It all started with a phone call right before Christmas from my dad in North Carolina.
Son, let’s meet for lunch soon. Maybe Atlanta?
Dad, I don’t want to go to Atlanta. Let’s go to New York City.
Once my abk juices started flowing, I dreamed up a January 17 MLK Day excursion, and lunch turned into MY Charlotte Hornets playing the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
My dad was intrigued, but a logistical detail didn’t allow him to come, so Christy told me I should take Banks.
After a little research and discussion (and a lot of excitement), I gave Banks four trip options, and he chose Boston, MA. The New Orleans Pelicans at HIS Boston Celtics on MLK Day.
But Winter Storm Izzy squashed that shit like a bug on a Mississippi windshield. Undeterred, I got on the Bat-phone and pushed the trip back two days. And damned if instead of Pelicans at Celtics, we would get to see MY Charlotte Hornets play HIS Boston Celtics. ESPN, prime time Wednesday night. I would have to go big.
I also figured if I took Banks to Harvard, the absences from school would have to be excused, right? Details…
When we arrived in Boston Tuesday evening, it was colder than a you know what in a you know where. I was so excited. As much as I like being able to play golf year round, I absolutely miss experiencing the variety of all four seasons. The frigid Boston air immediately spoke to me. (It also told me I should zip up my jacket.)
Since it’s been a minute since my last abk big city travel excursion, let me remind you of my main areas of interest: consuming local food and drink, walking the city, meeting new people, and watching sports.
My son ate his first cannoli. We ate Sicilian pizza and fresh meatball subs in bed. We had macaroni and cheese on top of a burger #themacjones!
We toured Fenway Park, which was a personal highlight. We walked through Harvard Yard, Boston Common, alongside the Charles River, and between the quaint row houses of Beacon Hill.
Because my son’s suitcase is an orange Lamborghini Huracán and starts lots of conversations, we met a zillion new people. From Canada, from Cincinnati, even one lady who had lived in Mississippi.
And we went to THE GAME. The Hornets vs Knicks turned Pelicans vs Celtics turned Hornets vs Celtics. I splurged on great seats, and Grandma and Granddad sent me a note that morning that said to let Banks pick out a new Celtics jersey on them. Since I was clad in my teal and purple Charlotte Hornets gear, the young boy in his sparkling new Jayson Tatum jersey served as my bodyguard for the evening, protecting me from all of those big, bad, wonderful Boston fans.
All of the big events are fun and exciting, but anyone who has travelled anywhere with their children knows that the real memories are in the unique details. Like my son busting his butt on the ice right in front of the Massachusetts State House after I had told him repeatedly to quit horsing around. Or his chasing (and almost catching) pigeons right in front of TD Garden. Or my telling him we were going to get meatball subs in North End (Little Italy), only for him to start ordering like we were at Subway when we arrived (I am still laughing). Or his inadvertently flipping off the entire crowd at the Hornets-Celtics game, an educational opportunity for dad if there ever was one.
For whatever reason, when we arrived at our hotel on Tuesday, we got upgraded to one of their nicest suites. I still don’t know why, but all of a sudden, my son became Kevin McAllister from Home Alone 2, and I became the best dad ever. And though I am almost positive I am not the best dad ever, we truly had the best time.
And just for a little icing on the cake (macaroni on the burger?), I now get to contend indefinitely with a child that wants to live in the Penthouse Suite in a hotel in Boston. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Have a great week.-Benj
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