This is How You Christmas: My Boston Trip

December 20th to December 27th, 2013

After an insanely busy few weeks in LA I hopped on my flight to Boston. Hotel, wake, then filled up on brunch and deferred my Christmas shopping (although I was on Newbury Street, the best shopping probably in New England) and met with my old friend Dan just outside the city. We caught up for a little bit and decided to go shoot guns. I did pretty well for not having shot in a year or so. Dan is ridiculously accurate. Also there was a guy with a fully automatic rifle next to us. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized I’d never actually heard machine gun fire in person. Pretty terrifying and impressive. Some people hear that every day. I’d say I’m fortunate that it was my first time… After that we grabbed some Thai food and I got on a train to Leominster, MA, my hometown. The train is always really relaxing for me. The hour ride brings me quickly from sky scrapers and graffiti, to woods and trees and… other green plant things. My dad and big brother were there to pick me up and I rode home in the backseat next to my nephew Lou who was passed out hard in his car seat. It didn’t take long for me to nod off either.

Sunday morning I woke, packed all the warm clothes in sight, and hit the rode with my brother and cousin towards New Hampshire. We stopped at Eastern Mountain Sports to pick up some cold weather hiking gear; boots, ice axes, etc, and got to sleep early. 4am alarms start to buzz from all of our rooms and we gear up for the physical challenge of my life: Mt Washington. Breakfast, coffee, coffee, coffee, 1 hour drive and we were at the base. Can’t say it was a particularly clear day so I couldn’t really see how high 6,500′ looked, but I found out. 30 degrees at the base wasn’t bad. We cruised up the main trail in a couple hours. Our waterproof gear didn’t do the best at keeping us dry so once we were above the tree line and the winds picked up things got cold. Soon we were starving and running low on energy and the freezing rain and 90mph gusts threw us off trail a few times. And due to warmer than normal temps the snow was soft enough for us to sink down to our hips every few steps. Disheartening to say the least. But we powered through. Refuge was found under a small pine tree on the way back down where we ate our soaking wet sandwiches and wondered what the hell we were thinking doing this hike in December. But what a great experience it was. I can’t think of a better way to bond with family than conquering the highest peak on the east coast in the dead of winter during a rain/snow storm. After a shower, a burger, and a beer, we had a quiet 3 hour ride home. I recommend committing to something that seems beyond you physically, and finishing no matter how hard. You will learn a lot about yourself.

Now the real biggest challenge of my trip still lay ahead: doing all my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. But, riding high with confidence from the day before, I completed the challenge in just under 4 hours, beginning and ending the day with a trip to Toys R Us. I saw a car accident, a couple breaking up in the romance section of Barnes and Noble (ironic), and a record store sold out of Boys Like Girls CDs. Can’t complain. That night my dad and I went to our cousin’s house to eat too many meatballs and wash them all down with a little red wine. Fast forward, Christmas, nephew receiving 47 different trucks from Santa, family brunch, lobsters in the evening, bowling, partying in Boston, running into old friends, and here I am at the Salt Lake City airport on a 6 hour layover. I volunteered to give up my seat for a $400 plane voucher. Y’know what? It’s my birthday in a couple weeks, and I’m gonna treat myself to a little getaway. 🙂

PS: I’ve been thinking a lot about relative vs absolute. And the whole concept that you can never really know anything 100%. Nothing is absolute. Everyone sees everything differently, even if just slightly. And a few situations in my life lately have led me to this:

There is no right or wrong. Just right for me, or wrong for me.

Think about that. A very extreme example: The terrorists who took down the world trade centers believed they were right and Americans were wrong. Every single moment in my entire life has led me to knowing that my way of life is right for me. In the same sense that the terrorists lives which led them to committing mass murder seemed right for them. Now scale that back a lot: any argument you have with someone, both sides will believe they are right. Since there is no such thing as “right” each person will have only to decide what is right for them. Put yourself in other peoples shoes no matter what before coming to a conclusion. Because everyone is different. And everyone sees situations differently.

This is Tahoe^

Life is confusing.

Love you all,