November 2012
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The Day After

Big News: My acceptance letter for my study abroad came today! I’M GOING TO BELGIUM!!

But this post is about what I did on Black Friday. Quickly, for anyone thinking about visiting Boston: 1. Go to Harvard Square and take in all the smart people. 2. Go to a Red Sox game; Bruins and Celtics aren’t the same, Patriots is too expensive. 3. Get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastries in the North End. 4. Understand that the North End is directly south of East Boston. Also South Boston is directly east of the South End. The South End and South Boston are both north of the geographic center of Boston. 5. Ride the T. It’s cheap and fairly quick, and helps you discover new muscles. 6. Climb the Bunker Hill Monument. It’s the Washington Monument for northerners. 7. Go to Fanueil Hall and watch YAK (You Already Know), a group of dancers that performs pretty much 365 days per year. They are pretty good performers but excellent businessmen. 8. Eat a burrito at Boca Grande Tacqueria and then one from Anna’s Tacqueria and compare. They both have multiple locations and are owned by two Chinese siblings that have become such competitors, they no longer speak to one another. 9. Find two places in your favorite Boston movie. I know pretty where everything in The Town was shot, and my brother once found the house used in Good Will Hunting. 10. Find the tombs of 5 famous people. Robby and I found John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Sam Adams in about three minutes. We also found the Sam Adams brewery, but it’s only 4 blocks from my house.

I hope everybody gained 5 pounds, because I know I did. (Only half joking, I had a lot of pie.) Black Friday is supposed to be a day of shopping, but my family has our own traditions instead. My friend and I were (rudely? sadly? predictably?) awoken at 9:00 AM, and we thought we smelled bacon. Nope. Just meatballs in the oven. So we ate cereal and headed out to The Christmas Place, “The Largest Christmas Store in New England.” Every year they are open only from October through Christmas Eve, and they sell anything anyone could ever want that has to do with Christmas – except, (unfortunately? sadly? predictably?) nothing with the name “Barnabas” on it.

We bought a few ornaments and wreaths, and then headed out to our favorite location: the Blue Hills. If you like nature and are visiting Boston, please, please go for a hike in the Blue Hills. They are close to the city, they are forested, and they are beautiful. We went for a hike, built a fire and roasted hot dogs, and climbed a few trees and a particularly large boulder. In the summer I earn myself some extra money by lifeguarding at one of the lakes in the area, and in the winter we skate there too! Sometimes, if we’re lucky, there will be a friendly ice fisherman that will let us real in a fish with him.

Finally we came home, ate the spaghetti and meatballs (not bacon) Mom had prepared, and sat back to watch Elf. If you’ve never seen Elf, go see it. It’s one of the best Christmas movies ever and it’s both funny and touching. One of my toughest fraternity brothers says Elf is his favorite movie. My 26 year old sister says its in her top 5. Somehow, my parents had never seen it, so we helped them enjoy it by explaining the parts their old ears couldn’t hear. (Yes, they’re old: Thanksgiving Day was their 32nd anniversary!). Finally we played Bananagrams (our new favorite game) and did a little homework. Thanksgiving was fun; so was Black Friday.


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