Thursday, November 21, 2013


And it was a good thing we went to bed early; we had a 10am appointment with Boston by Foot, a walking tour that tells you all about Boston's historical bits (of which there are many). We'd signed up for the Road to Revolution tour that covered things like Paul Revere's ride and the Boston Massacre, among many other things.

It was a 90 minute tour that took us along the Freedom Trail and among the many historical sites that we'd seen along the way. It was exceptionally informative and I felt much more educated afterwards. The real night's rest surely helped as well. And we were still getting such brilliant weather it was hard not to love it.

The one thing that made us giggle the most was the statue of Paul Revere.

Rhinda's immediate thoughts had been "there is only one reason a man leans back at that angle..." and thus started an entire hashtag competition of who could come up with the best Paul Revere tags for the statue. These were some of the best ones we came up with:

I think you get the point. This was a constant point of hilarity whenever anyone was seen succeeding at something in the trip. The hand motion was also necessary. He has now become the mascot of the entire trip.

It was during this tour that I noticed a free flu clinic open next to one of the places we happened to stop and listen to something (I think it was next to Paul Revere's house). As you know, dear readers, this has been a point of frustration for me given my schedule and the fact that I've not found a way to get it for free in the UK. I quickly asked the woman outside promoting it how long they would be open: only until 1pm that day. I shouted back at her as we started to move that I would definitely be back.

And I kept my word. As soon as our tour was done I had our guide bring us back to the same street and I went in and got my free shot. Murrika! Only in America would they not ask for ID at all and still give you the inoculation for free. Take that, Britain! You have to keep the inoculation levels above 85% otherwise a population is no longer safe. You should be giving it out for free!

Anyway, that awkwardly made my day. I was ecstatic. My arm hurt for the next two days and I was made fun of, but it was totally worth it.

The tour guide was also helpful in giving us a recommendation for lunch, since we were in the Italian part of town. The restaurant was called Strega. As we entered we saw that P. Diddy and Justin Timberlake had eaten here. Good enough for P. Diddy, good enough for us.

And it was. It was amazing.

Rhinda's pasta with mushrooms and cream sauce. I think hers was actually the best, though oddly it was one of the most expensive. Must have been the truffle oil. So simple yet so delicious! My god.

I couldn't decide what to eat so I just went with the veal marsala; classic standby for me in Italian restaurants. So good and so flavorful.

The other girl in our party got the lobster with homemade pasta. It was incredible but also so messy. She says that her husband sometimes berates her for eating with her hands at fancy restaurants. All we said was, fancy enough for P. Diddy, fancy enough for us.

It was at this point we went back to the hotel for naps. Yes, we finally got that nap in, and it was amazing. We also seriously needed it because we were actually going out for real that night. We were going down the block to a lounge called Emerald (oddly the same name as the restaurant Rhinda will be having her reception at).

So I painted on my lips again (though only after the second first attempt was vetoed automatically by Rhinda...clearly this will take some practice) and we set out.

Btw I'd like to point out at this point that Emerald was chosen specifically because we knew there would be places to sit (we were actually wearing heels this time) and there would be men old enough to buy us drinks (potentially, should anyone be interested in that). This is how old-person strategy works. Yeah. Place to sit had priority, btw...the second one was more of an afterthought than anything.

Rhinda also had a strategy that if we went early enough (before 10pm since after that they started charging cover, something we were not interested in doing), maybe we would be seen with her in her bachelorette stuff and we would get free drinks or something.

We did better than that. The floor manager happened to see her on the way in and not only gave us a free VIP table until the real party arrived, but also a free bottle of bubbly. Baller! Clearly the strategy worked. We were thrilled. Especially after finding out that her fiance and his party spent 1.8k on their bottle service table at the Vegas club they went to. Let that sink in. 1.8k. For one night of bottle service. Ours? FREE.

Granted we did end up ordering food, another bottle of bubbly, and a few more drinks after that, but it was nowhere near 1.8k.  In fact it was probably still less than $200 at the end of it. The bottles of bubbly were surprisingly reasonable ($40 a pop). Well, cheers to that, Boston.

Another old person strategy we employed: we got drunk enough and danced long enough to be there until about 1:30am and then we split because there was a dumpling place we wanted to try down the street called Dumpling Cafe that was only open until 2am. Yes, really. We prioritized food over anything else, as I'm sure you've started to recognize from the bulk of my postings.

And the dumplings were fabulous. There were soup dumplings (the kind that have meat and soup inside once they're steamed), crispy pan fried noodles with chicken (dein mein, in Cantonese, though the woman understood neither my terrible drunken Cantonese nor Rhinda and Amy's Vietnamese), and some sort of steamed bun which I vaguely remember but don't recall what was inside. Moral of the story: the food was delicious.

The walk home was one of slight old-person shame, however. Amy had taken off her heels during our dumpling fest because her feet had started to hurt during the dancing (she had been sitting most of that time, as per our strategy regarding heels). Unfortunately this is the exact thing you're not supposed to do because your feet swell and it's more painful to put your shoes back on afterwards, as any woman will tell you who has done this foolish mistake. Amy's feet had swollen so much that she couldn't get her shoes back on. At all. So the walk home was slow...and slightly gross. Luckily Boston is pretty clean and we were only a few blocks away from our hotel. Still hilarious.

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