My Trip to Boston/Plymouth with my mom and my sister-in-law, Sarah!
Day 1- Thursday August 5:
I woke up at 4:30am to shower, do treatment, finish packing, and then go pick up Sarah and drive to the airport. I'm not a huge fan of flying, but oh well. We get checked in and head for security. I checked in my regular bag, plan on gate-checking the Vest, and carrying on a backpack. As they check my bags in their scanner thing, it's no surprise that the Vest gets sent for hand inspection. *Sigh* I guess it does kinda look like a bomb in the scanner. There are a lot of wires! I go watch the man search the Vest and test it for "explosive residue." None, of course. I haven't been making explosives while doing the Vest... that's not really a good idea. My hands tend to get shaky... along with the rest of my body. Anyways, SURPRISINGLY, the man hand-checking the Vest asks if this was the machine that inflates and shakes me. "Yes sir." I was really in too much shock that a random African American man at the airport knew what this was. (I mention his race because CF is rare in African Americans.) I thought that was pretty cool. I gate-checked the bag andboarded the plane. I sat by the window and Sarah sat by me. Across the aisle was my mom sitting next to a woman who looked mid/late 20s. We learned later she was going to a Twin convention! Her twin lives elsewhere and was meeting her there. We land in Atlanta, race across the airport, and get on our second flight. I got irritated because they do not gate check on these larger flights! So we had to figure out where/how to shove the Vest into the overhead compartments. That was a hassle!! But it was better than the airline employees throwing it with the other luggage...
Finally, we arrived in Boston! We grabbed our luggage and headed for the rental car place. Straight from there, we went to the JFK house! That was really cool. I enjoyed seeing how the house was set up and listening to Mrs. Rose Kennedy talk (recorded tour) about the things she remembers in each room. When it was time to leave, the rains came down!!
The streets were flooded and being out from under the umbrella for 2 seconds (literally) to close the trunk that Mom accidentally opened (LOL!!), I got drenched. It was wild. We drove to our hotel from there and got settled in. We had to fight for a fridge to keep the Pulmozyme cold because "somehow" the orders to send a fridge to our room (which we requested 3 times) kept getting ignored/lost/something. Finally, it showed up and Pulmozyme stayed cool. Our hotel was the Sheridan that was attached to the Prudential Center: prime location. From there we rode the T and headed to Quincy Market (Faneuil Hall) where we dined and shopped! That's where I took a picture in front of the giant Macaroni! There was also functional replica of the "Cheers" Bar and we stopped by there for a few. When it started getting dark, we went back to the Prudential Center and went up to the top of the tower and looked out over Boston. Day 1 came to an end.
Day 2- Friday August 6:
We woke up early so we could check out and headed out to Boston Commons, the Central Park of Boston, to enjoy the weather and eventually start the Freedom Trail. However, we were going to have to leave our car parked for most of the day, unable to check in at Plymouth until that evening. I still had to keep Pulmozyme cold. This is where my creative skills come in handy!! I had 4 fake ice cubes that were in a ziplock baggie with the Pulmozyme. Around it were multiple pieces of paper towels for "insulation." That baggie was in a baggie, the one that hotels give you for your ice bucket, full of ice. Around that were two more baggies like that that the nice cleaning lady gave us. Around that was another ice bucket baggie full of ice. Around that were two more ice bucket baggies. Here's a picture with the bag next to a normal sized hotel phone. Crazy, I know. We'll see how that story ends later. The Freedom Trail is a tour of special places in Boston that you walk to. You can either be guided as a group or guide yourself, which is what we did. You just follow the red bricks (or the map) and go to each location. It was really neat.
Stops on the Freedom Trail (bold means we visited them): Boston Common, Robert Gould Shaw Monument, State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, Old Corner Book Store, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, USS Consitution, and the Bunker Hill Monument. We spent a lot of time at almost every place. I loved the cemeteries because it was so impressive how many people lived into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, even back in the 1700s. We did a guided tour of the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides", which was really awesome. From there, we went back to our car and headed to Plymouth. We met some crazy drivers on the way! Little did we Southerners know, the emergency parking lane, aka the shoulder, is actually a driving lane... or so these crazy Bostonites think!! It was hilarious and scary all at once. We finally make it to Plymouth, sometime around dinner. We check into the Radisson and request a fridge. Instead of waiting on it, we go out in search of food. We found this tiny (and I mean TINY!! only 12 tables) Italian place and ate there. We headed back to the room for the night, and realized we still didn't have a fridge.... nor did we have any extra plugs! In this normal sized hotel room, there were 4 outlets, one being in the bathroom. One next to the bed, for the lamps/clock. One for the TV, and one with 2 lamps plugged in. I plug the compressor into the one empty slot with the TV and unplug one lamp for the Vest. However, when the fridge arrived, there were no available plugs. The service man had to go get a power-strip to accommodate everything. 30 minutes later, the fridge was cold and it was time to test my baggie ice-pack. I stabbed it open, poured out all the ice, found the baggie with the Pulmozyme in it and.... *drumroll* it was still very cold!! My super-baggie worked! And it lasted all day. I was impressed with myself.
