I am going to start by saying that I am going to break the trip up into multiple posts. If I try to combine them then I will be writing several novels. But I will highlight each day and then have separate posts for the BAA 5K race, my trip to Fenway and spectating the marathon. Why am I breaking this up into so many posts? Because it’s my blog and I will do what I want.
As I have stated before, this trip was a year in the making. It was important for me to be there supporting the marathon one year later. It was important for me to be amongst the spectator crowd cheering for everyone running. I wanted to be part of this momentous event. I wanted to be with my fellow runners as we all took back the finish line. Runners and spectators alike were affected by those bombs and I think it was equally important for both runners and spectators to take back that finish line.
I also knew going into this trip that it was likely to be a highly emotional weekend. I wasn’t sure how I would react… but I knew the whole weekend would be emotional. It is hardly a spoiler for me to tell you that the weekend was, in fact, emotional.
My day started off bright and early… well actually… it wasn’t bright because I left my place around 4:30 in the morning… well before the sun came up. I kept going back and forth between taking a cab to the airport or going my normal way (Bus and Train). In the end my dislike for spending money on cabs (I can think of better ways to spend $40ish) is what made my decision and I went with public transportation. I found in interesting to learn that the 22 bus around 4:30 in the morning is full of people asleep as more than half the seats were filled with people who appeared to be riding the bus from start to end sleeping. It was a quick and eventful bus ride as was the train. I got lucky with perfect timing for both the bus and train and I don’t think I waited more than 2 minutes for either. Perfect timing that never works out when you NEED it to. I left with more than enough time to get to the airport including possible delays. So it was not one of those days where I needed the timing to work out perfectly.
I arrived at the airport with time to spare and checked in and checked my bag. Because my awesome father treated me to the flight and also treated me to a first class seat, I was able to zip through the security line. I grabbed coffee and a bagel and chilled until it was time to board. I had hoped to sleep on the plane but I was far too excited to sleep.
And true to form, when I have plenty of time to kill (my parents flight landed a little over an hour after mine), the flight landed early and my bag was third off the belt.
I found a place to hang out until my parents flight landed. We then all piled into a cab to the hotel. We stayed in a hotel located about a block from Fenway park. After checking in, we went in search of food because we were all starving. There was a pretty yummy place across the street from the hotel and this ended up being our go to place for the weekend.
We relaxed in the hotel for a little bit before Mom and I decided to go for a little walk. Well, out little walk turned into a long walk because we were given wrong directions. Eventually though, we found our way to a cute little area of Boston and we actually did find the intended destination eventually… though we never did go in.
During our wandering around while lost, we ended up on Boylston Street. I knew that Boylston was part of the Marathon route but I was s bit disoriented and wasn’t sure if this was THE Boylston street. Of course once I looked left, I quickly realized that it was THE Boylston because the finish line was there.
I had mixed emotions immediately.
Not only was I a mere few blocks away from the iconic finish line, but I was also near the two bomb sights. Obviously, I knew this moment was going to come but I wasn’t exactly prepared for it to come while getting lost with my mom. But that didn’t change my desire to get as close as I could so we walked down to the finish line.
On the way there, I saw flowers and various small objects on the ground, I knew immediately that it was the second bomb location. A little closer the finish line I saw the same thing again and knew it was the first bomb location. And here come the tears…
I was able to mostly keep it together but it was a bit of a struggle and lucky the need to pay attention to where I was going and to traffic forced me to redirect my focus.
We ended up in front of the Marathon Running store right by the finish line and mom and I ducked inside. She was looking for a shirt for a friend of hers and I came to Boston with intentions of spending money on running gear/marathon souvenirs. Mom found what she was looking for and bought a Boston Strong shirt to wear while spectating. I also got a Boston Strong shirt and some Boston Strong bracelets that I have been looking for but had been unable to find.
It was then into a cab to head back to the hotel. We went back to the room to get dad and grabbed some appetizers at the restaurant next to the hotel. We all climbed into bed pretty early. It had been a day of early travel for all of us.
But we had a game plan for Day 2…