|We've found American drivers very courteous so far (even driving through the Bronx they were pretty good), that was till we got to Boston. Driving into Boston was like driving again in Auckland, people would cut you off, honk their horns if you're a milli-second late on a green light and hurl abuse for no apparent reason (especially if you had an out-of-state license plate like ours). Apparently Boston is infamous for bad & aggressive driving hence the comparison to Auckland.
We arrived in Boston just as the East Coast heatwave was reaching its peak. Reached 95F the first day then topped out at over a 100F on the Wednesday. Not pleasant weather for walking round a city but thats what we did anyway. Took an unofficial tour of Harvard University in Cambridge (across the Charles River from Boston) run by two under-grad students. As it was unoffical they had to call themselves the Hahvad tour which is how a Bostonian would pronounce Harvard (they always leave out their "r"'s). As a result it was more interesting & funnier than an official tour. Lots of anecdotes and stories about famouus past students, uni pranks and the "primal scream" - where they run naked round the quad in the middle of winter screaming like madmen the day before their exams start.
Walked the Freedom trail which traces important locations and chronicles Boston & America's history. Includes the Old South Meeting House, the starting point of the Boston Tea Party and subsequent events that led to the American revolution. After exercising the brain on a history lesson not to mention walking round in a heatwave it is of course time for a beer. And no better to place to go than the Sam Adams Brewery. We took a free tour at the brewery which included a generous tasting session at the end. Sam Adams is proof indeed that there is more to American beer than watered down horse-piss like Bud, Coors & Miller.
Boston is home to the Boston Red Sox, and the city is absolutely crazy about them. Almost half the population seemed to be wearing a red sox baseball cap (and I joined them as I supported them when I lived in New England), while the town comes to a standstill if an close game is in progress. We witnessed a huge crowd of people gathered round a store window with a tv showing the 9th innings of a close game, the crowd included a firetruck parked outside with the firemen cheering every play loudly. Unfortunately it was impossible to get tickets to a game.
Met up with Mike Sormrude for lunch at a diner in Cambridge. I went to school with Mike at Ledyard and try to catch up every time I get back to the States. The diner was an old fashioned 50s style place with amazing food and bottomless coffee. Had a great time in Boston but it was good to escape the heat by heading north.
Unfortunately as we left the diner to head out of Boston we picked up a $15 parking fine. Very diligent parking wardens (thats a polite description) in Boston as the parking meter would have only expired by 20 minutes or so.