Thursday, 10 November 2011

No Bears in Boston

So here I am, back from Boston, four lattes down and still a little jet lagged. First piece of news, there were no Bears :( Maybe there are some somewhere, but as no one had heard of the Blue Hills and the only person who even thought there might be hills of any kind said not to bother going there. Thankfully though there are a great many things to keep you occupied in Boston even if they don't have big teeth,claws and like honey.
So looking for the none Bear like amusements I saw a sign for a Gingerbread House Baking Competition. I am well known for being over competitive on the baking front so was dissapointed only found out when I arrived or would have had to enter. This was again not your average size Gingerbread house as might be seen in Continental Europe, these were monsters, electric lighting, glazed windows, fully decorated interiors..

Anywhere else you would charge rent on a Gingerbread house of this magnitude

The only animal I saw with claws
The Boston "Beast"
If you go to America you have to do it properly, so the first priority was to get a suitable vehicle. You cant be too careful with how the weather has been lately so we thought it best to make sure we were prepared for all eventualities...A quick look through the flip chart of models available left us none the wiser due to none of them having the same names as in the UK (apart from a Yaris and that was just never going to happen) This led to being walked around the car "lot" to look for something we liked the look of as very few cars were out on hire and it seemed to amuse the staff greatly to have us choose, so much so it wasn't even going to cost anymore. Too much choice is also a bad thing so eventually we just asked what the coolest car was to be seen in to the retort that the car rental guy would look cool whatever he drove...but say he couldnt pull that off what would be cool then?? This line of questioning led to a huge black Ford of some sort with blacked out windows and alot of what can only be described as "bling". To Me it looked like it should be  being driven around with a very loud stereo somewhere like Southend on Sea dealing drugs but apparently this was "it" so the decision was made and we headed off with "The Beast".

Disappointingly looked like a swamp, not v Mystic
Off we went fully equipped with sat nav, and therein lies an you think in America everyone speaks English? Have you ever heard a Garmin in the UK talk about "Plows" and "Ramps" and did you know there was a difference between Interstates and Highways? Maybe the rest of the "English" speaking world does but sadly I didn't. Up until now my US transportation has consisted of chauffeured cars/taxis and a train so this came as to be honest a bit of a shock. It did however lead to probably the most amusing driving experience ever and aside from a maybe one of two pick ups it was the biggest car on the "highway". The next most amusing thing was the names, its not everyday you get to drive over the "Mystic River" for example.
Rockport, clearly named v appropriately
An unnatural altitude dinner
After the very underwhelming responses for the Bear tracking it was time to explore a bit more so we headed along the coast to Rockport. This turned out to be a picture book New England village with a beautiful seaview and more random things such as Great Danes being driven around in convertibles and a quite disturbing young shopkeeper clearly trying to "really" look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo with the episodes playing back on a loop.....time to go..Back in relative safety of Boston I remembered just how true it is that everything in America really is well, just "BIG". Even some squirrels in the park were huge monster size squirrels compared to any others I have seen. The next exciting episode was dinner at "Top of the Hub", 52 floors up in the Prudential Building. Its not for me a natural altitude to eat dinner particularly when you body thinks its about 3am but these things have to be done. It just makes me uneasy sitting by the window with the other would be skyscrapers looking like normal size houses and the planes going into Logan airport flying below you. Maybe I just need to get out more.

Huge Squirrel - Obviously have evolved this big due to lack of Border Terriers

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