Monday, September 21, 2009

Cindy's Excellent Vacation - Part III, Baltimore & Boston

I spent the last two weeks of my USA vacation with Christine - first in Baltimore to ostensibly help her get ready for moving, then in Cambridge, MA, where she now resides. Christine was already well prepared for the move so I spent the first week visiting friends and getting my annual medical exams taken care of. What I did not do was take pictures. I enjoyed many visits with former neighbors, co-workers, and "co-bellringers."

The move went perfectly barring one unfortunate incident. Christine had 11 helpers to load the truck which took less than an hour. Pretty amazing. We dodged thunderstorms and New York City on the drive, spent the night in a crummy motel outside Boston, and had half the truck unloaded the next morning before her 2 helpers at that end showed up. Her new landlord was a tremendous help. The unfortunate incident involved a box of kitchen supplies traveling on its side and a leaky bottle of fish sauce. That stuff is really, really rank. It soaked into the seat of an upholstered rocker that she was planning to reupholster anyway but luckily missed the couch and mattress.

Christine lives a block from Porter Square in Cambridge. There's a T station, grocery, hardware store, Pier 1, bookstore, Radio Shack, post office, restaurants and fast food, delis, used furniture, watch repair, shoe stores, etc, etc, all within a few steps. She sold her car before the move, knowing it would be more hassle than help in the Boston area. (She is starting a post-doctoral fellowship in math at MIT.)

In between bouts of house cleaning, unpacking, and shopping (thankfully we found almost everything right in Porter Square) Christine took time to explore Boston and Cambridge with me. Our first outing was to Boston Common and a walk down Commonwealth Avenue where we saw this perfect line of beautiful row houses.

Another day we walked to Harvard Square along Brattle Street, also known as "Tory Row" - large elegant homes with gorgeous landscaping. Christine is standing in the gardens of the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

We took time to do part of the Freedom Trail, stopping at colonial churches, markets, and government buildings in historic Boston. This is the Old State House, dating from 1713.

Plus a stroll along the wharf and thru the North End (which could just as easily be called Little Italy) where my brother-in-law Charlie, doing some consulting in Boston at the time, treated us to a fabulous Italian dinner.

And not to forget why Christine moved here, we stopped by MIT a couple of times. This is probably the most interesting building on campus - Frank Gehry's Stata Center - built in 2004.

As Christine gets settled in Cambridge I'm back to my usual pursuits in Mexico - reading, aerobics, x-stitching, photo project, a little cooking and cleaning (as little as possible) and some traveling. Plus - PIANO. I was inspired by my mom's piano playing when I visited Georgia. I want to be able to sit down, get out some sheet music and play "Hymn of Promise" without stumbling. So we bought an electric piano - for my birthday - and I am practicing. I have about 3 years of lessons behind me and I figure on another 10 years to get reasonably good. Good thing I'm starting now.

Love to all,


  1. Cindy, I am happy you and Christine got the real Italian tour of the North End!!

  2. Terri8:19 PM

    So is Christine a student at MIT? Wasn't clear on that...thanks for the update, looks like a fun trip!

  3. She has a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT.