This was the first time visiting Boston. Greg and I were pretty excited to go there, partly because we have seen very little of the East Coast together, it was an actual weekend, and of course, the big deal towards the end of it. I had gone so far to do research in advance and have a list of things to do and see while we were there. You know, make the best of it.
Now that I think of it, I should revisit that list to see what I had wanted to do, and what we actually did. Let me dig that up....
- Pick up race gear - DONE!
- Buy Finisher’s Gear after the race! -DONE!
- Go to see the Boston Red Sox! - DONE!
- Visit Harvard University- DONE!
- Patriot’s Day celebrations - Nope!
- Faneuil Hall Quincy Marketplace. (Originally built in 1826 as a meat and green grocery hall, it now contains over 100 shops, cafés and restaurants). - DONE!
- Go for a great dinner in North End, full of Italian restaurants - DONE & DONE! (two dinners, plus picked up some delicious cannoli at an Italian bakery-twice)
- RunBoston running tour (http://www.runboston.org/) -Nope!
- Outlet mall- Kittery in New Hampshire (1hr north of Boston, and 1 mile of outlets)- DONE & Nope... we just went down the street to the shopping district and brought financial stability back to the area with the amount of shopping done.
- Wrentham Premium outlet mall - Nope!
First up on the agenda for Friday, was to hit the Boston race expo and pick up my race kit. Seriously, if an adult runner needed an example of Christmas, it was the race, and package pick up was like going to visit Santa on Christmas Eve. I was so excited to be there, and even had the eyes well up a few times, I was so appreciative to be there. The expo is pretty big and the Adidas official merchandise section was already a zoo at 3pm on the first day. I decided to pick up the race jacket (of course), a green short sleeve tech shirt, capris, 2 baseball caps (white and green), and a BAA logo beer glass. It was more than I had intended, but Greg convinced me that I might as well get the wardrobe. What the heck.
We ventured through the expo and had planned to leave. One quick last bathroom break, and then suddenly, we realized that we had only been in part of the expo and there was a whole huge wing more to explore. From a work standpoint, there wasn't a whole lot there that I would call unique or innovative (can you tell that I look for trends and innovative ideas at tradeshows as part my living). From a consumer standpoint, there were all the big brand names with big flashy booths and lots of gear. However, there was a lot of redundancy, and saw over and over again, compression socks, various marathon organizers, nutrition and kitschy stuff. I bought four sports bras, all at 50% off and a cute sun visor to support breast cancer.
After the expo, we went back to the hotel to drop off our stuff, get changed, and then headed to FENWAY PARK to catch a Red Sox game. Greg, my super shopper, had scooped a pair of tickets that ended up being primetime at $50 each. We sat in the front row, right field, literally beside the Toronto Blue Jays' bull pen. We just looked at each other with shock on our faces at what we had scored for these seats, it was incredible. We fully enjoyed the experience, complete with Italian sausage hot dogs, kettle corn and a hot chocolate. The only thing we regretted of the whole experience, was not being prepared enough to handle the cold winds that came whipping through.
Sunday morning, after another big sleep in, I went for a short run (to try and work off the dinner) and then we went out to sightsee again. This time, we went along the waterfront so I could see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. However, it didn't happen without controversy and will remain memorable for the fact that a bird crapped on my head. Yeah, that was a lot of fun, but I couldn't stop laughing. What else could I do besides find the closest bathroom to try and clean up.
Despite this wardrobe setback, we made the trip to Cambridge and explore Harvard University. I had never seen what the campus looked like, so I was curious to see what one of the most prestigious schools looked like. It was nice, there were some sections closed to students only, but yes, it was a school. Finished off at Harvard and then back for the pre-race dinner.