East Coast Post - Boston and NYC Take Two

Our escape from adulthood was cut short for Roy when we found out he could possibly have a job interview.  He boarded a plane back to reality, and Kirsten and I finished out the last two days on our own.

We took the car into a different area just outside of Boston, where Kirsten's friends live.  The apartment was adorable, as were the two little kids.  I played lots of Mario Bros with the 3-year-old boy, like a peek into my future.  

It was fun to see what life with a little family would be like out there.  By the afternoon we said goodbye, leaving our car parked in their parking lot.  They were the last stop on the subway into Boston, so it was perfect.  

First stop, the Boston Library.  It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, so of course it was something we both wanted to see.

We hadn't been inside for five minutes when a security guard told us that the library was closing, and we had to leave.  I was crushed.  Kirsten decided to go to use the library bathroom first, and while she got in line I told her I would be waiting for her in this awesome courtyard.

But the wait was long, and I couldn't help but wander through an open door, which led me to a corridor displaying super old maps.  And at the end was another open door, which led to a back staircase.  By the time I climbed to the top, the entire library was deserted.  I had the place to myself.  

Trying to explore quietly, I wandered on tiptoe and took pictures with my phone on silent.  The beauty of this building was awesome, it truly was "the people's palace."  I still didn't see even half of the library, but I figured I better leave before I got locked inside.

I strutted down the main staircase, much to the dismay of four security guards standing at the front doors.

"Wait, where did you come from?" one demanded.

"Sorry, just on my way out," I said as I hurried past.  I left them to argue amongst themselves about who checked which floors.  Muahaha!

Kirsten was standing outside of the library waiting for me.  She totally understood why I had to abandon her for a bit.  I mean, when in Rome, right?

Just outside of the library, across Copley Square, is this cool old Trinity Church.

As we traipsed through Boston a second time, we saw a lot of our favorite old buildings standing amidst the modern ones.  

I love the blending of old and new.

We found Cheese Boy, which was half the reason we returned to Boston.  Seriously.  I just had to have the Grilled Mac n' Cheese Sandwich!  And it was uh-may-zeeeeeng.  We munched while it rained outside, feeling cozy.

Just outside of Cheese Boy was this alley that had a sign promising an antique and used book sale.  We were so there.

My kind of bookstore is floor to ceiling books.  Oh, and a cat napping in the window.

We couldn't possibly have found a better place to spend a rainy hour.

There was an impressive collection of first edition novels, as well as illuminated manuscripts from medieval times, and maps and old ads… it was endless.  And expensive.  But there was one book I fell in love with.  I decided to save my money to see another Broadway {which we never got to see}, and just took a picture of the book to remember how awesome it was.  I sooo should have brought it home.

Female British poets!  1850s!  Gifted from freaking Santa Claus!!  Oh, I die!

After the bookshop we ventured far from the freedom trail.  I decided Boston reminds me of London.  I could live there, I think.  And guess what Mom, it's a lot closer that the UK!   :-)

We were told by a couple of random LDS missionaries that we ran into that Mike's Pastries is a must.  It took us a while to find, because we were expecting to see a line of people that wound down the entire street, but apparently the rain was keeping people indoors.  We got to go right up to the counter and get our Boston cream puffs {after we ran to the ATM because it turns out they only accept cash}.

We thought we got plenty of pastries to share with Scott and April… but they were really good, and we have no self-control.

That night we got back and hung out with Scott and April, and had to fess up that we ate their pastries.  They are awesome, we were sad to be leaving soon.

The next day was our last day of adventure.  And it was also the worst adventure ever.
But let me back up, because it didn't start out so bad.  

Kirsten and I had a relay race to train for, so we tried to go for a run most mornings.  I think getting my butt outside to run would be easier if I always had this route to look forward to.  Beautiful.

You'd think any day that starts out with Dunkin Donuts is gonna be a good one.  And Dunkin Donuts are everywhere back east.  Naturally, we felt like we shouldn't miss out on the experience.  We grabbed some breakfast for the train ride to New York City.

I had one goal for this New York trip, and that was to go to the Cloisters Museum and Gardens.  It was the place I wanted to visit most when I was 18 and visiting NYC with my mom and grandparents, but we missed the bus out.  Shattered dreams were now renewed!  I was determined to see these famous tapestries, and more mediaeval art in this extension of the MET!

When we arrived in Grand Central Station again, there was one thing we had to do first.  Rush to find a post office that could ship a box for Kirsten.  I'm sure what we found was not what was closest or easiest, but we were happy to just get it done.

