United States history was the theme this year on our spring vacation as we charted a course through Boston, New York City, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Taking the trip to the airport is normally a Bus->Link transfer, but with the new Linkstation completed, we got to ride the train directly from the new station directly to the airport!
One redeye flight later, we arrived in Boston early on Saturday March 26th, 2016. After dropping off our backpacks at the hotel, we went out and explored the Public Library, Back Bay, and other neighborhoods to get ourselves oriented. The best way to figure out a new city is using the soles of your shoes.
Easter Sunday brought with it the idea to explore the Freedom trail while the weather was cold but moisture-free. After the traditional Easter breakfast at a bookstore/cafe, we started the trail in earnest. Cemeteries featuring revolutionaries and just ordinary folk were seen and pondered.
Past government buildings were seen and photographed behind us.
And, of course, the current Massachachusetts state house was found and photographed.
Faneuil Hall brought with it crowds (Easter Sunday was still busy! Who knew?!), food, and most importantly: sugar-filled snacky cakes.
After a whole lot of freedom later, we ended up at the end of the trail over by the Bunker Hill monument.
The way back to the main part of Boston involved riding MBTA transit. The trains and system was showing off the advanced age of the infrastructure and rolling stock, but it seemed to work well enough on a holiday weekend.
But wait! A detour was found and we somehow ended up at the Converse store at their HQ. New pairs of walking kicks were soon acquired with that spiffy new Nike-fueled padding to make the shoes even more awesome for a day of exploring.
Easter dinner was, of course, an anchovy pizza eaten in our hotel room with dots as the dessert.
Monday brought with it showers, and we went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The first special exhibit we went to was the desolate landscapes of Lawren Harris. With the gallery to ourselves, we scurried around in delight with his modernist Canadian art. The gallary was curated by Steve Martin. The Steve Martin. He’s an art aficionado I guess?
We couldn’t decide which piece we liked best. All of them were exceptional!
MFA, Boston had an interesting exhibit that was desigend to resemble a small European chapel. Containing medieval stained glass with a matching sculpture, it was a hidden respite from the seemingly overwhelming array of art before us.
The best painting at the museum was a modern work that depicted visitors to the very gallery that the painting was hanging in. It was meta. It was detailed, and it resembled something unique that resembled to my millennial brain.
Did I mention the transit system was kind of odd? Their “green line” was actually a series of Light Rail trains that resembled Seattle’s Link system. Except these cars are about 50 years old.
Tuesday brought with it a train ride through New England to our next destination: New York City.
New York City
This visit to NYC found us staying in West Village. Continuing the theme of history and art, we finally decided to visit the Met on Wednesday. Their period rooms were quite excellent, but occasionally had computer issues…
The Met also managed to collect a huge array of Egyptian artifacts in the early 20th century. Many selfies were taken in front of these walls.
The selfies were plentiful and shameless.
Thursday brought with it the Transit Museum in Brooklyn. Our transplanted friend James met us at the museum and we spent the next few hours being far too excited by old trains, signalling systems, and the infrastructure behind the patched-together MTA rapid transit network.
The museum is located in one of the abandoned stations in NYC, and the trains are parked on the platform rails.
Along with many different versions of riding stock, a few utility trains were also seen at the museum: including a pump train.
After lunch was the traditional walk along the High Line, and although it was busy as usual, we were excited to check out the extension to the park. Some Chelsea Market’ing later, we grabbed a quick dinner before checking out The Comedy Cellar for some Judd Apatow and Judah Friedlander.
NYC this time was rather light on the sights this time around, and instead spent plenty of time with our friends James, Christopher, and Jeff. Time well spent!
Our three nights in New York behind us, we got on the train to Williamsburg, Virginia.
…9 hours later…
Bridget and Steven were finishing up their time in Williamsburg, and we took some time to visit them before they went off to new places! Going from the large and bustling metropolises of our previous two destinations to the seemingly rural side of Virginia was certainly a change of scenery!
While waiting for a table to open up at a restaurant that had plenty of vegan options, we visited a store that had plenty of pro-confederate and anti-Hillary grear. The parking lot had a bunch of kids firing off toy rifles.
Rainy Saturday saw us visiting the site of the Siege of Yorktown, and the ultimate site of the British surrender. We basically had the area all to ourselves, but being it an old battlefield, there wasn’t exactly a lot to see besides a few redoubts.
The small town of Yorktown was surprisingly cool, and had a super awesome bookstore filled with an excellent collection of Science Fiction and Star Trek novels. Naturally I picked up a few books.
After lunch in Colonial Williamsburg, we headed off to Jamestown. The site itself is in the midst of a renewed archaeological interest, and there’s a lot of interesting fresh finds and dig sites on the premises of the old fort.
That night we all made a fun dinner while trying to coax the cat into letting us pet it. Dinner was excellent. Making friends with Perky was a mixed effort. Saturday night was capped off with a Williamsburg Ghost Walk. The content was cheesy, but the place was interesting to see at night.
Sunday was the day for Colonial Williamsburg! We grabbed our badges and went forth exploring the town. It was decidedly cooler than I was expecting, and they did a fairly good job of balancing entertainment with historical accuracy. Or at least making us believe it was historically accurate.
Monday was our final day on the trip, supposedly. On the way to the airport Steven noted that there was a blizzard in Boston. This was relevant to our interests as our flight from Richmond connected in Boston. A few Ground Stops and timed out pilots later, our flight was suddenly delayed 4 hours and making that connection to Seattle suddenly seemed doubtful. We had high hopes that since every other flight out of Boston Logan was delayed, the Seattle flight would be as well.
Uncertain of our connection, we got on the flight to Boston.
And saw the plane to Seattle taxiing on the runway. Turns out it was one of the few departing flights not delayed. An hour later, we had a new flight booked at 7:30am in the morning and were given a hotel room in lovely Winthrop, a short 15 minute car trip away from the airport along the coast. 10pm and starving, we had a lovely Domino’s delivery pizza for dinner before passing out for a nice 6 hours of sleep before getting up and trudging back to the airport.
Which of course went fine. The blizzard was over, and our flight was 100% on time.
As we flew over the city in daytime, the effects of the previous day were visible on the landscape below.
Back in Seattle around noon Tuesday, we piled into the Link train and went back to recharge our batteries.
This trip was a good practice run for a new set of bags we were testing. Tracey was using her Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 for the first time on an extended trip, and I was testing out using a Tom Bihn Night Flight as a side bag and a Tom Bihn Daylight Pack as a day bag. All successfully passed with flying colors. My long uncertain period of side bags may finally be solved!