience my first presidential inauguration. But then election night happened, along with my inability to find employment. My plans changed.

In December while waiting on word from numerous potential employers I decided to start adjusting my plans. My next choice? Boston.

I originally planned on April 18-25. But the Yankees are playing the Red Sox on the 25th. I COULD NOT MISS IT if I was already going to be in town. I added a day. I’m leaving on the 18th to visit one of the most historic cities in America. It’ll be my longest and first solo trip, but I could not be more excited.

This trip has been nearly 9 months in the making, and I’m ready to go.

Which place have you visited that left you immediately wanting to go back?

On “American War”

No video today. This is a follow up to yesterday’s post. A new book looks at what would happen during a second American civil war. After writing the post and reading about the book I became intrigued.

There’s a lot more to the story than my post talked about. First, oil is illegal. Louisiana is half underwater. There was a devastating plague. Drones patrol the air around the country.

The idea is essentially that the US has made the decision to use its worst weapons against its own people.

I may buy the book. It’s a debut novel, which always makes things interesting. And the idea isn’t so far fetched that it’s unthinkable. I mean, how many tomes have we heard Trump talk about “sending in the Feds” in less than three months?

With different series exploring life in the former United States I think this may make for a fascinating read.