Massachusetts & Some of Its Gems

Tired and quite cold, I arrive to Boston at around midnight. Quickly grab a Lyft (a cool alternative to Uber, and sometimes 3 times cheaper!), and 20 minutes later I’m at Extended Stay America in Waltham.
It’s not Boston per se, but as our office is located in Newburyport (for couple of months more), my colleagues chose a place where it would be easy for them to pick me up in the morning.

At that point of time all I can think about is warm shower and cozy blankets, and it takes me less than 20 minutes between I enter my neat room and doze off to watch some dreams…

Mornings are still kind to me, and as I crawl out of my bed I start to feel hungry and I’m foretasting the breakfast which is included in my stay. I can almost feel the smell of freshly brewed coffee when I get out to the lobby to find out that the “breakfast” is instant coffee and disgusting prepacked muffins. Well, I’m not here for food, so I make couple of short, rushy sips and get out of the hotel.

Thursday morning greets me with quite chilly weather, and I feel a bit cold while waiting for my colleague to pick me up. But only a few moments later I start to enjoy the ride!

It’s a nice time to be in MA – soft beginning of autumn unveils all the possible colours and the road to Newburyport lies through the forests. There are even people who come to Massachusetts in autumn to watch how the trees change their outfits and leaves are  covering the ground with colourful patchwork carpet. They even call them leaf-peepers!

The ride takes around an hour and the time flies fast – we have lots to discuss with my colleague, as we haven’t seen each other for a while, and have couple of things on our pipeline. As we are getting closer, Jed starts showing me things and telling stories: “This is a house I used to live in”, “And this is a playground my younger daughter used to play at”, “And this is the school my elder one was going to”. (Jed used to live in Newburyport and has recently moved closer to Boston). And all of a sudden it feels like in a small suburban village from a very peaceful American movie: neat light houses with no fences, small cozy cafes, a church…

When I get out of the car, I’m speechless – I knew some of my colleagues are really lucky with the view, but really THAT lucky?!

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I bet they’ll gonna miss it once they move office to Cambridge!

What I love about small towns is that everything is super close (and the holiday feel of course, especially if that town boasts an ocean and yachts and quay!) and in 10 minutes Jed is entering the door with coffees and blueberry scones in his hands from a lovely coffee-shop called Souffles. Another thing to love about small towns – everyone knows everyone and you don’t even need to bother to make an order in a cafe – they already know how you’d like your coffee and what goes best with it on a Thursday morning.

Finally I take a sip of real coffee, the smell is not just a hallucination, and it helps me to start to work.

The day is heavy again, with a lunch meeting with one of the partners to discuss some business going forward. We meet in front of the office and take a lazy walk to Black Cow – a restaurant on the water. I order tuna sashimi and… Oh my God, that’s the best tuna I’ve ever tried! That’s actually the best fish I’ve ever tasted, and likely the best meal I’ve ever had!

By the way, the view is incredible, too,but I’m too busy enjoying my food to even look around! (The pictures were taken before, as after I could only roll out of the restaurant – David managed to talk me into having a dessert which was obviously too much but well… I’m such a foodie… and a sweet-tooth… So when it comes to food and especially desserts I can’t say no!)

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And during the lunch I find out that you actually can surf in Newburyport, just a couple steps away from where I’m sitting now! If only I knew that earlier, I’d definitely have planned it differently… But.. Next time! (I can only imagine how many times during all my trip I was using these words – Next Time! It became my mantra, but naturally, I do plan to come again and experience all the things which I didn’t have time for, didn’t know about,didn’t fit into my busy agenda…Next time!)

When I finally manage to finish the huge (but unbelievably tasty!) apple pie (with ice cream of course!), I roll out to the street all the way back to the office. It’s really hard for my brain to focus on work with my stomach so full, but I don’t have much choice: I’ve only got 2 days here and I need to get the max out of them!

By the end of the working day I’m thinking of how to spend an evening – my hotel is in the middle of nowhere and I doubt I could find some exciting activities out there (maybe some dangerous adventures, but those are not the ones I’m up to!), so I ask Jed to drop me off at the train station, so that I could go to Boston and explore the city by night.

The first thing I realise when I get off the train (which I’d rather call a tram 🙂 ) is that it’s super cold, and as you might remember, I don’t have anything warm with me.

Luckily, just off the train (m) there’s a huge multibrand store, which Monica luckily told me about couple of hours before (she told me you can literally buy anything there) and luckily again, they are closing in 15 minutes, so I have time to rush into, pick up the first more or less ok hoodie and pay.

Now I’m warm and cozy and ready to explore Boston!

I got off at the main shopping street – Newbury street,  and it’s very lively even in that time of the day. There are lots of pubs and cafes where people are eating, drinking, chatting and enjoying this wonderful life in its richness and variety. I feel calm and peaceful – I just stroll down the street observing the landscapes and people, not even bothering to take any pictures – I know they won’t be that nice at night, and I also know I’ll come back here during daylight to enjoy a very different view.

The street walks me to the Public Garden, and I already know that I’ll love it when I come here on Saturday – even by night it looks amazing – huge, very green, with some fountains and a pond (that is just a small part that I manage to notice in the dark).

Some ten minutes later I find myself in the theatre district, and that one looks magnificent by the lights of the night! It even has a spirit, and I immediately feel an urge to get myself to a performance – I imagine the scenery, actors, auditorium full of nicely dressed people and myself – in a gown, with my hair done nicely… Ok, I need to stop that stream of consciousness as obviously it’s too late, I haven’t booked anything and I even don’t have an outfit to wear to the theatre! But it was nice to dream about it – who knows, maybe in reality it’s exactly the same as I’ve just seen it?

(A bit later though I found out that it’s one of the best places to get drugs in Boston, but luckily, I didn’t see or witness anything suspicious – doesn’t really fit in my picture, but who cares?).

At this point I feel that it’s been a proper walk and it’s time to go back – tomorrow is another working day – the last one before the official holiday – and I need to save some energy for that!

I call a Lyft and 40 minutes later I’m falling asleep between the white and comfy hotel sheets…

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