Sunday, July 12, 2009


This is my first day of freedom. I can to do whatever I want to (within reason). I slept well on the couch of my sister's apartment on Marlborough Street in Boston. I went to bed later than planned because American Express called to inform me that my card had been used fraudulently. I kept trying to get through and was put on hold for 30 minutes three times and finally gave up. When I called this morning, I learned that someone had used the card online and the fraud department had been alerted. I am not sure how that works. It turned out that someone had tried to buy teen clothes online for $150.00. My card was canceled automatically and I will get a new one next week. I wonder how they figured out that it was not me using it. I guess that is what is good about Amex. I told them I was moving to Ecuador for a year and they said that they did not need to know that.

It rained all night, but the sound was soothing. The couch was super comfortable, and after we all watched the Tour de France, Thierry, Maya and I started a walk down the Charles River to the Liberty Hotel (where we had stayed last time we were in Boston--- there is a big Bastille Day party at the hotel in a few days) and further to the tall ships we had seen yesterday. We stopped in Little Italy for cannoli for lunch. I guess on my first day of freedom, I had to eat dessert first, or dessert only for lunch. Maya did not like the cannoli and had a hot dog instead. We stopped at Paul Revere's house for a dose of history, and moved on to Boston Harbour filled with tall ships and boats of all kinds and it was fun to imagine the Boston Tea Party. We wanted to take the 'duck tour' but the tours were booked all day. The harbour was full of people, crowds of locals and tourists taking in the sights. Last year on my birthday, I had flown to Boston (after a week at 'Body and Soul' Adventures in Brazil) and met Eric and Maya and Tara at the Hyatt after a harrowing 36 hour journey. We celebrated the day sailing in Boston harbour and then eating dinner and dancing on a barge at the Boston Harbour Hotel. The area around the hotel was packed with people eating, walking and sitting listening to two musicians playing and singing the blues.

Boston is a compact city and eminently walkable, and we walked the length and breadth of it. It was sunny and warm and other than Maya finding it long (0nly five hours of walking!) and asking repeatedly when we would get home, it was a wonderful way to learn about the city. So much to see and do and come back to! Most of the city has been extensively renovated and looks great, except for the downtown shopping area which is grungy and that extends to Boston Common, which could look much better. There is a part of the common closer to Commonwealth which is beautiful, with flowers and gardens and statues. I wondered why the rest of the park was not as well kept, and a young couple overheard me and explained that because the Common was the sight of hangings and other horrible acts, it was believed to be unseemly to prettify it, so it was left looking sad and tired and unkempt.

We were all dragging by the fifth hour of our walking marathon, and only a promise of ice cream at JPLicks was effective in keeping Maya going. We stopped at the Apple store for repairs on Thierry's iphone, and I asked about changing the sim card of my iphone for Ecuador, but was told that the proprietary laws make it impossible to alter the phone. I will buy another phone for Ecuador, but use the iphone for WiFi. Thierry is insistent that I can get an account at Amazon and download books onto my iphone and that a kindle first of all won't work in Ecuador, and the iphone and computer will be just as effective with downloading of books. I will have to check that out.

How wonderful to have no major tasks on tap. I loved our day in Boston, and before we caught our bus to Woods Hole, we watched a Frenchman win today's stage of the Tour de France, which made Thierry very happy and excited. I am not sure how the race is measured and why it is scored as it is, but it was interesting to watch the riders whiz through the Pyrenees. I have been in Paris a couple of times when the Tour finishes in the city and rides down the Champs Elysees. The crowds are amazing and the fans rabid. Lance Armstorng is trying again this year to win and is doing well. I have read that he has used alot of performance enhancing drugs, so I am not sure he won his seven tours honestly, but perhaps they all use drugs of one sort or another and I ought to be less judgemental. Better living through chemistry.

I was concerned that we would have to walk from the bustop to the cabin with our luggage, and when I saw taxis lined up waiting for fares from the ferry passengers, I was relieved. The first two cabs refuses to take me five minutes away, but the woman at the end was fine with driving us. We came home to a smelly dirty mess, but I opened all the windows, washed the sink full of dishes with Johnson's Baby Shampoo ( it is soap, no?) and vacuumed the floors and it looks much better. I found quarters and biked with Maya to the laundry facility to wash every sheet and towel and when we were ready to pick it up, it was too dark to drive the bikes, so I will drive over when Daphne arrives with her car and hopefully will find the dryer full of sheets and towels. I had Maya use a pillow case to dry herself off. We did manage to bike to 'Pie in the Sky' for a soup and sandwich between washer and dryer cycles, so we are well fed and showered and ready for our guests.

Eric has been struggling all day. I thought I had left him with most of the major work behind him, and he agreed, but somehow he has not accomplished what he had planned and is scrambling around trying to get everything completed before the renters arrive tomorrow. He sounds panicky when I call, and I second guess myself. Should I have blown off this ticket and stayed and helped keep him on track? I had an easy day yesterday and today. I felt silly being in Woods Hole without Eric. The point of these tickets was to be with him, but we bought them long before we had solidified any plans. We did not know we would be so stressed about the house. We started boxing and organizing the house many months ago, doing bit by bit, so as to prevent this mad rush to finish last minute. I like planning ahead and limiting stress, but despite my efforts to go room and room and section by section, in the end the final days were crazy, with sleepless nights, sore feet and back pain, and still more and more to pack. Perhaps it was inevitable that the last part of the process would be overwhelming and agonizing and almost impossible.

I am feeling relaxed and recovered after my easy day and nine hour sleep last night. Maya too, appears calmer and happier. We were so stressed at the house, and I cannot underestimate how difficult this has been for Maya to see her home dismantled room by room and with all her belongings disappearing, perhaps never to be seen again. Maya certainly has been irritable and challenging for the past three weeks. I have to remember that she needs more love and more reassurance and as much stability as we can offer her. So many changes in her life are ahead of her. For now, she is excited to be in Woods Hole with her friends on their way.

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