Day 3- Saturday August 7:
We slept in a little this morning, and it was much needed. We started off our day visiting/touring the Mayflower II. It is a replica of the real thing and it was pretty neat. There were a lot of people crammed on that ship! Just past the ship was a dock where we discovered it was a prime picture-taking location. From there we visited Plymouth Rock. This is me squishing the rock. All of this was in walking distance from our hotel, including little shops and lots of food. We shopped around until it was time to meet Lauren! We met at the Cabby Shack, which had delicious clam chowdah. The 5 of us (Lauren and her man Kyle came) ate a large table so Lauren and I could keep our distance. I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch, with the only exception that I couldn't give her a hug!!
Even though I had literally just met her, because we've been keeping up with each other for a while now, I feel like we're old pals. :] This is one cyster who I plan to keep in touch with for a long, long time. We took pictures with/without our matching pink masks after lunch before we had to part ways. From lunch, Mom, Sarah, and I went to a plantation where they built a Native People village and also a settlement from the 1600s. These places had people walking around in costume AND in character. When we asked them questions, they answered in the language of that period and as if we were all there now. It was pretty cool. The English settlement was more realistic because it was bigger, more elaborate, and I didn't get hit on by the "actors" there, unlike the Native People village. Two of the guys were very eager to take a picture with me and Sarah, "two lovely Louisiana ladies!" After the plantation, we went back to the hotel where I read a book, Sarah napped, and Mom did some shopping. It was already kinda late, but we woke up and got dinner around 8pm at a local pizza place. We headed down to the jacuzzi to soak our tired bodies, but the pool was filled with lots of loud children that it wasn't very relaxing.
Day 4- Sunday August 8:
We got up a little earlier than most of the days on the vacation to load the car in preparation for the beach later on that day. We hit the road towards 2 lighthouses, a long trip due to the distance and the HORRIBLE traffic. There was apparently some bike race in town and traffic was nearly stop-go the whole time. What should have taken between 1-2 hours, took about 4. A waste of a morning, but it was ok.
We made it to the first lighthouse in Cape Cod. We got to go up in it and see out at the top of the lighthouse. It was a pretty cool deal. On our way to the next lighthouse, we stopped and got lunch at a little family-owned place. The beach of the second lighthouse was at the beach we had wanted to go to. However, the guy who was in charge of directing traffic around the parking area said that the wait in line to get a parking spot was *and hour and a half*. WHAT?!! He said that people get in line before 8am to get a parking spot at this beach. How crazy is that?! We got to park illegally for 10 minutes to go see the lighthouse and leave. We took that deal and headed down the road to a different section of really the same beach. You had to park a mile down the road and either walk or ride the shuttle to the beach. The shuttle stopped going at 5:30 and it was about 3 something when we got there.
Let me just say now, the weather was IDEAL. Sunny, maybe 80 degrees, but with a very nice and constant breeze. I took a nap for over an hour out there. It was fantastic. At the beaches down South, it's super hot and you just sweat to death because of it. Not where we were. Oh no. It was perfection at it's finest. The water, however, was a different story. 61 degrees. I put my feet in and screamed. TOO COLD!!!!!!! It was bearable after a while, but you had to get used to it first. My feet were numb for part of the time they were in the water, that's for sure. And there are no shells. Well, barely any shells. They have rocks instead. It was interesting. There was also this area between the really sandy area and the water where it was just a low sand area with water. It was perfect for little kids to sit in and play in the water without having to worry about waves. We watched a kid crawl around in it. It was adorable. The other major difference was that there were no condos or anything commercial. Just beach. It was really refreshing. Although it was way more crowded than I've ever seen any Florida beach, it was still worth the long car ride. We stayed later that 5:30 and walked the mile-ish hike uphill back to our car. Still worth it. That night we ate at the WeatherVane, where we had a coupon to, and I LOVED it. That night, we went down to the jacuzzi again and it was much more relaxing since the 2 wedding parties and the family reunion had gone home. Great way to end the trip.
Day 5- Monday August 9:
Another travel day. We loaded up the car and headed for the rental car place to turn the car in. On the bus from the rental car place to the airport, I realized I left my phone in the rental car. GREAT. Wasted another 30 minutes getting my phone back and cutting it tight on trying to make the flight, but we made it. While waiting to take off, the captain gets on the speakers and says something like "We have a slight delay. The spring on the cargo door is broken... it won't take long. They are just going to tape it shut and we'll be on our way." We cracked jokes the whole way about our luggage falling into the Atlantic due to a broken cargo door and the duct tape not holding at 10,000 feet. Sure enough, after we had switched flights in ATL and got back home, we realized we didn't have any luggage. COOL... this is why I didn't check the Vest in and kept it with me. (It got searched again at the Boston airport, by the way. This time the lady asked if it was an oxygen tank..... umm no??!) We got home around 4pm ish. My luggage made it home at 12:30am that night. It was not wet, so I assume it was just on a different flight and not in the ocean. :] Oh, also, on the flight from ATL to home, we ended up sitting with the Twin again on the flight back!! How funny is that?! We heard all about her trip and how her and her sister won 3rd place in "Most Alike"! I didn't even know they did stuff like that!
It was a great trip, if you can't tell!! I had a lot of fun! Here's one more picture to share: it's from the Prudential building. There was a Red Sox home game that night... look how packed the stadium is....