June American Adventures

This is the second time I am writing this note, thanks to a micro power cut courtesy of the Rhode Island network. This had better not happen again.

So. June 13th, a Saturday evening… Ruth is landing late in Boston coming from a week in Minnesota. We decided to book one night at the airport’s Hilton in order to be able to do a bit of tourism the following day. I’d been living one hour away for two years now and still somehow never seen more of Boston than its airport and train station! Clearly something had to be done about that.

View of Boston Skyline

We walked around for most of the day, following the Freedom Trail a.k.a. the Red Brick Road, a painted red line snaking around the historical part of the town and passing nearby most sites of interest. Thus we visited an ancient puritan graveyard complete with Aerosmith logos on every tombstone, a museum of the revolution wars (and tea parties) at the old State House, and a good number of other respectable looking buildings and authentic sites of good-natured massacres. It didn’t rain too much. We also walked along the waterfront on the piers, and through the Italian quarter where we encountered a strange modern-day Saint procession… The pictures in the gallery should speak for themselves. Before heading back toward South Station, we paused for dinner on the way at an interesting sushi-tapas fusion place in the financial district, which turned out to be a really good find. Then it was off back to Providence…

A week passed at the office, and on Friday it was time to take a plane to… St Louis, Missouri, for we were invited to the wedding of our good friend Peter! Quite a trek really, not to mention the necessary purchase of adequate clothing for both of us, so we decided to make the most of it and see if there was any tourism to be done around those southern parts. We booked two nights at a hotel and spent the morning of Saturday walking around what is described as the historic part of town, near the river.

View of St Louis from below the Arch

Turns out the historic part of town is less than 200 years old and made out of nondescript brick buildings, with nothing much to see besides… Alas, not an old city, is St Louis. So we got to see the Monumental “Gateway to the West” Arch at least, the local equivalent of an Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building, and it was indeed impressive. I tried to take several pictures of it to make a composite later but was betrayed by technology and small lens distortions. We walked a bit in the park, then into town proper where it soon became apparent that there was not much to see –not even a proper shopping district in walking distance. We learned later that a large park 5 miles out west would probably have been a better venue for The Wandering, but oh well.

By the time lunchtime came and we took refuge in a crepe restaurant (!), the sweltering heat was already threatening to melt us down to our elemental components. Added to the need to walk in my “nicer” shoes and the ensuing blisters, we decided to call it a day for tourism and crawled back to the hotel for a shower and a bit of quiet time before the wedding. Shortly before 5, we were back outside all dolled up and walking toward St Joseph’s Shrine, where a full blown catholic service took place over the better part of one hour and a half –complete with extended kneeling at the altar, Reading from the Book and getting in line for the Eucharist. For that last bit, the group of scientists on the groom’s side clearly distinguished themselves by all remaining seated. Heh.

No, not the bride and groom 

Nevertheless, we both looked fantabulous, as is proper. The reception afterwards was a lot of fun, with what you would expect in terms of best man jokes and saucy anecdotes shared by the now ex-friends of the happy couple at the microphone. We got back to the hotel around midnight and collapsed. Eventually, we will also have to bring Peter a nice bottle of St Joseph back from France as a belated wedding present. They deserve it. 🙂

The full gallery of photos both from Boston and St Louis can be found on Ruth’s server. Have a look!

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