[Coffee Bean Town]

Today began with identical responses to the shrill insistence of beeping alarms: flailing about to shut them off and rolling over back to doze. Unfortunately, that response was the wrong one, since we had planned a lot to do. So, after lying half-awake for twenty minutes, we had to leave our blanket nests and get ready for the day.

Two cups of tea, an English muffin, and a banana later, we were ready to go. Or so we thought.

Back inside to borrow a sweatshirt, since Boston had dropped to a wonderful 49 degrees Fahrenheit and we had a lot of walking to do. It also rained off and on the entire day, but only a bit of a sprinkle now and then. Never a full-on downpour.

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The first thing on the list was a thirty-minute walk to Rodney’s Bookstore in Cambridge. It’s a treasure trove of old books, used books, and other items (Polaroid cameras, art pieces, prints, and maps among them). We probably spent at least an hour poring over titles, and I was lucky to exit with only one purchase: A German translation of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield.

Note: My German is not great, but I am hoping to improve at least my written grasp of it, if not my spoken.

Next up was Algiers Coffee House, a coffeehouse catering to international flavors. Jackie and I both ordered coffee (Arabic and Turkish-style, respectively) and some lunch. She had Mjaddarah (lentils, rice, and onions with yogurt sauce on the side), and I munched down on a falafel sandwich. Delicious, although the coffee was much stronger than we both anticipated. We drank it anyway.

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After Algiers, we strolled through the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, which had flags set out in memory of the Massachusetts soldiers lost in the Revolutionary War. 37,000 of them, to be exact. That’s more people than currently live in the town I went to college in. We weren’t the only ones taking it in, either.

We stopped by the Boston Public Library, but it was closed to observe the holiday. The building itself is rather grand, though, and the rain added a bit of something to the atmosphere.

After that, we wandered a bit more, stopping in and out of bookstores and bread shops. We stayed a while in Knight Moves board game cafe, trying out a few new games (and an old one, just for the fun of it). It was a good few hours, but we did tire of the very loud children at the table next to us. There’s no need to yell out the instructions a dozen times, and definitely no call for screeching. But, children rarely know when to use their inside voices (I certainly didn’t as a child), so we put up with it.

The walk back to the apartment was about 20 minutes. Had we taken the T, it would have been 40. The joys of public transportation, I suppose. But the rain let up a bit, and we were able to appreciate the beauty of the old homes in the neighborhood. (Everything was well out of our price range, including the apartments, but I can still appreciate the view.)

Home and dry once more, one of Jackie’s college friends dropped by for a visit. We spent a few hours watching GBBO, playing games, and eating, and then said goodbye and headed to bed.

All in all, a lovely day, if a bit gray.

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