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  • Monday, October 12, 2009

    Quick trip to Boston

    Last week -- or was it the week before? -- SM and I played hookie and took a quick trip to Boston for the day. Why, you ask? Well, why not? I found a great airfare bargain. And I can't resist bargains. Of any kind. So I convinced SM and off we went. Ya' see, JetBlue launched a new route from BWI to Logan, and this was a promo fare. $9 each way.

    Yup, $9. Who wouldn't wanna do that?

    Here were the catches -- had to fly on either Tuesday or Wednesday; fare was dependent on seats available; and tax and surcharges were extra. Even with the extra fees and the middle-of-the-week travel, it was a steal worth doing. (As one person commented to us, the time we took off was much more expensive than anything else. Very true.)

    So we got a flight at 9:50 PM on Tuesday to return on Wednesday at 4:40 in the afternoon. Surcharges amounted to something like $11 per ticket, so the total for both of us was around $80. After paying so little for the tickets, we weren't about to put out bucks for a hotel. Fortunately, SM went to school in Boston and still has a number of friends in the area. So, we arranged to see his old friends and crashed with them in Somerville, which is a 'burb of Boston.

    In the morning, we took the T to MIT. I wanted to see the campus because I never had and because SM spent 6 years of his life there (undergrad and grad school). We walked around a bit. It was kinda fun to see for both of us. Many things had changed, but many things had not. We also went to the Coop to buy SM a sweatshirt 'cuz, well, his college-era sweatshirt doesn't quite fit anymore.

    We had fun shopping. It was particularly interesting to see the various MIT shirt designs. SM got a fleece. I got an oversized hoodie (it was a bargain!), and I bought a t-shirt for my brother for Christmas. It read: I>U (which I think my brother might actually wear, and if not, it's still my duty as his sister to give him snarky presents).

    Here was one of our faves, which we didn't buy but would be really snottily perfect to wear as a student:

    Get it? I didn't. I understood that the first fraction was M (and therefore could guess), but SM had to translate the rest. (FYI, the second is an imaginary number = I, and the last is an equation about the state of gas: pV=nRT, which I won't even pretend to have any knowledge of or interest in, but it works out to T.)

    I also liked the shirt that said "Talk nerdy to me." Heh. Another one had a series of 0s and 1s on it. Now, I went to a liberal arts college (double major in sociology and anthropology, thankyouverymuch), so I was extremely proud that I could even identify that as binary. SM was able to decode the numbers, but we didn't know how to translate it beyond that. Turns out, the numbers were ASCII code for, you guessed it, MIT. When we told this story to my younger brother, whose degree is in mechanical engineering, he got it right away. I guess I'm surrounded by nerdy types.

    Anyhoo... after walking through and around MIT, we counted Smoots over the bridge into Boston proper, walked and shopped our way down Newbury Street and then over to Boylston. We then cut over through Chinatown and eventually made it to the Faneuil Hall area where we did more walking but less shopping. We had lunch with SM's friend at the Durgin Park restaurant, where I had lobster roll -- yum! After that, we caught the T back to the airport and had an eventless return trip home.

    We weren't even in Boston a full day, more like 17 hours (half of which was overnight), but it was fun. It felt like we were playing hookie -- it was, after all, a Wednesday. We hadn't done anything spontaneous like that in quite a while. We were gone such a short time that we didn't even make any arrangements for Gidget. We just left her at home with water (she has a doggy door). Of course, she missed out on her breakfast on Wednesday, but she, like us, can stand missing a meal. When we got home that night, we were greeted by an almost hysterically happy puppy who was so excited that she peed on the floor. She is, after all, part dauschund.

    It was great fun. We need to take trips like that more often, especially when the travel (parking and gas included) costs less than two college sweatshirts and a t-shirt!

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