Sunday, October 22, 2017

This Bitty Steiff Adventure Promises To Be A Boatload of Fun!

Anchors aweigh! It's time for a little road trip with one of the biggest troublemakers of all - Bitty Bub! This weekend, Cambridge, Massachusetts hosted the 53rd annual Head of the Charles Regatta. This fantastic race, the world’s largest two-day rowing event, draws more than 11,000 competitors from all around the globe every year. These top notch athletes compete in 55 different race events over the course of the weekend.  And its no fish tale to report that it takes 1,700 loyal volunteers to help make make this water race possible every year.  Bitty Bub lives just a stone's throw from the Charles River and the main venues of this race.  Come take a look at this event through his mischievous eyes - and be sure to click on any photo to make it larger!

It's hip to be square, especially when it comes to this classic annual fall event. All venues related to the event are situated right outside of Harvard Square, which itself is a huge year-round tourist destination known for the Harvard University campus, a number of world-class museums, fun shopping, and great restaurants. Bitty Bub is pleased as punch to be an ambassador for his beloved home town. 

The Charles River weaves along the edge of Cambridge and is an important part of the city's identity, character, and history.  For a map of the Charles River, and the race course, please click here. During this race, the banks of the Charles overflow with visitors cheering on their favorite teams and rowers. Dogs, strollers, skateboards, and picnics are all key elements of this city-wide celebration.  Here you can see Bitty Bub viewing the races from his luxury box seating. 

Care to see a what a snippet of the race looks like - and sounds like?  Then check out this video for a first hand account (at least from this cub's perspective.) Or, click here!

There are race observers, photographers, and referees along the entire stretch of the river where the rowing occurs. According to the race officials, the course is three miles long and stretches from the start at Boston University's DeWolfe Boathouse near the Charles River Basin to the finish just after the Eliot Bridge and before Northeastern University's Henderson Boathouse. For some reason, Bitty Bub was particularly drawn to this official area. Could it be the red warning cones and "caution tape" calling to his natural inclination towards mischief?

Of course, it would not be a party without some fine refreshment options.  Food trucks, booths, and "pop up" restaurants plant themselves on both sides of the river during race weekend. Around these parts, "chowda" is sort of slang for "chowder," a creamy fish or clam based soup. It is very popular in New England, especially with visitors. Bitty Bub particularly liked this stretch of offerings, and even volunteered to be the official taste tester for the event. And with a mouth like his, who could resist that offer!

It's a bit late for Oktoberfest, but it's always a good time for a cold brew outdoors. Several organizations and breweries set up outside biergartens along the event venue.  Bitty Bub forgot his ID, and could not flirt his way past security.  Given his irresistible good looks, he is usually successful in such attempts. In this case, unfortunately, he could only observe these drinking areas from afar. 

Vendors selling all sorts of services, home goods, clothing, souvenirs, nutritional supplements, and insurance, among other things, set up tents alongside the food and drink areas.  Bitty Bub could not help but make friends with the giant blow up gecko lizard from the Geico Insurance company.  Here they are; within a few moments the lizard had Bitty Bub in the palm of his hand.  When asked what he thought of all of this afterward, Bitty Bub replied, "He looks smaller on TV."

Bitty Bub thought it also would be a boatload of fun to hang out at the US Coast Guard's display on water safety.  Can you spot him amongst the floatation devices, oars, and other aquatic articles?

Prime places to watch the boats go by include the several bridges that span the river. People line up two or three deep to cheer on the boats that zip by every 15 seconds or so.  Here you can see Bitty Bub taking it all in from the Western Avenue Bridge, looking towards Harvard Square and the University. 

It truly was a beautiful and memorable day, and Bitty Bub managed to stay out of the river - as well as out of major mischief, at least for the most part.  He trusts that you enjoyed your virtual visit, and encourages you to come and see this fall New England splendor in person some day!

Steiffgal hopes that today's adventure to the 2017 Head of the Charles Regatta has been a watershed moment for you.

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.

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