Friday, April 25, 2008

Boston

Sorry this has taken so long to post an update. I hope it is worth it. Boston was AMAZING! It is hard to think of how best to summarize the weekend (except Amazing), and we all had such a different experience (hello, my first time to really leave the kids and go somewhere) I think I will stealKik's idea and go with the Diary format...

What I did on my trip to Boston

Saturday April 19th
5:45 flight. Early morning to avoid waking and upsetting the kids with my departure. Flight was uneventful and I got to sit next to the most precious baby faced marine (just out of boot camp) in his freshly pressed uniform. He has amazing plans for life and recommended that I check out the Boston Commons while I am in town, and of course the Red Sox. I arrive by 12:15 with 4 hours to kill before the rest of my "peeps" arrive. Cassie is already in Boston preparing for her race. I head out for a walk down Boylston and wander through the Trinity church, Public Library (oh my gosh this is an amazing place) and then to the Old South Church. There is a gruffy little man sitting in a lawn chair outside handing out brochures about the pastor of the church and how she is an anti-semite and so is Barak Obama. I take the flyer before I know what it is and read it in the church while I listen to an orchestra perform to benefit a group of children in Zambia. The music was awesome and the vibe even better. I don't get any anti-semitic vibes but respect the man for sitting in the crowds to stand up for what he believes. I hit the CVS and pick up a lawn chair for Cassie's race on Sunday along with some snacks for the hotel and wander back down Boylston. The hotel is across the street from the Public Gardens & Boston Commons and I grab the camera to do a little people watching. Everything is blooming and the sun is shining. I got some amazing photos and then heard from Crystal that she was in town and on her way to the hotel. When we meet up the momma to be requests clam chowder and it turns out that a great bowl of the stuff can be found at Legal Seafood which is right behind the hotel. We head over and grab a snack. For me, who doesn't generally eat seafood, I loved the clam chowder. I also discovered a new treat...Wheat beer served in a salted glass with a lemon. It was close to the arrival time for the rest of the girls so Crystal and I went back to the hotel to find Kik, Paige and Katie climbing into a cab to go see Cassie. Rules rules rules, the cabbie wouldn't allow a 5th so I went up to get changed for dinner. Dawn, Darby & Jenna arrived and I caught a cab with them to hang with Cass on the night before. She was so calm and cool. Not surprising if you know her, but I was amongst the nervous energy crowd, hopefully sopping up whatever was out there so she didn't have any on her plate. After a prayer and some love we headed out for dinner at Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge. Clearly we don't get enough time like this together because we were out of control. I laughed so much my face hurt then we closed the place down and left with enough inside joke material to even be funny at 5 (or was it 4am Pagie?) the next day. I haven't eaten such yummy food in, well I don't know, but let me tell you the ingredients for the sweet pea ravioli is in my fridge now and I hope to have it for dinner tonight. Paige sets the wakeup call for 5am and we depart for a meager few hours of sleep.

Sunday April 20
4:55am I wake up and try not to disturb the nice Crystal who agreed to room with the early riser. I am worried that the 5am call has been missed and surely Paige is going to leave without me. I begin texting her that I am on my way with no response. 10 minutes later I am in the lobby with still nothing. Curses on me for "sleeping in" when I get a text from Paige. Come to our room. Yeah! I didn't miss the fun bus so I go up to collect the residents of 624....Who are all still in bed marveling at my dedication to the cause and laughing at my enthusiasm and the folly in our late night theory that the course would be so packed we needed to get up this early. We leave an hour later and head for the course. Again, clearly I don't get out much because I was happy to be awake and hanging with them. Who needs sleep when you can be hanging out with your girls preparing for a day of fun. When we get to the course the delay was entirely appropriate and I would have been far too cold and alone had I been there at 5. I think I would have even beat the cops who were managing the intersection and the barricade crew. We all set up (including Dawn climbing on top of a mailbox to get a good view) and I cracked out the laptop to watch the live feed (thank you sweet Hero Husband). Thankfully some sweet soul named Melissa had her wifi open and I was able to link in and we could watch the race start as we waited for Cassie. I don't know much about running but I do know these women we were so excited and proud you would have thought our own children were out there. When Cassie blew by the gaggle of us screamed feather boas flying like a bunch of crazy people. Cassie waved and we all turned to each other and cried. I think this was my favorite moment of the whole trip. So much work, dedication and focus come together and to be there to witness it amongst some of my favorite people in the world.

We all dispersed after we saw her pass the 15 mile mark and started heading for the finish line. We got to see her one last time before massage and we all agreed to meet back later. Dawn, Darby, Jenna, Nancy, Mom, Crystal and I went for an early lunch at a cute cafe on Beacon and then got the call that Cassie was ready for us. We picked up some salty snacks and hoofed it across town to her hotel. Chip & Maggie were there, we took some photos, marveled at the blisters on Cass' feet and then left her to go to the awards luncheon. Crystal took pity on my baseball loving self and walked around Fenway park with me. When I mean walked around Fenway I mean really walked AROUND Fenway. There was a game going on and even 1/2 way through we couldn't see the field itself or the famed green monster, except from the outside. We headed over to Newbury and picked up some tchotchkies for the kids and then crashed at the hotel for a nap. Dinner was at Teatro and Cassie made it to join us. The food was a huge hit. The spinach ravioli was so good I wanted to bring some home to Hero Husband, but the mini bar doesn't stay cold enough to make that feasible. We closed them down too and then walked slowly (for the sweet Cassie) back to the hotel and called it a night.

Monday April 21
Sleeping In...Of course my version of this still involves getting up at something like 6:30, but I at least felt rested. Crystal and I had been given the duty of getting Katie to the halfway point where she would finish the marathon with Kik and Paige. Rule Follower that she is she got permission to do this because of an illness earlier in the year. The train ride to Wellesley was uneventful and the scenery was beautiful. We ate a yummy sandwich at a little cafe while Katie ran back to the 12 to jump in. We missed the Bleeker fly by but saw Katie, Kik and Paige cheered, grabbed their cast offs and caught the train back to the city. Crystal and I headed back to Quincy Market to do some shopping and then wandered through the North End and Little Italy before the girls called to let us know that they had finished and were heading back to the bar for drinks. We got off the train at Arlington and found a subway line like I have never seen before...4 runners across 1/4 mile long in an underground tunnel waiting to get out of downtown. What a sight. We hit the bar and toasted to the accomplishment. Paige required some love and TLC to bounce back from the damage caused by a combo of GU, wasabe peas and beer, but bounce she did and we all made it out for one last dinner then on to the Liberty Hotel (which used to be a jail of all things)for a last call. Crystal and I bailed out and were asleep by 12:45. Considering we had to catch a cab at 4:30 it was a short night...

Tuesday April 22
Early morning...cab...airport...blurry until the cabbie tried to bamboozle us for triple the fare. Flight was ordinary and I couldn't get home to Hero Husband, Super Son & Miss Thing fast enough. Sad the excitement is over...glad to be home.

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