A cat by any other name

I knew where I was all the time. No, really


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Meow at me

Because I found out on Wednesday that I was going to be able to go home early, I wasn't able to get a flight out til Sunday. So I ended up with Saturday to kill. Call it a forced vacation if you will. I looked at it as an opportunity to sleep late, and then go wander in Boston. Ah, the best laid plans, or something like that.

A woman at the front desk of the hotel suggested that if I wanted to tour Boston, the best idea would be to take the train in because, with the Big Dig (which is apparently a construction project involving digging large holes under Boston and then stuffing the highways in those holes instead of above ground, but I'm fuzzy on all the details), they would be lucky to ever see me again from all the traffic. I thought this sounded like a truly marvelous idea, so, armed with directions printed out on a piece of paper and a train schedule, I set off to See Boston.

I know where I went wrong. I figured it out later. It was an easy mistake to make. The directions said take I93 south to 495 north and then take exit 41. The problem was, I didn't see the 495 part. So I blithely toodled along I-93 south, oohing and ahhing at the scenery, until I found exit 41 off of *that* freeway.

Now bear in mind that if these places did not rely so heavily on exit numbers and instead believed in the power of named roads like us over here on the West Coast, I might have been better off. After all, the motto of Massachusetts seems to be "Street signs? We don't need no stinking street signs. If you don't know what street you're on, it's your own fault!" But I digress.

So there I am, driving along the freeway, which is flanked by trees that have been just beautifully frosted with the snow that fell the night before (and caused all sorts of delays at the airport and any other number of problems, but darn it all, I was a tourist and all I saw was that it was GORGEOUS outside!). And I see exit 41. So I take it. Next I am supposed to go to the 4th stoplight. No problem. I can count.

Gee, it's taking an awfully long time to find the fourth one.....

And when I did, that's when I knew I was truly lost. Because there was supposed to be something called a Wild Harvest on my left....and there was only a drug store.

No sweat! I park, hop out, and skip inside to ask for directions to the train station.

When one is met with blank stares when one asks for directions to the train station, this is when one knows that one might be lost. Truly lost.

So.....back I headed for I-93 south. It was far too late to turn around and go find the station that I was *supposed* to find, so I decided to be extra brave and just drive (gasp) directly into Boston. Couldn't be all that bad, right? And then I saw it! A sign on the freeway that said "Next exit, Train". Woohoo!

I should point out here the above caveat about street signs in Massachusetts. I had to go into another store to ask for directions because surrrrrre, it's off that exit, but then the directions stop and there are no more signs at all!

But don't fear, my friends. I did find the train station. Or one of them. And I got to experience parking in snow. A hint. Don't accelerate. You skid that way. Wee!

On the train I sat behind a group of women and their very small children and was easily amused by their accents. Okay, so sue me. I'm from California. We don't have accents out here. On the east coast, they do. I got to see more gorgeous scenery. I was on my way.

I have no idea where I was in Boston when I got off. There were lots of big buildings and I did spot a coffee shop or two. I did do a little bit of wandering, nervously clutching the little colorful map I'd been given that loudly proclaimed "Tourist! See? Here she is!" to anyone who took a look at me.....and then I did a stupid thing.

Slush looks deceptive. When it is surrounded by snow one might imagine that it, too, is relatively firm. And one could step into it with confidence.


Back to the train I went with soggy icicles in place of feet. Back to the hotel to bake my shoes on the heater vent.

Okay, so I didn't get to wander around Boston. And I got lost. But I'm not too upset by it. What I got to see was more fun anyway. I got to see snow. And beautiful houses. And snow. And hear accents. And see snow.

It was a good day.