And one of the very first, most noticeable differences between the two places is the level of cleanliness. And second, the smell.
Boston is beautiful. Very pretty. Very well maintained.
We are not dead centre of the city; we are staying in Charlestown. An Uber cost $8 and a taxi $13-15. The nearest train station is about 25 minutes walking. If we organise ourselves we can Uber in and out each day.
I must say, The Constitution Inn where we are staying has had some bad reviews. I’m just not seeing it.
We arrived too early for check in today. We arrived about 1230 and check in is at three. After me not sleeping well last night, and Lauren not getting much sleep either, we didn’t want to go wandering and had decided today would be a rest day.
We stored our bags and the lovely reception staff allowed us to sit upstairs in the lounge to wait. And then within forty five minutes, possibly not even that long, our room was ready.
We are paying a little more per night than we did for the flat in New York. We both have a double bed, soaps etc in the bathroom, cable that works and free wifi. Oh, plus a fridge and microwave. It’s not squashed, and the air con doesn’t make the god awful noise that has kept me tossing and turning for intermittent nights. In fact, the only flaw is the lack of centrality to the public transport system. And for three and a bit days, it isn’t a big deal.
Anyway, enough of that.
We had an interesting commencement to our Boston leg. We had to wake up way too early and my alarm woke me just as Benny Craven and I found a dead platypus on the side of the road near Burger King at Woodbine because Campbelltown was on fire and everyone had had to leave their cars (this was a nightmare and not real life but I hate when dreams don’t finish properly so that I know everything is okay). I really woke on the wrong side of the bed and I think PMS may be paying me a visit.
Anyway, we arrived at the Greyhound Station and the 4am bus had still not departed (we arrived by 6 for the 7am bus). WTF. No apology. No explanation. We waited and waited and finally left early at 6.45am (last two seats on the extra bus for the 4am people).
We didn’t get to sit with each other straight away so I was at the front while Lauren disappeared into the back.
I sat next to a nutter. I think. You know when someone is talking to you and you are questioning their truth. Well, that was this.
She is a hiker. People sponsor her to hike hiking paths throughout the world. She used to be a nanny in Bermuda. The father of the children wanted her to marry into his family so that they could all have dual citizenship. She’s about my age, maybe a couple of years younger. She then started hiking. There is a man, a geologist in California, who is one of her chief sponsors. They talk all of the time. By talk I mean text. She is infatuated. Badly. The cynic in me thinks catfish.
She hates New York. Could not believe that the bus driver took a route that went through Harlem. Hates the smell, the garbage (not that she’s wrong about either of these complaints), the people, the transport, the weather, the cost, and the list went on.
So picture this. Two women. Similarly aged. Similar body types (I’m not a hiker and no one would ever confuse me as one). And the two extremes of tourists in New York represented.
I was trying to be polite by agreeing with what I could.
“Yes, I can’t believe they don’t use bins.”
“Yes, there is a horrid stench everyehere.”
“Yes, he is very good looking.”
And the rest of my head was thinking, I’m going to use you as a character in a story. You have a story. I’m going to make it up. A traveller from Tennessee meets a feral Australian, and the two strangers hike together (yep, reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed) before one of them dies in mysterious circumstances.
Which one dies?
Did they become besties on the trail?
Did the writer get to the bottom of the nanny conspiracy?
Is the Californian real?
Yep, a story there.