The next day was to be the first day of exploring in a new city by myself ever. So of course I slept in. Time change and flying kills my brain. After a late breakfast of a bagel, which I told myself would get me through most of the day, the first thing on my list was to go walk the Harvard campus and visit the museums there. The hotel had a shuttle service I made use of, and they dropped me off at Harvard Square. I felt like such an imposter walking through the campus. There were college students everywhere, so I really blended right in, sans a backpack. But it’s Harvard, you know, the place where all the studies and smart people and high IQ and stuff come from? I felt like everyone knew I wasn’t actually enrolled there.
I went searching for the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Both were super interesting, if you’re into museums and stuff. The Peabody Museum had a lot of Native American stuff that was really fascinating to learn about (because I swear I learned nothing as a child in school, and nobody taught anything of significance, except that the puffy white clouds are called Cumulus clouds). The demise of all the Native American tribes and cultures is such an unfortunate and unnecessary tragedy due to so much ignorance and hate. Just because someone or some culture is different, people think they’re an ‘other’ and they need to be destroyed and hated. You’d think we’d have learned better by now, but then you turn on the news… That’s why I think traveling is so important. The more you submerse yourself in another culture, and meet people and hear people’s stories, the more you’ll realize that everyone is totally the same. And everyone deserves peace and happiness. And just because the color of their skin is different than your own, or their religious views are different, or they love differently, it doesn’t mean they can’t also become your best friend if given the chance. End rant.
The museum pictures are mostly for my remembrance, so skip ahead if you’re not a museum nerd.
I spent all morning and early afternoon at the museums and wandering the campus, by the end of which I was angry at my bagel for not keeping me more filled. But we were going to have our anniversary dinner later, so I didn’t want to get full on a late lunch. There’re also some shopping and places to get food across the street. I even found an entire store dedicated to Curious George. (All terrible blurry photos will hence forward be dubbed “I-was-too-lazy-to-walk-across-the-street-so-I-zoomed-in-and-zooms-on-phones-are-always-crappy photos”).
I called the hotel’s shuttle to pick me up again. The man who drove the shuttle was a super nice guy. He’s originally from the Moroccan desert and left a nomadic life (“With camels,” he said) when he won a green card lottery to America. Since then he’s been going to a community college for an Associate’s in Electrical engineering, after which he wants to transfer to another college for his bachelor’s. He was clearly not taking for granted his opportunity to get an education and support his family, unlike myself at times.
I rested up at the hotel, and was then supposed to meet up with Colton for dinner. Since it was our anniversary dinner, I decided that wearing bootie wedges would be both dressy and somehow a good idea for traipsing all over the city. The station was only a mile away, but high heels makes me walk a lot slower, so by the time I’d gotten to Central Square, Colton had made it all the way back across the city from his meetings. Which I was okay with, because I wasn’t keen on figuring out the public transit by myself the very time time.
Our first stop was the Boston Public Gardens for an evening stroll. Everything was just barely in bloom. If we’d gone even a week later, there would have been more flowers. I kept photobombing Colton’s pictures to make sure he wasn’t so absorbed in the giant weeping willows that he forgot about his wife, much to his annoyance and my glee.
It was a bit chilly, so we didn’t hang out too long, plus the light was dimming and Colton, “really, really, really” had to pee. So we walked a couple blocks down to Boston’s Public Library. When you search for Things To Do in Boston, Bate’s Hall at the Public Library is one of the things that comes up. It looks like what I imagine the Great Hall at Hogwarts looks like, so we were really excited to go see it. And use the restroom. Little did we know that the ENTIRE library is completely breathtaking. So much marble and beautiful stonework, with a beautiful fountain in a courtyard.
It was built back in the days when government buildings had much more pride taken in their aesthetics, it seems. My own city library has a cute tiny grassy area in the back, but the building is definitely nothing to boast about. We felt like we were walking through a grand castle, like the one in Beauty and the Beast. It was definitely worth the stop.
By now it was 8:30, and all I’d had all day was a bagel, so I was really itching for dinner. We’d settled on Legal Sea Foods for our anniversary dinner. There are several locations around town. It was super delicious, but definitely more on the pricey side, which we were prepared for. We ordered lobster, (because how could you not in New England?), clam chowder, and had an assortment of other fish and shrimp. The clam chowder was seriously the best chowder I’ve ever had.
By the time we finished it was after 10, so we called the hotel shuttle again. Our driver was my Moroccan friend from earlier. (He has a name, I just can’t remember what it was). He talked to Colton about how hard the upper division math classes are, but how much he liked them. They used lots of mathy words (functions and integrals) which I learned once upon a time in calculus but since then my brain has decided that memorizing types of hawks are more important and has shoved math terms off the Cliffs of Insanity. He definitely deserves more than he has, and someday I would love to have so much money that I can meet someone like him and just write him a big fat check and say, “Here’s for next year’s tuition.” Maybe someday.
One other thing of note: I felt like I was the only tourist walking around all day. School hadn’t gotten out yet, and the weather was very cool. End of April/early May was the best time to get married, because wherever we go, we are the only ones there.
Tips for traipsing around Boston in Heels:
- Don’t be an idiot like me, wear normal shoes
- Carry water
- No one actually knows you’re a Harvard imposter
- Get clam chowder