Last Stop - Boston

Trip Start Nov 01, 2010
Trip End Nov 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
40 Berkeley Street Hostel
What I did

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Thursday, October 27, 2011

We boarded the Lucky Star bus in China town NYC on the Sunday, headed for Boston for 4 nights. We had booked into 40 Berkeley Hostel, [] after having read some great reviews on the place, it had came in the top 10 hostels in USA, so it couldn't be that bad.

The bus journey lasted about 5 hours, not bad, stopped of in Connecticut…a lot of countryside on the way up. Having Wi-Fi on the bus helped kill the time. We arrived at South Station, perfect as we were staying in South Boston/Southy - 10 minute/$10 taxi drive away, checked in, place was perfect, and very central. Room was dead on, shared bathrooms which meant walking down the corridor which on the odd occasion had a strong smell of piss, bringing me back to the time of our days in CSI Brisbane hostel. Apart from that, perfect spot, theatre district nearby which had some cracker restaurants, Boylston Street (one of Boston’s main streets) and Back Bay T station was 5 minutes away.

#:::Major personal triumph: Completed the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy – It might have taken me the guts of  a year but it was worth waiting for – what a finish!::::

I’d spent a summer in Boston working and playing a bit of football 10 years ago, but my memory of the city was very hazy. We lived out in the sticks/Dorchester and rarely ventured in apart from a Saturday night out. On our first night we popped out for  a bite to eat, something quick and cheap, we ended up having our best meal in America and a bottle of red wine (which I am loving at the minute) in Metropolis café. []

Seriously ::: what a tune: KOL – PYRO :::

Quack Quack

The next day it was time to jump on the Duck, and venture the city by Land and Sea– ok maybe the river will do. Found the Duck Tours, we had a free pass given to us by our hostel, honestly we don’t miss a trick at this stage, pure back packer mode. When I say that though, if you seen our room in the hostel, then seen the restaurants we were eating in, they didn’t quite match up, sure we are in the home straight now.

The Duck tour was good, seeing the major spots and then driving into the Charles River. We drove into Cambridge, then back into the city past Faneuil Hall, which I do remember being before. The guide pointed out scenes were movies like The Town and The departed were filmed which was cool. Tour was over, and we headed back to get changed, we were meeting up with an ex-Kildare housemate of mine, Paul Crowley, who now lived in Boston. At about 930, we were convinced he wasn’t going to make it. Then he appeared out of nowhere into the restaurant, Grill 23 (which we later heard was the most expensive restaurant in Boston lol we can pick them), he was in disbelief of the place, he said he didn’t eat in places like this when he backpacked haha. High Rollers you see :P. We had great craic catching up, it had been a long time. We exchanged our Full Moon Party stories, convinced now that nobody could go that flipping place and not come away with a spectacular experience. Great night ( 3 bottles of Red wine later ) bed time, great craic. He was the 1st person we had seen that we knew since April (6 months ago) when Sean came out. Mad.

We were really enjoying Boston, Caoimhe was loving it. But in the back of our minds we were really preparing for heading home 4 days time, nuts. Since leaving Sydney we have done so much and the time has flown.

Red Wine

The next day we weren’t fit for much, but decided to head into Faneuil Hall and Quincy market place. Enjoyed it, brought back some memories, bought a few presents, then back to the hostel, we weren’t fit for much courtesy of copious amounts of red wine over this past few days.

Good Brian Hunting: & Dorchester for old times sake

Our last day of round the world trip – We got the T up towards Cambridge and got off at Harvard University. I was strongly thinking of enrolling in Rocket Science. It was a chilly, wet day, but it didn’t deter us on our last day out. The campus was pretty cool, took a few snaps and mingled with all the brainiacs. I got chatting to the enrolment officer, as it turns out I was over qualified for Harvard :P

Had a bit of lunch, then we were out of there.

Dorchester – the suburb of Boston I used to live in. We got the T/subway train out to Fields Corner on the Red Line. When we got off we headed for our local pub at the time, The Blarney Stone. It was still there going strong – popped in for a drink, sure it would have been rude not to. After headed up Dorchester Avenue, towards North Monroe Street, where we used to live. We got there eventually, I really couldn’t remember, was I drunk the whole time 10 years ago, maybe. Walked up the big hill, which I remembered well, found the gaf(s) where myself, Domhnall, Larko, and the rest lived in amongst the predominantly black neighbourhood. We had some craic there. After we dandered down into Adam’s Village nearby, where we usually spent time meeting up, getting picked up for work and having  a bite to eat. Most of the places were still there, Irish flags everywhere, there had just been an Irish Festival, where 20,000 Irish marched through the village the week before. We went into the famous Irish bakery, which still stood, Greenhills. I’d of been partial to a sausage roll back then haha still am. We had a cup of Tea and a bun, and mingled with the locals, very friendly Irish/Bostonians. (All of the people in general we met in Boston were very friendly – it was a very manageable city in terms of size, streets were never packed and you could work out the T inside 2 days) – We got chatting to 1 lad, Bobby, for about an hour. His family where from Connemara. He was great craic, he said things had changed recently in the area. Things were dodge in the neighbourhood, an Irish lad from the Aran islands was murdered the week before by a black fella, so tensions were high. Terrible stuff to hear.

We said our goodbyes and we boarded the bus that would take us to the T, as Bobby watched on making sure we got on the bus OK, Jesus things must be bad – he was a sound guy.

We headed back for the hostel, and got ready for our last night. Back to the Metropolis Café, good feed, getting emotional now. The year has absolutely flown but we have seen so much and met so many people along the way.

Next morning, skyped home 1 last time, checked out – Lucky Star back to New York, then flying out tonight from JFK. Arriving in London tomorrow morning, then Aer Lingus home to Belfast International, home and all for lunch time.  What a year it has been…….

We can’t wait to see our families, friends, new babies, and of course Buster J We are Going to need a good sleep after all this is over.

There was however time for 1 last hickup - 1 for the road like. We arrived back to a very rainy and windy NYC. As we trailed are very heavy suitcases through the puddles of china town searching for a taxi willing to take us to JFK airport, Caoimhe managed to somehow snap the last remaining strap on her suitcase. The other 2 were wrecked from planes and trailing the case up and down steps. The 26kilo bag now hand no working handlesd WTF - honestly it stuck it out for nearly a year, we had moved 16 times alone in America, but decided to give out on the last leg of our journey home. GREAT, now what? Her bag had landed face down in a giant puddle in the middle of the road. I sprinted back to help, and in the shock of it all, left my case sitting in the middle of the main road in NYC. we looked mental

Whilst I guarded both bags, caoimhe went runnign through Chinatown markets, searching for a new bag, finally finding 1 and then transferred all her clothes, IN THE RAIN - to her new case.
After having done that, the taxi search was abandoned, nobody would take us in rush hour. We ended up on a several subway trains getting to the airport just on time, but had a very nervous wait, whilst some spanish people helped us in thier broken english, after they all had reached an agreement on where actually we should get off. Ended up on an air train to JFk eventually, terminal 7 - Home time - Phew !

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