quincy market fanneuil hall boston, ma

The next leg of my minimalist travel took me to Massachusetts. My ultimate destination being Cape Cod, Megabus could only get me as far as Boston. That was no problem since there are commuter buses in and out of The Cape from South Station, which is where Megabus drops you.

Having left so early in the morning (remember, I bid adieu to the Big Apple at midnight!!) I had to wait a little bit for my next bus out. The station is plenty comfortable enough, so I chilled in the waiting area until the ticket counter opened.

The bus out to the Cape was on Peter Pan and was super comfy. The ride took a little over an hour and I dozed on and off along the way.  When I got to my stop, I had family there to greet me and put me up for the next two days. I don’t care what anyone says, staying with family is great… at least in my case. I was able to visit with people I hardly ever get to see.

Saying Goodbye

The true purpose of this trip was getting to Cape Cod for a family event – the Celebration of Life for one of my uncles who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Family and friends from all over came to pay respects to this wonderful man. I didn’t get to see him as often as I’d like (who does these days?) so it still feels surreal that he’s gone.

The event took place in a little hotel event space and friends and family spoke fondly of the happy go lucky man I am proud to call my uncle. After the last person told their bittersweet story, we all wrote our wishes on balloons, went outside, and released the balloons to the sky, bringing our best wishes to the sky.

That evening, after relaxing for a few hours and visiting with various aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends, a small group of us went out for a yummy New England seafood feast. Clam chowder, fried clams, scallops… you name it, we ate it. I then went out for drinks at a little local spot with another cousin. Since we were out of season, we almost had the place to ourselves so were able to actually chat without being interrupted. That’s unheard of with all the summer folks in town, so I was grateful.

fried seafood platter, new england seafood feast

Love That Dirty Water

The next morning I was off, back to Boston. It was super muggy and I was carrying all of my belongings (since there are no longer lockers at transportation facilities). As I was walking around the city, I searched for a safe place to cool off and relax for a little while. I settled on the Public Library. The bathroom was large enough to freshen up in and there was free wifi. I sat in the atrium and visited with the folks back home before braving the heat and humidity.

boston commons

Having lived in Boston long ago, I wanted to check out my old haunts, see if my apartment building was still there (it was) and take a walk through the Fens. Then I walked my old route from my apartment, down Boylston Street, through Boston Commons, and eventually to Faneuil Hall.

It was fun reminiscing. But let me tell you, parts of Boston have changed a lot in the past 20+ years. I got turned around more than once and at one point had to ask directions (gasp!!)

After walking all over, I went to the Prudential Center and found a quiet bathroom where I could freshen up again before heading to dinner. The last food item on my list was a lobster roll and one of my uncles had pointed me in the direction of Select Oyster Bar. When I got to Select I realized I didn’t really need to freshen up too much as there were many guests there who had just come from the gym. But I certainly felt better about having done so.

I chose to sit at the bar to eat. The staff was wonderful, stowing my bag and immediately making me feel at home. I explained to them that I was visiting from out of town and they had been suggested to me for their lobster roll. Unfortunately, they only serve the lobster roll for lunch (had I known…) BUT they could approximate it easily. That was also when they told me it wasn’t a lobster roll, but their version of a deconstructed lobster roll. Well, in for an ounce and all that noise.

I ordered the deconstructed lobster roll and a cocktail called the Castaway. The bar manager who created all the cocktails told me a little about the drink. It was made with gin, grapefruit juice, a dash of cinnamon, and Tiki bitters. It was fabulously cool and refreshing, especially after the heat of the day. As the restaurant became busier, I was handed off to an equally capable bartender to take care of me for the rest of my meal. He chatted easily with me about what I do, where I’m from, why I was visiting. He was quite an enjoyable companion for my brief stay.

Shortly after the changing of the guard, my meal arrived. OMG, that lobster roll was so good.

Notice the lack of mayonnaise, the large chunks of lobster, the amount of food. You are looking at a divine slice of heaven right there. There was a light dressing on the lobster which lovingly enhanced the sweet, succulent crustacean. I could really get used to eating this. There were crusty bread pieces slathered with avocado to eat with the lobster. Though tasty as a whole, I was happy to nom the lobster as it was.

After the meal, I chose to decline dessert. However, I was offered, and accepted, a delightful amaro, Braulio. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to a meal.

China Town

I still had a few hours before my next bus so I headed to China Town to find more bubble tea (always with the bubble tea) and make my way to South Station for my departure. I found a little tea shop and grabbed a mango tea. I ran into what appeared to be a film shoot as I was walking and I stopped to watch for a little bit. Then back to the bus station to head to DC.

All in all, it was a fine day.

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