Anyway, last Monday, on Patriot's Day, my friend Jessica and I decided to explore Cambridge and Harvard. Luckily, I have a friend, Steve, who is a professor there. He agreed to give us a tour of the University.
Jessica and I took the train down from Newburyport, and then took the T to Cambridge. It is a fantastic town! I loved it! Almost the first thing I saw was the Curious George Store.
"The World's Only Curious George Store"
We went in, of course, and it had so much fun stuff!
Then we went to Burdick's, which, according to an article I read on msn.com and now cannot find, is one of the 10 best chocolate stores in the world. I've been dying to go ever since I heard about it. The flagship store is in New Hampshire.
Well, I am here to tell you that it was, in fact, the best hot chocolate I have ever had. I had the standard dark chocolate hot chocolate. I can't wait to go back because they have milk chocolate hot chocolate, of course, but also single-origin hot chocolates. I shall have to make my way through them, one by one. (And then I'll start over!) I cannot recommend Burdick's strongly enough.
Anyway, then we were on to Harvard! Jessica and I meandered around, and I read every single map incorrectly. We had to ask multiple students how to get to the Harvard Divinity School. This is where things got interesting. When we stopped to ask one student for directions, she wasn't sure and said she would look it up on her iPad. That's when she told us she had just been reading about the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Until now, Jessica and I had been happily basking in the sunshine of the day.
Even then, I'm not sure I fully understood the impact of what was happening. It was only when I got to the train station and saw a TV that I realized the true impact of what had happened.
Jessica and I continued on to the Divinity School to meet Steve.
Here is Steve, looking like an industrious professor:
Sadly, I can't really tell you exactly what Steve teaches. I can't even understand the name of his class. He even wrote a book, and the title -- the title, people! -- is beyond me.
We began our tour, and you probably already guessed this, but Harvard is gorgeous. Steve also knew all kinds of stories and details about the buildings and the campus; he should give the official tours. I can't wait to go back and wander around more slowly.
One thing he showed us was the Statue of John Harvard That Is Not Actually John Harvard. Harvard! For shame! I'm shocked!
As a little backstory, Steve's wife, Rachael, is one of my best friends from the year my family lived in Alexandria, VA, and I was in 7th an 8th grades. I am so excited to live near her again!
At another point in our tour, as Steve and I were discussing something, we heard Jessica say, "That looks like Henry Moore," and she began wandering over to a sculpture.
It was! Jessica is an artist, and I was suitably impressed that she can just spout out artists like that. Meanwhile, I read websites about toilets and poop.
Of course, Jessica and I had to thank Steve for hanging out with us. Hmmm... Where to take him? Burdick's! So we went back again and had more hot chocolate. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that Jessica bought a cup of hot chocolate to take home to her hubby. She held that cup for over two hours and four different types of transportation and never drank it. That is true love. If it had been me, that hot chocolate would never have made it home.
Luckily, neither the T lines nor the train station we needed were shut down. I haven't looked at a map, but Cambridge must be on the other side of Boston from the Marathon, and we made it home without a hitch.
One additional story: as we were waiting at the train station at Newburyport, a man was pulling a dolly stacked with three really colorful boxes. We wondered what he was doing, and I decided he must be a magician. It just so happened that he was on the same train home, and discovered that he's a balloon guy! He had leftovers, so he made us some flowers...
(See the hot chocolate in Jessica's hand?!)
As a conclusion, I had a wonderful day, but my heart goes out to everyone impacted by the Marathon bombings: the victims, the victims' families, those racers who trained and trained and either didn't get to finish or had their accomplishment destroyed. I also know that many people come from all over the world to race in the Boston Marathon (the winner is Kenyan), and they will leave with the impression that the US is as violent and dangerous as they read and see on TV and movies. Boston Strong.