A State of Surprise

This weekend I continued my exploration of Massachusetts with my wife and discovered that there are a lot of surprises on offer in the state. On Saturday, we headed to Battleship Cove in the south of the state where as the name would suggest there is a huge WW2 battleship on display (the Massachusetts) but also a number of other warships. There’s a destroyer, a submarine, some patrol boats and even a Cold War era Soviet Ship, the Hiddensee, once of the East German Navy and obtained by the US Navy after the break up of the USSR. Even more surprising than finding a Soviet ship flying US colours was the fact that admission for this site was a mere $17, which is considerably less than it costs to visit just one WW2 warship, the Belfast, in London! It was a fascinating place and great value for money and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting the state.

A wealth of warships. From front to back the Lionfish, Hiddensee and the mighty Massachusetts
A wealth of warships. From front to back the Lionfish, Hiddensee and the mighty Massachusetts

On Sunday we decided to go on the free dinner cruise which we were given as an anniversary gift by the company that operates the boat we had our wedding reception on. A dinner cruise ticket on this boat costs $75 per person so it was a pretty generous freebie! We went out on Sunday morning to purchase a belt for my formal trousers among other things. I was unpleasantly surprised to find that my demographic in men’s sizes does not appear to exist in most US clothes stores. I have a 28″ waist (slim for a guy I know) but in all the department stores the sizes went from 32″ to 56″. Yes 56″ you read that correctly! My wife wrapped this round me as a joke and of course it amusingly went round me twice, but it’s disturbing to think that these stores cater for people with a waist the size of Belgium but not me. Luckily we found a few smaller stores that stocked 30″ belts and I was able to attend the dinner cruise without a tie holding my trousers up!

The dinner cruise had some nice touches
The dinner cruise had some nice touches

The dinner cruise that evening was lovely, my wife and I both dressed up (no jeans or t-shirt on this boat) and had a great evening. Despite the fact that our cruise was a freebie, because it was our anniversary they gave us a window table, sprinkled the table with rose petals and gave us a themed dessert- see above. It was a really pleasant surprise as we were definitely not expecting it. The friendly waitress even arranged for us to be served the dessert on the top deck so we didn’t lose any sightseeing time. Boston Harbour with it’s islands and great views of the city skyline is a beautiful place to be in the evening. As usual I was struck by how friendly and attentive customer service can be in the US compared to grumpy Europe. When Americans get it right they get it very right. The cruise was a great end to a lovely weekend.

The Boston skyline looks great from the harbor.
The Boston skyline looks great from the harbour.

I’m also happy to announce that the saga over transferring my money to the US which I referred to in my previous two posts has finally been resolved. Maybe Monday’s aren’t that bad after all!



3 thoughts on “A State of Surprise

  1. I think HMS Belfast is privately owned as part of the IWM so isn’t free like the Science Museum, V&A, NHM and British Museum and so many others in London.

    That does sound cool though, visiting all those ships for just $17.

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