Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Playing in puddles

Shhh...don't tell the groundhog but I think it may be spring! It sure looked like spring out there today, bright blue sunny sky with wispy clouds. It sure smelled like spring, that earthy smell with a hint of melting snow. It sure felt like spring, cold when we left the house this morning but by 10am almost too warm for a jacket. Today was a personal BDF (Big Day of Funness). I had scheduled to have the day off a few weeks ago and then MBH found out he had to go to a computer expo that was in town. So, that left me with a whole day to myself. What is a girl to do but to make the most of it?

The day started out with MBH and I having an early morning breakfast at this hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon in Harvard Sq. After that, we headed downtown to our separate destinations; him to the Hynes Convention Center and me to my secret cafe, Pancifico on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, to enjoy a second cup of coffee, the NYT crossword puzzle, and a particularly naughty indulgence; a lemon poppy seed muffin. I just love sitting in Pancifico's windows facing Charles Street watching the people get off the "T" (subway in Boston), head to work or leave their houses on Beacon Hill. Today was a particular good people watching day. The people in the house directly opposite the cafe were moving. Exciting huh? But in Beacon Hill, where streets are so narrow you can barely park cars on one side of the street, getting two moving vans down the street let alone making room for them to park is quite tricky. See what I mean? There is always some joker who thinks the Boston City "Do Not Park Here, Moving Van Permit" does not apply to him. Of course today, that joker not only didn't think it applied to him but I'm quite sure he thought that even if it DID apply to him, that he wouldn't really get towed because he was driving a 2005 Cadillac. He was wrong. After blocking traffic for 20 minutes, a tow truck came and took the Caddy away...bumper dragging on the street. Don't mess with moving vans in Boston. Somewhere between all this I managed to finish the Tuesday NYT crossword puzzle, drink 2 cups of really good coffee (sorry Dammits, Pancifico's coffee is better), AND talk about the places I love to visit when I'm showing friends around Boston to two nice ladies from Wales. My next destination on my BDF? Kitchen Arts, a home chef's toy store, on Newbury Street. But first a walk down Charles Street window shopping in the antique stores. After browsing through all the cooking gadgets and goodies but not buying, a first for me in that store, I decided to go have a nice late morning cup of tea at the Boston Public Library's cafe, the Map Room (really called Sebastian’s but we call it the "Map Room" because it has old maps of Boston on the walls). I sat and enjoyed the quiet of the room, the nice warm tea, and let my mind wander on this and that with no intent to think too hard on any one subject. As I sat there thinking about nothing in particular I realised that the best part of my BDF had already happened.

To get to Newbury Street from Charles Street you have to walk through the Public Garden. The Public Garden has a very different feel during the winter. There are no flowers but the trees are all showing signs of getting their spring buds. And since the weather was so nice, there lots of small kids out and about with their mothers, au pairs, nannies, etc. One little girl had the best idea of all. She was dressed in brown pants her mom had rolled up over these great yellow boots with pink polka dots and she was jumping and running through all the puddles left by the melting snow. She inspired me. I had been trying to avoid the puddles because I didn't want to get my shoes wet and the cuffs of my pants muddy. But she was having so much fun splashing through the puddles and looking over at her reflection in the ripples that I just had to jump in a puddle or two or..ok, three. There, I jumped in three puddles. I forgot how much fun playing in puddles can be. Of course, I'm sure that at least one mother chided her charge, "now, don't jump in puddles like that crazy lady over there" but it sure was fun. Thank you little girl in the cool yellow boots for reminding that sometimes you just need to splash in puddles.