Day 6c – Witnessing Leaders Present

For the events of Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2:00 PM
– left the Library and headed back to the city. Decided to get out of the station at Park Street station (which exits out into Boston Common at the start of the Freedom Trail)
and finish up a few things I had either missed seeing before on the Freedom Trail, or get better daytime pictures – mostly of the Mass. State House, which I only had night shots of. When I went there, they had the same security as airports (you didn’t have to take off your shoes though) and I realized soon enough that the House of Representatives was actually in session!

What a beautiful building (see picture left, click for larger). Americans make things so much more grand than we do, but again, this was the building that they spared no expense on, so hard to compare to others. Everything was marble and stained glass and huge paintings on the walls of famous patriots and wars and statues everywhere – like being in a palace.

They had lots of kids there on school tours, and I was very excited to find out that we could sit in the balcony (the “Gallery”) of the House (see picture right, click for larger) and actually watch it in session! They were talking something about electricity rates that I didn’t understand, and the place was half empty – I hope it’s not like that all the time. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits with each other, and you could tell who was opposing who on some issues, but it was all said tongue in cheek. Definitely not the fighting we see in Canada right now – almost seemed like it was a TV show or something.

4:00 PM – left the State House. Glad I came to check it out today! i was going to walk to where the Boston Tea Party happened, and realized it was going to be too far, so I walked back to the hotel – probably over a mile through Boston Common and Garden. On the way I saw a tall black guy get taken down by about 5 police officers, including bike, undercover and main police officers! Obviously something serious had just happened. All the black guys I see walking around actually make me nervous here – they seem so shady and they are all loitering around doing nothing all day. Not sure what to think, but I find I’m grabbing at my wallet or camera whenever I walk by one, and I don’t even know why.

Went by a mounted policeman in Boston Garden on the way back – the first time I’ve seen one since being in New York in 2002. Kind of neat to see the police presence here, and I have never actually felt afraid to walk around at night – but nervous, oh yah. I usually stay within 2 blocks of the hotel after about 7:30, though it doesn’t get dark until about 9:30 or 10:00. Went back with some Chinese food and relaxed.

9:00 PM – went and got a hot fudge sundae from Ben & Jerry’s – yah, I’m over that place now too. WAY too much chocolate. Yuck. I threw some if it out, way too much for me, though the ice cream was good. Watched part 2 of the Obama White House special on NBC News tonight, which was really good. I have to say, I don’t agree with half of what the guy says or does, but I really do like him and his wife as people – they are just so hard to dislike. She’s the huggy, kid-loving, warm type – so unlike Hilary and so much like Laura and Barbara as First Ladies – so I respect her already. Apparently Nancy Reagan was just there at the White House yesterday, and has said publically that she didn’t like them at first, but she is very fond of them now – they treat her with a lot of respect.

He, on the other hand, I’m becoming a big fan of. He is just so balanced and relaxed – nothing fazes the guy. He’s funny, warm, and smart too. I’m impressed with the things I saw tonight – especially how he treats his wife and kids (something Clinton never figured out, but Bush was always very good at). He cracks jokes about himself, and apparently the whole White House has an addiction now to M&Ms because of him.

Was working on this blog, and sorting out photos, all evening as well. I’m proud of myself. I’m a bit behind – still need to finish the Freedom Trail day (day 5b) – which I’ll hopefully have done before you all read this in the morning. Please go back and read – I thought it was the highlight of my trip here.

Tonight at a Vietnam War Memorial in Plymouth (just a few minutes drive really from Boston), a woman hopped a curb and drove a minivan into a crowd of people, hitting 8 people. #1 news tonight here.

11:00 PM – well, time to hit the hay – been another very full day. I’m really ready to come home. Even called Air Canada to see how much it would cost to change my ticket and fly home tomorrow – another $700! No thanks, I can handle “Bwoston” (yes, I spelled it the way everyone says it here) one more day – barely. I find the white people are so trashy around here, and the others just make me uncomfortable because I don’t understand what they are doing or why. I’d take the “devil I know vs. the devil I don’t” I think back at home.

Creepy, just heard on the news that a bankrupt medical company in Manfield (suburb of Boston) left behind some very strange clean-up for the landlord – 9 human cadavers in freezers! The landlord discovered them while cleaning up for potential new tenants. $10 says the tenants changed their minds.

11:45 PM – I was so hungry and not tired, so decided to walk over to Wendy’s to get something to eat. They were closed. In fact, everything in the area was closed. What a city – sigh. So walked all the way around the hotel just in case something might be open somewhere – nope. Then I remembered – oh yah, we have room service – haha.

I know it sounds nuts, but I haven’t charged a single meal to the office all week and I decided to get something decent for a change, so ordered spaghetti and meatballs and a can of Pepsi and charged it to the room. I’ve probably gained 10 lbs on this trip – and probably burned it all off walking around too. The hotel did a great job of food, presentation and delivery, and it was a lot of food – really good. And $18! Yikes! Oh well, I think UBC can afford one good meal for me.

Ate it while watching Conan O’Brien on the Tonight Show. Man, did they ever screw up replacing Jay Leno with this doofus – yuck. He drove me so nuts I had to change the channel. And there was nothing on, so decided to hit the sack at about 12:30 AM.

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