conventional wisdom says that you can sightsee most of boston in just a day. i put that to the test today when i took my roommate for a whirlwind tour of cambridge and boston.

we left at 11:00, came back around 5:00.

here's a list of all the places we visited, in chronological order: harvard comparative zoology museum (to the entrance, close enough to see some fossils), memorial hall, harvard campus (including the ubiquitous john harvard statue), the view over the longfellow bridge via MBTA, massachusetts state house, beacon hill (joy street and mt.vernon street), frog pond (boston common), granary burying ground, tremont theatre, king's chapel, old city hall, old south meeting house, old state house, boston city hall, faneuil hall and quincy market, rose kennedy greenway, hanover street (north end), cantina italiana (for lunch), paul revere mall, old north church, skinny house, copps hill cemetery, all saints way on battery street, coast guard ships, walk south along the wharves by commercial street, christopher columbus park, new england aquarium, rowes wharf, federal reserve bank, south station, chinatown, boylston street to the public garden (saw the swan boats and the tame squirrels), commonwealth avenue, church of the covenant, louis boston, trinity church, john hancock tower, boston public library (closed), old south church, porter exchange.

i love taking tourists around boston. i vicariously experience the city for the very first time as well and makes me appreciate the fact that i live in a place with so much history. my roommate was pretty prolific with his photography - he's going to have a pretty good slideshow when he gets back home. i asked if he wanted me to take a few photos of him but he said no, preferring to be behind the scene. i was more selective, but occasionally the mood would strike me and i'd snap a few photos (i took less than 100, a farcry my usual thousands on a good day).

we didn't have lunch until almost 2:00. we walked down hanover street, looking for an italian restaurant that wasn't too crowded and not too expensive. we decided on cantina italiana, drawn initially by the gaudy unlit neon sign. we got the lunch special for $18 which included an appetizer and a main dish. the antipasto was a plate of olives, a slice of provolone cheese, and a few thin slices of italian meats, drizzled with some olive oil. nothing special, and gave me a strong sense of "that's it?" next came the raviolis in white sauce, stuffed with a tasty smoked meat (i forgot what they called it). delicious, but i didn't think it was worth what we paid. or what my roommate paid, since he was adamant he wanted to treat me for taking the time to show him around boston. i managed to negotiate paying for the tip at the very least.

after we came back (i found an empty cardboard lunchbox for my sister and we bumped into my neighbors ed and franz), i headed to belmont for dinner. i ran into dennis again before i left (i encounter dennis and susan earlier in the morning), and helped two girls moving into their new apartment by holding a door for them so they could carry in a long table. my sister and i definitely heard clucking from one of the backyard neighbors. is somebody raising hens? my family and i ended up just having some burger king before i came back home. i wore my windbreaker tonight, made for a much warmer ride.