My wife and I took a trip last week to the state of my birth, where I spent my formative years as they say. It had probably been anywhere from eight to ten years since I had been back, which is crazy.
We spent a day in Harvard Square, which is always fun. The area seemed a little quieter than I remember, not a lot of buskers out there like I remember from years ago. Maybe it’s still early in the year for all that, I’m not sure. We walked through The Charles Hotel, which had always been a favorite of mine as a young kid starting out in the hotel world. We ate at Legal Sea Foods, which was an amazing experience just for the fact that I could share food with my wife (celiac) – they have great gluten free options and seem to take allergies seriously.
We spent a day in Salem, a place I had never been before. Wouldn’t mind spending more time there, it seemed like the town was just coming out of hibernation and not everything was open. We want to plan a return trip, maybe spend a few days at the Hawthorne Hotel. I’m definitely one of those people who love historical sites and annoy others by spending too much time reading historical markers and signs. We didn’t get a chance to visit or tour anything, and I would like to see inside the House of Seven Gables. Although, to be quite honest, I haven’t read any Hawthorne yet. Maybe I can read a book of his while staying in Salem and get the full effect.
We got to see a Red Sox game, and was excited to bring my wife to Fenway Park for her first time. The Sox beat the Royals 10-6 and we got to see Xander Bogaerts hit a grand slam. Well, I got to see it…she was wandering around the park looking for a warm sweatshirt to buy due to the chill in the air and constant rain drizzling down. It was a great night though, we got to get some food at The Blue Diner…sorry, the South Street Diner (not sure when they changed the name) and then capped it off for drinks at MJ O’Connor’s, an Irish pub at the Park Plaza hotel. I forgot how filling Guinness is.
The best and worst part of the trip was seeing my 93 year old grandmother. Best because my wife was thoughtful enough to have us stop and buy gifts and a plant for her before we went, something I wouldn’t have thought to do because I’m stupid, but it brought a smile to my grandmother’s face and she was obviously very happy to get some presents. Worst due to the fact that my grandmother obviously didn’t recognize me, and that was pretty difficult to see. There was a moment when we were sitting there while she ate her dinner, and she looked over at me and squinted her eyes as if she thought she knew me; she smiled and nodded and then went back to her food. I’m sure I was projecting. Overall I’m very glad we went. I had wanted so much for my wife to meet my grandmother. Also, if it wasn’t for my wife being there, my grandmother would have never been introduced to Snapchat. That was too much fun.
The whole trip definitely made me feel nostalgic for Boston; I still miss it and I think of it as “home”. That doesn’t mean I don’t love where we live now; I really have come to love Northern Wisconsin. It’s beautiful up here, not to mention quiet and peaceful. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a remote area, where you can’t see your neighbors from your house. It’s pretty amazing. But sometimes you just miss having a Dunkin’ Donuts on every block.