Monday, September 03, 2007


Tourism is just hard to work with fashionably. As if I don't have a hard enough time with standing out in crowds with tall, balding and bearded, you hang cameras around my neck and it just screams, "Shank me, take everything on me and then dump me in the Charles River." That's Boston in the background. The above picture was taken on our whale watching expedition. More on that later.

After spending much of Thursday on a plane, train, tram, bus or potty, we arrive at Logan Airport in Boston. I was delirious my lovely travel mate (my lovely wife) also, but she hit the ground running--in serious vacation mode--with a smile plastered to her face and a bounce in her step. Onward to baggage claim. That's where we met this little lady. I thought I didn't wear "tourism" well. This woman, with her cankles, fanny pack and dark socks with white shoes made her a dead giveaway for "tourist." That is, until we heard her speak and much to our horror, she was a local. And, not only that, her accent was horrible. It was grading. It almost had a corrosive effect on my hearing. Here, I stare her down trying to will her not to speak again. My lovely wife captured this from afar. I'm telling you, that fanny pack was like a suitcase that was packed to accomodate a family of four for a ten-day camping excursion. I really worried that she was going to hurt her back hauling that thing around.
We hit the train which, in Boston, really smells like old shoes. I hated it at first, but later I would wonder if it would be possible to bottle that smell. I would think there's an application for such a scent.
We arrive at our hotel, the Sheraton, right in the middle of the heart of Boston--the Back Bay. That is, after stumbling around for a while with our mouths open and our heads turned to the sky like the tourists we were. We're really lucky we didn't get pick-pocketed. Really lucky. After checking in, we head up to the 21st floor because, well, we're pimps. Well, I'm a pimp and my lovely wife is the payables department. No, seriously, we had the best seat in the house. 21st floor at the Back Bay Sheraton will get you this view. Click on it to get a better idea. This is a little manual panoramic so take it easy. You get the idea.
Everything was close. Including the Summer Shack which my lovely wife really wanted to get some grub at. Seafood. I'm not a huge fan, but it's Boston and it seemed rather obligatory. First I had to take out my contacts because, from all the traveling, my eyes were on "fiyah." I open up my toiletries (really, who calls it that anymore?) case to find this.

How awesome. Okay, first major setback of the trip. I mean, I rely on those glasses. It's not like I only use them for the morning paper and the evening news. Crap. I desperately try to see what kinda magic I can work with them in this state, but to no avail.
I mean, the look I'm actually fond of. It's kinda a Slick Rick thing. The only problem is when I would run like either from the cops or for a train nearing departure, the stupid things, uh, thing wouldn't even stay on my face. Plan B time. I'll just wear contacts the whole time. I mean, what was I to do at this point?
Summer Shack was fine dining. I can't remember what I had beyond the three tall Harpoon IPA's. They were cold, tall and fantastic. Not sure if they're as good as the Goosehead from Chi-town, but damn tasty. Afterwards, we'd go to Newbury Comics where I'd pick up the following:

Blockhead Uncle Tony's Coloring Book
Edan Spring Your Tape Deck
Oh No The Disrupt Chronicles Vol. 2
DJ Mayonnaise Still Alive
A Red Sox bumper sticker

Then, we'd head to Wally's to catch some Berklee students playing live jazz. Good band. They went headlong into some Herbie Hancock. It was dope. Had a few Sam Adams there. Went down smooth.
Yankees completed the sweep on Thursday night--cutting our lead down to only 5 games. A little close for comfort. We needed this series to be big against the Horrioles. No exceptions. We needed to win it. At this point, Wakefield's on rest, Manny's oblique has sidelined him. We're bringing up some rookies to fill in.
We got up the next morning ready for our excursion on a duck tour which would take us, on an amphibious vehicle through the city and then onto the Charles River. Just remember to leak it before you go. This ain't no short ride and, if you run into traffic downtown, it's gonna be a while. Good tour.
We'd also go up the way to Harvard where we'd eat fancy pizza with all the smart kids and I'd track down the man himself for a picture.Later, I'd pay a visit to the wonderful folks at Dude, I was in heaven. I'd pick up the following here:

