I’m currently sitting on a beach in Bali, soaking up some sun and hitting the waves. The reason I’m here? Besides the fact that my school gave me a week off for summer vacation, I’m here reuniting with two close friends, one of whose parent’s own a vacation home here. One of the hardest parts of always moving around, sometimes to different parts of the world, is that your friends are everywhere. It can make it difficult to sustain relationships and keep up with what is going on in their lives. But on the flip side it makes for a great excuse to travel. Last year my closest friend’s in college and I took full advantage of this reasoning and spent a weekend in Boston celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Two of my friends who moved there after college graduation provided us with free accommodation (they even set up an air mattress so we wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor!) and acted as our tour guides for the weekend.
After everyone got to town on Friday night we checked out the Top of the Hub lounge, located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center, the second tallest building in Boston. Here we caught up over cocktails and appetizers while taking in the sparkling lights of the city below us.
On Saturday we had big plans to see some of historical Boston. But those plans were thwarted by heavy rainfall and tornado like winds. Instead we took a visit to the Harpoon Brewery, which turned out to be a fabulous back up plan. Any fans of beer that find themselves is Boston should skip right over Sam Adams and head to Harpoon. My only advice is to get there early, as the tours can sell out and you could be forced to wait a while. Harpoon is a microbrewery that operates breweries in Boston and Vermont. For $5, We were able to tour the brewery and bottling areas and then sample all the beers we wanted for 30 minutes. If you drink quickly and smartly (beers with an higher ABV, like my favorite, the Imperial IPA) you are able to get much more than your $5 worth. I can safely say this was the best brewery tour I’ve been on and would highly recommend it.
When the tour ended the, rain was still pouring down and we decided that since it was a reunion and Saint Patrick’s Day weekend we could just continue the festivities at one of the any Irish themes pubs in the city. Irish car bombs, Baby Guinness shots, Miller Lite in green bottles. It all happened and it was pretty much like we were all back in Ann Arbor, which is everything a reunion should be.
Sunday was the reason we had chosen Boston for this weekend, the Southie Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. It is no secret that Boston has a large, and extremely proud, Irish-American population and South Boston, nicknamed Southie, has historically been a largely Irish neighborhood. Every year they hold a parade that celebrates their Irish heritage that includes floats, marching bands, dance groups and many fireman and police. With the younger crowd the parade, held on the Sunday closest to March 17, has become quite the party. The still never ending monsoon like rains put a slight damper on what is supposed to be an outdoor activity but we grabbed a spot in a window on the parade route and “cheers-ed” the parade members from a few floors up.
I really wish I could have seen more of what Boston has to offer, but the inclement weather ended up providing the perfect backdrop for catching up and reminiscing with some of my favorite people.