Sunday, July 27, 2008

Celeste's Birthday


8 weeks have come and gone here in Boston. This weekend really sank home with me. We got out on Fri, and Sat and did so many interesting and fun things. It hit me that Boston is one sweet city. I think it is by far the coolest "big" city I've ever been too.

When we first arrived, it was hard to see past the disastrous roads, and the crazy drivers. But after adjusting and then experiencing Boston, you see what a beautiful place it is. New York is busy, angry and dirty. LA is over-crowded, dangerous, and polluted. Chicago is nice in certain areas, and scary in others. Madrid comes close to competing with Boston, but it's in Europe. Boston is family-friendly, American, historic, and simply charming. I really like this place. Too bad it sits under snow for 8 months out of the year...

To kick things off, we did a Boston by Foot tour. Celeste did one Friday morning of the Victorian Back Bay. If you go and look at a map of Boston from the Revolution, you'll see that it was a little peninsula/island city. They chopped up the hills to fill in some areas to create more real estate. For the Back Bay area, they hauled in train loads of dirt and gravel for many years just to create a pretty, picturesque neighborhood. And so they did. And so it is.

In the evening, we did the Beacon Hill tour, which is where the State Courthouse is. It was the seat of the Federalist style architecture. There were some really amazing neighborhoods in that area. It was peaceful and quiet and charming, and only costs a cool 2 million to live there. It was a great tour nonetheless.

Saturday we visited Walden Pond since we missed it last week. We only spent a little while there just enjoying the water and beach. It was very picturesque. Then we went back to the Minute Men Visitor's Center to catch a flick about the "Road to Revolution". It documented the fighting that occurred in that first eventful battle along the road from Boston to Concord. It was a very well done presentation that informed us without draining the life from us. Afterward Celeste puzzled why History Teachers are so boring in their history presentation. It's all overheads and note taking. No flash. No pizazz. Just boredom. Something needs to change there, because history is a sensational subject!

For the evening, and to celebrate Celeste's 29th birthday, we shut Brooklyn in the closet with a sippie cup and binkie, and painted the town red! Just kidding. We were good parents, and got a babysitter. But we still painted the town. We had a delicious meal at Legal Sea Restaurant right on the wharf in downtown Boston. It's reported the best seafood joint in town. I'll give my thumbs up. I typically have to force my seafood down with a healthy portion of liquid. Not this time! I had the rainbow trout in butter chive sauce and it was really good! Celeste had an equally delicious Wild Salmon dish with a skewer of shrimp. Besides the food, the restaurant scored high marks for two other reasons. First, despite the 45 minute wait, we took a small table right in the entrance right away since it was designated similar to the oyster bar. Secondly, they brought a credit card swiper machine right to the table, and (here's the clentcher) they had 4 available options to enter the tip amount. The 15%, 18%, and 20% tip was already calculated for you. Just a push of a button. Also if you wanted to enter your own amount, you could do that too. I thought it was genius. I loved it. So Celeste won a victory last night because I'm a little closer to the seafood loving style of life.

To wrap up the evening, we saw Shakespeare in the Park. It was down in Boston Common, and they performed 'As You Like It'. The set was cool, and they set it in the 1940s Germany, which was interesting. The acting was neither here nor there. Some people we liked, others we didn't. We felt they could have cut some of the rather obtuse scenes from the play, but overall it was fun. There's nothing like Shakespeare to end a wonderful birthday bash!

7 comments:

aaron182 said...

Hey! This sounds so cool. If you guys wind up living here you'll have to give us the grand tour. And how cool is it to tell people that you lived in Boston and you know all the sites and sounds. That is really neat. Sounds cooler than where we live and we live in Europe!

Anyway, I am glad you guys are having a good time. I know it will be bitter sweet to leave. How the rest of your summer is grand and happy birthday to Celeste!

Aqualung said...

What!!! Brad liking sea food; break out the grill and Salmon we are going to feast when you come and visit. WaaHooo!!
Did you know that Seattle was also build on land leveled from the hills around the town and dumped into the bay to create more living space.

Julie Nye said...

You guys are doing such a good job of seeing all the cool stuff! You sure are right about some parts of Chicago being scary. We were there the last two days and almost got shot after going the wrong way when we were trying to come home. I didn't actually see any guns, but we were the only white people for miles around and there were bars on all of the windows. You two should become history teachers, I'm sure you would do an awesome job of making it dramatic and exciting.

Shelly said...

Happy Birthday Celeste! I have to agree, why is History so boring? I don't know if they need more week long field trips or what, but I LOVE all the things I learn traveling and had a hard time staying awake in History classes.

Bunna & Biff said...

Did you go to the woods to live deliberately? It's the only way to live. Did you get your souvenir shot glasses at the Walden Pond gift shop? The musification/commodification of Walden Pond would have horrified our neck-bearded buddy Thoreau, but a snapshot of his little gravestone makes the trip to Walden Woods worth it.

Mikidees said...

Happy Birthday Celeste. I am jealous of all the cool things you get to see and experience.

Tracy Barrand said...

Wow Brad, I'm so proud of you liking the fish! Celeste. that is some b-day, glad you get to see a play. You guys will never be the same after Boston.