Saturday, December 30, 2006

Austin to Boston - Part 1

I just got back from a three-day whirlwind tour of Boston and vicinity with Kate. The fast clip of events left no time for posting, but I had a great time visiting there for the first time at the hand of a native New Englander girlfriend.

I caught the year-old JetBlue nonstop to Boston on Wednesday morning. They service the route with Embraer E190 regional jets, which are bigger than most regional jets but smaller than mainliners. Without planes like the E190, Austin probably wouldn't have nonstop service to Boston.

You can watch live TV at every seat on JetBlue flights, which is a decent way to wile away four hours. They're also pretty generous with the Cokes and snacks, going so far as to invite you to ask for seconds. I wish they'd start flying to the West Coast from here. A nonstop to Oakland would suit my personal travel needs quite well.

Kate was already in Massachusetts for the holidays, so she picked me up at Logan Airport. We drove to Cambridge and had a very nice dinner in Harvard Square at a place called Upstairs on the Square.

Although the cold weather didn't exceed the hard freezes we have in Austin once or twice a year, it was still pretty bracing to my Texan frame. Therefore, I had no complaints when Kate suggested a stop at Burdick Chocolate for a cup of the best hot chocolate you can imagine. We also had some fine beer at John Harvard's Brew House. Boston is one of the world's great beer cities and I'd like to go back there and do a little more purposeful sampling one of these days.

As it was, Kate's dad graciously invited us to stay at his new vacation house overlooking Sakonnet Bay in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The drive down there took an hour and a half. I was plum-tuckered out by 10pm, a function of both a long day of traveling and the fact that it gets dark around 4pm in Boston during the winter. Having the sun retire so early can really do a number on your circadian rhythms.

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