Pairs (Charles de Gualle) to London (Heathrow) : 1h 10min
London (Heathrow) to Boston (Logan) : 7h 15min
Boston was my city for seven years (graduate school) before Paris, and I still get that warm, fuzzy “I’ve come home” feeling when I step off the jetway and head straight for Dunkin’ Donuts (maybe it’s just be the combo caffeine/sugar high – have you seen them scoop the white stuff into those cups ??).
Although many of my friends have moved on to greener pastures, several are still toiling away in Beantown, including (most importantly) The German.
**Note – many have questioned my insistent use of a nickname for my fiancé. The German requests that I respect his desire for some semblance of privacy on my blog, hence the lack of his proper name – and, with the exception of Star Trek references I have vetoed, this name works for now.**
Due to our upcoming travel together in California the following week, my trip to visit The German in Boston was short – only three days – and packed with (a lot of) work and fun.
Much to my surprise and pleasure, I had been invited back by my graduate department to present my research in Paris. I gave an overview of the current work we are doing in Cairo (I know, I know – I owe you all an installment on that progress as well), which provided me with a great opportunity to show off some shiny new data, as well as fun pyramid pictures. I was pleased with how the talk itself went; although the field I am studying now is significantly different from that investigated by my old lab, my former colleagues seemed interested and engaged in what I was doing.
Several people seemed especially intrigued to see how it was possible to transition from formal training in a relatively basic molecular biology/biochemistry environment to being part of a clinical immunology group whose science was having a direct, beneficial impact on the HCV patients that we study. I did have to spend a signficant amount of time during that first weekend putting the talk together (my talent for procrastination amazes even me), but it appeared that it was well worth the effort to share my new life with my old friends (even though it would have been more fun if Dr. Johnson could have joined us).
As a much anticipated break from the constant PowerPoint-ing, The German and I joined my cousin for our first (of what I hope is many) journeys to Fenway Park. Those of you who know me understand that, if you were hearing this face-to-face, I would be jumping up and down with the excitement; not only did we get to go to a Red Sox game, but sharing one of my favorite things (baseball) with someone I love (awww) was fantastic. Even the persistent rain delay did not quench my anticipation and we passed the extra time across the street crossing nachos off of my “to-eat-on-vacation” list and sipping blueberry ale.
Once the game started, we had great seats behind the Pesky Pole and were able to cheer our team (through another rain delay and) onto victory. I could go on and on about my love for baseball. In fact, I am sure I have with at least 90% of those of you reading this. It is enough to say that I believe that Fenway Park is a magical place, and this day was no different. Even The German enjoyed it and did not seem too afraid at the prospect of spending many future afternoons watching silly Americans hitting a ball with a stick and running around in circles. That will at least give us ample opportunity to explain the Infield Fly Rule (you’re welcome).
In the blink of an eye (maybe that was a twitch from all that computer time) the first three days of my whirlwind worldwide adventure were over. I did not get a chance to visit with all the friends I would have liked – or eat that giant plate of Fish ‘n’ Chips I had been coveting (I chose Shepherd’s Pie instead). However, Boston kicked off the trip with love, laughter, work and baseball – themes that have dominated my journey so far.
Timelessly said by The Standells (and so true, although The Charles is supposed to be clean now – a fact that I have not seen or heard of anyone testing firsthand):
Well I love that dirty water.
Oh oh, Boston, you’re my home.