Time spent with far-away sweeties, catching up with friends, great food, a marvelous concert, making music, meeting people previously known only online, and love…

kitanzi and I had been batting around the idea of going to Boskone for a few months, but we weren’t sure whether we were going to be able to afford it. Eventually, we decided we could, and booked tickets about three weeks before the actual con. We keep saying that we want to be able to get up to Boston at least twice a year or so, if only to see all our friends. And a couple of more-than-friends, as well.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:15 on Friday, and telynor graciously offered to give us a ride to the airport. We got checked in and boarded in plenty of time, despite some momentary confusion about Delta’s new boarding policy. (They no longer call seat numbers, but rather assign each boarding call a “Zone number” which they call instead.) Once on the plane, however, there were some slight delays due to maintenance. We finally got underway at about 12:45.

The flight up to Boston was one of the bumpier I’ve been on, with the seat belt light on for the majority of the time due to turbulence. The landing wasn’t all that smooth either, so we were plenty glad to get off the plane and onto solid ground. We acquired checked luggage and a taxicab with ease and headed to the Hilton, across the street from the con.

Once we were checked into a very nice room on the 25th floor, we decided to head off and meet up with tigerbright. We didn’t really have anything for breakfast, so we were looking to get lunch, so she led us off to Legal Seafood in the Prudential Mall. During the course of the meal, I was finally able to ask after the origin of the name. Turns out that once upon a time, there was a “Legal Cash Market”, which was a place you could go to spend “legal tender”, which was scrip similar to savings stamps or the like — not actually money, but redeemable at certain locations for goods. When the fishmonger opened next door, it took its name from the neighboring cash market, and became Legal Seafood. (Ok, so I find this stuff interesting….) The food was…..not bad. I had a shrimp platter featuring grilled shrimp, baked shrimp stuffed with crab, and coconut fried shrimp. The first two parts were superb, but the coconut fried shrimp was a tad aggressive with its batter, with giant spiky plates of coconut that made it look rather like an artichoke or maybe a cousin to a Triceratops. I ended up using a fork to remove most of the armour plating from these shrimp before actually eating them. kitanzi had a tuna sashimi plate that was rather overspiced to my taste, but she liked it well enough. The clam chowder was as good as their reputation, and I’ll definitely go back for that, even if I search for something else on the menu to replace the unfortunate armoured shrimp.

Once we had our fill of food, we headed across the street to see if we could find a humidifier for the room at Walgreens, and then back to the Sheraton to register with the convention. I was quite impressed with the at-the-door registration process. They used a Ptouch label maker to create nicely readable badges on the spot, and even had a hard-laminator to seal them in.

After getting ourselves registered, we headed back over to our hotel to await a call from maedbh7, with whom we had a dinner date. In the meantime, we had fun setting up the little humidifier we bought. It’s small enough to pack in the luggage (about 6 inches high and maybe 4 in diameter), and runs for about 3 hours before needing refilling. It automatically shuts itself off after three hours of continuous use, so it’s safe to fill up and then leave running while sleeping. All that for $20. I think we’ll be making good use of it during future travel.

maedbh7 showed up a little after six and we went down to meet her in the lobby, where we exchanged Valentine’s Day gifts, and then headed off for the T to skip over towards the Park Plaza to the place we had planned to eat. The theme of this weekend was definitely “dessert first”, so we picked Finale to begin our date. The place has quite a reputation from what I understand, and it certainly lived up to it. We ordered the Farmer’s Market (buttery pound cake with lemon curd; white cake soaked in tropical juices, layered with diced pinapple, mango, and green apple topped with coconut gelato; fresh berry dumplings glazed in spiced raspberry sauce; pyramids of white chocolate mousse served with spiced blueberries and a white chocolate, cranberry garnish; passion fruit and red currant jellies), the Peanut Butter Joy (teardrop filled with peanut butter mousse, semi-sweet chocolate ganache and chocolate buttermilk cake, served with peanut brittle, vanilla anglaise, and chocolate sauce), and the Creme Brulee (vanilla cream glazed a la minute, garnished with half moons of orange butter cookies and a medley of fresh fruit). In addition, kitanzi and I each had a marvelous hot chocolate drink which had butterscotch and Bailey’s in it, if I recall correctly).

The three of us spent a good hour or two talking, and holding hands across the table, and feeding each other spoonfuls of absolutely heavenly dessert. By the time it was all over, none of us was in a particular hurry for actual dinner, though we did recognize the wisdom of getting some kind of protein to balance out all the sugar we’d just had. We walked about a bit near the hotel to see if anything actually struck our fancy, but failing that, we just went back up to the room and ordered room service. They brought us up some very tasty sandwiches which we ate, and the rest of the evening was filled with more talk and snuggling and gazing out at the lights along the Charles River from the vantage of our 25th story balcony.

At this point in our story, the screen will fade to black, and in my next entry, I will tell you all about the fun things which happened on Saturday.