I left on my road trip early Sunday morning in my parents minivan (stylin’ I know) bound for Boston.  The journey was around seven and a half hours – definitely the longest I’ve ever driven on my own.  I felt so strange crossing the border on my own in the van, with nothing but my few belongings in the back.  Some highlights along the way were stopping for Tim Hortons (I had mixed feelings of bliss and resentment), and passing a place called Canadaigua.  I also passed over some crazy awesome old steel bridges.  The toll roads took some getting used to, and I’m glad we don’t have those in Canada.  For some reason my GPS had reset itself or something and sent me to downtown Boston instead of Cambridge.  It was pretty crazy to drive through the downtown of that city, and there were a lot of underground stretches of highway.  Once in Cambridge it still took quite a while to get myself to a parking garage because of road closures.  Students, trees, brick buildings, and narrow one-way streets were EVERYWHERE.  I was disappointed to find that my phone didn’t want to work in the States (a slight oversight), and so I decided to walk to the place I was supposed to meet my CS host and try to call him on a pay phone.  Luckily after a few tries I was finally able to connect with him.  My CS host turned out to be a really nice guy.  I soon met his two other housemates and a visiting cousin who was staying over the same days as me.  That night we met up with a few other people and hit a couple of bars for food and drinks.

The next day we got up pretty early, and I headed out on a day trip while the others went to work.  I visited MIT and Harvard, and both schools were great.  Harvard was my favourite because they actually gave a formal tour and were much more friendly and welcoming, are a much bigger school, and have amazing facilities.  MIT had more the small town feel and instead of having an individual building, were mixed together in a large building with many other departments.  They were still good about answering my questions though and showing me around the maze of architecture rooms and studios.  Both the university campuses were gorgeous.

After all of those tours it was already mid-afternoon, but it wasn’t too late to do a quick jaunt around Boston.  I quickly mastered the subway and managed to see many of the sites and buildings that I wanted to see before I met up with the others again that evening.  I saw the Boston City Hall, a market area, the harbour front, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Trinity Church, the John Hancock tower (I. M. Pei & Partners), the Boston Public Library (Philip Johnson), and the Christian Science Plaza (I. M. Pei).  It was an awesome day.

That night our CS gang decided to go grocery shopping and then eat in.  We all chipped in and made delicious lasagna and enjoyed it over good wine, great conversation, and classic rock/pop music that eventually led to an in-house dance party of four.  Good times!

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