June 13, 2007
We got up early on Sunday and drove South through and around Boston to Cape Cod. There wasn’t much traffic, and it took a little more than an hour to get to the bridge over the Cape Cod canal. Then it was just 15 minutes to Hyannis, and the ferry terminal. There’s a brand new ferry, just put into service in 2006, which is for pedestrian passengers only and takes less than half the time the auto ferries do. The ferry runs about 40 miles an hour (FAST for a ship) and really churns up the wake. It costs more, but it makes twice as many trips during the day, so that’s the one we got tickets for. Roman and me and about ten youth-league lacrosse teams, going to a tournament on Nantucket. They were remarkably loud!
The sun came out and the day was pretty nice by the time we got to the island — in just 55 minutes! Like I always do on Nantucket , we just walked around , looking at the historic houses, the shops, the landscapes and the ocean. It’s obvious, though, that Nantucket has really ‘gentrified’ over the last 25 years– every house in the real estate magazine was priced at over a million dollars, and there were some very fancy boats in the harbor.
Roman developed a hankering for Italian spaghetti, which was just the wrong thing for Nantucket, one of the seafood capitals of New England. We had lunch in a beach bar, and both enjoyed whatever it was we had. We shopped, bought t-shirts and gifts for friends , got coffee, and toured the whaling museum (totally renovated with new galleries since the last time I was there). We walked out to the Brandt Point lighthouse at the entrance to the harbor, and by the time we got back to the center of town, the 5:00 ferry was leaving. We realized we were exhausted, and the thought of sitting down on the ferry sounded pretty good. So we caught it back to Hyannis.
I drove a short distance to our cheap hotel- a third the cost of a Boston hotel- and we swam in the heated pool. Later that night we went to an English pub in Hyannis, where we had “pasties”- pastries like calzones, filled with cheese and stuff. I had the “New England Tradition” pasties– turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, peas and cranberry sauce, wrapped up in a pie crust. Something unusual, and good.
The next morning, Monday, we slept late for once, and got on the road at 10AM. My plan was to return the car to the airport and then take the subway downtown so as to avoid the parking problems. With some backtracking (I missed the airport exit and had to navigate the narrow streets of the North End to get turned around), we turned the car in about noon, took the bus to the terminal, and were all set for our 6:15PM flight. So with 5 hours to wait, we took the new Silver Line bus trolley across to Boston. It uses a restricted lane on the Interstate to go to the new Convention Center on the old South Boston waterfront (30 years ago, that was all warehouses and fish wholesalers); then it has its own underground tunnel which links to the subway system at South Station.
When we got out of the subway, Roman was surprised- this was the Financial District , the super new part of Boston, and looked very different from the half of town we walked through Saturday. He was amazed at the variety of the skyscrapers, and how everything was oriented toward the piers and waterfront. We walked around what will soon be the Rose Kennedy greenway, on top of the now-underground “Big Dig” expressway, and got to Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market. The Market has every kind of trinket and food for sale you can imagine, and that’s where Roman finally found his Italian pasta.
We bought more gifts, walked up to the Blue Line stop at the Old State House, and took the subway back to the airport. (The odd photo of an octacycle… 8 people pedaling the hills downtown. It looked like work!) We still had a little wait for our flight, but after a quick change of planes at LaGuardia in New York, we got back to Raleigh about 10PM. Roman was hungry enough to eat week-old doughnuts… and did!