In the name of research... Boston

Okay, so I had a bit of respite with my blogging, but after a discussion this morning with a fellow writer about Boston I knew I had to post. About two weeks ago we took the kids to Boston by bus for the day. The bus eliminated the need for expensive and hard to find parking and assured us of door to door arrival and departures from Fanuiel Hall and Quincy Market. Shopping Mecca. So, what does this have to do with writing?

Well, other than a nifty bit of research time I came to realize in my discussions that Boston is a place that I'm passionate about. My love affair with the city goes back to when I was about eight and my Mom took me for my first trip to The Garden to see the Ice Capades. Back then, Maine didn't have an arena big enough to hold the spectacular, so if you wanted to see it you had to go to south. Coming in from the North meant a bird's eye view of the Constitution and arriving through the North end, or the Italian neighborhood. Now, with the super fantastical image of the Zakin Bridge guiding us in that image of the city has changed, but it's still beautiful to me.

Once there, we did the usual trips through the market, eyeing the food and checked out the shops. The kids coerced us into the Build-A-Bear shop and we came out lugging miniature houses stuffed with cuddly creatures. After that, we went for lunch at the Black Rose. Now, those that know me know that I have a hard time resisting any pubs, but this one is special to me as my sister in law and I ate lunch there on a similar trip when my daughter was just a baby. At that time I was doing research for the very first book I wrote Cross Chances. Deb was a trooper going all over Boston without complaint. Anyway, we stopped for burgers, shepherd's pie and an Irish coffee for me at Roisin Dubh and hubby snapped a pic of me to immortilize the visit.

I never take a good picture, so I'll have to settle for this. Cameras and I don't mix, but this one is okay at best. Anyway, after our great lunch we headed for Downtown crossing via Tremont Street. I wanted to go, not because I love to shop, but because so many of my early memories of Boston are tied up with the Downtown Crossing area. My mom was a fanatic about listening to WBZ Boston and they would do their usual fundraising by ringing the bell at the Crossing. The downside for this year was that Filene's is gone. Not that I wanted to shop in the chaos that was Filene's, but because it is such a fixture in my memories. From there we headed up toward the Commons near the State House end and then back down again (in search of a Borders that I saw) via the street that the old state house and the famous Parker House Hotel is on. It's a hike worth taking, especially when everything is decorated for Christmas. Everywhere there are people and the temps were a bit daunting, but it well worth it.

If you get to Boston at Christmas time, think of me. I'll be there in spirit.

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