Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Week in Boston

Getting to know Boston has been an interesting experience for Jose and me :). The day we arrived, it was a lot hotter than we'd anticipated; it was about 91 degrees. So when we got to the apartment, we were a little disappointed that it didn't come with an AC unit. But we weren't too upset. What we'd seen on the way from the airport to our new place was enough to put us in a good mood for the rest of the day. The taxi driver was hilarious and I think we saw our lives flash before us the whole time we were in the car, let's just say the taxi drivers like to keep you on the edge of your seat when they're behind the wheel, literally :D. They honk for any reason, sometimes I think it's their way of greeting other drivers.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, the drive home was beautiful. The homes and apartments look like what you'd see on a stereotypical postcard of the East Coast. Tall, old, and classic, with just enough character to not be considered intimidating, the deep red brick buildings look cozy and inviting next to the many Christmasy looking trees. And the homes? They remind me of the Victorian ones in San Francisco, but they're a tad bit bigger...and I mean a tad. Every once in awhile you'll see a larger one, though. They usually have nice sized patios, tall pillars, and detailed molding on their exteriors.

So how does our apartment compare to these homes? It's old, about 100 years. It has creaky wooden floors and tons of character. The oven was probably from the 60s (I say was because it's no longer with us :P...), at least, and the heaters? They look like antiques, but they definitely match my style :). The oven started sparking the first day I used it, and it got so hot that it set off a fire alarm in the building. I didn't hear it, but I called 911 when the oven started to pop and sizzle after I turned it off, and they'd mentioned that an alarm had just gone off in the building. The head firefighter said it was no longer safe to use, so he, along with a few others, disconnected it from the wall...and I got a brand new beautiful oven a few days later! It works great! I don't think I've ever used an oven this new before, but it's nice to know I can bake again without having to worry about whether or not I'm going to start a fire in the kitchen :P. All in all, the kitchen is great. Not up to date, but huge! There's a ton of counter space, which makes cooking and baking a lot easier than it used to be in our old apartment.

Our new apartment has really turned into a home over the past few days. Our boxes arrived from Austin just two days ago and, anxious to set everything up and get this place feeling cozy, Jose and I unpacked all but one box the first night. UPS delivered them outside the building, so it was difficult getting a few of the 100lb boxes up here (the delivery guy was, apparently, supposed to help [he refused to and later got in trouble for it!] but he didn't, so Jose had to carry them all in on his own, injured shoulder and all!).

Other than that, we've gotten lost nearly every time we've left our apartment in a car :P, at least until today (you'll find out why in a minute :D). Though we did sell our car, Jose signed us up for a service called Zipcar; they charge their members a reasonable hourly fee to use one of their vehicles whenever an online appointment is made in advance. Thankfully, we live literally 2 blocks away from 18 Zipcars, so getting access to one is easy...getting back in time before our car rental ends isn't, though :P. This has made getting lost in Boston a bit more stressful for us (if we don't make it back before our time with the car is up, Zipcar charges us $50. They monitor their cars via satellite, cool huh?).

Good news, though! Our GPS system came in today! We decided to take a trip to Home Depot a few hours ago, to pick out a few flowers for our cute patio and try out the new GPS system, and it works wonderfully! We didn't get lost and we got back half an hour before our Zipcar reservation ended! I don't know why we didn't think of getting one before, but I really recommend it to anyone who's moving to a new city. It's a really cool device because it reroutes your trip if you take a wrong turn! Part of the reason why we were getting lost so much was because the streets here aren't named (a lot of the signs are missing), but the GPS is able to track our every move, so now we don't miss the streets we're supposed to turn on :).

We plan on going back to Harvard Square (click here to read about it) tomorrow.  Jose checked out a few stores and restaurants they have online, and they sound awesome. They have a bookstore that specializes in selling reallllly old books, some of them are from the 16th century! 

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