Saturday, April 16, 2016

My April 2016 Boston Trip (told mostly in pictures)

View from the train.
 This past weekend was spent with a couple friends in Boston, Massachusetts.  We took a train down on Saturday morning, and back on Sunday night.

One thing we did not think about was hockey.  Unfortunately our train down was completely full, and North Station was crazy packed because the Bruins were playing.  The station was the only place where we actually had any issues with the amount of people, so it worked out pretty well.

North station!!

Our first stop in Boston was to the New England Aquarium, of course.  I did want to be a Marine Biologist, and I kept fish for a long time so the aquarium was the first place I thought of to go.  We decided to walk
Boston still had the tiniest bit of snow.

Penguins, looking adorable, of course.
At the aquarium, after visiting the Shark and Ray touch tank, I took my camera out and started taking pictures of as many think as possible.  I definitely think I got some good ones! The penguins were surprisingly difficult to get good pictures of.  If they weren't moving the lighting was bad, or they'd be standing near their sprinkler things, which made the pictures look weird.  I got a couple, and did some editing.  This one is my favorite.

The whale skeleton backlit by the big center tank is in the running for my favorite picture I took at the aquarium.  I wasn't sure it was going to turn out, but the lighting works really well for it!

A gorgeous Freshwater Spotted Ray!
 The entire aquarium was my favorite part of the aquarium basically, but the freshwater tanks were actually inspiring.  While I don't have any fish right now I plan to set up my tanks again in the future.  They had some really cool freshwater tropical fish there, so now I'm psyched more than ever to get my tanks back up and running.

This turtle was swimming along the glass a lot, so it was pretty easy for me to get a bunch of pictures of it! This one was probably my favorite.

 One thing that happened that pretty much sucked was that I lost all my stuff that I bought at the aquarium.  I collect postcards, and Snow Globes, so I bought those, and some stuff for my family at the gift store of the aquarium.  I set it down while my friends and I were getting food, and accidentally left it and walked away.  When I realized it was missing a couple minutes later I went back and it was all gone.  That was a very disappointing part of the trip.

Two of the people I as hanging out with on Saturday I know through the theater, so they really wanted to check out a theater there in Boston.  We only went into the lobby area, but it was a really beautiful place!

 On Sunday we went to the Museum of Fine Arts in the morning, I didn't really take any good pictures in there.  Afterwards we visited the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Cheesecake being one of my favorite foods, I was very excited.
 Amy and I wandered around Boston for a while after that.  Neither of us are religious, but we definitely considered going into this church to look at the inside, because of how beautiful the outside of it is.  The bells were ringing, too.  We walked by as a church service was beginning, which is the only reason we didn't go in, we didn't want to disrupt the service, or leave halfway through or anything.

Even the doors on it were gorgeous!

We found the bridge with locks on it, it looks really cool.  Amy pointed out that it's right over a road, so if it does end up getting too heavy it could be really dangerous.  I don't think that'll stop anyone, though.

We walked through the Boston Common and met quite a few friendly animals.  I always try to slowly sneak up on animals to take their pictures, birds mostly, but occasionally others, so when I saw the ducks, goose, and squirrels in the park I started trying to sneak up close enough to get some good pictures.  Little did I know, I wouldn't really have to.

The ducks all stayed in the water, but let me get within a few feet of them to take some pictures.  The one I wasn't expecting to let me get anywhere near it was the goose.  I went especially slow up to it, for a couple of reasons.  Obviously if I'm trying to get a picture I don't want to scare it away, but I also didn't want it to attack me.  Geese are known for being vicious after all.  This Canadian Goose was somewhat friendly though.  It let me get close enough that I probably could have touched it, I didn't tempt fate by trying.  It did swim alongside me and Amy for a while when we walked away, until it was distracted by a pug.

Quite possibly my favorite part of the trip (stop judging me, this was amazing) was feeding the squirrels right out of my hand.

There were so many squirrels, so obviously I was trying to sneak up on them to get some pictures.  When a squirrel ran towards me I was really confused at first, but them quickly squatted down to try and get a picture, it then ran away.  However, I found a bunch more friendly squirrels, and started trying to get them to come up to me.  A couple did, and sniffed my hand, but ran away when they realized that I didn't have any food.  After a few minutes some people came by, and fed some popcorn to one squirrel before dropping a handful and then walking away.  I went over to it, and started hand feeding one squirrel to get some amazing close up pictures.  I have a ridiculous amount of pictures of friendly squirrels now, but it was definitely worth it!

So that's pretty much it! After the squirrels we explored Boston for a bit, then went to the train station and rode home.  I'm looking forward to more travels in the future, I've got a few more planned for this year.

If you want to see all my pictures from the trip to Boston check out my Flickr!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Travel adulting, Important Points for the New Adult

As you may know I am only 18 years old.  I used to tell people that when I got older I wanted to just to travel, and I didn't plan on going to college or getting some super fancy normal job that made lots of money.  This, of course, freaked a lot of people out.

Now, I have found ways to say the same thing, but without saying "I want to do something where I can just travel!".  Such as, "I'm slowly starting up a travel blog, and I've got a nice camera so I'm learning about photography", and "I'd really like to write and run a travel blog, in fact I already have a blog that I've been working on for a little while!" These answers, to the common adult, sound way better than the original.

Saying I want to travel is one thing, actually traveling and being smart about it is a completely different one.  Anyone can say "oh I want to go other places in the world", it takes a lot of time, effort, and money to plan an entire trip, and then actually do it.

So, I have here a couple of things new adults will want to consider when traveling for the first time (or first couple times) without a parent.  Hopefully this will give you a couple things to think about.

  • When, where, what, who, how?  When are you arriving/departing, times and dates.  Where are you going, exactly?  What are you doing while you're there?  Who, if anyone, are you going with?  How are you getting there, back, and to/from bus stations/airports, etc?  Answer these questions to start.
  • Travel Insurance.  Depending on where you're going and how long you're staying you may want to consider Travel Insurance.
  • Budgeting.  Do you have enough money to buy that souvenir and get dinner tonight?  Taxi, or the subway, which is cheaper or faster, and do you have more time or more money to spare? 

As an example check out my answers and thought about the above points in reference to my upcoming Boston trip:

  • When?  I am leaving in the morning on April 9th, and returning late night on April 10th.  I know I need to be at the train station at least 30 minutes before departure.
  • Where?  Boston, Massachusetts.  Personally I don't know the exact address, we're staying with my friend's friend. 
  • What?  My friend has most of the plans, that she has made.  I do know that on Saturday we are going to the aquarium in the morning, and to get piercings afterwards.  We'll also be visiting some museums, and the cheesecake factory on Sunday!
  • Who?  I'll be traveling with my one of my best friends, Amy.
  • How?  We'll be traveling by train there and back.  She will be driving to and from the train station here.
  • Travel Insurance?  I did get cheap travel insurance through Amtrak because in case of a last minute cancellation, if I wasn't concerned about that I probably wouldn't have gotten it for this short of a trip.  However, because I am concerned about that (I've been sick a lot lately!), and because it wasn't very expensive I went for it.
  • Budgeting?  I'm still working out my budget for the trip.  My friend has been looking into pricing for piercings, and has already gotten passes for a couple things.  I bought the tickets for both of us already.  The biggest thing is going to be food, so as long as I plan for that I should be all set!
So, maybe I don't have everything 100% figured out for my trip, but I do have possibly the most important things, my tickets there and back.  I also know where I have to be and when I have to be there for those! Being prepared is important.