BOSTON, Massachusetts, U.S.A. — Jarred awake by an ill-placed pothole or ex-possum, I cracked an eye open to find an open manga on my face, a halo of Cheetos dust surrounding my head, and a voice behind me reciting, “Warning! Balls, pucks and other objects may fly into the spectator area, despite spectator shielding, injury can occur. If struck, immediately ask usher for directions to medical station.”
Still groggy and suddenly overpowered by the scent of 12 cans of Axe and whatever ungodly smell the spray had meant to mask, I asked what my friend was reading.
“Our concert ticket,” he replied with the grin of someone who anticipated balls, pucks, and other flying objects with as much glee as hearts, stars and rainbows.
So began my school chorus trip to Boston.
We arrived a few days before the Boston Marathon, so it seemed every street corner had a picture of a triumphant track star and every street had a medical station.
These seemed to be the only indications of our departure from Bristol, Conn., however, and on our arrival in Boston that night, we saw so few of the historical landmarks that the city had to offer that we began to call out, “Look there’s a Shaws,” or “CVS! I bet it was the first” just to enjoy the opportunity for sarcasm.
Plus the televisions on the bus weren’t working.
One 6 a.m. wake up call, 150 Burger King breakfast sandwiches, and five hours of trilling and trumpeting later, we were all finally ready to see the sights.
We learned our sightseeing tour would take place from an aquatic bus of sorts, part of a fleet called the Boston Duck Tours. The drivers cracked surprisingly amusing jokes, we became aware of the oldest inns, and sites of famous battles, and we did not believe that our overgrown airport cart would float for a second.
The collective sigh of relief as the vessel slid smoothly into the Charles River was so synchronized that it could have won us the highest marks for breathing in the day’s competition.
That evening we were dropped at Quincy Market, with little time to shop, but ample time to take in the seemingly never ending hallway of food with such girth and diversity that it was our only meal stop that could draw no whines from picky eaters.
There were stands for dieters, vegetarians, vegans, diabetics, and anyone with a particular yearning for Turkish pastries.
Any student, director, or chaperone will mark the afternoon of projectile banana puree, musical Captain Crunch, and “Candid Camera” cavity searches the highlight of the 2007 music department trek.
The aforementioned concert – performed by the amazing percussionists of the Blue Man Group – showed us pipes can be entirely effective instruments and toilet paper coupled with strobe lights can provide endless amusement.
Though photography was prohibited within the theater, the lobby meet and greet guaranteed the presence of blank faced, Gumby-colored bald men in the digital cameras and picture phones of the band and chorus kids for many months to come.
Molly Horan is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.