Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dunkin' Donuts and Ice Cream (Warning: This is Pretty Long)

Those two things are what my friend Kristin used to describe Massachusetts. Ever since I found out that Michigan was considered to be part of the Midwest, (I still think that area of the U.S. should be called the Mideast, although I guess that would get confusing) and not the East I’ve wanted to visit the East Coast. Well, Kristin has been bugging me for awhile about coming out to visit her in Mass some summer. When I found a very inexpensive, round-trip, no stops flight to Boston, how could I refuse? (Check out if you’re going somewhere this summer.) I figured out last Wednesday that I could go…the trick was, in order to get the good deal; I had to leave Saturday and come back Tuesday. Thankfully it worked out with the Cooley’s and so at 4:45 in the morning on Saturday, my dad and I were off to the airport.

It was the first time that I had traveled more than an hour on a plane by myself and because I was so late in purchasing my ticket, I was in the middle seat both flights. I figured out why this is the worst seat…although I really didn’t mind it that much. If you want to get out to the bathroom, you have to annoy the person on the aisle, if you want to look out the window, you have to somewhat invade the personal space of the person near the window. On the way there I also figured out that coffee, apple juice and altitude don’t mix. Don’t ask any questions; just trust me on this one.

On both flights I had one friendly person sitting next to me. I know that sometimes strangers can be too talkative, but these people weren’t. The lady sitting next to the window on the way there lives in L.A. but her family lives in Boston and so she told me about all sorts of cool places to visit there (even though we didn’t hang out in Boston, if I ever do go back , I know where to go). On the way back, I sat next to an older man that lives in Boston. He had one of those Boston accents that I like so much and he gave me some gum. At the take-off he looked all excited and he told me that even though he has flown hundreds of times, he never gets sick of that part. I was very appreciative of this because I always feel like a nerd getting so giddy about the take-off. Usually the people around me don’t care.

Right after I got off the plane I saw a cop. They look a little different out in the East Coast. First of all they are state police…and they wear those funny hats. The lady on the plane told me that I would have some culture shock. Well, I didn’t experience too much on the trip, but as I was waiting for my bag I was standing next to a family from Kansas. I have never heard such thick accents. I heard one of the little girls say, “Thar’s ma bayg.” I couldn’t help but smile a little. Well, Megan found me and after I found my bag we stepped outside. The humidity hit me like a thick blanket.

Mr. Cooley picked us up and we started the hour long drive to their house. Even though we didn’t spend time in Boston, we did drive through it and it is a stunning city! Large brick buildings, beautiful architecture, and so much green! As we were flying into Boston and I looked out the window all I could see was a mass of green trees. I thought it might look a little less stuffed with trees on the ground but I was wrong. As you get out of the city, when you’re on the highway, you can’t see any buildings or mountains, nothing but trees as far as the eye can see.

The Cooley’s told me before I came that the trees make you feel a bit claustrophobic at times. I didn’t believe them before, but now I can see what they mean. I wasn’t there long enough to get sick of them, however. As we drove along the sun was shining but it was pouring rain. It looked so pretty.

I got to Mass around 4:00 p.m. and Kristin had to work until 10:30, but it was fun hanging out with the rest of her family that night. It was great to see Mrs. Cooley again after three years! She made us yummy tostadas and then the four of us played a game after dinner. Then Megan and I just hung out in her room and watched a movie until Kristin got home. As we were sitting there talking, Megan commented on how it was so weird that I was in Massachusetts. I felt the same way. It was so cool! There’s no other word for it. I don’t know what it is about taking long trips by yourself that is so fun, but it really is. After Kristin got back we talked and then went to sleep. I fell asleep very happy and content. I slept very well too. Like a rock. I woke up the next morning with two red lines running down the right side of my face. I obviously hadn’t tossed and turned too much.

The next day we went to the Cooley’s new church. I really liked the pastor. His name is Mike Avendroth. He went to the Seminary at Grace. He taught from the Bible with helpful application and he was just very sincere. I liked the size of it, and everyone was very friendly. One girl I met just finished up a year of grad school at Harvard. Her name is Annie and she came home with us along with a couple other people, for lunch. We had Mrs. Cooley’s amazing homemade Barbeque Chicken Pizza (my favorite). It was so fun. The whole Cooley family has this dry humor that cracks me up.

After lunch, the Cooley girls, Annie and I took a drive to Orchard House, the home of Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women. This was one of my favorite things that we did. It was in Concord I think. Lexington and Concord is where some of the Revolutionary War was fought. I definitely wouldn’t call myself a U.S. History buff. Even though I love it, I don’t necessarily remember everything I learn about it too well. Nevertheless, my emphasis at school was in U.S. History and it was so cool to see places that I have read about. I forgot that Little Women is basically a biography about Louisa May Alcott. The three sisters in the story were based on her three sisters in real life. It was so interesting to learn how her family was in the center of so much that was going on at the time. Even though I don’t think too much of them, Emerson and Thoreau were her teachers along with her father. Her youngest sister May, taught art lessons to the boy who went on to carve the Lincoln memorial. Her parents were part of the Underground Railroad and housed a slave, not to mention they housed John Brown who was a part of Harper’s Ferry. The house was so small and cute. The ceilings and floor were all crooked. I could feel myself going uphill or downhill as I walked across a room. It was fun seeing the desk that Louisa’s father built in her room, which is where she wrote Little Women. The tour guide (who I think was younger than me) told us that after Louisa finished the first part of Little Women it became popular overnight; the equivalent of Harry Potter’s popularity today. Young girls everywhere were dying for the second part to come out, hoping that Jo would marry Laurie. Of course, she didn’t and apparently this was because Louisa never married in real life herself, and since Jo was based on her, she didn’t want her to get married at all. However, the publisher’s thought this would not be a good model for the reader’s and so Louisa had Jo marry the professor, who was based on a mix of her father, Emerson, and Thoreau. It was also fun to see May’s room. Their father made the roof rounded so that it would look more European since she went there for art classes. May had drawn pictures all around her window sills and on some of her walls. It made me feel like I was in the story, looking at pictures that Amy might have drawn. I know, I know, I’m probably a nerd for giving so much detail about this house, but I found it fascinating. The landscape outside was beautiful too.
This is my amazed look that Megan snapped when I wasn’t looking.

Here are some pictures of the house on the outside and some of the trees surrounding it.

The next day we went to Plymouth; that’s Cape Cod area. We went to go see Plymouth Rock (since the Cooley’s hadn’t seen it yet either) and the Atlantic Ocean!

So ya, Plymouth Rock is literally a small rock, with an elaborate memorial type thing built around it.
Someone carved the date 1620 onto the rock, although it wasn’t found until 1740. Makes one a little leery of the genuineness of this rock. It was a lot smaller than we all expected as well. Frankly, it was a bit disappointing. We walked a little ways over to see the Mayflower II, a replica of the real one. It was amazing to see how small it was as well. I don’t know how the Pilgrims fit on it, let alone travel across the Atlantic.

Well, to spare anyone from anymore, I will stop there. The East Coast was just as wonderful as I had hoped. If you haven’t been, you should go and praise God for the many different places He has created!


Emily Taylor said...

I'm still jealous :( hehe

Hayley Hays said...

That looks like a great summertime trip. I've always wanted that kind of an East Coast visit, especially if it involved a visit to Louisa May Alcott's house!! Thank you for all the detail, you're totally not a nerd, unless maybe I'm one with you! :)


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