Day 2: Boston, Massachusetts.
Fortunately my friend Carol is a great organizer because left to me, I would probably not see much of the various ports at which we call. Remember for me its the journey! But thanks to Carol we had a itinerary planned for this first destination in Boston.
We decided to have an early breakfast in the King's Court buffet, where we met up with Dorothy and Bruce, and enjoyed a good chat. I was scheduled to have a lesson with Honey at 9:30 so I headed down to G32 where we worked on styling and following. Its those arm movements that get me every time. I think I have to just get less self-conscious and just let my arms move naturally.
After the lesson I found Carol waiting in the cabin and we headed ashore. We had booked a Boston Duck Tour and needed to get to the Tour start center at the Prudential Building.We got there a little early and wandered through the shopping center before returning to wait for our tour.
The Ducks are in fact amphibious vehicles, that date back to World War II. According to the literature provided by Boston Duck Tours, in Europe and the South Pacific, the need for troops and supplies to be taken ashore and carried over beaches and inland led to a 6 month program in which a new type of vehicle the DUKW was designed, tested and put into production.
The acronym is D (designed in 1942 ( U (utility amphibious cargo carrying vehicle) K (front wheel drive - ???) and W (double rear axle drive). Hmmm... who knew? These vehicles played a key role in invasions in Sicily, Salerno and Normandy and in the South Pacific. After the war, many were sold as surplus or given to fire and police departments.
Boston Duck Tours has a fleet of Ducks which include both WWII DUKWs and modern replicas which run on biodiesel, a renewable clean fuel made from soybean, canola oil or recycled cooking oil. We were assigned to Old Gloria, one of the modified ducks, and our driver was Danny Disco.
From the departure location at Prudential we drove along Boylston Street, past the Boston Common down Bowdoin Street and entered the Charles River where we "cruised" under the Longfellow bridge towards MIT and then returned. In all it was about an 80 minute tour and loads of fun.
After the tour finished we were both ready for lunch so we walked down to Boylston Street and the menu at Vox Populi caught our attention. We sat outside and enjoyed a pleasant lunch.
Because I had not received any of the cruise information in advance, I had no idea that this 9 night cruise had several formal nights, and really only brought one "formal" dress with me.
So after lunch Carol dragged me into Lord and Taylor where we found the long dresses section. I actually managed to find a simple black dress on sale that I thought would work for one of the formal nights.
I really hate clothes shopping!
We were back aboard by mid-afternoon. The internet was still not working and I was quite irate as I had bought internet hours and was not able to use them. The poor tech guy was communing with the computer people ashore and still was not getting any answers.
That evening in the Britannia Restaurant I dined with Carol, Sandra, Bira, Dory and Bruce.
I hesitated between the Canyon Ranch spa appetizer of smoked trout with tomatoes and the gravlax layers with potato crisps and sour cream, and in the end decided to try both.
Well we know there are all those important omega 3 fatty-acids in trout and salmon, right? So it's really good to have both.
Mix and match your essential fatty-acid sources.
For an entree I had the Peking Marinated Barbary Duck Breast with sweet soy and plum sauce
- and then I couldn't resist the Exotic fruit Pavlova with mango sauce.
As a crowning touch, Carol had ordered the Grand Marnier souffle with vanilla sauce and I had a taste of that too. Oh Lordy - am I going to waddle off this ship instead of dance?
I have to say this is seriously good food. Kudos to the galley staff - and the service is pretty good too.
All three of our tables were part way into our meal and chatting more or less quietly among ourselves, when I swear there was a spike in the energy level - sort of like the sensation just before a lightning storm. Robert had arrived. He had come from where ever it was that his students had been competing, and just boarded the ship in Boston. We were all delighted to see him - and it was reflected on the dance floor later.
Whether we were dancing to the pre-recorded ballroom and Latin dance music, or to the Queens Room Orchestra with vocalist George Evans, everyone's dancing seemed to kick up a notch and that evening set the dance precedent for the rest of the cruise. And I will say now, and repeat when I conclude this Travelblogue, that much as I have enjoyed each of the previous dance cruises, from the dancing perspective, specially how much we got to dance, this one has definitely been the best.
Towards midnight as we all finally tired, a group of us gathered in the Kings Court buffet for a late night snack and lots more conversation. It seems to be DAS tradition to wind down after all the energy expenditure. Nice.