So last weekend it was time to hit the road again!! It had been way too long since I last travelled anywhere (mainly because of the winter) and I jumped at the chance to visit some friends who I met in New York. So time for another 11 hours on the coach - this time to Boston!! I left work at around 4pm and headed to the local bus stop. At this point I would like to let people know that it has been warmer for the last couple of weeks. Whilst this is generally a very good thing...the weather on Friday reminded me of a typical summer day in England (I was completely soaked in the 10 minute walk to the bus station). The bus was of course late and so by the time I arrived down town I felt as though I had just jumped in a swimming pool (this was far from ideal). However, nothing was going to stop me from having a great weekend so I changed into my spare clothes and hopped on the bus. The plan was simple. My bus left at 10:30 pm and arrived at 9:30 am the next morning with the only scheduled stop being at the border. I would simply sleep through the whole journey and wake up refreshed and raring to go in Boston the next morning. Alas...the bus driver decided that he needed to stop at least once every two hours and if that wasn't enough he also felt the need to put on all the lights and tell us loudly over the speaker system every time he had stopped. So my dream of a full night's sleep was shattered and I arrived in Boston with a rather miserable 3 hours of sleep to my name. On the bright side, my fellow travellers were all in the same situation and I made friends with a guy (MacKenzie) from Ottawa who was going to see a band call Pentatonix. When I got back home to Ottawa I looked them up and I had actually seen some of their stuff before (they are pretty awesome - as the link shows);
So I ended up spending the morning with MacKenzie in Cambridge, checking out Harvard and the surrounding area. The campus was beautiful (even on a grey/cloudy morning) and I am sure that it will be stunning in the summer. We then crushed a coffee before MacKenzie headed to his concert and I met up with Marcus. We made our way downtown and spent what was left of the afternoon with my two German friends chilling in Boston Common, exploring the shops (getting lots of free samples) before heading to Fenway Park. We hadn't really planned anything for the weekend so the fact that Marcus and myself managed to get tickets for a Red Sox game was amazing!! We spent a good half an hour chatting to various people who were selling tickets outside of the stadium and we finally managed to talk someone down to $30 for a standing ticket. We ended up sneaking into a seated area (right behind third base) so we got an amazing view for our money. I am not exactly a die-hard baseball fan but I have to admit the game got off to a flyer!! After 3 innings (out of 9) the score was 6-5 to Milwaukee Brewers. We had seen 3 home runs (towards the Green Monster) and I was loving the sport. However for the next 7 innings (3 outs for each team) only one person managed to score...to make it 6-6 and it's fair to say this part of the match was world's apart from the excitement at the start. However, the atmosphere in the ground was amazing; fans were all integrated, there was a big mexican wave (an astonishing 5 and a half laps) and towards the end of the game they started playing karaoke music, which (after several pints) everybody loved!! I also got to witness the ball game song;
It was a great experience and I count myself very lucky that I have had the opportunity to watch baseball at such a historic ground. On Sunday the weather was amazing - bright blue skies and a positive temperature (about 15/20 degrees)!! Woooo!! After a chilled morning watching Arsenal lose (again) we headed out to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. The square around the market was packed with shoppers, street performers and people enjoying the sun! We soaked up the atmosphere, got a quick bite to eat before further exploring the city. Marcus then took me to 'Mike's Pastries'...where I got some of the best gluten free cake I have ever tasted!! Each slice was only $1.50 and because I love to support local businesses I felt obliged to buy 4 slices. (In my defence they were reasonably small) The plan was to save at least two pieces for the way home...however holding a box full of cake was too much for me and within 10 minutes the box was in the bin and the cake was in me! We then headed to the harbour where we spent the afternoon (with what seemed like most of Boston's student population) relaxing and enjoying the sun. All two soon it was time to head home and after dinner and (I am ashamed to say) another quick stop at Mike's I headed to the bus station for the 11 hours back to Ottawa. I was joined at the station by a quite intriguing American lady, who had never travelled by bus before (I don't think she had ever left her house) who baffled me for a full two hours with her mind-blowing lack of knowledge/common sense. Among some of her questions were; Is England near Britain? How long would it take to drive to England? and whether I had needed to fly to get to Canada...At first I wasn't sure if she was being serious but it appears she was and it certainly made the wait for the bus much more entertaining!! I managed 2 hours sleep on the way home and I arrived in Ottawa worn out but happy after a great weekend!!
On the work side things have been going well. I have been taking less shifts at Shoppers Drug Mart this month because of my increasing commitments at PEAK. During the summer we have a lot of children (off all ages) training with us as part of their hockey off-season. This means ALOT of testing (both in the lab and in the gym) on top of constant monitoring of the gym floor. Zoe and myself have had the opportunity to do a lot more testing which has been a fantastic experience and something that will put us in a great position when we return to University. I am also already into my second month of working with my own clients. I have been lucky enough to get a real mix of people, with some weight loss clients, hockey players and endurance athletes!! This has given me a real taste of what it is like to design and monitor programs, which again will be valuable knowledge when I hopefully start my career in this field. I have now been at PEAK for approximately 7 months and I can safely say that whilst lectures provide you with a base knowledge/understanding, nothing beats actual work experience in preparing you for real life.
The sun has started to make a regular experience now, which means that the snow has (finally) melted, so I am off to take the dog for a walk!! Winter (all 5 months of it) has been a bit of a journey...there has been a few bad times but on the whole I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I have had the opportunity to do things that I have never done before!! I am really looking forward to summer which will be crazy in terms of travelling and also work!! I have a feeling the next few months will be epic...