Thursday, April 07, 2011


I have been to Boston, Massachusetts twice in my life. Have I ever talked about my time in Boston?

The first time I went was as a part of a mission trip. During Spring Break of my freshman year in college, the BSU took a group of students up to New England. The mission part of the trip mainly took place in the state of Maine. We canvassed a couple towns in a small area, trying to get a feel for what people were looking for in a church. If I remember correctly, the Southern Baptists wanted to start a new church in the area. This is the trip where we stopped in the self-proclaimed "Lobster Capital of the World" and couldn't order a lobster off the menu.

At one point during the trip, we stopped off in Boston. We took a pit stop in this snazzy looking place. I really have no idea what it was or why we stopped there. But I do remember that it was only a few blocks from Cheers. Okay, really, Cheers isn't the name of the bar that's right there in Boston. As far as I can remember, Cheers wasn't even filmed in Boston. But each episode did have a split second or two of footage outside the bar. That part was in Boston. And it was only a few blocks from where we were sitting all cozy and warm on a frigid March night.

So a handful of us decided to brave the cold and the sleet and the ice of Boston's streets. We made the walk to the faux-location of Cheers. I couldn't actually go into the bar since, at the time, I was still only 19 years old. But upstairs there was a gift shop with Cheers memorabilia. It wasn't anything incredibly exciting, but I did get a decent Cheers sweatshirt. I would have gotten a t-shirt, but it was cold. And there was sleet. And there was ice.

My second trip to Boston was more of a personal thing. For a while I was a pretty avid follower of American Idol. Back during season four, I kind of fell in love with Carrie Underwood. History tells us that she went on to win that year. I was less than surprised by that outcome. So I figured that the best shot I had at getting Ms. Underwood's attention was to win American Idol myself.

During season five of Idol, the closest tryout cities to my hometown were Memphis and Boston. I opted for Boston. I later found out that Memphis was canceled and moved to Greensboro, which was a world closer, but I had already made reservations at a hotel in Boston. So I took a road trip.

I sat in the rain, which came from the remnants of Katrina. Eventually my number came up and I sang in front of two producers along with three other hopefuls. None of us got through. That meant that none of us got to meet Simon, Paula, or Randy. And my hotel room was paid through the week. I went with the week long stay 'cause I thought, well, just in case I get to the next round. And then I didn't get to the next round.

I'm convinced that I didn't get a pass to round 2 because I wouldn't have made good television. If I had shown up in a suit of armor and tried to sing terribly, I would have been given a free ride. They probably would have even done a sob story about my life. As it was, I got an all expenses paid vacation to Boston. Of course, I paid all the expenses.

Needless to say, I didn't win American Idol season five. That honor eventually went to Taylor Hicks. I know, you're thinking Taylor who? The world was a simpler place in 2006. Also, I got over Carrie Underwood. It never would have worked out. Apparently she was into some hockey player, who she later married.

Boston seems a decent place. But I don't think I could live there. Being raised a fan of the Yankees, I'm not sure I would survive for more than a few weeks before being beaten senseless by a group of rabid Red Sox fans.

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