Monday, August 27, 2007

The Great Boston Adventure

I need to get this blog out. I'm not going to lie, the photos have been uploaded since 10AM, but I haven't had the motivation to blog. However, Monday is almost over and I'll want to move on to bigger and better things tomorrow.

The Great Boston Adventure (GBA) was a smashing success! We spent Saturday living like true tourists. For those who I haven't told, there's this great card you can purchase that let's you in to just about everything Boston has to offer for an overhead fee. The price for 1-day in Boston was a whopping $49. We would have paid more than double to do everything at cost.

We we planned our trip, no one had any idea it would take place in record-breaking heat. Boston in August isn't the most pleasant experience regardless, but try 95 degree heat with high humidity. The humidity pushed the "feels like" temperature into the low 100's at certain points. Remember, we were outside most of the day. Awesome. The great Sweat-Off Contest began at 8:30 am when we met in one of the T stations.

Our first stop was the Museum of Science. In actuality, it was from the Museum that our Duck Tour departed, but we missed the first tour of the day and had a few minutes to spare.

Julie found this really strange button below a giant stuffed (the real, done-up taxidermist kind) animal display. Push, hold, and sniff. I can't believe she actually pushed the button.

In the "Human Body" exhibit, Ju and I found our prehistoric men. You can tell by the color of our faces how bloody hot it was outside. At 9:15 in the morning. Clayton (welcome visitor! enjoy our sweltering heat!) enjoyed looking into his future.

Finally. Our Duck Tour began. For you out-of-towners, Duck Tours are a staple of Boston Tourism. Several tours leave on the hour and half hour, all day, every day from several locations. The site describes a Duck Tour as this, "You've never toured Boston in anything that comes close to Boston Duck Tours. The fun begins as soon as you board your "DUCK", an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle."

My squinty eyes are physically unable to remain visibly open in the sun beating down. This is about the chipperest we looked all day. Smiling and looking happy required too much energy. Energy had to be stored and rationed to keep the will to live alive.

On our touristy-McTourist Duck Tour, we saw many a building. See exhibits below:

Fanueil Hall -- the British something or other historically important. It has lion and unicorn statues on the top (that match what's on the front of your passport)! Unicorns..?!

The Hancock Tower (the tallest building in Boston) -- when it was built, the 585 panels of glass kept popping out and breaking on the street.
Five Hundred Boylston -- this is a portion of the building I work in. Another terribly important Boston landmark.

Seats on the Ducks are first come first serve. Being the cool kids that we are, we of course had to sit in the back. (Actually, it's well known these are the best seats on the Duck. Best photo opps. Also the most direct sunlight. Maybe we're the dumbest kids on the Duck.) Quien sabe?

Brian had a good time using the features on his camera. I've never been to Asia before to have my photo taken with an Anime character. Now I don't have to. Holla what what.

We finally got off the Duck, had to scratch the Fenway tour due to time constraints, and hit Quincy Market for lunch.
After a delightful breadbowl of chowder, magenta-colored Chinese food, a trip to CVS for drinks, snacks, and motion sick medication we went to the Boston Aquarium.
Hello penguins, you're cute. HOW is it not too hot for you? Aren't you native to Antarctica? It's at least 80 degrees in here! No wonder you're standing with your belly pushed up against the sprayer. Your life is worse than mine. I'm sorry.
Hello creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy creepy swimming animals in this giant 3-story aquarium. I'm glad I got to see you up close and personal. I can now cross snorkeling off my list of things to do. I am too scared to stand less than 3-feet away from you with a thick piece of glass between us, let alone let you swim up and brush against my naked leg in the ocean. Forget it. I see your buggy eye staring me down. You, Mr. Fish are twice as big as my torso! And I am tall! I have a long torso! I kept jumping as you and your friends swam laps. Phew. Thank you for reminding me that I shall stick to land sports.

And on to the big event. Whale Watching! This was the event most of us had been looking forward to most of the day. We got on the boat a few minutes early and nabbed prime spots. We sweated out 30 minutes in the blistering heat, in direct sunlight on the top deck of the boat. No wind, no shade. The Great Sweat-Off was back in full swing. Our fab seats would be the trips saving grace later on as we had front row views of the whales in action.
Our 4-hour tour began rather uneventfully. I'd double-dosed on anti-motionsick pills and was feeling the calming effect of the boat's rocking. That medication saved my life. It, however, did not save Clayton's life. Or any of the other four in our group who took medication late, or threw up said medication.

But then we started to see WHALES! And everyone perked up a little! Or a lot! And the crowding, and shouting, and photo taking began!

Now I'm not going to lie, I'm an excellent whale watcher. It's true. I saw many a airblow before the loudspeaker lady pointed them out. Sometimes my knees would get the quivers just before a whale surfaced--I think I had magic motion sick medication. This photo is of a mother and baby whale who stayed pretty close to our boat for quite awhile.

Mike wanted me to tell everyone he was also a very good whale watcher. (But not as good as me.) He did coin the motto of the trip though, "This is the life." I believe it was said mostly in jest, but the acronym TITL has been born.
Most of us fell asleep on the way back to Boston--we pulled into the harbor just in time to see the sun set behind the buildings. A nearby wedding had just released the peace doves, and the mermaids sang us welcome back to shore.

We finished the evening with a 4-hour experience at the Cheesecake Factory. Between travel, waiting, eating, and traveling home, it took four hours. Who'dve thought? Never had food tasted so grand, or seven sweaty people enjoyed it so much.

As we waited for next to forever for our table, Clayton, Brian and I took photos of how we were feeling at that exact moment. Brian must have had a better time than Clayt and I did.

All in all, the GBA was a smashing success. At dinner, we did a run-down of our favorite moments. There were many--and I think each of us (correct me if I'm wrong friends) would do the GBA again in a heartbeat. Highly recommended!


onlychild09 said...

Whoo I am first! Hi Clayton I miss you. Sounds like a good time. I can't wait until we do it in November!

Ju said...

mos def i would do it again. in fact, i'm gearing up for gba day 2. let's do it in the fall.

p.s. i pushed, held, and sniffed because it told me to.

Rachel said...

What happened when Julie sniffed? I want to go next time!! I love all the peeps in these pictures, even that random girl with Mike.

Lainey said...

Yay! You brought back fond memories! Remember when I went to Boston as a tourist LONG before you decided to live there? I will proudly admit that we were the first every to experience the Go Boston cards... they were promoting them for something like 3 days $79. I agree it was the best money ever spent because then you didn't have to agonize over touristy things when you're a cheapy like me. Money already spent.

Jan said...

okay, add whale watching to my must do list before I die. I won't be pushing the button and sniffing, however...

LaurenGayle said...

i am so sad i missed out! i request a GBA part deux in which i would be honored to join!

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