Birthday in Boston!

Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
Trip End Jun 15, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Day 4 - June 14th 2007

Another early start as our bodies are still left back in English time. We get out nice and early however we are greeted with near arctic conditions - not what we have signed up for. I have to root out the fleece from the bottom of my bag which i wasn't expecting to need until South America when we go up into the Andes - not a good sign. Anyway, despite the cold conditions, we head out for a wander around the local neighborhood of Brookline where Ned shows us all the sights and sounds including a nice wander round a beautiful lake.

After taking the local tour, we head into Boston to meet up with out Guatemalan friend Carlos for lunch and a couple of beers. we head to the typically American Cheesecake Factory for lunch where they seem to have encyclopedia Britannica for their menu so we settle on sharing some appetisers. After catching up with Carlos, we head off for a wander out to Fenway - home of the Red Sox where we have a tour round then head to Boston Beerworks to try some home brews. We then decide to wander back out to Brookline as we are due for a bbq that evening.

On the way we call in at a couple of bars and then pick up some beers from the liquor store. This turns out to be a good move as there is a beer tasting session in progress which we decide to join in with. The Offshore brewing company is showing off some of its lesser known beers which are currently unavailable so we get involved and sample them all - we get to try some really nice beers and even get some free pint glasses so most definitely happy days!

We then head out to a rather posh suburb of Boston for tea with another one of our American friends, Margot and her fella Ian. They have got some meat cooking on the bbq and they are the biggest bits of steak I have ever seen - they are like half a cow! We all sit down to enjoy the beautifully cooked steak with some other bits and bats including 'pop overs'. To the uninformed out there, theses are Yorkshire pudding gone wrong! They taste pretty similar but they look like cakes - tskkk - can't believe they are trying to claim they didn't bodge up their Yorkshire puds.

We all have a few more beers and turns into a good night all round.

Day 5 - 15th June 2007

The sun has got his hat on - hip hip hip hooray! It is a melting hot day which is good news for all concerned. We are up and out bright and early again nd head to the park for a kick around. We are playing for Ned's team on Sunday and have to get used to the playing surface - a sort of astro/grass combination which is a bit odd. After tiring ourselves out we head off to shoot some hoops......badly! It is definitely not a game that any of us excel at we are there for ages - missing a lot.

We head back for showers and then we set out for the arboretum. The lake looks a lot nicer in the bright sunshine and we make it out to the arboretum which is really nice. We check out the bonsai gardens and some other tree like features and mainly just amble around soaking up the rays.

We are having a South American day today so we head into the Latin American quarter and find a rather tasty taco restaurant where we order a variety of things to share at as well as some local beers which all goes down a treat. We then head back to Ned's for a chill out as it is very hot today. We do get accosted by some slightly 'crazy' old man who actually turns out to make some really good points rather well!

We head out that evening to meet up with Carlos and go round to his flat for pre meal drinks. We are joined later by Kat before heading to the Venezuelan restaurant just opposite his flat where we opt for empenada's which are delicious and will soon be our staple diet when we hit SA. We are later joined by our Costa Rican friend Max who is on good form however he has been working a lot so we have not yet had chance to catch up.

Day 6 - 16th June 2007 - Carly's 26th Birthday!!!

So, the big day finally arrives - Carly's birthday! After listening to messages from home that were recorded on the leaving do night, we have to be out bright and early as we are heading to Foxboro stadium to watch the quarter finals of the Gold Cup. It is about an hours drive away and we arrive at about 11am and get on the beers. We are doing some tailgating in the carpark which essentially means setting up your bbq and getting some beers on the go before going into the stadium.

The stadium looks pretty impressive from the outside and is the home of the New England Patriots. We make our way into the ground after a few beers for the start of the Canada vs Guatemala game. We are all routing for Guatemala as we are with our friend Carlos however they are nothing short of awful and get boshed 3-0 by Canada. Ned had managed to win some free tickets in the posh part of the stadium so we all take turns to go and sit in the posh seats which are leather bound! The view from up there is pretty mint and it is also good to sit in the air conditioned lounge up there as it is a scorchio of a day.

The USA vs Panama games provides a bit more entertainment although this is debatable. Panama put up a good fight however they are undone by a clear penalty in the second half and wind up losing 2-1. The standard of the foot ball equates to that of Huddersfield Town game back home so it was fairly uninspiring but a good day out none the less. A few more beers in the ground have kept spirits high and we have  kick around outside while we wait for the queues to disperse.

On our return to Boston, we then head out to a bar to meet up with one of Ned's team mates for a birthday drink. Everyone looks shattered after a day of drinking in the blazing heat so we call it a night just after midnight and head back. A belting day all round though and home in plenty of time to rest up for the big game tomorrow.

Day 7 - 17th June 2007

We manage a lie in until 9am today before heading out for the big game. We are going to be making our debuts for Blue Steel today and it is an exciting day. The game is about an hours drive away and we make it just on time for a 1pm kick off. It is a roasting 87 degrees before we get there and the temperature goes up a few notches when we step onto the turf. An uneventful first half ends in controversy as I go for a Rooneyesque finish from a corner. In the process I manage to boot a couple of their players and one lands badly. They decide he has to go to hospital (the big girl!) so the whole team decides they have to go with him and the game is forfeited - rubbish! A second half kick around with mixed teams does not have the same competitive edge.

We head back to Ned's in the afternoon for a big chill out as it has been a hectic first week for us. We get back and put our feet up while we wait for Chinese take out and we then watch The Last King of Scotland. A very relaxing evening follows and is just what everyone needs to recharge the batteries for the last 3 days in Boston before we start camp.

Day 8 - 18th June 2007

So, the big move today as we are going to stay with Max for a couple of days to give Ned and Kat a break! We get moved across just after lunch and then head into town via the shop to pick up Carly's b'day pressie from Kat and Ned - a very nice new pair of flip flops which were much needed. So we wander into town and sit out having a couple of nice beers in a beer garden. We then hear about an offer at a local bar where we can get a pitcher for $4 - back of the net is what we think and stop off for some peanuts on the way.

So we get playing the peanut game which goes down well with Max and Ned - especially Ned who has a champion racer until he rims it and it breaks in half. The rest of the evening is spent at the bowling place where all but Ned perform fairly badly - probably a result of the peanut game but a good night none the less.
Day 9 - 19th June 2007

Another walking day for Garvo and Carly as we head out to Cambridge for a wander on the river. We manage to get some good snooze time in the park though in the afternoon which is a bonus. That evening we head out for food with the gang as it is our last night in Boston. We pick an Ethiopian restaurant and after expecting food packages to drop out of the sky - the food turns out to be belting and the Ethiopian beers are pretty good too. Another good day.

Day 10 am - 20th June 2007

So, the time comes for us to hit the road and leave our new home of Boston after a fantastic week. We get picked up at lunchtime by an Aussie hockey coach and set off on the 5 hour journey to Scranton, PA where the story will continue.........

PS - Ned has very kindly put together a slide show of some pictures we took in Boston and is can be found on his website - please follow the link and it will take you right to it - if you have speakers put them on as there is an appropriate backing track!

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