Dream trip Day 132 Boston to Providence by bus, party hostel, Irish lady

Everything is so much closer on the east coast. It was like Europe, only an hour or 2 bus ride or train, and you were in a different state.

Today it was Boston to Providence via a local bus line. Very affordable.

I took the long walk to the bus depot passing through Chinatown for some sweet pics.

chinatown

chinatown2

 

There was a craft coffee shop nearly in front of the bus depot, I got a cup to go. I think it was Guatemalan coffee.

Hurry up and wait! We gathered near the area our bus would arrive and watched the time pass by slowly! It was a bit late.

Still for perhaps 20$ this was not a bad deal at all. I only wish the train was as affordable.

I can at least say I’ve been through Pawtucket.

Once again I had arrived before check in time, plus rain was due! I needed shelter for a few hours. Ah a pub!

I tell you no sooner had I entered, it rained hard for a good half hour or more. Tremendous amount of rain.

I had to get clam chowda, even though I am not a huge clam fan, the dish would warm you up. A regional favorite.

The guy behind the bar said there was a chowda for every state, even some cities used tomatoes or some other shellfish, whatever was around.

After a couple pints, a beer rep arrived and handed me a bottle opener, as well as another beer.

We talked a while, he kept buying, He seemed like a nice enough bloke. Very suburban though, like a lot of the mid cities guys I knew back in DFW.

I didn’t have much else going on plus it was still raining, no sightseeing today.

capitol

Still raining when he left. I felt it best to call a car to arrive precisely at my hostel.

It was located in a neighborhood, on the other side of the tracks. A multi story house affair. Felt very Amityville horror style.

providence

Seems the workers got top and ground floors, I was stashed in a room with several bunks, all I was assured would be empty tonight. So far.

There was 5 of us in total staying or living at the hostel, going out tonight. They had all ready decided to close up and go out by the time I checked in.

I hung out in the TV room where they had hooked up a gaming system to be their playlist player via youtube. I was DJ.

They mainly wanted to listen to 21 Pilots  Stressed Out.

We all piled into a Uber van and zoomed to a pub downtown. I bought 1st round, I laid that gauntlet down son!

It was a real Irish pub, with private booths and all. I chatted up a friend of one of the hostel employees. She seemed pretty amazed I had just been to Ireland.

She was about to move or stay there awhile. I don’t think she knew how long, her family still lived there so she always had a place to stay.

Man I sure wish I had some overseas relatives to visit!

I was envious of some friends that spent summers or vacations at their relatives in another country. That is a valuable experience to have.

My relatives just lived in different parts of Texas, parts you’d only like to visit for a day.

We kept drinking, the ladies located a dance club, but I rolled with it, chatting up a couple of the guys.

The ladies here oh man, they went hard. Shots, mixed drinks, shots. More shots.

I had to stop drinking beers, everyone took turns buying shots. I maintained.

Of course people became separated, drama, the usual. I tried to hang around a couple of the people I knew.

Outside was an immense open area that many congregated that had food trucks.

Somehow everyone was together suddenly and a van was called. We were so loud in the van, just hopping over each other and everything.

A fine night in Providence!

downtown

 

Onwards to New York City!

Beer        Sweet Baby Jesus!

Song  Lightning Bolt   Dracula Mountain

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Dream trip Day 131 Lost in Boston, public garden stroll, Cambridge Brewing

I knew where to spend the morning, near the door of the coffee shop that had a piano out front.  It was near winter so it was cold, sitting outdoors wasn’t a great idea for long periods of time.

Everything was so much louder here than overseas. People really laid on their horns, yelling at someone across the street was totally fine, seemed as though everyone had something to say to someone else.

I procured my coffee and sat as close to the window as I could. Of course no one played piano until I was nearly done.

Indeed it was a youtube worthy scene as a guy with longish beard, possibly homeless approached the piano and then proceeded to sit and play some amazing runs.

One of my favorite places to walk is through the Boston Public Gardens, just a huge green space in the middle of the city, much like central park in NYC.

Always something to see in the park. I wondered about the fantastic brownstone houses across the street and how much rent was.

I concluded rent was 0 for most people, these were family homes, built and paid for years ago. Now used as rentals or for special times of year.

As winter was coming, the city drained the fountains which left several puzzling statues. What are these kids doing?

baby fountain

Soon I encountered an island and wondered if any of the many homeless had tried to live there with the ducks.

 

island

I paused to watch the ducks dive for food, tails up!

 

dive duck

There is always some sort of protest going on or 1 person yelling on a street corner to anyone who will listen.

Eventually I decided to follow the trail near the Charles River, ducks followed me there as well.

ducks

I really wanted to see the Sox but they were out-of-town until the weekend. What else to do in Boston? Perhaps a rock show?

Electric Six were playing at the Middle East, a venue I’d heard of before so that would check two items off my list!

I freshened up at my hostel. My lone roommate was an older Indian guy, extremely friendly. He was in town for a math conference.

‘Oh I love math! I want to work on math all the day long!’ he exclaimed.

This was his vacation, a very long flight, he said he had to spend the night in Frankfort.

He had to have spent a full 2 or 3 days in the air or airports just to listen to professors talk math. To me that sounds like torture.

All I know is I am very thankful for math people. All the planes, trains, stop lights and who knows what else all relied on maths to work. I couldn’t do it.

For some reason I felt cocky, I didn’t buy a ticket to the show, nor did I ride the bus. The route was very awkward via bus as you had to walk to and from drop offs for several blocks.

It would take the same amount of time to ride a bus vs walking is what I am getting at. I walked the 2 miles, mask off.