J Rocc Yo! MTV Raps Mix
Peanut Butter Wolf 666 Mix
De La Soul Buhloone Mindstate vinyl
De La Soul "Daisy Age" tee (dope)
Quasimoto "Public Enemy" tee (dope, dope)
a couple of samplers they were giving out
I went back to the hotel and put on that De La shirt which was just hella nice and my lovely wife and I decided we'd go town to Fenway district and catch the game on the big screen at the famed Cask 'N Flagon. It sits right in the shadows of the Green Monstah and would be my resting place this night.If I lived in this town, this is probably where'd I'd be every game night. They had televisions for every stall in the pissah and for every sink where hopefully patrons and cooks alike would wash. They had about twenty viewable televisions from my vantage point--a table where I'd order a Reuben and a couple of cool ones.
My lovely wife would also partake. Refreshing to share a cold one with my lovely wife over a Sox game. I know that sounds really white trash, but let me tell you, I'm thankful I have a wife that's not too good to enjoy a room temp beer and some of the best baseball the league has to offer.
Afterwards, I'd stumble into the street and get closer to Fenway Park than I ever have before. I mean, it was right there and so was I. Incredible. Surreal almost.This is what you do when you're around Fenway Park. You just kinda become a zombie and question what it is you're suppose to do when you're actually there. It's hard to put into words except maybe, "I peed my pants a dark yellow." I don't even know what that means. In a few days, I'd actually breach the gates and experience the inside.
The De La Soul shirt was a huge hit too. Dudes all night were like, "De La Soul, alright!" Except for one dude who just translated it (and incorrectly), "Yeah, 'from the heart.' I like that! Cool shirt." Soul does not mean "heart." It means "soul." He got the "de la" part right, though.
My lovely wife had arranged for a whale watching expedition as previoulsy mentioned. Not a bad idea at all. I mean, I've seen humpbacks on the tele. Would love to have the opportunity to see one in person. We make way for the Aquarium Stop that next morning train out and arrive with plenty of time to spare on the waterfront. It was beautiful morning. The sun gleamed brightly off the water. We'd depart soon onto Boston Harbor and then further out into the Atlantic Ocean. I was feeling like a champ with my Wuddie and my hot coffee.
Before we'd even make it out to our destination, about an hour and a half out at sea, the waters would get way rough on my ass. I mean, the whole ship was rocking like crazy. I have a seat somewhere where the movement was, at least, perceptively minimalized. Or so I thought. I really started to feel like I was going to projectile vomit and I'm not too proud to vomit all over the place. I mean, when I vomit I roar like a lion. I advertise it. It's just my genetic makeup really. But I really didn't feel like soiling this experience by chunking so I sat as my tongue began to salivitate, sitting nervously. My lovely wife would check on me periodically, "Are you doin' alright?" I would just nod my head. That was until the kid next to me, who was sitting in his mother's lap, would began heaving little handfuls of vomit literally into his mother's hand. I turned to catch a glimpse of this act. Then I darted. I stumbled. I was ready to let loose now. I dash down to the lower level barely clearing the steps and then leglock it to the back bathrooms both of which were locked. I nervously sit down on nearby table and then basically fall backwards on my back just hoping that my nausea would pass. My lovely wife would come to my side. The boat continued to move like crazy underneath me. It wasn't going to stop.

We make out to deep waters where the whales are and the boat movement has now, believe it or not, worsened. I hear the tour guide exclaim, "Look at those beautiful whales over there!" I sit up quickly lauching my insides up to the back of my throat. My lovely wife tells me, "Stay down. People are puking everywhere. You don't wanna see this." The tone in her voice, one of advisoral, cautiously guiding me to the next square was a tone I have never heard from her. It was like she stared Lucifer himself in the eyes and said, "Turn back, youngblood. You don't want none of this." It really reminded me of that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Harrison told old lady to keep her eyes closed when they opened the Ark and, because they kept their eyes closed unlike all the Nazis who turned out, they didn't have their faces melt off. My lovely wife knew if I sat up and looked around, puke would be iminent and quick. I hear a nearby ShopVac turn on. An assistant was vacuuming up vomit.

I looked over the bench I was laying in, sweaty and panicked and hurried, "Did you need any Ginger Ale?" I nodded. He brought it. I drank it. Laid back down.

We'd end up seeing humpbacks. It wouldn't last long because I couldn't stay up for long without almost puking my brains out. But I tried. My lovely wife would end up getting nausiated as well, but no puke from her either. The cruise back would be much improved. A local man would sum it up as my lovely wife would overhear with the words, "I go up on da top level and der's people pukin' all ova da tables and I'm like, 'I gotta get da _u_k outta here!'" Indeed. And we did.

We'd go up the way to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston which was dope as hell. It was a nice opportunity to let our stomachs settle down as well before packing food into them. We'd make our way into the downtown area to go by Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall--it's a shopping district.

We'd hit Boston Common, the Frog Pond, the Old State House, Freedom Trail. All dat. In just one big swoop. We'll have to go back sometime and see more of it. Boston's just drenched in history. It's really quite incredible.

That's Samuel Adams's grave right there. Just off of Tremont Street. Pretty amazing. A passerby found greater amazement in the fact that he was buried there. "Wow, 1803. I just can't believe that there's a dude...buried...under the ground...right there." Yeah, usually the premis of a cementary. Tool.

Then there's George Washington in the Boston Common area.
The Old State House--situated right in the downtown area.
My lovely wife and a passing cargo ship going out to see.

That night, we'd head back to the hotel to get ready for our night out on the town only to find that rookie Clay Buckholz would be taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning versus the Orioles. I sat down and watched attentively along with my lovely wife. Clay would end up completing the no-hitter becoming the second player in history to pitch a no-hitter in his first two games and the first Red Sox rookie to throw one. Additionally, he would help propel the Sox ahead, keeping pace with the Yankees who also won. Missed that game by one day. Damn.

