Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Two pints of Guinness and a Seltzer with lemon - Tales of women, win and cars from the Boston meetup

Published by Bassano

Pure genius
Pure genius

Turned on some music to start my day (Janna's story)

A fantastic holiday began with the journey there which could not have been better. Heathrow Terminal 5 is something else, very industrial architecture. I love it when you can see the workings of the lift.

At the gate they confirmed we would be travelling in Club World and we went upstairs (upstairs!!!) in the 747. Before we had even taken off we had been given a drink in a real glass (I had champagne) and a heated towel for our faces. I was sitting next to the window and had three lockers next to me so had loads of room to store my stuff. I’m not a thin person so having a seat that didn’t squash me was luxury. The seat reclined as much or as little as you wanted and you could even lay flat. Together with the footstool it made a comfortable bed which was great on the night flight home.

There was television on demand with flight information, music, films and TV. I was so happy when I found House on the selection. We were given a menu to choose our food from, with a wine list, and when the food came it was served on trays with proper china and cutlery. The cutlery was freezing cold which was odd but they store it next to the food so I’m glad it was well chilled. You are so spoiled in Club Class, I'm going to have to get saving for the next time I travel without Bassano.

Arriving in Boston after a relaxing flight we were faced with US Borders and Customs. The line was loooong and they kept playing us a video of Boston so we could see what we were missing whilst we stood in line. The good thing about waiting there was that our luggage had arrived once we got to Baggage Claim.

The last part of our journey to the hotel was in a taxi. This had a screen in the back showing television. It doubled as a touch screen with GPS so we could see where we were. At the end of the journey the screen showed the fare. What a ride!

There's a great juxtaposition of old and new. 17th century churches next to 21st century shopping centres

Boston was founded in 1630 so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to poke fun at the “lack” of history but in all honesty there is history around every corner. There’s a great juxtaposition of old and new. 17th century churches next to 21st century shopping centres. Old cobbled streets and wide avenues with 4 lanes of traffic.

The best way to see the city is to follow the Freedom Trail as we did on the Saturday. There are colonial churches with old box pews and tall spires, beautiful state buildings (cue stupid remark from me about how they look Georgian, guess the name of the King when the Declaration of Independence was read from the Old State House), burial grounds, battle sites and a grand old ship the USS Constitution.

One abiding memory of Boston is the gold covered domes. Apparently the dome of the State House was wooden and leaking so the obvious solution was to cover it in 23 carat gold. Other people decided this looked good and there now seem to be gold domes everywhere you look.

And finally...

The only thing wrong with this trip was that it was too short. I met some amazing, fascinating people. Kai and Bassano are brilliant travelling companions, never a dull moment. I didn’t stop laughing about the most trivial things but they are often the best.

Sidepodcast is the best community and that is only possible because of Christine & Mr C and I can’t thank them enough for creating a place where things like this can happen.

The spiritual home of the Sidepodcast comments
The spiritual home of the Sidepodcast comments

I closed my eyes and I slipped away (Kai's story)

It's a tech savvy place but with lots of history in its bones and really down to earth people

My only previous experience in Boston, Massachusetts was driving there twice when I got very, very lost each time because the roads didn’t have signs and they just made no sense, and then three different trips helping to chaperone 125 7th graders, twice on overnight jaunts to walk The Freedom Trail and see the historical sights. So when we were kicking around ideas as to where to have our first North American SidepodMeetup, I had to squelch the Teacher Twitch and open up to the place anew. Well, this trip has completely changed my impression of Boston. I learned that I love it. I hadn't had a chance to love it up until now. But maybe it's true that it's not where you are, it's who you're with? In any case, I found Boston to be a great mix of old and new. It's hip and trendy in a good way, not pretentious, and it's a tech savvy place but with lots of history in its bones and really down to earth people.

You can imagine how this experience was completely different for me this time around. I went from being in charge of 12 year olds to acting like one... oh, um, I mean, being with my friends! I had a lot more fun, a lot more laughing, great food, a lot more excellent conversation, a lot more sleep (even with the late nights), and a lot more cheek soreness from laughing so much. I had a lot less yelling “Where’s Colin?” (a kid in my 7th grade group who kept getting lost), a lot less counting my 10 students 14 billion times an hour, a lot less grinding of teeth in stress, and a lot less filtering of everything I said into a kid-, parent-, or colleague-friendly way. The beauty of this trip is that I could just BE ME and go along for the ride, and let the lovely Janna, the expert navigator, just handle it, as she and Bassano decided the best routes.

I loved not having to know where we were or exactly how to get anywhere. That was bliss for me. I could de-chaperone and just get on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which was what I called the trains in Boston. The subways in New York City that I'm used to don't have such turns, twists and jolts. The Boston system is superior in every way to NYC, but standing up in a crowded train there was an interesting challenge.

This weekend really brought home a few simple truths for me.

  • Of course we have our love of F1 and tech stuff in common, but that is just a great jumping off point to the similarities in how we see the world and life in general. And we all have the same sense of humor, and that just spells a great time.
  • When we’re open to new experiences, trust our gut instincts, and are just ourselves, there’s a lot of fun to be had in the world.
  • The Sidepodfamily is reality, it’s not a virtual concept. Gratitude to Christine and Mr C for creating the site that allowed this to happen, and to everyone who contributes to the Sidepodcast awesomeness.

Thank you to Bassano and Janna who were delightful, considerate, epic fun to be with, and so much fun to talk to. And it was so gratifying to be able to meet up with Scott and Anthony. Scott was incredibly helpful with local places to go in Boston, and listening to Anthony was fascinating. It just reconfirmed what I already knew: Sidepodpeople are awesome. I can't wait for the next meetup!

It's more than a feeling (Bassano's story)

A man with some stories to tell, Anthony in a Formula Ford
A man with some stories to tell, Anthony in a Formula FordCredit: Anthony

I think I'd just like to add some more thanks as Janna and Kai have really covered it all.

Thank yous go out to:

  • Scott for making the effort to travel into the city especially to grant Mr C's wish of a SidepodBoston Group photo outside of Cheers
  • Anthony for bearing with us in times of incommunicado and for sharing his memories and pics with us
  • The Bostonians for being so accommodating and such great producers of food, drink and merriment
  • Sidepodcast and our gracious creators and hosts, Christine & Mr C for making this all possible and nurturing an environment that produced it
  • T-Mobile for being so helpful to a tourist looking for a cheap internet solution when AT&T wouldn't
  • All the staff at the Solas bar at The Lenox Hotel (and some of the customers too)

And finally, may I suggest that this not be a unique event and that you really can make it happen yourself. You never know, I might just tag along too.