A day at Point Roberts

Point Roberts is a weird place. A 5 sq. miles (12 sq. km) U.S. exclave connected to British Columbia, Canada. As a part of the Treaty of Oregon, 1846, the territory jointly controlled by the British and the U.S. was handed over to the U.S. It later became the Washington state. The area should have been part of the British Columbia but the dividing line was chosen incorrectly due to a geographical mistake.

Point Roberts

Point Roberts

Now,coming back to the trip. I drove from mainland Washington to Point Roberts via Canada.

The first thing I immediately noticed after crossing the immigration checkpoint is that the gas prices are listed in both USD and Canadian dollars.

Gas prices in US and CAD dollars

Gas prices in US and CAD dollars

I did a nice one-hour hike at Lily Point Marine Reserve. It had some nice scenic views. Nothing outstanding. But worth the time.

A nice hike at Pt. Roberts

A nice hike at Lily Point Marine Reserve

The visit to grocery store was another fun. I wanted to buy some mangoes and raspberries to test how good is custom officer is at detecting which fruits are allowed to cross the border and which don’t but gave up on the plan fearing deportation back to Point Roberts.

Mangos can cross the border, Raspberries cannot

Mangos can cross the border, Raspberries cannot

And now the border. Behold, there is no wall, grass lands on the left are in the U.S. and apartments on the right are in Canada.

U.S. - Canada border

US – Canada border

If you are heading to Vancouver or British Columbia, Point Roberts is a detour worth taking.Note: One definitely needs a multi-entry U.S. as well as multi-entry Canadian visa to enter, exit and re-enter Canada and the U.S.

 

Note: One definitely needs a multi-entry U.S. as well as multi-entry Canadian visa to enter, exit, and re-enter Canada and the U.S.

Chicago in 2 Days

Day 1

We started our trips with Willis (Sears) Tower at 9AM, the 40$ on the spot ticket was worth it, the tower provides some really beautiful views of Chicago. We spent about two hours there.

Willis Tower

Willis Tower

From there, we continued our journey onto Art Institute of Chicago. At 23$ the price felt slightly steep but if you are into arts, I would recommend 1-2 hours here as well.

The only pic I took there :(

The only pic I took there 🙁

Post-lunch, we headed to the famous Blue Man (comedy) show, it is contemporary but still whacky. A must do.

Blue ManWe decided to check out the Millenium Park which has the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”).

Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain

Cloud Gate (The Bean)

Cloud Gate (The Bean)

The last item of our day was Chicago Shakespeare Theater. It is on a Navy Pier, worth taking a stroll. We watched a Shakespearean show. If you are planning to attend, I would highly recommend reading the full story in advance. The language, the actions, and the speed are too difficult to follow if you don’t know the story. Mudit realized that I didn’t.

Day 2

We started the day with Museum of Science & Industry. It’s huge and impressive. Do check out the live demos if you are there. We dissected a cow’s eye as a part of a medical experiment. We ended up spending about four hours there and had to cancel the next visit to Oriental Institute Musem.

Dielectric breakdown

Dielectric breakdown

Afterward, we headed to Magnificant mile, took another stroll around Millennium park and it was time for our respective flights by then.

Magnificent mile

Magnificent mile

Note:

  1. The city is extremely public transport friendly. Don’t worry about getting a rental car.
  2. Try out the Chicago deep-crust pizza.

Boston in 2 Days

We traveled there in the month of October and the weather was really nice and cool at that time.

Day 1

At 10AM, we started with a 30-minute guided tour called Decisive day, it’s a nice introduction to the struggle of American colonies against the British rulers. More so for the foreigners like us. From there we continued onto another hour long tour called Freedom Trail: Meetings, Mobs & Martyrs which talks about how individuals took sides in the revolution. We were running out of time, so, we had to skip the other Freedom Trail tour but I would highly recommend doing both. All these tours are limited in capacity, therefore, show up well in advance to collect the free entry tickets.

Paul Revere statue - Freedom Trail

Paul Revere statue – Freedom Trail

Bunker Hill monument - do run upstairs here

Bunker Hill monument – do run upstairs here

Post-lunch, our tour continued with Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was a two-hour long show, we attended it primarily because it is highly rated on TripAdvisor but I would refrain from attending a similar show again.

At 4PM, it was raining when we headed to take a tour of MIT. A friend of ours who is doing a Ph.D. there provided a guided tour. Without an insider, I don’t think touring the campus would be as enjoyable.

A bizzare MIT building

A bizarre MIT building

We had some time to kill before the Improv show at 10PM and we spent that by walking around North End and New England Holocaust Memorial. Nothing special but if you are around the area, you might as well walk in this historic district.

Mudit at Holocaust Memorial

Mudit at Holocaust Memorial

At 10PM, The last thing for the day was an Improv show at Improv Asylum. Overall, it was a good show and I would recommend attending it.

Day 2

At 10AM, we started our second day with USS Constitution. Highly recommended for history enthusiasts. Including a guided tour, we spent the next three hours there.

USS Constitution

USS Constitution

Post-lunch, we headed to Harvard and took a tour of the campus with a friend from HBS. Nothing spectacular, except John’s Harvard’s statue on which students urinate on and the visitors, gladly touch ಠ_ಠ

See that right shoe, don't touch it

See that shiny shoe on the right, don’t touch it

We were running short on time and had to skip the Black Heritage Trail. At 7PM, the last thing in our trip was a two-hour Shear Madness show. It was amazingly hilarious and I would strongly recommend it. It was the highlight of the trip.

The clash of cultural expectations

“I need the address.”, the immigration official shouted at her, as she, a septuagenarian Indian woman, with her limited English, repeatedly, pointed to the paper containing the phone number of her daughter.
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