The route crossed a bridge so that made things very cool. It was very cold and windy walking over that dadgum bridge.

Once I arrived, the show was posted as sold out. Crap, well at least there was an open seat, may as well have a beer in the Middle East.

I located a brewery a short walk away and decided to walk over after my pint.

A couple of pints sitting at the bar, I do recall a baseball series was on the telly, helped the time pass.

I spoke in passing with the bartender, making comments and things as I could with the limited moments we had.

Soon back over the bridge through a nice neighborhood.

Cold windy bridge!

Likely my last night in town, had to keep going to NYC as I had friends there. I wanted to spend the weekend in New York, Brooklyn.

I made a left instead of a right and popped into Bukowski’s one last time. Caught the play off highlights, baseball you know. It was September.

Maybe I could swing a playoff game either Boston, NY or DC, all those were in the playoffs, I just had to time it right.

Looking at the weather, it was due for heavy rain, not a good way to see Fenway.

Onwards to Rhode Island!

night time

 

Beer  Tall Tale Pale Ale

Song Dropkick Murphy’s   Shipping Up to Boston Whoa!

 

 

Dream trip Day 130 Flight to Reykjavik, Boston, Bukowski Bar

Don’t you hate it when you wake up a few minutes before your alarm is due to ring? What do you do with those free moments? Go back to sleep? Get up?

I got up. I had all ready packed, all set there, just strapped my backpack and side bag over my shoulder.

Typically I used Uber overseas, it was a bit more reliable vs Lyft but I did ride with both at some point on my trip.

A driver selected me so I waited. I waited more, his car didn’t move. Over 4 minutes they sat in the same place

WTH man. So a quick search revealed my journey was less than a mile, no one wanted to do a short run like that.

I still felt I had time so I canceled this ride and requested another. And another driver sat in his spot for a couple of minutes before I had to cancel again.

Finally after calling 3x, a car shows up, a friendly chap is behind the wheel.

I made it through security with plenty of time to make the gate before boarding. Of course I carried everything, the checked luggage lines were always very long.

Be sure to always carry a pen in your bag. Borrow one from your airline, hotel, dr office, toss it into your bag and forget about it.

You’ll always need a pen for filling out the documents to get into the country.

Our first leg was only to Iceland, so perhaps just over an hour or maybe 2. A breeze.

Then we landed in Reykjavik where we deplaned 60’s style out onto the tarmac, into the terminal, directly onto another plane. We waited for 10 minutes or something.

We were informed a few times that the Aurora Borealis viewing was perfect, just stop by a desk in the terminal and they would change your reservation.

Really the changing of planes is a waste of time but hey cheap tickets. I knew I was coming back, I just had to do it right, get a car, drive all around the coast was my plan. Over a week.

Another take off and landing, perhaps 3 hours, not too bad. Enough for a bit of shut-eye, just meditated with my eyes closed. Tried to get into the music.

plane.jpg

I turned my slip of paper to the TSA guy who had me put both bags through another X-ray machine.

Soon I had to do the awkward take a photo of yourself, swipe your passport and hope they let you through.

The certified traveler option seems great, hardly a line. Yet it is the finger printing that really bothers me. Like I’m a criminal, they need my fingerprints.

I don’t have anything to hide true, so why not take my side as a US citizen vs presuming I may or will commit a crime where fingerprints are necessary?

I was fearful for an inquisition due to how long I’d been gone but no, a single question then the border guard told me,

‘Get in here, we’ve been waiting on yas.’ I was home, back in the US of A!!

Boston man, let me tell you about a city. I dig Boston, a whole lot. It is great. Bill Burr says Boston is like San Francisco except racist and homophobic.

I was so excited to find a hostel near the prestigious Berklee College of Music, one of the top music schools in the US if not the world.

At least I could check in thanks to the wasted time on that layover. I located a free bus into town where I had to transfer to another streetcar line.

We had nearly crested over the pass to merge onto the highway when police sirens blared every car to a grinding halt. For over half an hour.

All that for Hillery Clinton’s entourage of blacked out SUVs. Heard it over the bus driver’s radio, ‘Remain at attention for Sec Clinton.’

Man if that don’t tell you what is wrong with our political system I don’t know what else you need to know.

How can you lead a group of people when you don’t know what traffic is? Where everything takes 15 minutes to get to because you have an escort, all the lights turn green? Ruling class now officially.

I just laughed, whatever. I knew who I was voting for. Look Democrat Republican Green Party etc, they are all out for someone’s $$ not your support. Only your vote then they get to collect $$.

To my delight once I arrived at my stop, I was in the midst of free piano month. For the entire month of September the city had placed several pianos for people to play, free.

One of these pianos was in front of a coffee shop next to my hostel. Score!

School had just left out so I procured a cup and pulled up a seat while a couple of kids took turns playing amazing piano pieces.

The cool sea breeze was blowing. Cars blared their horns, people yelled. A lot.

I had spied a noodle house near the corner so that was my dinner of choice.  A steaming bowl of noodles in broth will bring most anyone back to life.

I checked in and headed to a place I had tried to go the last time I was in Boston, about 3 years ago my family went to a Sox game.

Bukowski Bar was near my hostel just a few blocks walk. I encourage you to read anything by Charles Bukowski you can get your eyes on. One of my fav authors.

Fortunately there was a 7-11 on the way, I get to use ATMs for free at stores thanks to my little credit union.

It turned out the bar I went to is cash only. Good beer selection, the ballgame on, good times. Another round bartender.

A nice night to walk home in the crisp Boston air.

Beer  Sam Adams Boston Lager

Song  Paul Simon   Homeward Bound

 

iceland.jpg