Day 4 goes fairly slowly for me – I get to see my family again tomorrow so the anticipation makes it creep by.. Eventually though, we start to leave.
Here’s the plan – we (my boss and I) leave Maine at 6pm – we drive to Boston, and stay overnight – then we get the flight back to Minneapolis the next day and drive home.
Now, my boss has a track record of getting lost/missing flights/claiming countries as his own while away on business, so everyone I work with had started to run a book on the odds of me, a.) Getting home on time and b.) getting home at all.
But as it happened, we had a fairly easy run down to Boston, then we dropped off the rental car and I called the hotel. It was the first time I’d been in a big city since we arrived in the States and I was keen to see how the friendly geniality of the Mid-West was matched on the East Coast.
“Hello – It’s Mike Switzer, I’ve got a room with you tonight and was hoping you could pick us up from the Enterprise Car Rental depot at the airport?”
“Enterprise – The Car Rental Place? Enterprise?”
“He’sonhisway (click – buzzzzzzzzzz)”
Now – if I were back in Wisconsin she would have already asked my entire family history and invited us around at Thanksgiving for cheese and turkey.. And cheese..
So I realized pretty quick that this wasn’t Kansas anymore (or Wiscon- oh, you know what I mean).
We got back to the hotel, and I checked into my room on the 5th floor. (In Wisconsin they don’t have hotels that go over 3 floors – any higher than that you expect oxygen and a candy to suck in the elevator to stop your ears popping.)
My boss had decided we should go into Boston to eat – he’d been told about a pizza place that was ‘the Best in Boston’, but he could only remember it was in Boston, sold pizza, and began with an ‘R’.
Strangely, the cab driver couldn’t help us. Partially because he didn’t have enough information, mainly because he didn’t care.
Over the course of the drive I began to think of this guy as our own Han Solo. Mainly because he was driving fast enough that everything was a blur outside, also because every time he changed lanes at that speed I made a noise like Chewbacca.
So, as all four wheels hit the ground again, we got out. He’d dropped us on Hanover Street which was apparently where all the best restaurants were. We started to walk down the street, and I gazed around in a state of shock. In all seriousness – I was back in London, England. The architecture – the market stalls – the nightlife – the lack of space – the people bumping into me every three to five seconds. It was stunningly similar on several levels. I turned to tell my boss how amazing I was finding this, and he’d gone.
I knew I should have got that shock collar.
So my boss (who is from Wisconsin) has stopped some lady in her tracks and is asking her if she knows any pizzeria’s that begin with the letter ‘R’. Amazingly – she does. Even more amazing – She knows the specific place we’ve been looking for. She starts to describe directions and my boss asks if she’s walking that way. She is, and so he decides to walk with her and ask how her life is going in general. (You see? You though I was exaggerating earlier – but I’m not – Wisconsinites love everybody. I believe Barney the dinosaur was born in Green Bay for that very reason..)
So she’s talking to my boss about her education, her career aspirations – while maintaining a look like she’s worried he’s just getting details for the ransom note. I’m hoping we find the place before he asks what type of cheese she likes – and we do.
And the advertising was correct. It was amazing pizza (Regina’s pizzeria if you’re interested). A 20 minute line outside, but every person said it was worth the wait – eventually we got in and watched the Olympics while we ate our Supreme Pizza.
..Then my boss started cheering the US ladies volleyball team, on his own, in a pizza bar in a back alley in Boston.
Where’s Han Solo when you need him?