from the road

Days 12-13: Cambridge & Hull

Phew, it has been hot in the Boston area these past few days. Yesterday, we took the ferry and T to Cambridge to visit some of Harrison’s favorite college haunts. On the way, we passed by one of Hull’s two wind turbines.

in front of Hull wind turbine

For lunch, we went to Darwin’s Ltd., where we miraculously found a seat to eat the tasty sandwiches. Harrison likes the Story with prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto, tomatoes, lettuce, and vinaigrette.

Eating Darwin's Sandwich, CambridgeI’m a fan of the Hubbard Park: hummus, lettuce, tomato, carrots, apple, sprouts, avocado, and honey mustard.

Hubbard Park at Darwin's

Harvard Yard in the summer is full of people:

summer Harvard Yard

And this girl’s shorts were full of cheek, so much so that it is spilling out the bottom.

short shortsWe snuck into Kirkland to see Harrison’s second-year dorm room…door. Another illustrious former resident of H33? Mark Zuckerberg.

Kirkland H33Harrison’s friend Raj is still in the area, doing a PhD in bioinformatics and enjoying the Boston area. It was great to see him and catch up after five years.

Harrison & RajIt was actually much too hot to walk around much in Cambridge, unfortunately. We poked in a few shops in Harvard Square and spent an hour or so in the Co-op looking at books. For dinner, we made a bee-line to our most favorite Indian restaurant, Tanjore. Mmm, vindaloo, I missed you!

Vindaloo at Tanjore

After a short walk along the Charles at sunset, we headed back to Long Wharf to pick up the ferry back to Quincy where we had parked the car. The company that runs the ferry system will apparently lose their contract with MBTA at the end of the month, so it comes as no surprise that their service is winding down. While the ferry was slated to depart from Long Wharf for Quincy at 9:35pm, it arrived closer to 10:30pm.

The upside of waiting for a very long ferry? We commiserated with the other ferry-hopefuls, including this very brusque man. At one point, he called the company and demanded to know when the ferry would arrive: “Is it going to be five to ten minutes or 20-30? Don’t lie to me! I live up the street from you guys. I know where you work!”

After he hung up, he announced/muttered to himself, “I hope the guy who told me five to ten is on this ferry. Ima’ punch him in his fuckin’ face!”

Can’t make this shit up!

Ferry passenger

Today, we laid low in Hull, keeping cool with Fannie on the porch as the temperatures soared into the 90’s. For dinner, they ordered pizza, and we pulled a wagon to the beach for a picnic!

pulling beach wagon

Okay, Tim helped with wagon-pulling…a little! (Just kidding, a lot once we got to the beach!)

Fannie & Tim with wagon

The tide was way out, and the sun was low. We ate pizza and chips and looked out over a calm ocean. Really! It’s the best! I love Hull!

Our idyllic meal was suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a very audacious seagull. He boldly walked right over our picnic blanket, snatched the remaining three slices of meat pizza with his beak, and flapped away (albeit weighed down by the purloined pie), while we yelled, laughed, and stared incredulously.

seagull with pizzaIt wasn’t long until we had attracted a large percentage of Hull’s seagull population:

seagulls fighting over pizzaIt was more funny than distressing. We considered calling the Hull Police department. I’m sure it would make good fodder for the weekly police report.

Harrison with empty pizza box

Don’t worry too much–really. We got ice cream afterwards at this local establishment that is open “7” days a week.

"7" days a week

It has been a great weekend+ in Hull. This is the greatest little town, and Tim and Fannie have been fun and gracious hosts! I will be sad to leave tomorrow morning. I hope we can come see them again soon (with Ashley and Kyle, too!!!!).

On the porch with Tim and FannieBut now, the Blackhawks vs. Bruins game is on. I better go watch fall asleep!

Tomorrow, we head to Brooklyn. No stop ’till Brooklyn!


from the road

Days 10-11: Go to Hull (& also, Boston)!

Hey! Did you enter our photo identification contest? If not, you should!

I’m writing from the most adorable beach cottage/house ever! My friend Ashley’s parents, Tim and Fannie, moved from Midlothian, VA to Hull, MA a few years ago. When they heard we were coming to the Boston area on WVT, they generously offered to host us for a few days.

Hull beach house front

They even put up a message in nautical flags!

Hull is a small town across the harbor from Boston, so I expected it to look something like Baltimore–on the water, but mostly docks and no beach. Instead, it’s an adorable, quaint beach town, but not one of those ritzy, only-boat-shoes-and-madras-print towns; it’s very real, as if people actually live here (which they do). There are small streets, lined with unique New England beach cottages, some of which are summer homes and some of which are year-round homes.

When we arrived Friday evening, we got a tour de Hull courtesy of Tim and Fannie:

Tim driving

It has a view of the Boston skyline. Tim’s commute to downtown Boston is a 20-minute ferry ride. He even has “ferry friends” with the other regular commuters!
Boston skyline from Hull

This is my first time experiencing a New England beach town. The boardwalk on Nantasket beach has several ice cream and fried dough establishments, as well as Fascination, which is like Skee-ball.
Fascination, Hull, MA

This particular arcade has been in operation since 1914, according to Tim.Fascination, Hull, MA


Hull is such a great little town; I love it! There’s a sandy rock beach on one side and the bay on the other. Fannie walks on the beach every day, and their house has tons of cool treasures that washed up on shore.

Bay view, Hull, MA

One of their favorite pastimes is scanning the weekly “Police Report” section of the Hull Times, where all of the weeks major crimes are reported. I was stunned to see that Hull is such a dangerous and crime-ridden area:
Hull police report


On Saturday afternoon, after a leisurely walk on the beach, we took the ferry into Boston.

Quincy Ferry photo op


We walked around Boston Common, where I was very excited to see some ducklings:

Boston common ducks

These kids were having a great time swimming in the fountain, but a park attendant put a damper on their fun.

kids playing in Boston Common fountain

We looked at the very old tombstones in the Granary Burying Ground, which dates back to the 1660’s!

Granary Burying ground, Boston, MA

And for dinner, we walked around the North End and went to one of our favorite restaurants, Rabia’s. There was an awesome narwhal chalk mural behind our table.

Narwhal chalk mural, Rabias, Boston

Harrison realized that though (or perhaps) because he went to school in Cambridge, he has never been to Boston in the summer months. It has a different feel: a lot more tourists and lots of people outside, enjoying the common spaces in the warm weather.

Green space, downtown Boston

Dessert was a lobster claw (or at least, part of it!) at Caffé Vittoria. It really is as big as it looks.

lobster claw & mocha, Caffe Vittoria

After walking around and choking over real estate prices (We found a condo for $5.5 million. Anyone want to go halfsies?), we headed back on the ferry…

evening ferry, Boston

…which is nice because you can see the Boston skyline, all lit-up at night.

Boston skyline at twilight

Having lived in government subsidized housing on grad student salaries for the past five years, I am always shocked to encounter the displays of wealth in a large city. I don’t begrudge these people; I’m just amazed that people can not only afford million dollar yachts, but also moor them in prime harbor real estate right off the North End. Money, man.

Tim gave us another example. Two tandem parking spaces in Beacon Hill just went to auction and were sold for $560,000. Two homeowners apparently got in a bidding war over them. Geeeeez.

Now, we’re off to explore Cambridge for the afternoon! ❤ Boston ❤