Then we had a decision to make.  Walk/run back toward Grand Central Station and buy a subway ticket out to the MET, or… use the dreaded bikes.  Those stupid, stupid rental bikes again!  Argh!

Kirsten was so excited about it, I couldn't let her down.  We survived Boston biking, so I figured we could survive anything.

We paid for two rentals.  Only two bikes were at the station, and of course one didn't work.  We had to walk {me dragging along one bike} to three other stations before we found another bike that worked.

By the time we finally got two working bikes, I was trying my best to stave off panic.  We'd promised Scott and April we would be back a little early to watch their little boy, so we had to catch the 3 o'clock train back.  Of course the Cloisers are in Northern Manhattan, which seemed as far away from us as humanly possible, but Kirsten looked and found that there was a bike station near the MET, so we were good.  I thought.

We rode for about an hour.  It wasn't too bad, other than the steadily rising panic that we were running out of time.  Every stop at an intersection we were joined by several more bikers in the bike lane, so we felt pretty legit.  The only scary parts were through construction, when the bike lane disappeared and I was pretty sure a taxi cab was gonna come flying around the corner and smash me into a cement barricade.

Riding through central park was my favorite.  I mean, the place is so huge that it has its own small network of lanes and traffic lights for bikes and horse-drawn carriages.  {I learned that when I accidentally blew through a tiny stop light and had angry fists shaken at me.  Oops!}

But once we got to the top of Central Park Kirsten did a double check of the bike station map, and realized we'd made a mistake.  There was no bike station by the MET.  The nearest was at the bottom of Central Park.  So we rode back down.

And by the time we got there Kirsten looked pretty solemn.  And sweaty.  We were both sweaty, and tired, and pissed off.  Using the art of selective observance, I made for the nearest subway station and was ready to pay for both of us to get to the blasted MET so we could catch the stupid bus to get us to the damn Cloisters!!!

Kirsten pretty much had to grab my shoulders and shake me to bring me to my senses.  We had run out of time.  The Cloisers are not in my destiny.  We are not meant to be.

We took a moment to breathe.  And scowl.

And then we biked some more.  Because I just LOOOOOOVE THOSE RENTAL BIKES!@#%&((*&^$#@#$%^UI%!@#$%^&*()(*&^&*&^%$#@#$%^&*)(*&^%$#@!~!@#$%^&*((*&^%$

And we headed back down to Grand Central Station.

But we had a little bit of time, and I was determined to use it.  No way I took a train out to New York City just to bike!  So we went to a library I dreamed of visiting since I was little.  The New York Public Library!  Between the Lions!

This library made Boston look kind like a hiccup.  It was enormous!
We stuck with a free tour group for a little while, but since time was limited and we didn't have two hours to hear about which wealthy dead guys funded what, we struck out on our own.

We found that currently their main exhibit is called "The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter."  It was pretty much a sign from Heaven that we weren't meant to go to the Cloisters.  Is there anything more up my alley?

The earliest examples of children's literature were alphabet books that tied into the Bible, and had little rhymes about how good children should behave.  We learned that the Puritans expected their children to have read the Bible cover to cover by the time they were three years old!  Whaa?

I missed Camden so much in this exhibit.  He loves Goodnight Moon, and would have been amazed to be inside of the great green room with a telephone and a red balloon.  Even a cow jumping over the moon!

Or to crawl down the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland!

Where the Wild Things Are

This picture of the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals owned by the original Christopher Robin was taken for Roy.  He and I were both fans when we were little.  Wished he was with us too!

P. L. Traver's umbrella {author of Mary Poppins}.  That parrot probably talks. ;-)

There were also two original pieces from William Blake, which stoked the old English Major in me.  A couple of pages from Song of Innocence, 1794, which I can't tell you how many times we studied.  Ah, they were so cool.  

The exhibit was so colorful and had the most incredible things to see.  Maybe I should have taken more pictures, but I was too busy soaking it all in.  I could have spent all day in this library, and probably would have had just as good of a time {if not better} than if I'd been at the old Cloisters.

I'm thankful we got to end on a good note, because it was unlikely there for a minute.  New York, I still love you.  But next time I'll save myself the exercise.

Never was I more excited to come home from an adventure.  I was ready to hug and kiss this boy to smithereens.  

But I was also way exhausted.  I was beyond grateful when I got standby on the very first flight of the day at 5am.  No waiting this time.  Kirsten and I had different flights, but happily bumped into each other again in Chicago.  

And then I head-bobbed the rest of my way home, running on almost no sleep and sore leg muscles.  This text pretty much sums it up.

But was it good?
                       So good.

No comments:

Post a Comment