Day 18 - 10th May - Boston, Red Sox
Happy Birthday to our son Scott.
Today we started out with a very pleasant drive down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A lot of towns around New England have English names, it was settled first by the English.
The morning involved stopping at a couple of stores on the way down, walking the main street for an hour or so. Subway for lunch and then a store on the way back. The Kittery Trading Post in, I think, Kittery was a cool store. Even I bought something there - something warm and stupid looking for my head as it should be very cold at tonight's ball game.
We were back at the hotel around 1pm to rest up before our afternoon adventure.
Around 2:30pm Jim picked us up at the hotel and we headed to Wells train station a couple of miles up the road.
We caught the 3:20pm Amtrak train to Boston. The train is quite comfortable with rest rooms and a store/shop to buy goodies. It is about 65 miles to Boston but the trip takes 2 hours, lots of slow going. As you would expect it is a very scenic run although as you get into the suburbs of Boston it becomes typical of most train rides into a big city. There is even large amounts of graffiti on the buildings/walls that front the track.
We arrived at North Station around 5:20pm and headed for the T. The T is what the locals call the Subway. We got on an empty carriage at North Station and headed for Kenmore Station. The carriage was soon full to capacity, it was peak time and lots of Red Sox fans trying to get to the game.
At Kenmore we followed the crowd to Fenway Park; they say it is America's favourite ball park.
We had good seats in the outfield bleachers and enjoyed the game. They do sporting events well in the USA, they always honour the military and veterans. They have a local sing the national anthem, in this case there was 2 national anthems sung as the opposing team was from Canada. There is a ceremonial first pitch and it is just a good build up to the game. Lots of patriotism. I can't help but compare events like this with Australian events. In Oz at normal sporting events there is usually no national anthem and then in the finals you get that recorded Julie Anthony version which I am not a fan of.
Crowd watching is fun. Americans just keep moving around during the game. It is amazing to watch. In Oz people generally wait for the end of the quarter or the end of the over in cricket but at baseball people constantly get up and move around.
Then there is the dudes in yellow shirts who sell things, peanuts, clam chowder, hot dogs, coke. They wander up and down the aisle yelling out whatever it is they sell. The dude who sells the peanuts was fun to watch. If he saw someone wanted a pack he would throw it to them and then stand and wait for the money to head his way. The recipient would catch the nuts and then hand the $5 to the person sitting next to him and without fail the dollars would head down the row and arrive at the vendor. Not sure that would always happen in Australia.
During all this there was a baseball game on - the Blue Jays got a good start but in the end Boston won 7-6.
The seventh innings stretch was fun, everyone gets up and sings 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game" and then after the seventh innings end everyone sings along to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" - good times never seemed so good 'so good, so good, so good'. It’s fun to watch, especially as Rayls and I are Neil Diamond fans.
It was a real good night as much for the crowd involvement as for the game itself.
Getting back to the station took a bit of work but we managed it OK and then onto the Amtrak train back to Portland Maine which departs Boston at 11:20 and got us back to Wells around 1:15am. Jim's car waited with frost on the windscreen, it was 1C.
A really good day, long day but a good one.
Tomorrow, later start and then off to Kennebunkport.