winthrop is a weird town. it's not a town you'd just pass by because it's kind of out of the way, even though it's in a prime stop, right next to the airport. sitting adjacent to the town of revere, winthrop is virtually surrounded on all sides by water, which makes it an interesting place to live. to my knowledge, i've been there just once before, coincidentally to give mike a ride back home one night.
i had the garmin gps (nuvi 650) with me, which told me to take a route that cut across boston. i didn't want to do that because i didn't want to pay the $3 toll on the way back, so i decided to get there via route 16 to revere beach then south to winthrop. the gps kept trying to redirect me to boston until i got to mcgrath highway on the edge of charlestown, where it finally rerouted the course i wanted. the best thing about a gps isn't the initial course it maps for you. a lot of times, especially if the route takes you through places you know well, you can ignore the gps for the time being. the gps earns its usefulness when you actually arrive close to your destination but you're not quite sure where it is. and the gps becomes absolutely indispensable in the event that you should get lost, as it quickly reroutes an escape route for you on the fly. with a good gps, i can honestly say that the days of getting lost while driving are over.
i was afraid of the possible traffic jam as i neared revere beach, figuring that on this hot summer weekend day, a good percentage of boston's population would be down by the shore trying to cool off. there was also a sand sculpture competition happening today as well. however, it wasn't too bad, since i went in the opposite direction as soon as i saw the ocean. i got to mike and cathy's place without any problems, and in fact i was the first person to arrive.
mike and cathy had adopted a racing greyhound named bo (short for bogeyman). his face reminded me of hailey's (who's of mixed hound and labrador heritage) but his size was many times bigger, almost like a small pony. his physique resembled a horse, with a very muscular torso and hind quarters but skinny legs. they told me he loves to run (naturally) but they can only let him off the leash in an enclosed area otherwise there's no way to catch up to his 40mph speed. for such a large dog, bo was very calm and obedient. even with little kids around, he never tried to exert his dominance. greyhounds are also apparently very low-maintenance, happy to be sleeping at home with the occasional walks.
most of the people who showed up were from mike's office. besides dan and elias, i knew a few others from the occasional game day gatherings. i chatted the most with paul, as we hung out in the kitchen and lamented the lack of vacation days in america; and frank, a fellow motorcyclist, as we traded biking stories. some people brought their kids, as the shrieks of running toddlers made even bo retreat to his dog bed. a few games were started but nothing as popular as guitar hero on the wii (i participated in neither). as evening approached, we had pizza followed by an ice cream cake. i stuck around for a bit afterwards, before leaving with elias and amanda.
getting into the car, we heard ominous rumbling in the distant of a possible thunderstorm. as we drove closer to revere beach, we realized they were in fact sounds from a fireworks display. we stopped briefly to watch the spectacle before continuing on our way home. i wanted to get out of there before the fireworks ended and the whole place would be snarled in traffic. we got a bit lost (but saved by the gps) before arriving at a rotary just when the fireworks finished. cars were parked in the rotary 3 deep, as people just decided to stop and watch. we even saw one car driving in the opposite direction of the rotary (the revere way). once again, thanks to the gps, we made it to sullivan square then to union square until finally in central square. after dropping elias and amanda off, i came back home.