meidos: (Default)
mあddy ([personal profile] meidos) wrote2017-02-25 11:56 am

MY 25th BIRTHDAY TRIP part 2

Okay! Here is the half of the trip after the con! In actuality, it was the same length as the time I was with Meaka, but it felt a lot shorter for some reason... Probably because so much of it was traveling.

IMAGE HEAVY so be warned!



So we were off! Brielle drove us back towards south Jersey.



On the way, we stopped at Steak and Shake! I don't think I'd ever been there. The garlic burger sounded good, but then everyone at the table ordered it, so I got chicken fingers. Meaka told me they had switched to the garlic burger hoping everyone at the table would order the same thing... I ruined it...



I think my hope at the beginning was to carry Miku with me everywhere and take photos of her as I went, but I got too shy and too full of stuff to carry her around...

Once we got home, Meaka and I watched The Sims 4 monster factory and drew together a little bit. I re-packed my suitcase, trying to fit as much as I could, and... I broke the zipper. I really freaked out, but Meaka showed me it can just be re-zipped together. It broke one more time after I got to Boston... It seems okay now, but hopefully next time I can just bring my bigger suitcase and not have to fret that it might get lost by AA.

The next day on Monday, Meaka took me to the train station! We said our good byes, and I rode off to the Philidelphia central station. I waited there for a little bit, then was off to Boston!



I actually really like riding trains, and this one had (pretty crappy) wifi, so I wasn't at a total loss as to what to do for six hours. I even did a little bit of writing. The seat next to me was empty the whole time, too, so it was a really relaxing ride. I got into South Station a little late in the evening and was really tired, so I took an Uber to my brother's apartment. He lives in Southie! It was my first time visiting his apartment. It was... exactly what I expected, really.

I kind of expected I'd be sleeping on a couch, but my brother let me use his bed! Apparently they converted a study into a spare bedroom and my brother used that while I was there. The spare room is right outside the living room and he didn't want to disturb me with the TV and his two other roommates... What a nice brother!!

I took a shower and once I was finished there was about an inch and a half of water in the small shower tub... I realized there was a blockage and thought, "I know how to fix this!!" So I asked my brother for a wire hanger and he broke it in half for me once I explained that this was my job, after all!! I was excited to be helpful... And then I got the coat hanger stuck in the drain. So my brother had to hunt for a screwdriver and all he could find was a flat head but it was a star screw... I managed to get it out, but by that time around 20 minutes had passed... I was really embarrassed and kept apologizing... But the next time I showered, the blockage was gone and there was no water build-up!!!!



After that, I took a train down to New London where I used to go to school! I wanted to see my Japanese professor, and I got to the college a little after ten. I had forgotten the class times and thought that her second class ended at 10:15, when in actuality it started at 10:25. I saw some students head inside while I waited on the stairs (it was perfectly chilly so I had to savor the weather), then asked one of them if the professor was there and they told me the class was about to start, so I realized my mistake... I waited a bit until my professor came and apologized for forgetting the class times, and she asked if I wanted to sit in on the 202 class. I said hell yeah!!

The class was so different... When I was a student, we weren't allowed to have any notes, pencils, phones, and definitely no laptops out while class was in session. My professor was very strict but kind. In this class, most of the students had their laptops out to look at the textbook on it, and one kid was doodling the whole class. I was almost offended... I could tell which students flat-out weren't paying attention, either... After class ended, I spoke to my professor for a little while, and I misheard her said 予定 as よって and got confused, so she switched to English... I had thought my speaking hadn't deteriorated that much, but apparently it had. Anyway, she told me that they had switched textbooks, and she didn't really like the new one, and it's hard for students to get ahold of so she lets them use the PDF version they can find online (probably for free). After that I told her I was going to the aquarium, and she offered to drive me! I was so flattered, sob... We ate lunch together in the dorm I used to live in at the cafeteria, and then she asked me to say hello to the Chinese language teacher. I went over and told him I currently worked at a zoo in Little Rock, and he looked a little surprised and asked, "For the UN?" I said no, it's just... my job. He still seemed surprised, and mentioned it must be very different, and I said yeah, it's pretty hot... After a few moments, I realized he had thought I said Iraq. Oops...

After that my professor drove me to the aquarium where I got to see a sea lion show! I had a lot of fun walking around, but the weather was so nice that day that the park was very busy and I felt a little overwhelmed by the crowd... My friend from college was driving from Stanford to hang out, so I waited until then, and we grabbed lunch and walked around Old Mystic for a little bit. She showed up in a yukata, and I was... Well, it was interesting... That's all I can really say.



