Arriving in Boston

I’m not a big city kind of guy, but I do love Boston.

panorama from the Taj

panorama from the Taj

Kim is here for a green building conference paid for by her employer, so with a $370 hotel room paid for several nights, I wasn’t going to sit at home. As I sit here “working”, this is my view, looking out over the Boston Public Garden and downtown Boston.

When I went to school here in the 80’s I never dreamed that I would ever get to stay in the Ritz-Carlton. Well, I never did get to stay in that hotel, but it changed names and is now the Taj. We are on the 9th floor over looking Arlington Street at the intersection of Newbury Street. Newbury is probably the most upscale shopping district in Boston.

Our trip started from Roanoke yesterday. We stayed in Greensboro and flew out of there this morning. I’m not much of a morning person, either, and since Kim is the one with the camera, I take the brunt of most of her picture taking.

barely awake
barely awake

So here I am at some unholy hour, obviously still in the single digits, you can tell by the angle of the sunlight in the terminal.

Our flights were surprisingly snafu-free. We got all the bugs out of the trip the previous day. Kim woke up Monday morning in a panic (flight didn’t leave until Tuesday morning). She was so worried she was going to forget something. Meanwhile, I got my stuff packed and didn’t think much of the situation. My new mantra is “I’m not going to let your paranoia affect me”. When I don’ get flustered by her panic, it just makes her angry. So I haven’t figured out how to get around this one yet. I can’t keep her from panicking, and I won’t join in her panic with her. Still not sure what to do here.

Anyway, on our way to Greensboro, Kim discovers she’s left her laptop behind. Hmmm. No problem, really, she can use mine, which I bought for both of us for trips like this anyway.

Like I said, our trip was uneventful for the most part. I woke up somewhere on the way between Atlanta and Boston. We flew right over Manhattan, and I was too slow to get a picture, but seeing that from the air is always amazing to me. I did get a bit of the Massachusetts coastline:

boston3

Nice. I always get a kick of seeing geography from the air. Plus, there is just something about water that is irresistable.

Kim and I got lucky on the flight from Atlanta. It was supposed to be a full flight, but we wound up with an extra seat next to us, so we spread out a little. This made the whole experience more enjoyable for me. I hate crowded planes. I’m not sure what would help Kim enjoy the flight more, because she hates it when the plane tilts, when it speeds up, slows down, bumps, shivers, or just goes the same speed.

Of course it didn’t help at all that the only comforting story that came to mind to tell her was of the stunt pilot that lost a wing while doing a barrel roll, but still landed the plane safely (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y90vnB6gUME). The story had a happy ending, but she didn’t want to hear it anyway. There’s just no pleasing some people.

boston4

So, we’re on our way to a “green” building conference, which means they are looking for ways to be environmentally efficient. I figured Kim needed to be immersed in the concept. So we didn’t get a cab from the airport, we took public transportation. I was able to get passes for both of us for a week for $15 each for all the T rides you could stand. Pretty good deal, and public transportation is a “green” concept.

To get from the airport to the city, we took the Silver Line. Here you see me playing tour guide getting Kim on a Silver Line car. It turns out that the Silver Line makes use of another “green” concept. Around the airport, the Silver Line is a natural gas driven bus, but in South Boston, it hooks into the grid and becomes an electrically driven subway car, with rubber inflatable tires instead of riding on rails. It took just a few seconds to turn off the engine and switch over to the cleaner type of power where the overhead power lines were available. This was another type of “hybrid” vehicle. It didn’t use both sources at the same time, but instead turned one off and used the other.

The T ride at 2 pm was crowded and disorienting at times, but I think it was well worth it. Kim even got to see where the convention was being held. Cab rides are faster, more personal, and you have fewer stairs to carry your luggage up, but you just don’t see the same part of a city that you see riding public transportation. We got to change from Silver to Red to Green… I thought it was cool. Kim may have different ideas.

Dinner tonight was at Legal Seafoods. Mmmm. Food was good. Wait staff was a little confused, I think.

I’ll post more stuff throughout the week…

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