Sunday, July 3, 2011


We arrived in Boston a few hours late. This meant that we got there in the dark. We walked through the dark streets of West Boston to the HI Boston Hostel. We checked in around 9:45. This was possibly the most unused hotel ever. We slept the night. Got up around ten and checked out. The room we stayed in was pretty nice. We got a private room with two twin beds. They were not comfortable at all. There was even a tv! Gasp!

Unfortunately we were unable to store our big heavy bags at this Hostel. Through our entire tour of Boston we had to carry those bags. And keep in mind that we walked. We walked around West Boston for a bit. We checked out the Baseball stadium and got lost a few times. Then we walked to downtown.

Downtown Boston was nice and clean in comparison to Chicago. Our first goal was to get some of Boston's famous New England clam chowder. It was very easy to tell when we entered the tourist section of Boston. There were people dressed like colonial times leading around tour groups. Also there was a huge amount of people. And I mean huge. We stopped by a tourist shop to grab a few souvenirs and then walked into the heart of it.

Unknowingly we stepped onto a path called Freedom Trail. On this there was a very sobering Holocaust memorial. The glass towers were covered in the tattoo serial numbers that signified the prisoners. It was world crushing and emotionally huge.

After that experience we squeezed ourselves into probably the most famous Oyster House in Boston and sat at the bar. Two bowls of delicious and unmatchable clam chowder later and we were happy campers. That was the best clam chowder I've ever had.

Where we went next was really the main reason we went to Boston. We went to see the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. The U.S.S. Constitution. Dakota was particularly excited to see it. After passing through security we navigated the close quarters of that beautiful sailing ship with our huge bags. It was quite an amazing experience.

After we bought a few souvenirs we walked to a science museum. When we arrived we found it closed. So we began to work our way towards the train station. On our way passed the farmers market we picked up some cheap fruit that ended up being the most bitter fruit I have ever tasted. We walked through a shopping area where I picked up the coolest bracelet ever for Jenny and then we stopped for a show. A street performer gave the funniest and most amazing show ever. I can only regret not having cash to give him. He was a professional and did this for a living. A lot of his funny came from making fun of the audience. It was great even if he was a little bit unpracticed. He messed up a few tricks.

Now we walked to South Station to leave Boston. But we arrived at Back Bay station. Boston has 4 different Amtrak stations. No other city, not even Chicago, has more than one station. We learned that thanks to city of Boston restoration we had to figure out which station was which. It was not an easy task and we were lucky I had done a little research. With that we left for New York.

Chicago cont.

After checking out and storing our bags with the desk we headed out to explore. It turns out my dad's Kindle broke somehow and I had to figure out the warranty on it. But besides that we were out to have fun today.

We started out heading towards the Navy Pier. Unfortunately we got kind of lost and ended up on the wrong side of the harbor. We hung out around there because there was an aquarium and a museum. We didn't go in but we did grab some Chicago style hot dogs, which were delicious. The walk to Navy Pier ended up being about 2 and a half miles. This was just the beginning of our walking careers. In total we would walk dozens of miles on this trip.

Personally I did not know very much about the Navy Pier. I had never heard of it. But Dakota knew about the memorial and amusement park. We walked down the mile long pier, looking at all of the tourist attractions. This is where Dakota decided to get a fire department shirt from every city.besides doing a little souvenir shopping we didn't do very much. We played one round of mini golf, which I lost badly by the way.

After deciding not to see an IMAX movie we walked to the most important part of our visit to Chicago. We went to the Man vs. Food acclaimed Chicago-style pizza joint: Gino's East. There we ordered the 3 inch deep dish supreme pizza. The 6 inch wide pizza could have fed an army. It put any pizza I had had before to shame. It made me want to go to Papaurphy's and spit on their so-called Chicago-style. It was amazing

We took our large amount of leftovers and walked back. By this time we only had a few hours left before our train to Boston and we had to walk back a good 3 or 4 miles. Luckily the walk wasn't disinteresting because we walked through downtown and passed Willis Tower again. We grabbed our bags from the Hostel and walked the three blocks to Union Station. Our train left in the evening and would take about 22 hours to get there.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The train to Chicago was not nearly as bad as the one to Minneapolis. We arrived at the railroad center of the country after only 8 hours. We played cards for most of the time. I am still beating Dakota consistently, though he is getting better.

Union Station was big, but sort of overwhelming. It is difficult to get a good look at a marble building in the middle of the city. I found it interesting how there were so few different names for train depots. On our itinerary I believe we go to 4 union stations and 2 or 3 Penn stations. The lack of ingenuity is surprising. Besides the name Union Station was interesting. It was very very busy. This was the first busy busy town that we would be in.

Right after we got off the train a homeless guy named John came up to us and offered to help us find our way. Being both scared and a little lost we agreed. As we walked with him towards a hostel I checked my Phone's directions. It took us a few blocks to realize we were going the wrong way. We thanked our guide and then went on our way.

We stayed at the AAE Parthenon Hostel. It was in Greek town and was owned by a fancy restaurant so breakfast was free. Our accomadations were interesting. We stayed in a dorm with 6 other guys. They were mostly nice, especially one fellow who we shared our cookies with.

After dropping our stuff we went to go check out Willis Tower. It used to be called Sears Tower. We decided to not go up it because when we entered a security guard said it was closed to the public except for a restaurant. Oh well. After grabbing some Subway we headed back to catch some zzzz's