Monday, August 10, 2015

New England Vacation - Day 2

Funny how things can go from great to lousy in a moment.

Most of our second day in Boston went well.

We started off with breakfast at a nearby bagel bakery, and then walked over to the harbor to visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. More than just a museum, it is a 75-minute re-enactment and telling of the events of the night of the Boston Tea Party, and the aftermath.

The experience lived up to the positive reviews on TripAdvisor. The interactive experience was a good match for Kai. He especially enjoyed throwing the crates of “tea” off the ships and into the harbor.

I’m sure he learned more about the event, and the subsequent events that led to the start of the Revolutionary War, than he had known previously, as interesting videos accompanied the actors/guides who took us around. For he, and my wife, who does not have the knowledge of American history of someone brought up in this country, it was a great, fun learning experience.

After that we headed to the New England Aquarium.

I wasn’t planning on visiting the aquarium – we have been to numerous aquariums including a pretty good one back home in Chicago – and we had an awful experience at another aquarium we visited on a previous vacation.

But Kai said he wanted to go, and I wanted to do the things he wanted, so we went over there.

When we got there, we found a long line to get in. I got out my smartphone and bought tickets online instead, though our entry time would not be for another half hour. We found a food stand outside and had lunch while we waited.

Inside it was as crowded as the line outside would indicate. But other than a relatively brief moment when Kai got agitated about not being able to get a good view of the penguins being fed, the crowd didn’t bother us.

The aquarium was really amazing. I think it might be the best we’ve been to. The penguin area is the largest I’ve ever seen. And among the other highlights is a large tank in the middle of the building that is about four stories high with a circular walkway all around so you can see from the bottom to the top.

Kai’s favorite was the shark and ray touch tank.

At one point, he wanted to touch the largest ray, one that did not come close to the edge. He leaned way out to reach it, and if I didn’t yell at him I think he would have fallen into the tank. As it was, the front of his t-shirt got completely soaked.

In typical Kai fashion, he thought it was great.

We came back to the hotel for rest (for Mom) and iPad time (for Kai).

That evening, we went over to the North End for a great Italian dinner.

After dinner, we walked over to Mike’s Pastry, a very famous Italian bakery that draws huge crowds. When we walked by on Saturday, there was a line out the door and down the block. On this evening, there was no line out the door but the crowd inside was still large and it took us a good 15 minutes to get up to the front to order. Which was good as we needed that time to decide which of the many different flavors of cannoli to order. My wife got Espresso, Kai chose Chocolate Covered, and I got something called Florentine that looked like it had chocolate chips covering it. We looked forward to having it back at our hotel room.

On the way back, we passed Faneuil Hall, the famed marketplace where street performers are constantly performing. We stopped to watch a group of African American performers who were doing acrobatics and break dancing. They were very talented, with skills rivaling top gymnasts. Their crowd banter was half funny and half uncomfortable; they were entertaining as they pulled spectators into their act though I thought it got to be a bit much when they really laid on the guilt trip as they solicited money.

The day before, we had passed there as we were going for lunch and Kai got annoyed that we had stopped to view a different group of African American performers who were wearing orange shirts.

On this night, he got agitated as we watched this group of performers.

“Are they the orange shirt guys in disguise?” he asked angrily.

No, these are different guys, but what difference does it make?

But the longer we watched the angrier he got.

“I bet these are the orange shirt guys!”

Who cares? Just enjoy the show. These guys are really talented.

But he wouldn’t let up.

I was thinking of leaving but the performers were building up to the big finale where one of them would leap over a group of spectators they had pulled from the crowd. Besides, I didn’t want to leave before we had donated to the group and they hadn’t come around to collect yet.

The finale turned out to be the same acrobatic jump that the orange-shirted guys had done the day before. And as soon as they did it, Kai angrily yelled, “I knew it!” and he kicked the orange cone that marked off the performing area.

I roughly pulled him away and gave him a shove. He fell to the ground and got up very mad at me.

But I was just as mad at him.

Why does he get so angry about the most insignificant things? Why can’t he just enjoy a simple street performance?

We didn’t have the cannoli that night. Our good feelings from the day had completely dissipated.

We all went to bed angry.


  1. I know the feeling of two people being angry at one is always my wife and I doing the arguing :)

    1. Yes, well, there's that, too. :)

  2. Oh my....don't you wish you could get in his head and figure these things out? Then you'd know how to dissipate the unrealistic anger. I feel for you...been there, done that....and yes, tomorrow is another day!

    1. Yes, it is very challenging because his way of thinking is so different than mine. I really wish I could get in his head to understand this.


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