If you ever have the chance to go to Boston, GO! Between the marathon, the Celtics and the Sox, the city was humming with excitement this weekend. We flew out on Saturday and came back on Wednesday. Here's the day-by-day breakdown of our wicked fun time...
We got to Boston around 4:30pm. It turned out that one of my husband's buddies from back home just happened to be out in Boston on business last week. We were supposed to miss each other because he was flying out on Saturday while we were flying in, but it just so happened that he missed his flight and was stuck in town another day. We immediately made plans to meet up with him.
Here's Husband and me in front of the State House at Boston Commons, waiting around for his friend, Roman. We walked around forever before we finally found Roman and two of his coworkers. (Roman, me, Husband) One of Roman's coworkers was a local. He gave us a walking tour of the Government Center and took us out for some kick ass Italian Food in the North End. After stuffing myself with enough calamari and lobster ravioli to feed a small army, we headed to Faneuil Hall. Scott (the local) couldn't believe we'd never heard of cannolis before. Even though we were stuffed from all the Italian food, we found some room to split some chocolate chip cannolis. (Me, Husband and Scott with our cannolis)
Of course, no trip to Boston would be complete without a trip to the bar where everbody knows your name...
Hanging out with the Cheers cast...
Hey Norm, who do think is cuter? Me or my husband?
Roman, Norm and Scott...
Cheers! (with new pals Jenn and Mike from Connecticut who were in town for the Celtics game)
I finally had to call it a night around 11pm since I had that little race on Monday to prepare for... and we all know you're supposed to get a good night's sleep 2 nights before the big day. I'm still in awe of what a great time we had that night (too bad I was drinking water!). I'm so glad we ran into Roman and his friends and could share our vacation with them.
We headed to the expo to pick up my stuff for the race. I apparently missed the memo that you're supposed to wear your Boston Marathon jacket the weekend of the race. I always thought it was a rookie thing to wear the race apparel while still at that race. Apparently I was wrong. I think I was the only runner in Boston not wearing my race jacket.
We got to the expo, picked up the packet with my bib number, timing chip and shirt. As I was trying on my shirt, I ran into Andy and Kit. Andy and Kit were two of my college cross country teammates. Somehow, we've apparently ended up on the same marathon circuit. I ran into them at the expo for the Twin Cities Marathon in 2007. I ran into them at the expo for the Green Bay Marathon in 2008. And sure enough, here they were at the Boston Marathon expo in 2009. (Kit, me, Andy)
After the expo, husband and I toured the Sky Walk of the Prudential building. It's pretty much like going to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago, but it was still cool to get a birds eye view of Boston. It's amazing to see the architecture from the different centuries all mixed together in one area. (Me on the 50th floor of the Prudential building. You can see Fenway Park in the background, to the right of my head.) After grabbing a bite to eat at a local pub, we got one of these biker guys to drag our asses over to Fenway.
We didn't go to the game (although it was a perfect day for a ball game) but we walked around the area and "people watched" as all the fans headed to the stadium. (Husband at Fenway Park)
By this time, I was pretty beat, so we headed back to the hotel for a pasta dinner and an early bedtime. I needed to be up early on Monday for the big race.
Race day! 4:55am my alarm went off. Breakfast started at 5:30am at our hotel and the first shuttle took off at 6am to head to Boston Commons. By 6:30am, I was on the shuttle to Hopkinton for the start of the race. I thought it was weird that we had to be there so early for a 10am start, but once we got there I understood why. By the time you get some coffee and a bagel and stand in the endless lines for the port-o-potties, it was time to head to the start line!
The athletes village in Hopkinton was amazing. It looked like a huge beer garden except it was full of runners trying to stay warm. It was around 35 degrees at that time and I was not looking forward to shedding my sweats for the race.
I met a girl named Amanda on the shuttle bus, so we hung out together in the athletes village. After sitting around for awhile, waiting 45 minutes in line for the bathroom, and dropping our sweats, it was time to head to the start line. We marched the 3/4 mile to our starting corral and soon we were running our way back to Boston.
Since I already posted on the race, I'll skip ahead to the post-race fun.
Husband and I love to eat. We'll never turn down an opportunity for fine dining. He had made reservations at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for a post-race treat. The restaurant was very nice and especially cool because it was in the Old City Hall. (Husband and me outside Old City Hall)
This building was also part of Boston's famous Freedom Trail. Although we weren't purposely following the trail, we ended up following it a number of times throughout the trip. With all the touring we did of Boston, I'm pretty sure we covered almost all of the Freedom Trail points of interest.
TUESDAY: I was in the hurt shop. My legs hurt so bad I couldn't even sleep Monday night. Tuesday morning I could barely move, but there was still so much more to see in Boston!
Per my dad's recommendation, we went to see the USS Constitution. My dad is a naval historian. I have little interest in history, but I figured we ought to tour something historic in Boston or Dad would never forgive us. Old Ironsides is currently being renovated, but it was still a cool tour and good refresher of all those history lessons I'd long forgotten.
In the afternoon we went on one of Boston's famous Duck Tours. This is definitely something you have to do if you're ever in Boston. It's a great tour of the city from land and from the river. Basically they are old WWII amphibious vehicles that are now used for giving tours. You drive around the streets and then drive straight into the Charles River to continue the tour from the water.
Here is what a Duck looks like on land...
and on water....
After all that, I was dead tired and was more than willing to have my legs amputated to relieve some of the pain I was in. Husband was not quite ready to call it a day yet, so I headed back to the hotel to put my feet up and relax while Husband headed out to the bar for a few lagers.
On Wednesday, we finally headed back to Saint Paul. It's good to be home, but it won't last long. I'm heading back to Cedar Rapids for a girls' weekend on Friday. Should be another wicked good time!