Saturday, October 3, 2009

Melissa and Heather Take a Walk in the Rain

So, as I said previously, Heather and I were supposed to be going to the Ren Faire down in Massachusetts. We left just before 7am in the pouring rain, thinking (hoping) we might miss the worst of the storm, that it would've passed by the time we got down to the Faire. It wouldn't be the first time we've gone to the Ren Faire in the rain. Our first visit there was drizzly but manageable.

By the time we got to Carver, it was pouring. As in buckets of rain. We continued down route 58, following the signs for the Faire until we realized the signs had stopped and were, in fact, on the other side of the road, pointing the opposite way. So we turned around and headed back the other way where we once again followed the signs to the Faire. And once again, we missed the Faire. As in we didn't even see it. This was odd because the Faire is not a small place and in our other two visits, we didn't seem to have a problem finding the Faire and yet, we couldn't seem to find it this time.

Eventually, we called it quits and sat in the parking lot of a Dunkin' Donuts and looked at our road map while we formulated Plan B.

Plan B: Go into Boston. Eat lunch at Quincy Market. Visit Mike's Pastry and buy cookies and cannolis. We called Joe to help us with some internet directions and then set off. A few minutes later, we called Joe again because Heather had had the brilliant idea to go to the Museum of Science to visit the Harry Potter exhibit. We were very excited about this plan and yet, we were once again disappointed because the Harry Potter exhibit doesn't open until the end of October. Joe also, helpfully, reported that he'd gone to the Ren Faire's website and they had a big banner on their main page stating the Faire had been canceled for the day due to torrential rains and thunderstorms.

Heather and I would like to claim that that banner probably wouldn't have been posted at 7am. Probably.

Plan C: Go into Boston. Eat lunch at Quincy Market. Go to the Aquarium. Visit Mike's Pastry and buy cookies and cannolis.

We called my sister then to ask which exit we needed in order to get to the MBTA station. She immediately assumed we were lost. Fair, I suppose, considering how often we've been lost in the past. We arrived at the MBTA station about an hour after leaving Carver and rode the train into the city. Driving through part of the city on our way to the Ren Faire is one thing. Driving through the whole damn thing to go have lunch at Quincy Market is something else entirely. Especially when it was raining so hard, the visibility was, at times, non existent.

We got off at Government Center and went out. We immediately headed the wrong way, which is strange because it's far from the first time we've taken the train to Government Center to head to Quincy Market. But something strange happens to Heather and I when we get off the train and hit the streets of Boston.

We lose all sense of direction. I don't know why but we do. Last May when we went down for a day trip, we had the same damn problem. Spent half the day walking in the wrong direction.

This trip, however, it was pouring rain and so thankfully, we didn't get turned around for long. I'd like to place the blame on the vintage cars on display outside the train station.

So we had lunch and fought for standing room in Quincy Market. Since we'd spent five hours in the car driving to a nonexistent Ren Faire and back, I think we were okay with standing. After lunch, we went back out into the rain and went over to the Aquarium. The line was out the door and wrapping around. We stood there for a moment and thought maybe we didn't want to stand in the line in the pouring rain and wait to get inside.

Plan D: Cookies and cannolis anyone?

So we slogged through the rain to the North End where Mike's Pastry is located. If you've never been there, it's quite the experience. Cookies and cupcakes and brownies and cream puffs and whoopie pies and cakes and pies and cheesecake and cannolis and ice cream and other things I couldn't even identify. Our first visit to Mike's Pastry was last May. It was a very nice, very warm day, and the ice cream line was out the door. We weren't there for ice cream so we'd gone in, intending to peruse the cases of goodies before making our decisions but were waylaid by the Cookie Nazi, one of the employees who apparently had had it with customers that day. I ordered my cookies and cannoli and then, while she was putting my order together, noticed the black and white cookies.

I love black and white cookies.

If I had had the opportunity to properly examine all my options, this could have been avoided but the Cookie Nazi brought my sugar cookies to me and handed me the box in which they had been carefully packaged and I had the audacity to ask for another cookie.

If looks could kill, I wouldn't be writing this blog right now.

Today, it was much less crowded so Heather and I were able to examine all our options. When I got to the counter to place my order, the Cookie Nazi was waiting for me on the other side. Either she didn't remember me or she'd gotten over my breach of etiquette because she was really very lovely to me today, even when I asked that she please leave out two of the cookies for which I was asking so Heather and I could eat them as we walked.

When we left the bakery, the rain had died down to a drizzle and we walked down the street eating cookies and debating our next move. It involved going back to Faneuil Hall and finding a store at which to purchase a pair of dry socks because our feet were wet. Our feet were soaked. Which was probably to be expected when one takes into consideration how damn long we walked around in the rain.

Bought socks at the American Eagle Outfitters, walked past Abercrombie & Fitch and were immediately afflicted with terrible headaches (how does anyone work in that store? Seriously, just walking past it makes me ill. I can't imagine having to be inside it for an entire shift.) and then went to CVS for bottles of water and aspirin.

We caught an empty train back to the car and headed out. By this time, the rain had stopped completely. We caught up to it by the time we hit Portsmouth, NH. By the time, we arrived home, it was once again torrential downpours. A nice bit of symmetry. Soggy, but nice.

So yeah. We didn't get to go to the Faire and I didn't get to buy my matched pair of short swords or my double bladed battle axe. Disappointing, sure, but Heather and I are nothing if not flexible.

Better luck next year...

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