Tuesday, November 3, 2015
After two long months at home, it was time to leave and head to the East Coast. Last time we went to Atlanta and Boston, we drove. The camper van. Which still feels crazy to think about. This time we opted for good-old aero-plane travel. We first made a quick stop to Atlanta where a visit was long overdue. It was so wonderful to catch up with family and give them all big hugs.
Next was Boston. Let's just start by saying, we have had more graceful entrances into this city. The story begins back in Jason's office when he was making the rental car reservation. For some reason, the rational-thinking part of his brain was on siesta when he decided that he would accept a free upgrade to a sport utility vehicle. I questioned this quirky decision at the time, to which he replied that he thought that being up higher and having a bigger wind shield might be nice when we drive to Maine later in the the trip. I guess this was a way to feel more camper-van-like through our old camping territories in Maine where we have so many cherished memories. I can understand.
Flash-foward, we arrive in Boston tired and dazed and walk up to rental car. I. Am. Horrified. It is the biggest vehicle I have ever seen. A Nissan Gargantuan Goliath or something. I complain. How are you going to park? Drive? Stay in your lane? See normal-sized cars during lane changes? Jason is a little taken aback as he was originally picturing a Pathfinder or Explorer or something. Oh well. We're stuck with it. On the bright side, I was actually thinking about cancelling our hotel reservations in Maine and just sleeping in back of the cavernous beast. So we climb in and sit in line to check out of the garage. We get to the gate, have a funny conversation with the attendant (we'll call him Jerome), turn down their insurance and start to drive away. Did I mention that we turned down the insurance? We make it two feet, literally, and come to an abrupt and violent stop. My head hits the side window and we all look at each other in shock. What just happened? I thought we had driven over the huge spikes and all the tires had just popped. Jason looks back at Jerome and says, "What just happened?" Jerome throws his hands to his cheeks and shrieks, "What did you do, man?" Nobody knows. Jerome starts bouncing around outside the vehicle with fretting, clenched hands up to his mouth as he looks for damage. Jason puts the beast into reverse and backs up revealing the source of our abrupt and violent stop...a big metal block that, until very recently, housed the now-bleeding hydraulics that used to lift and lower the gate. Nobody ever saw it. The beast car was too huge for any of us to have any inkling that the metal block existed. On the bright side of things, this "incident" allowed us to change to a more normal-sized car so we didn't hit some unseen larger object at a higher speed. I can't tell you how thankful I am that we didn't have to drive that thing around Boston.
We arrived just in time to catch the last day of our favorite street festival, ever, of all time, HonkFest. HonkFest is an indescribably amazing visual, totally immersive, street-activist-band (for lack of a better word) extravaganza. We accidentally discovered it six-ish years ago when we were staying in Somerville. We were exploring the city by getting off at every T station on the way into Boston. When we popped out into Harvard Square we entered a surreal crowd of crazily dressed, colorful people and music everywhere. Click and Clack of Car Talk fame were up on stage nearby. We happily melted into the Alice-in-Wonderland crowd and wandered through throngs of people dressed in everything from tutus to striped stockings to zombie costumes.... We randomly stumbled upon street band after street band playing the most amazing music ever. We'd managed to make it one other time in the past, so needless to say, we were delighted to be back for our third HonkFest.
Before the parade started, we watched Cate Great, a professional street performer, who juggled knives on top of a wobbly platform surrounded by knives followed by the most amazing hand-stand/maybe-you-could-call-it-a-one-armed-sideways-hand-stand (you'll just have to look at the photos) on the aforementioned wobbly platform surrounded by knives. Afterwards the streets sort-of cleared for the parade and we watched the crazily-dressed bands march through the street, along with activists for everything from the metric system to calls for lowering black incarceration to improving education to advocates for crazy bikes. After the parade we snagged the boys a slice of pizza from one of their favorites, Pinnochio's, and went to find a band to watch. After some searching we finally found our favorite undead band from Austin, TX. We squeezed in as close as we dared and then just soaked up the undead music. This kind of surreal scene is a photographers visual dreamland. I couldn't stop shooting so be prepared for way too many photos.
Click here for way too many photos.
Click here for a video.