The next day was museum day! I wanted to go to the natural history museum, the museum of fine art, and then the aquarium. I had never been to the natural history museum and didn't even know it existed until I was planning my trip, so I was pretty excited! I planned my trip by the trains, so I went to the nat history museum first. It was in Harvard, which I had never actually been to before despite having lived in Boston area for 11 years... It's a really pretty campus! I lucked out that the museum was so easy to find, and got to walk through Harvard Yard to get there.





It was a super pretty museum! They had a lot of taxidermied animals and glass figurines that had been commissioned by the university for research years ago. They had some amazing glass flowers on display that had been commissioned in the 1800s, along with glass cnidaria and ctenophores.



Seval-chan!!

The museum was... very busy, though. Apparently it was winter break, so there were lots of children running around. It was a little overwhelming at times, but the kids seemed genuinely ecstatic to see what they were seeing, so I was glad they were enjoying themselves, haha.



I got a little lost after that and had to ask a student for directions back to the T stop, but I found my way eventually and arrived at the Museum of Fine Art! It had been a few years since I'd been, and they had a lot of new art, along with a special exhibit on the artist who made Make Way for Ducklings that I really enjoyed. They also had a piece from Andy Warhol's Death and Disaster series on display and I was really taken aback... It was part of an exhibition on political art. This museum was thankfully a lot quieter than the other two places I went, haha...

After that, I was off to the aquarium! I hadn't been there in awhile either, and it was... very busy.



Apparently there was some sort of octopus exhibit, but I didn't really see anything out of the ordinary... I'm not sure what that was about. The jellyfish area was also closed for construction, so I only saw a few jellies... I got to watch penguin feeding, though! Then I went to the top of the central tank and heard someone tell a guest that there were no sharks in the tank at the moment due to a treatment they were doing. My interest was piqued, so I asked what treatment, but the staffperson didn't know... Then I watched the sea lions for a bit and finished off with watching the seals get their daily training. They're very showy animals, but there was such a big crowd that I didn't take any photos of them.



After that, I went to Chinatown to kill some time until I got dinner with my brother and his girlfriend. I wanted to get boba, which was foolish in hindsight because the drink really filled me up... It was a nice dinner, though, and I had fun talking with my brother and his gf! The restaurant we went to was brand new and the food was really nice.

The next day was another travel day! I was going back to the town where I grew up, Sherborn. I took the commuter rail out to Natick and my friend Katherine picked me up to grab lunch at a Chinese restaurant. It was a lot of fun! I had a lot of great friend meals this trip. After that she dropped me off at the library in my hometown where I used to work... But the whole place was fenced off! According to a sign they were now located across the street while the actual library was under construction, so I headed over and asked the woman at the desk if my former boss was in. She said she was, but in a meeting, so I waited a bit. They were doing an event for Thoreau's 200th birthday. When I was a teen, I was really into Thoreau, so I sat with one of the books and waited. When I saw my boss go into her office, I popped into her door, and she looked up at me and said, "Oh, hi!" I waited a moment, and then she jerked back and said, "OH!" and raced around her desk to hug me. It'd been probably 7 years since I'd seen her, so I caught up with info about how things were going in town and with her family, then left her alone while I waited for my friend Annie to pick me up. I found a book I was obsessed with as a child, Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, so I sat with that while I waited. Then Annie showed up!!! I was so happy to see her, it'd probably been two years. She doesn't like texting so I always have trouble keeping in constant touch, but whenever we see one another it's like no time has passed at all.

We had planned to get dinner, but I was stuffed from lunch, and she offered to drive out to Falmouth so I could visit her mother and grandmother. I really wanted to, since I hadn't seen them in years and years and they're really important to me. She went to her father's house so I could see her baby brother, but he was sick, unfortunately, so I just said hello and chatted with her dad for a bit, then we were off!

I was so happy to see her family again... We talked for a long, long time, but I started getting dizzy with sleepiness so Annie drove me back to Southie after that and I fell into bed without even showering... It was a wonderful day. My brother gave me my birthday present once I got back, too, and I remembered, right, it was my birthday, haha...

I traveled home on my birthday. Maybe it was stupid, because I got a lot of annoyances, but once I was home, I was genuinely happy. I unpacked, did all my laundry, then passed out for 10 hours. All in all, it was a good birthday trip.


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