Friday, October 7, Boston
We figured the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus would be the thing to do in Boston on another perfectly beautiful day. I was hoping for Filene’s basement but Wiggles, out driver guide, informed me that it was long gone. More’s the pity. We set out at different times and were on different HOHOs. Geri used public transportation and saved a bundle, but she didn’t get Wiggles. Joan, Nona and I did. I had been appalled when Montreal’s HOHO was $62 for two days and here was Boston’s for $66 for one day. That’s almost $90 Canadian. I apologize to Montreal’s Grayline, who are offering a bargain.
Having a live guide was a lot better than the disembodied voice in the ear, though, and Wiggles was excellent. He knew a lot about history, architecture and sports and shared well. The oldest building still standing in Boston was built in 1770, and, if I’m not confused, hosted the infamous Boston Massacre. Five people were shot. Doesn’t seem like much these days.
Wiggles was apologizing for all the construction going around town. He obviously hasn’t been to Montreal lately. I think we saw six or seven cones, there was a half a block that narrowed down to one lane, and one of the stops was closed. Not a patch on Montreal.
One of the stops had the Cheers Bar as an attraction, but it wasn’t open at eleven o’clock in the morning. We drove through Beacon Hill and Back Bay and could visualize the mansions as they once were. Most of them are condos or dorms now. Education is a big deal in Boston, with something like 17 universities, many of them very famous, like Harvard, Yale, M.I.T, etc.
We rode it most of the way around and got off at Boston Common on the way back. We then walked through the park and hit up a CVS, where my phone number still works. I got a $2 tube of toothpaste and it shot out $5 in CVS bucks. So, I bought Joan’s toothpaste, too and got a bottle of water with those. Don’t know how they can make money like that.
We kept on walking and soon were at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, where we met up with Annette and Tim and had a lobster roll and a beer for another $60 each. It was delicious and such a beautiful day that we ate out under those blue umbrellas in the picture. Thus fortified, we walked through Quincy Market, where I let myself be tempted by a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of hazelnut ice cream. The ship wanted us back on board at 3:30, so we walked to the end of the Harbour Bus loop, which was free on the HOHO ticket, and took that one back. It was a very good day in Boston.
That night we ate in The Pinnacle again, another five-star perk. I had crab cakes, shared the bacon again, enjoyed scallops with both risotto and mashed potatoes, and had another chocolate souflée for dessert. The comedian, Hank Benson, was pretty good, but he did catch me sleeping in the third row. We met him later and I told him not to be any more insulted than all of my professors at McGill. I slept through most of the lectures and somehow managed to graduate.
Saturday, October 8, at sea
It’s getting warmer, not so warm as to sit out, but warmer. Not that it matters that much to me when I have work to do. I got another episode of this story out, had dinner with Joan at Nona’s table, with yet another chocolate souflée, and went to see Magali Dahan perform again. She’s easy to listen to, à la Piaf.
Sunday, October 9, at sea
Finally, a day to sit out on my balcony. Nona came by with some very juicy gossip, so juicy it doesn’t bear repeating and you know I would, if I dared. You might ask me in person. Then I packed, took a leisurely bath and dressed for my own birthday party. We had a table for nine, my original six, plus Nona, Gerard and Jan, my cruising buddies. I had said no presents, but I got some and a particularly fabulous card. It was a special menu, too, and I particularly enjoyed the roast beef. There was red velvet birthday cake and “Panjang Amurnia” which I particularly love. It’s nice to know I’ll be back on Holland America on January 3. It has the feel of home.
Monday, October 10, Fort Lauderdale
Up and out. I no sooner turned the phone on when it rang and, how cool, it was Carol Kieschnick, from my Napa years. She and her new friend (of four years) Steve, will be in Montreal, for three days, starting tomorrow. They are staying at the Ritz, which is practically around the corner from me. We get to have dinner together on Wednesday. Can’t wait. It’s like this holiday doesn’t end. Denis picks me up tonight to take me to a birthday dinner chez Patrick and Rose, I’m out with my AOII sister and Robbie’s staff, Louise Archer, tomorrow night and now Carol and Steve on Wednesday. Life is very, very good. I have the best friends. And, I have to admit, I’ll be very happy to cuddle Robbie again, for the thirty seconds he’ll give me. I know he’ll be glued to my body when I wake up in the morning, purring softly.
PS: Went to Bonaparte again with Carol and Steve, who is delightful, and met my new favorite soufflee. It’s Bonaparte’s Chocolate Chip. Have it if you get to go there.
I just took on a new hosting assignment that a few of you might like. I sold it to a couple in Montreal, then asked to host it as it’s a Distinctive Voyage. They gave it to me, as they usually do. It’s a Princess CruiseTour in Alaska. It’s 11 days, total, starting in Anchorage on July 25, 2023 and ending in Vancouver on August 5. One night in the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, one in Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two in Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and seven nights aboard ship, starting July 29. Tours and most meals are included for the land part, including the Husky Homestead Tour, where we can see the puppies in training. You know how I love that part. It’s the Majestic Princess. Princess was first into Alaska and its Lodges and tours are the best. I have the full itinerary and will share it when you show interest.
I’ll be in California for at least a couple of weeks before and in Vancouver for a week after. Robbie will be looking for staff for July and half of August.
The link to just the Cruise part is: Cruise Details – 7-Day Voyage of the Glaciers with Glacier Bay (Southbound) – Princess Cruises
Don’t jump and down too much when you see the price. It’s a good bit higher with the tour in it and that’s the way I want you to buy it. I’m your host for the whole thing and we’re going to have a lot of fun.