Friday, April 02, 2010

Boston

There was a Haptics conference that I was interested in in Boston that also happened to be close to my birthday. I figured it would be a good idea to go since I would be getting my PhD in the area. The conference was great and I learned lots of information, took lots of pictures of all the posters and demos that were presented. It kind of ticks me off that I had to pay for everything though since I was used to my work covering conferences for me. L. was quick to remind me that she was required to log hours at confrences but never got paid for it. One of the funny things is that since the conference is about haptics (using touch to interact with computers) and L. had bought me a pair of shoes that were supposed to be like walking barefoot, I kept getting distracted by the extra sensations from my feet during the talks. That night they had the dinner at the Boston Science museum. It was odd eating dinner with a dinosuar on one side and a display explaining cancer on the other.
Since L. wanted to escape she came up on a train that night to spend the weekend too since we had not been anywhere for a while, and we had not done any sight seeing in Boston since we visited 14 years earlier. The confernece was actually in a suburb of Boston, and there was nothing to do in Waltham. Instead I showed L. around to all the demos such as the virtual surgeon and dentist trainer. They were real enough to give her the creeps and she didn't want to try them out for to long.
Our hotel room was right in the center of the old part of town so it was quite nice to just leave the car and walk everywhere. The first thing that we did was walk along the Farmers market and buy some strawberries. We then walked through Faneuil Hall markets and surprisingly found breakfast burritos. How could I turn that down? Since the last time we were in Boston we had been hurried along to see everything in one day we took our time and just walked the brick trail. We walked to the Old North Church re-igiting an old joke that every church we saw on the east coast is the "Old North Church" (The white new england style church is pretty generic.) But this time we had time to go inside. We also went inside Paul Revere's house. (I still have a hard time believing that there are still structures standing from the 1600's in America.
For our monthly picnic I had brought along the backpack for the trip and we had a picnic of clam chowder and fresh strawberries in Boston Common. Right across the street from Boston Common is the bar that the show that Cheers was based on. We walked through there and yes it felt like we were walking though an 15 year old show TV set. L. wanted to see the history museum so we drove out to see it but they were closed that day. We were right next door to the JFK library but decided we didn't want to go there so instead we just headed home.

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