i spent half the day with eliza today when she came over at 11:00. she was back in town to sell her JP condo. we chatted for about an hour, before walking down to cafe rustica so eliza could get her coffee fix. i've lived in the area for almost 8 years and i've never been to rustica before. what surprised me the most was a private enclosed outdoor courtyard with more cafe seating. it's not something that's obvious from the outside. another thing: though it was busy and full of people, i didn't recognize a single one. are these my neighbors? how come i've never seen them before?

next we went to the mt.auburn cemetery to check out some flowering trees and do some birdwatching. most of the trees have already shed their flowers though and now started to open their leaf buds, which made seeing the birds somewhat difficult. the azaleas and rhododendrons are just beginning to bloom, while it seems like peak season for lilacs, of which there were surprisingly few representatives in the cemetery. the most fragrant flower were the viburnums, and we took every opportunity to stick our noses into the white clove-scented petals.

back at the house, i made turkey sandwiches as a late lunch. we chatted some more before eliza left for her next appointment. she returns to paris on monday.

i soon left for belmont. my jetlagged parents were still asleep in the late afternoon. i turned on the television for the first time today and saw the breaking news that a weston water main had burst, leaving 30 towns in the greater boston area (including boston itself) without clean drinking water. a boil alert was issued to those communities. it's weird, because when i have water i don't really think about drinking it, but now that the water is undrinkable, i suddenly have a craving for water. i'm not the only one as reports were coming in of people emptying store shelves of bottled water (when you can very easily just boil water to make it safe to drink). belmont was one of the towns affected, but surprisingly not cambridge, since it has it's own reservoirs and water treatment facility (at fresh pond).

their was no point trying to cook dinner without clean water (besides, washing the dishes by hand would be a hassle), so when my mother finally woke up, she told my sister and i to go pick up some burgers for dinner. we went to the cambridge fresh pond mcdonald's first, but when it didn't have want we wanted (dollar menu items!), we went to the concord avenue burger king. for some reason their corporate HQ told them they couldn't serve anything with the water (including all fountain soft drinks) due to possible contamination even though cambridge was the only town not affected. i pointed to the reservoir just across the street but they had their orders and there was no getting around it. so instead of a large 20 oz. root beer, i got a free substitution of a large 20 oz. vanilla milk shake.

my main reason for being in belmont was to check out my parents' travel photos. i managed to get through 4000, saving 2000 more for tomorrow. i rode the motorcycle back home. first order of business: a tall glass of refreshingly cold non-tainted cambridge tap water!