Boston 2008



Diary of my trip to Boston MA with my friends Marvin French and Alice Leight November 2008


11/20/08  Got up at 6:00am; showered, had breakfast, and packed for trip to Boston.  Mike took me to the Rockford Clock tower to catch the 7:00am Van Gelder bus (fare $18) to Chicago O’Hara airport.  All went well and I was at the airport and checked in by 8:30am.  The O’Hara security made me get down to two carry on bags tota,l a first for me.  Fortunately I was able to put my purse into my computer bag and then with my camera bag only had two.  My American Airline direct flight to Boston left on time at 10:15am.  The Boston area from the sky was beautiful, full of lakes and bays.  I took a shuttle from Logan Airport to Copely Square Marriot Hotel which only cost $15.  I had to wait 2 hours for check-in until 4:00pm which made me unhappy.  I decided to walk down this enclosed mall to a great seafood oyster bar called “Legal Seafood”  My fried oyster were wonderful along with some French White Burgundy.  I had a great conversation with a local retired school teacher and a bridge player while dining for two hours.  The owner even brought complimentary samples of Lobster Bisque and Chowder for me to taste.  Finally got checked into my room at 4:30pm.  The ACBL bridge room rates are $145 +12.5% tax.  I stayed the rest of the evening in my room with TV and laptop for company.

11/21/08  Marvin and I went out for breakfast.  We then played in the 4 session qualifying National Pairs starting at 1:00pm.  We did not have a good day at the table mostly because of our own very poor bidding and some sub standard defense and play.  We ate at the Legal Seafood restaurant between sessions.  We did not qualify but doing so would not have been a problem if we just cleaned up our bidding.

11/22/08  Marvin and I played in the Seniors Open pairs event.  We placed 4th in the overall.  I misplayed about 3 hands because I was tired apparently still suffering from my cold and/or jet lag.  We should have easily won the event.  We lost 3rd place because of a scoring error which I missed by an opponent.  We had this women set one and then she made a false claim which the director said was enticed by Marvin when I still had a trump left if scored was down two.  The director disallowed another trick because Marvin made a comment “wasn’t it time to claim”, so we left the table way behind and then the offending player miss scored it?  I decided not to go through the hassle of getting it corrected.  After the final session at 7:00am we went to the Skipjacks for more seafood.  I had sword fish the best I ever had.  Marvin had a 1.25# lobster for $20 a real bargain.  You could order a 2nd lobster for $15 more.  Alice had baked Scrod also very good.  I highly recommend this restaurant that is very reasonably price.  I will be trying their sushi some time soon.

11/23/08  Got up early at 7:15am and worked on my diary and web site.  Sure wished I had internet wifi but I am not willing to pay $15 per day for it.  Marvin and Alice wanted to go to lunch.  We went to the mall bakery which was good.  We saw Andy Low at the restaurant who was in Boston to play bridge.  Next we waked to the meeting house museum about 1.5 miles in the 22 F windy weather brr.  We walked back after touring the museum.  Rested in the room a couple hours and then we went to dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen located in the Prudential Mall.  We met John Kissinger and wife at the restaurant.  Marvin and Alice played bridge but I decided to take the day off from bridge.

11/24/08  I got up late, worked on the computer a couple hours and then went to lunch at the Legal Seafood Restaurant.  I had chardonnay wine, salad with real blue cheese, hot sourdough bread, and muscles.  I decided to walk to the Boston Fine Arts Museum about 6 long blocks away as it was perhaps in the low 30’s with little wind.  The museum was great and I especial enjoyed the American oil paintings by, Lewis Holmer, John Copley, and  John Sargent.  They allowed non flash photography in the museum.  I was really tired when I walked back about 4:00pm so I purchased two Cherry Bomb chocolate truffles in the Prudential shopping mall that were to die for to reward my exercise program.  I had dinner with Marvin at Legal Seafood and then did computer and TV the rest of the night.

11/25/08  I got up 7:30am and it was raining outside.  I worked on computer until 9:45am and then went out to Au Bo Pain and Starbucks for cinnamon roll and coffee.  I met Peter Zaire from San Diego in Prudential Mall when returning to my room.  Marvin and I played Mini Blue Ribbon Pairs 2 qualifying and 2 final session.  We had about 52% in afternoon and 69.6% in evening currently in 2nd place overall which I am mostly happy with.  Between sessions Marvin, Alice, and I ate at PF Changs.  Reservations for all the restaurants in the Prudential Mall are necessary between 5 and 6 pm.  After the final session the ACBL provided an apple turnover with cheese on top that was very tasty.

11/26/08  I did not sleep well as I kept reviewing a few problem hands from yesterday.  Marvin and I played in the Mini Blue Ribbon finals today.  They used wireless electronic scoring which was really cool.  One per table is provided, north has it and enters the contact with the number of tricks made, west or east approves by entering a pass word which was determined and entered at the beginning of the round.  I think the cost is about $300 per device.  The scoring at the end of the game is almost immediate which is really nice.  Very few errors can occur as the electronic scorer knows the vulnerability and makes the score automatically after the contract and number of tricks are entered.  Unfortunately Marvin and I played bad and we ended up with 2 average rounds not making the over all.  Between sessions we ate at Piattini a small Italian restaurant 2 blocks away.  The food was excellent and theoretically only $ but I think it should have been $$ as it moderately expensive.  We had free clam chowder after the game.

11/27/08  It looks like a beautiful sunny warm day in Boston.  I picked up a pleasant partner Barb Schultz from Victoria Canada and we played in a compact knockout with partners from San Francisco.  We lost the first match and won the 2nd thus qualifying for the consolation knockout.  One guy a lawyer on the team was quite weak causing us to lose one match and later 1 more Swiss team match.  I ate dinner between sessions with Marvin and Alice at the American Grill.  I had a huge piece of cod that was excellent.  Marvin and Alice played a 2 session mixed pairs event apparently having only a 30% game the first session.  At night our team mates wanted to switch to a one session Swiss teams, so we did.  We were 50% again for the evening.

11/28/08  I am really tired this morning so I decided not to play bridge.  Marvin and Alice called me about 11:00 am.  We went to the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower Building sky walk museum.   It has some beautiful views of the city, St Charles River, Fenway Park, MIT campus, Christian Science Church, Commons Park, and many other sites of interest.  Next we walked to Piattini’s for lunch.  I had lobster ravioli and a glass of Chianti Classico for lunch.  We then walked back toward the hotel and come upon the Boston Public Library which recently finished renovations.  We picked up with a tour of the library and were amazed at the beauty of the art on the walls of the library.  The walls were covered with oil paintings done by John Sargent the famous portrait painter and were beautiful.  This is the best biggest most beautiful library I have ever been in.  We then went back to our rooms to rest a few hours.  At 7:30pm I went out with the French’s to the “Legal Seafood Restaurant”  in the mall to have dinner.  I decided to have a 1.5# lobster seeing it was my last night.  I bought  some cherry bomb truffles on way to my room for some sweets on plane tomorrow.
11/29/08 Had to get up at 4:00am to make my 6:30am plane on Continental Airlines to San Diego via Newark New Jersey.  I shared a taxi with another couple leaving at 4:30am.  The cab ride was only $18 total taking about 10 minutes through the big dig tunnel.  I listened to an audible book on my Ipod called the 12 Caesars of Rome.  My flights all went well and I arrived in San Diego 40 minutes early.  Linda picked me up and we stopped at Panara’s for lunch.  It was great to be back in 65 F sunny weather of San Diego.







Last updated on April 23, 2009