A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to Boston to watch the annual Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River (between Cambridge and Boston Proper). It was "wicked" fun and for the first time in about three years, the weather was absolutely beautiful. Blue skies and sunshine with a bit of chill, but nothing like the mucus over-production inducing cruelty of years past. I went to see my good old Alma Mater crew teammates row in an alumni boat and to hang out with another non-crew college friend, Tiberius. Elroy accompanied, of course, and we
appropriately boo-ed Cambridge and cheered on Oxford (who went on to beat the Cambridge).
That night also happened to be the night of the annual Life is Good sponsored Pumpkin Festival in Boston Commons where they try to beat the Guiness Book of World Records record for the most Jack O'Lanterns in one place that was set by Keene, NH (a town of 22,778, by the way) of 28,952 carved pumpkins. Astoundingly enough, Boston BEAT them this year! They had a record of 30,128 pumpkins! Insane. And in a year of pumpkin shortage! I have for your enjoyment included a picture of the always humbling Tower o' Pumpkin.
Elroy is new to all things Boston so we (Tiberius and I) took him on a little tour of MIT with the intention of going to the MIT student center to part-take in some burrito fantastic-ness from an Anna's Taqueria that is situated on some prime real estate admist poor and hungry students. It must be said that the Anna Taqueria experience is much like that of getting soup from the Soup Nazi. You wait in line and appropriately step up to the counter to order your burrito innards, but this must be done in a clear, loud, and decisive fashion. If you don't do this, you get weird garbled grunted English from some very intimidating looking Mexican burrito-istas. This leads to holding up the line and you just never want to be that guy. But these burrito makin' factories (mistaken for people) don't mess around. If you want
guacamole you had better WANT it. Sir, yes, sir I would like some pinto beans!! But the humiliation is well worth is as the burrito is the most delicious I've ever had. I'm not a Mexican food connoisseur but I know good food from bad and this, my friends, is GOOD, affordable cheesy avocado-y beefy deliciousness. We walked around the campus and saw the crazy achitechural bipolar structure that IS the William H. Gates building which just goes to show you don't have to graduate college to have buildings at a rival Ivy school named after you.
The best part of the weekend had to be the Sunday breakfast. I don't know if you're going to find this as infinitely amusing as I do, but let me share with you the golden nugget of the past few weeks. Tiberius was possessed of the spirit of amazing host with a dash of Martha Stewart and made us a breakfast of fresh blueberry waffles and toasted cinnamon raisin bagels. Typical American carb-alicious breakfast. Elroy let fly the notion that he really has never had waffles before, and definitely not for breakfast. You must realize that he comes from a land where they eat meat (read: sheep offal) that has been minced cooked with onions and carrots inside a sheep's stomach. Right.
Tiberius, gracious as ever, commanded us to eat the waffles before they get cold. However, he was in the middle of toasting all of our bagles and I happened to get my bagel first and I thereby skiped the waffle for my crisp warm bagel. After slathering on some cream cheese, I passed it on to Elroy for his pending bagel. I noticed Elroy surreptitiously putting a small pile of cream cheese on his plate, which he was then dipping into to happily put on his waffles with compete disregard for the beautiful amber-colored Vermont maple syrup on the table. At this point I was severly amused and trying not to laugh out loud and I deliberately focused on putting syrup on my waffles, after which Tiberius (oblivious to any waffle desecration) did the same, and then Elroy himself, being the observant scientist that he is, decided to join in on the All-American fun.
The next weekend in Providence while walking back from grocery shopping I casually asked if English people put cream cheese on their blueberry waffles. After some discussion about appropriate waffle protocol, he then proceed to admonish me for not telling him at the time that he was commiting a waffle faux pas. I told him I thought he looked pretty content and pleased with his waffle eating situation and one should be able to eat waffles with whatever topping one likes. I bet waffles with cream cheese tastes great. It's not how people normally eat them, but perhaps what we're dealing with here is a cute English man infamously known wear mismatched socks posing as a breakfast trendsetter.