Friday, 19 April 2013
You will I am sure be aware that there was a lot of excitement in the Munro household, and in our wider circle of friends about our trip to Boston. John has worked so hard for the last 6 years to earn his place on the start line, and on 9 April, we set off on what was to become a far more epic adventure than we could ever have imagined...
Before we left, John blogged about his journey to the start line, it's well worth a read!
We flew to Iceland on 9 April with Icelandair and enjoyed a stopover in Keflavik - not the most exciting place we've ever visited, but ideal for spending the day at the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa. We had a lovely day there, sun was shining, air temperatures were freezing, but the water was extremely warm and pleasant. The silica and algae skin treatments were lovely and John enjoyed the dried fish crisps - I didn't!
After a very relaxing day, onwards to Logan International Airport where we met James and Sheela who had flown in from Heathrow.
We did lots of touristy things and I could write them all down in order, but they pale into insignificance in the light of the tragic events which since unfolded. Suffice to say that we loved our time in Boston, it's a nice city, it has friendly people, lovely places to eat, plenty to keep the tourists busy, and if you're a shopper, plenty of opportunity for that too. (oh and fabulous salads in the Cheesecake Factory)
I posted many photographs on facebook showing what we were up to, so I'm sure you've seen them all already :-) However the main reason for the trip was The Marathon, the city was building up nicely with banners and bunting and windows decorated like the one above. The runners coming is a huge event each April for Boston and all the Towns on the 26.2 mile route in from Hopkinton.
You are all I know, aware of the atrociticies which took place at the finish line on Monday 15 April, we had many friends running in the race, all of whom are thankfully safe and well, only two of them were unable to complete the course, being stopped a mile before the finish and walked to safety by race officials and police. All the rest were safely through the finish line before the bombs went off.
There has been 24/7 coverage of the events on Global News networks, much of which I'm sure you've seen/heard/read, and I don't intend to add anything to this other than to say that both John and I were there when the bombs went off, and are extremely fortunate that events transpired in such a way that we were both clear of the blasts and were able to meet up with each other shortly after the explosions. I have no desire to go into details but will say it was without doubt the scariest half hour of my life until I was able to spot him in the crowd, hug him and shed the first of many tears. We made our way home, walking the mile back to our apartment amongst crowds of similarly confused runners/supporters who at that time had no clue what had happened. My phone was going crazy with texts from friends and family asking if we were ok - these people were of course, following the news and knew what was happening in much greater detail than we did. Our journey home had the soundtrack of wailing sirens from emergency service vehicles. Boston Uni Med Centre was at the end of our street, and many of the ambulances were taking the same route as we were. The rest of the details you know, 3 people were killed and now I think in the region of 180 people seriously injured by the bombs.
There were no post race celebrations on Monday night - we had planned to meet up with our Canadian friends, but it didn't seem appropriate so we stayed close to home, and spent the evening catching up with all the messages from friends and family, reassuring everyone that we were safe and well.
On Tuesday morning we left Boston, James and Sheela headed North to Rockport for a couple of days, and John and I headed South to Cape Cod and a couple of days in Provincetown. We had a wonderful couple of nights in 8Dyer Hotel Frank is the perfect host, the rooms are fabulous and the lounge/lobby area are comfortable, welcoming and perfect for relaxing in. Breakfasts are amazing :-)
Provincetown and the beaches are beautiful, we went to Race Point beach yesterday on our way home and spotted the waterspouts of whales! We then meandered up the road towards Boston, stopping at Chatham for lunch then Plymouth to see 'the rock' glad we didn't spend a day visiting that tourist attraction! Of course, if you go to Provincetown you'll learn that the Pilgrims actually landed there first and there is a memorial tower here commerating this event. We arrived at Logan International Airport just before 6pm, plenty of time to check in, get something to eat and board our 9.30pm flight. There was as you can imagine a vastly increased police presence and extra security checks to be gone through, but apart from some nasty turbulence during the first couple of hours it was a reasonable flight and we got home just before 12 noon.
I'm sorry this isn't the blow by blow account of all the fun times we had, the things we saw, the wonderful and exciting atmosphere at the 5k race on Sunday and the Marathon itself on Monday, but I'm sure you'll understand why...
To all of you who texted or sent facebook messages asking after us, to those of you who followed John and James' wee stick men live online on Monday, to all of you we count as friends, heartfelt thanks for your thoughts and messages of concern. To all the fellow runners, citizens of Boston, complete strangers, who smiled, spoke a few quiet words or shared a handshake in fellowship, thank you. Maybe over time, I will write some more about it but until then, if you're a runner keep on running, if your not, then support and encourage those you love who do run xx