Monday, 13 February 2012

To Boston or Bust!

Friday 27th of January the Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340 (the long pencil shaped ones that bend in the middle) started it's take off run along London Heathrow's runway 27L. Sarah was next to me, Radley was wearing a woolly hat all tucked up snug in the hold. This was it. Game on! We were all heading to Logan Airport in Boston Massachusetts in the good ol' U.S of A. for three nights. Why? Good question! Sounds mad, but sometimes things like this are totally worth it.
Windsor Castle.
(Shame they built it under a flight path!)
Regular readers of my wafflings will have heard me talk about Dusty Showers, a passionate advocate of breast cancer issues in the states, a prolific fundraiser and all round good egg! Dusty, living in Florida, had formed a “movement” for want of a better word, called The 2nd Basemen. Well, as of last week The 2nd Basemen became an official not for profit. What we would generally refer to as a charity. Anyone remotely close to the forming of a charity, in any country, will appreciate the, understandable, scrutiny and miles of red tape needed to go through prior to getting a number. Well, Dusty along with Mara Gorden from Boston Massachusetts have done it! They were to have a launch party in Needham MA, and I wasn't going to miss that for the world. Dusty and I had grown our friendship via social media and a joint hatred for breast cancer. I was doing my “bit” over here and he was campaigning away over there, albeit in far nicer weather! I had been in contact with Mara to make it a surprise. We had been counting down “the sleeps” like a couple of school kids.

Well....... why not!

 We arrived on the Boston runway, seven hours later, with a thump! I am a fairly regular flier and I can assure you, this was a thump! Still we had arrived and any landing you walk away from........

Straight to the car hire company where we collected a bright red Ford Focus and a GPS. Oh well here we go, Sarah took up her position as first officer sorting out the Sat Nav (I'm rubbish at tech stuff) and she gave the pleasing news that the hotel was 28 minutes away. JOY! Off we went straight through a red light! They hang them up in the air over the road without lines on the road (At the airport at least) Still, I buried the “gas pedal” (Well I was in the States) in true Brit abroad style and cleared the road. Then the fun started. It was dark, it was raining, it was busy, I was driving on the right (on purpose) in car with less than a thousand miles on the clock and a SAT NAV voice jabbering on like a horse racing commentator! Take ramp left! Take ramp right! Make yer mind up! Then we went into the longest tunnel ever and lost signal. Popped out the other end to find out I was heading back to Chatham. “Re calculating” she said with a smirk. Take ramp left!” Only used to leaving motorways on the right, this screwed me up yet again “Re calculating.” she said with an “I have a limy in the damn car” tone developing in her voice.
Then we were on the wrong Interstate, then came off too early. She was having a laugh with me, I tell you. Still our 28 minute journey took an interesting hour and a half and I didn't have a single paddy. I was captain calm. The drivers over there were amazing. They let you in, and out, don't tail gate you and not a horn to be heard.
The hotel was lovely. We had just over an hour before Mara was due to bring an unsuspecting Dusty in for the meet and greet.

Boston! Me, Sarah, Radly, Dusty
and 2ndBasemen Co-Founder Mara Gorden

I have tons of respect for Dusty. He never tires of his work for breast cancer awareness and has made quite a name for himself. He went onto the Oprah Winfrey Show last year and has done many other TV and radio programmes. He is, though, quick to divert the attention away from himself and on to the issues.  My phone beeped the arrival of a text, it was from Mara, “We're here!” I was feeling like I was about to meet Frank Sinatra! He walked in, tall, wearing a white cowboy hat with pink trim and a smiling Mara by his side. I stood up from my seat and walked over to him “Hello Cowboy!” I said and he was speechless. He was amazed to see us and had absolutely no idea that we were there. Yes ok, Man Hug happened. We sat down and talked about all kinds of stuff. Dusty is instantly likeable, with a warm trusting personality. A true gentleman.
After a couple of hours chatting, we agreed a time to meet up the next day before the launch party and they left.

 The Saturday Sarah and I went for a nose about the local area and the time flew by. We were picked up and went to the party. This was at the very nice home of David and Karen Miller. I said a hello and spoke a little about breast cancer in the UK and thanked everyone there for supporting the event. Mara introduced a video. This was a short film showing the work that The 2nd Basemen does and also showed photos of survivors and people not so lucky. A photo of Sarah came up unexpectedly and made us realise how lucky we are to have people doing everything they can to beat this disease from Dusty going on telly in a pink bra to the fantastic work Breakthrough Breast Cancer carries out.

 After the video Dusty thanked the people there and he was very sincere.
 We all went to another room and mingled. Radley said hello to a few people and before we could check the clock the evening was over.

Just one reason to go back to Boston

I would like to thank everyone who was there supporting The 2nd Basemen and for making Sarah and I so very welcome.
This blog is running it's time so I won't say much about our sight-seeing trip to down town Boston.
Thank you, though, for staying with me over the past few months it has been tough to get going but I will have details on the next blog about my new Breast Cancer Podcast, the training for it and other bits and bobs. The odd picture from our fantastic visit to Boston and tons more.
See you soon.

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