Reflections On A Trip To Boston – Part I
Exactly two weeks from this moment, I sat on a plane staring out the window over my honey’s shoulder, waving good-bye to Boston, Massachusetts. The water, the clouds, the sparkly glass skyscrapers mixed with the historical architecture reminded me of life and how we change as we age, but we never forget.
It had been years since I’d been to visit Boston. This time I was fueled with one important reason: meet the girl I’d been writing partners with for the past four years. We met online in a writing pair-up blog post Maggie Stiefvater resurrects every year. Similar in personality, I could say after meeting my friend Becky in person, she could be my soul sister.
My trip was amazing with haunted twists from the moment our airplane touched down. The weather was typical east coast style with patches of blue sky and sun in one blink, and then we entered an underground tunnel in a taxi on the way to our hotel. Exiting the tunnel somewhere into the city and close to Cambridge, our final destination, the air definitely changed. Thick billowy clouds slipped in from nowhere, and a baby soft rain misted through the air in an instant sheen of silk all over your skin. We walked quite a bit on our trip. I experienced this velvety rain many times throughout the weekend, a definite difference than the rain in the Midwest.
The Haunted Historical Tour.
That afternoon my honey and I, checked into our hotel. We had plans to meet my friend Becky at Faneuil Hall. A train fire created a long delay for her. Sadly, in our texting correspondence I didn’t think she’d make it to dinner and definitely not to the haunted historical tour of Boston we planned to experience later Friday night.
She showed! Grabbing a taxi, and then getting stuck in traffic, she bailed on some random street and ran the last stretch to the backside of Faneuil hall.
“Are you here?”
Words one of us might have texted.
“I am! Where are you?”
The other one of us possibly texted back. I can’t quite remember the exact series of words, but words can’t compare with the eagerness of finally seeing her face.
I searched the crowd eager to find her. Way up the block near a light post, I thought I caught sight of her dark hair. I might have yelled her name. I know I saw her wave. We both walked (and maybe skipped) toward each other in that first magical meeting in person. A spark for life twinkled in her eyes. She smiled. We walked and talked about her journey and the delayed train on our own mission to find a fun spot for dinner. I’m not a huge planner on trips. Sometimes it seems more magical when you stumble into something great and let your own intuition guide you. Our first dinner spot was exactly what I’d hoped for. Something interesting I’d never experienced back at home. A two story restaurant with red and white checkered decor, an interesting mix of people sat with a chair between their own groups at pieced together long tables in the dining room.
Time flew as we enjoyed our calamari and red sangria. We paid and with ten minutes to get to our tour, we left the restaurant and hustled down the uneven sidewalk. The sky had changed again, darkening with spotty patches of night clouds hiding the stars. We joined our tour near a statue and off we went through the street lamp lit night.
What I learned.
I loved the mix of history with the haunted tales of Boston. We learned about the church where Ben Franklin had been baptized, the courtyard where Puritans had purified nonbelievers at an elm tree, which had been replaced with a modern day playground. The Omni hotel fascinated me. One of the oldest hotels in Boston, it supposedly had a haunted third floor and a room reserved strictly for Stephen King and his writing. Becky and I decided to sneak away and took the stairs later that night. We listened at the doors and waited …
… and waited.
Goosebumps. A few raised hairs up the neck. But nothing else happened. Not even as we stared into the infamous mirror where supposedly, you would soon see the shadows of someone else, instead of your own reflection.
On an up note in that same hotel, JFK proposed to Jackie at a table in one of the restaurants.
The Falafel King Restaurant.
It seemed ordinary at first, squinting through the glare in the windows as our tour guide talked. How could it be anything but just another restaurant on the strip of street? We quickly learned though, back in the early nineteen hundreds, this very spot was no restaurant. Once upon a time it had been a haunted photography studio. An infamous couple were known for capturing the silhouettes of family members in the backgrounds of a portrait. These family members had all passed, but were asked to return for a final good-bye.
The ending for now.
I felt at home in Boston, even though I like wide-open spaces. Busy, full of people passing on the sidewalks and also in cars on the road, it wasn’t the same type of busy I’d experienced in a couple of trips to New York City. It seemed easy to chat with anyone while most people I observed seemed to enjoy being right where they were. Smiling, laughing, and many times biking or running. How could they not? Surrounded with history mixed with modern conveniences, views of the water and sometimes a sailboat or a fishing boat, locals seemed to have the best of both worlds.
In the next couple of weeks, Ill be back to reflect on my visit to Salem and the unicorn man I ran into at Fenway Park. I’ll see you then!