Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Adventures in Driving in Boston

I was born and raised in Southern California. I learned to drive in the suburbs of LA and Orange County and on the freeways. For the lesson on defensive driving my instructor made me go down Whittier Blvd in East L.A. on a Saturday afternoon for heaven's sake! I daily navigated the freeway interchange known as the Orange Crush. I thought that L.A. and Orange County were the epitome of crazy and aggressive driving.

And then I went to New England. Especially Boston. GAH! They have some pretty crazy drivers there!! I swear, if I ever see a car with a Massachusettes license plate and they are driving slow I am going to ask them what is wrong with them. Seriously. I think if you learn to drive in New England, especially Boston, you should be able to drive anywhere.

That being said, we had an interesting drive through the city(with a soundtrack of multiple Michael Jackson songs as he had passed away the day before) trying to find the Prudential Center where the Duck Tours are stationed. I had a map and Map Quest directions, yet we still took some wrong turns. Partly because we were in the wrong lanes, partly because the directions were questionable. I am sure my map reading skills saved us. Not to brag or anything (okay, yes I am going to brag), but I am better than any GPS system. It is one of the few skills I possess(and probably the most helpful. I mean, my Brady Bunch episode identifying skills are impressive, but really don't serve any purpose). Anyway, driving through the city, getting stuck at lights and getting on the wrong streets provides for some unique photo opportunities.

A Farmers Market somewhere downtown

Views of the buildings from the street

Interesting architecture

Interesting places

Boston Commons

Beacon Hill -- the rich neighborhood

It also doesn't help that Boston has one of the most confusing and wonkiest layouts of any city I have ever been to. It was basically explained to us by the Duck Tour Guide that it is the shape of an arm bended at the elbow and wrist. That you can drive for awhile and think you are miles away from your starting point when you may be just blocks!! Throw in one way streets and names like the North End and the West End that are not in the North or the West at all and you can easily get lost and confused and disoriented!! Even a human GPS system :)
Adding to the confusion -- I wasn't really sure why the flags were at half mast. Surely it wasn't because Michael Jackson died the day before, was it? I never got around to asking anyone.

Finally we were in sight of our destination -- the Prudential Center

Then it was time to find parking, which we did in a ridiculously expensive parking garage.

Next few posts will be on the fabulous Duck Tours. It warrants several posts because we have so many photos!!

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