That next morning, the whole city was abuzz with the no-hitter and I was finally ready to completely my long journey to Fenway Park. We arrived early for the tour.
The tour began in the right field grandstand, then moved through the luxury boxes, the .406 Club. It was in the restaurant that I'd make my way the Red Sox Hall of Fame.And a large, wall-sized photo of the 2004 World Series ball that was held hostage by our, then, first baseman. My lovely wife found it quite peculiar the resemblance between it and my balding head and captured this shot.We'd then climb to the top of the Green Monstah. These seats are by lottery only and, if you're selected, your minimum and maximum purchase is four seats. The seats are $150 each. Best view in the house and rated Hardest Ticket to Get in All of Professional Sports. I enjoyed the view for only $12. Suckas.It's an incredible ballpark. Like the city, it's just crawling with the ghosts of the past. From the old scoreboard, to the red seat in right field, to Pesky Pole. It really is amazing.The seats you see above are almost 90 years old and, believe me, they're made for a human about five feet tall max and constructed of just wood and metal. They're absolutely punishing on the body. I mean, my ass was too wide to fit in with out wiggling into it. I've never had to complain about that.Our tour guide was this rad old man named Steve. I think he said he had been doing the tours for thirty years now. I think he has been telling some of those jokes for thirty years now, but they still got a few chuckles. My lovely wife wanted him to sit next to us during the game. I wanted to take him home with us and keep him as a pet.The dude even had a championship ring from the 2004 series. Ownership had given rings to various members of the organization and this dude had one. The thing made it hard for him to even lift his freaking hand it was so big.After the tour would conclude, we'd dump out into the Back Bay and begin our search for breakfast. Look, in Boston, just for future reference, everyone except the Sox take off Labor Day. No restaurant is open. And, just in case you're not totally convinced, call ahead and see before walking to these destinations.

We ended up boomeranging right back to the ballpark and enjoyed fried chicken from Popeyes before the game. We made our way down Yawkee Way and took in, briefly, the festivities, but I was more interested in finding my way down to our seats. We entered the park and meandered through the concourse area before dumping out in our section which was only six rows up from the field. Wally the Green Monster would greet us to our seat.
I squeezed my ass into the seat, turned my legs to the left toward home plate, leaned forward slightly to I could see past Pesky Pole (who, Johnny Pesky, was actually in attendance that day) and held that position for the next four hours. Yeah, it was uncomfortable, but it was a sunny day at Fenway with cold beer and the Sox were winning.
We found ourselves nestled right between a drunk and jolly fan who, I'm pretty convinced, was still working off the beers he had last night when Clay through his no-hitter. Dude was schnockled. Here he is yelling rally cries to nearby fans who are not as responsive. See the man in blue.And, in front of us, was the sober and mean fan. He had a thing for JD Drew and just let the Sox right fielder have it any chance he could. Dude was just downright mean.I kept score the old fashion way just to make sure I still had it.
And, of course, we sang "Sweet Caroline" during the 8th inning stretch--it's probably the only time that it is appropriate to sing Neil Diamond, in my book.
We'd end up cheering the Sox to victory and, more importantly, as all fans in Fenway were well aware of, the Yankees lost which means that we gained a game on them climbing our lead back up to six games. Of course, the guys who ran the JumboTron couldn't avoid running highlights of the Yankee game which included a home run sailing over an out-stretched glove of Johnny Damon over the outfield fence. Miss you, Johnny. Wait, no we don't.
See the above picture, middle of the frame at the lowest frame of the first row of scores. Yep, Yankees lost. Ah, the delight as "Dirty Water" echoed throughout the stadium as we did our victory dances. In fact, one of the two Red Sox actually came by and we gave each other a hearty handshake of victory.
Made the long trip home which included a TSA alert on the runway to check every bag that had already been loaded. Awesome. That was a 45 minute setback, but nothing that couldn't be cured by a Boston Kreme donut from Dunkin Donuts. Oh, how glorious.
Sox won and Yankees lost and, more importantly, cash hound Roger Clemens went out with elbow issues and will miss another start and Mike Mussina got roughed up as he came into relieve Roger. Man, two birds with one stone. Sox lead is up to seven now. Not impossible, but now the Yanks are clinging with all they have to the Wild Card. It'll be nice for them to feel what's it like for once. I'm glad to see that Roger's working out for them. Much in the way that Johnny Damon, Alan Embree, Mike Myers and Doug Minwhatever have. Yankee Stadium, where Red Sox players go to end their careers.

That's it. There's more to come as I sort through it, but in a nutshell, that's the Boston trip. Gotta get ready for work. Be good, folks. Nice to be back on.


sarahsmile3 said...

I am glad yall had a good time. But buster, it is always a good time to sing some ND. ALWAYS!

Greenqlop said...

I am glad yall had a good time. But buster, it is always a good time to sing some ND. ALWAYS!