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Holiday in the USA (Part 4)

December 14, 2012

Finally, it’s the last instalment of my seemingly-epic journey around some of the Eastern half of the United States. We spent the last few days of our holiday in the Boston area. We flew from Atlanta to Boston on Thursday morning and were greeted by what I’m reliably told is called ‘wintery mix’. I’m sure we get it in the UK, but not so much – it was snowing, raining, sleeting and windy all at the same time. It was bitterly, bitterly cold, much colder than I thought it would be at the beginning of November.

Once we figured out how to get from the airport into the city (it was free – yay, but confusing – boo) we walked the half mile or so to the hostel that we had booked. It seemed like such a long way with heavy suitcases and the weather battering us. Accommodation in Boston is notoriously expensive and the hostel was the cheapest we could find. It was friendly, demonstrated by the freshly-made cookies on arrival, but very basic.

In our wisdom we decided to have a look around Boston before finding somewhere to eat. It was dark by this time, still snowing and we had little clue where we were going. Boston is confusing to navigate around especially after spending time in Chicago where the streets are arranged in an orderly grid formation. Long-story short, we ended up walking a long way, not seeing very much and getting extremely cold and wet!

I’m happy to report that from then on things got much better. On Thursday we walked over the bridge to Cambridge to meet up with some of Peter’s friends. Peter’s been a member of an online community of computer programmers for a long time and has always wanted to visit the USA to meet them in person. Many of them live in the Boston area, so this was a perfect opportunity.

We looked around MIT and then went to the MIT museum. I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect and thought that I’d be sitting around bored waiting for the techies to look around. However, I was wrong, the museum was excellent and they were all waiting for me at the end! There was a lot of information about research into glaciers and climate change, as well as robots …

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This is Kismet who was designed to be able to show emotion through facial expressions

… kinetic art …

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It was so difficult to take a photograph of the kinetic art as the mechanisms were so small, intricate and moved quickly. This one was a chair that walked around a rock. I found it meditative and somehow rather beautiful.

… and holograms. The holograms were fantastic, but you weren’t allowed to take photographs. There was a great one of the Queen, which was produced for her Diamond Jubilee. I thought that the museum was informative, but it also showed the link between technology and art and that wasn’t something that I’d really considered before.

On Saturday we hired another car and drove up to New Hampshire to visit the house of one of the people we met with the day before. I didn’t take any photos because we were mainly hanging around his house and I didn’t think that it would be appropriate. It was interesting talking about how different their life is to ours. They live on a huge plot of land in a house that they built for themselves, with a mountain right outside. They can’t let their cats outside because some nasty critter will get it, and they regularly get snowed in in the winter.

Saturday was our last day. We hadn’t spent a lot of time in Boston itself, so we decided to do the Freedom Trail Tour.

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As you can see the weather had changed considerably and it was mild enough to just wear my jumper without a jacket. It was a fun tour and I learned a bit more about American history, an area where my knowledge is lacking.

I was only in the USA for 12 days, but as you can see we packed an awful lot in! I felt that I would have liked a bit more time in each place, but it was also quite exciting to visit lots of different places and meet new people. We both had a fabulous time and would do it again in a flash. I would love to do a similar trip on the West Coast – Peter has a friend from home who lives in California and we would like to visit at some point.

Thanks for reading!

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Logan Airport had rocking chairs that you can sit in while you watch the planes – how cool is that?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah H permalink
    December 14, 2012 5:39 pm

    Hi, I have just started reading your blog (it’s always good to find a local one)! Your trip sounds fantastic, I’m so impressed at the array of places you managed to fit in! I did a trip to San Francisco a couple of years ago and we hired a car for a mini road trip. It was amazing and I would definitely recommend it.

  2. Kayla permalink
    December 14, 2012 6:03 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your trip to the US! If you ever decide to return in the summer, I would highly recommend the West. Being from Montana, I’m definitely bias! 🙂

  3. runningcupcake permalink
    December 14, 2012 7:01 pm

    That museum looks really interesting! We are hoping to go to Boston over Christmas, but not sure if we will manage it. Glad you had a fab time- holidays are the besr!

  4. December 17, 2012 8:21 am

    I have never been to Boston before, my cousin has just moved out there so I must visit. It looks like an amazing place!

  5. December 20, 2012 7:38 am

    That’s a lovely picture of you and the holiday sounds so good, although I don’t like the sound of the “wintry mix”!
    I did something similar on the west coast a few years ago and it was the best holiday ever 🙂

  6. December 20, 2012 9:23 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I’ve really enjoyed reading all about it & would love to visit those places one day. Even though I’ve travelled quite a lot, I’ve never actually made it to the US yet! One day I’d love to take a big long break (maybe the summer school holidays) and do a big tour. I can’t believe that you only went for 12 days. You certainly did pack a lot into your trip!

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