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the end

wednesday we woke up ridiculously late and steeled ourselves for our last full walking day in boston. planning largely around my knee and stomach, our first stop was copley square, where we were pleasantly surprised. hopping off the T, we were greeted by the stately boston public library and the historically quaint home/structure/memorial of a poet whose name i did not recognize and have now clearly forgotten. we browsed a few stores at the gallery and had some lunch, and then it was back on the T and off to fenway. we found fenway park and wondered how anyone at the high school RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO THE FIELD could ever keep their concentration when baseball season is in full swing. we circled back to the green line and headed off to get cultured. i stopped at the museum of fine arts to rest, while tiff continued on a few stops to a different museum to pick up some brochures for her sister. rachel arrived at mfa and we began to explore. tiff caught up with us by the renoirs, but we all ended up finding our own ways through the labyrinth of rooms upon rooms. we saw a "punk" baby jesus and also lots of [artistic] boobies. naomi arrived and we ended up browsing one collection by damien hirst which included a stuffed lamb encased and conserved in formaldehyde; seven square feet of flies covered in resin; and a large spinning disc splattered with paint with an obnoxiously long title. at this point, we parted ways with rachel for the final time and headed to naomi's for our final night in boston. we ate homemade chili as alias played in the background. we lounged around, hanging out until naomi had to go to bed, for real this time. tiff and i switched on the news and watched, in disbelief, the weather forecasts predicting up to twelve inches of snow in the boston area overnight. we eventually went to sleep, hoping for safe driving conditions for our pending travel.

we woke the next morning to find... wet roads. not a snowflake to be found! relieved, we readied for our last quest. throughout our entire week in the city, it seemed we couldn't walk a block or two without seeing a particular chain[?] of vendors, selling boston shirts and souvenirs. by wednesday tiff and i had decided that we wanted some particular shirts from these vendors; but oddly enough, when this time came THEY WERE SUDDENLY NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. we vowed that on thursday morning, we would venture back into downtown boston and FIND THESE VENDORS before heading back to ohio. we scoped haymarket, quincy market and faneuil hall, various streetcorners, places we had seen these shirt sellers with our very eyes: alas, a plague had befallen them and there were none to be found. sigh. though saddened by this setback, we found suitable replacements in the quincy market and faneuil hall area, and boarded the T for our last time. we packed up my little cavalier, conquered the parking garage machine, and headed for the big dig. now, personally, the thought of driving in boston scares the heebie jeebies out of me [and this was even before i heard that boston drivers are oft referred to as "massholes"]. but tiff had a sick fascination of actually desiring to drive through boston's $14 billion underground highway system, so off we went. driving though an underground tunnel with its own underground exits was weird and slightly disconcerting, but fun nonetheless. we made it through, and after some mild confusion we were on i-90 and heading west. we traveled much of the interstate highway system, driving through massachusetts, connecticut, new york and pennsylvania before hitting ohio. on our last leg of the night, i-80 turned into a toll road. tiff rolled down the window, grabbed the ticket, and we were on our way. however, i noticed some struggle and confusion and a very icy wind. at 9:30 in the evening in thirty degree weather, my window had decided it was tired and was going to stay open, no matter how many times we jabbed the button to go "up". we threw on our coats, scarves, gloves and hats and decided we would stop at the next travel plaza -- fifteen miles ahead -- for some starbucks and hopefully a garbage bag, tape and a plan. we pulled in, thankful for the lack of 60mph winds rushing through the car. and then, inexplicably, the window rolled back to life. "well, we're done," tiff bemusedly announced. we shrugged and continued on to her sister's, where we eventually turned in and had a nice long night's sleep.

friday morning we took our time getting ready, and met tiff's sister at work [a museum] for lunch. after lack of any kind of service at our first try, we ended up at a restaurant where there were actually servers that came right to our table and took our orders [a concept that Restaurant #1 really needs to work on]. we browsed the museum for the rest of the afternoon while tiff's sister had to actually work and stuff. she managed to leave early and we met her at the museum store, where i bought a huge photography book for an amazingly discounted price. afterwards, the evening was spent looking through photos, being entertained by joxyr, ordering out from little italy, and renting intellectually stimulating movies like ice age and harold and kumar go to white castle.

saturday was another lazy morning. tiff's sister cooked us all breakfast, while tiff and i made a starbucks run. after a quick jump in the shower and some final packing, we were ready for the last portion of our journey. we said our goodbyes and headed home. we stopped for gas at some point, where tiff bought a deck of u.s. states playing cards and was waited on by a creepy cashier lady; i bought some good old mcdonald's french fries, which at this point in the trip brought the amount of cash on my person to about forty-eight cents. [mental note: used cash instead of credit card much more often than i would have preferred on this trip.] we were about two hours from home at this point, but for some reason i felt i could have driven forever. we had spent over an entire week together, much of it exclusively so, and we had survived boston and each other and had an altogether amazing time. i didn't want it to end, not only because it would mean the closure of yet another road trip, but also because it would bring us one step closer to the end of spring break/vacation and to the beginning of the quarter/daily grind. ah, but all good things must come to an end... we arrived at tiff's and unloaded, and i drove my now oddly empty cavalier home to give it some rest. as with the famous fall color tour of october, it was a little unsettling to be in the car all alone after so much constant traveling with an ever-present friend... but at least this time, the drive was only ten minutes instead of three hours.


and there you have it: the end. a hearty thanks to naomi and rachel, who put up with our crazy schedules all week; and my own personal thank you to tiff, who put up with ME all week. there are a mere handful of people with whom i think i could road trip with and have a continuously enjoyable time; you are certainly one of them. thank you for the incredible sojourn.

and if you've made it this far, dear readers, i offer my congratulations and amazement.

good night.
Posted on Monday, April 4, 2005 at 11:26PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

But most importantly...did you eat at Dunkin Donuts while in Boston? They are literally EVERYWHERE (on a hunch after my last trip, I checked their website to find the area of their founding...Mass, of course). My sister and I are Krisy Kreme girls, but we fell under the DD spell the last time we visited.

And you didn't go to Salem to get your picture taken in front of the scary statue? For shame! May I also recommend Portland, ME as a cool city. A three hour (?) but fun road trip from Boston. *sigh* I love the east coast.
Apr 4, 2005 at 11:04AM | Unregistered Commentermeegs
DUDE!! the number of dunkin donuts stores were STAGGERING. i never officially ate there, but we did enter one, where naomi got a donut fix. :)

now, now. we were plenty busy within the city limits of boston, haven't you been reading?? salem definitely would have been fun -- or at least, interesting -- but it was put under the "maybe next time" category.

Apr 4, 2005 at 11:19AM | Registered Commentermdog
I know of no one who blogs quite so loyally through road trip experiences!
Apr 5, 2005 at 09:32AM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
i just want to make sure i don't forget the silly details... you know, in my old age and all...
Apr 5, 2005 at 10:01AM | Registered Commentermdog

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