i met julie after work on the kendall station subway platform. we headed over to davis station, where she unlocked her parked bicycle and we walked back to her place near tufts university. this was my first time in julie apartment, the place has a lot of character, looks very lived in and decorated, a nice pad. we changed into our running gear and julie drove us to walden pond in her oldsmobile. this was also my first time riding julie's infamous car. funny, the car doesn't look possessed. it's actually a pretty high tech car, with digital displays and a dancing hawaiian man on the dashboard.

walden pond closes at 8pm. not wanting to get the car locked inside of the walden pond area when it does close, we parked by the local high school and ran to walden pond. i vaguely remember being at walden pond before but it was such a long time ago, i don't remember any details about my last visit. we ran around the perimeter of the pond, which we figured was at least a mile, but with all the hills and running in such hot weather and running on a woodsy path, i think that one mile should be more like 3 miles. regardless, when we finally stopped to jump into the pond, i wasn't very tired at all. it was pretty interesting run along the trails. they're kept in pretty good shape, not a lot of hazards like large ankle breaking rocks or awkwardly growing tree roots. there was the smell of the woods (decomposing pine needle aroma, sweet sycamores, amongst others), and while running i spotted a lot of colorful wildflowers that would be worth revisiting on just a photo taking trip. there were also other people using the pond, not a whole lot because it was sort of late in the day. these were people hoping to steal less than a hour's worth of pond swimming on a hot summer evening. we'd run by people walking the trails (instead of running it, like us), or groups of young people huddled by shoreline rocks, heads sticking out of the water, the occasional smell of marijauna smoke.

while running i accidently swallowed a bug. julie also explained to me how the pond system works, that there are these little rocky clearing on the perimeter of the pond, and you try to find one that nobody's using and then claim it for yourself while you take a dip in the water. i didn't realize walden pond has these unspoken rules! julie also told me (she's such a walden pond expert) that the thoreau house use to be on one side of the pond but was later relocated at the sake of authenticity so people driving into the reserve can see the house more easily.

into the water we went. julie dived in headfirst while i took baby steps and slowly edged myself deeper and deeper into the pond (did i mention i can't really swim?). water temperature wasn't bad, quite comfortable. julie was able to talk me into going topless (despite the fact that my body is still a work in progress) and i threw off my t-shirt and tossed it onto the shore. submerged with only our heads poking out of the water, we chatted, surrounded by woods all around us and nothing above but the blue sky and emerging clouds, with the occasional plane flying overhead. it was very nice. we practiced floating on our backs, and i was relieved that i was still able to do it despite the fact that it's been many years since i've been in the water (not since cancun i don't think). i'd love to swim in the pond with fins on. although i can't really swim, when i'm wearing fins on my feet i become aquaman. we got an eyeful of gratuitous ass when a man on shore changed into a pair of dry shorts. every so often a p.a. across the pond would call out warnings to the fact that the reservation was closing soon. we got out of the water, but only to have hungry mosquitoes attack us repeatedly. suddenly without warning we heard a loud whistle close up and a park ranger shouting, "GET OUT OF THE WATER!" that was our cue to leave walden pond. by then it was already pretty dusky and starting to get hard to see within the woods.

we left the walden pond area and decided we'd grab some dinner at the summer shack down by alewife, formerly the aku aku polynesian restaurant. when we got there, we were surprised to see that the place was totally packed (on a weekday no less), and the ladies behind the seating counter informed us it'd be a 30 minute wait. the interior of the summer shack had a very casino-like feel to it. eating area, lounging area, drinking area, and people walking about everywhere. 30 minutes was just too long a wait, so we decided to go with our original restaurant destination, the ground rounds further down the street. there was no wait at the ground rounds. for dinner i had a serving of baby back ribs, while julie had the crab cake sandwich. it was kind of uncomfortable sitting in the restaurant with the high air conditioning because both julie and i were still in our wet clothes from the waist down, so after a while it felt pretty chilly. there was a ceiling mounted television tuned in to the red sox vs. bluejays game, and julie and i were able to have a nice meal while watching baseball and talking red sox.

after dinner we quickly jumped into the car so we could catch the final minutes of the red sox game on weei 850 radio station. julie drove me back home, but not before getting some gas from a sunoco station. we both screamed in unison at the station as the red sox catcher doug mirabelli struck out to end the game with a red sox loss in extra innings. this puts the red sox 2.5 games behind the yankees, since the yankees won again tonight. anyway, it was a self serve pump that you pay inside, and julie had to squeeze out exactly $10 worth of gasoline, which she was successfully able to perform like a champ.

i wandered outside around noontime, trying to think of where i should go to get my lunch. in the back alley i saw a silver food truck surrounded by a group of construction workers, so i headed over in that direction to check out the selection. a lot of candy and cookies, some iced drinks, and some warm sandwiches. i got myself a sloppy joe burger and a grape soda for around $3. how did it taste? sort of like cafeteria food, nothing to write home about, but it a change from the usual selection of kendall square food. and if construction workers eat it, it can't be that bad, can it?