There are some trips that just seem cursed from the beginning. The summer we visited the Irish City of Boston was one of those trips. Being avid travelers we know it is important to be flexible and go with the flow while on vacation. On this particular trip, going with the flow meant surviving blood, poop (yes poop), and a wicked nor’easter.
Our home base was the Harborside Inn. The location of this 1846 mercantile shipping warehouse turned European style boutique hotel was wonderful. Situated close to the Freedom Trail and across the street from Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, the hotel was also beautiful and comfortable.
We loved everything about it, except the bed. It had a sharp corner, which on our first morning in Boston ended my husband in the emergency room for 8 stitches and a tetanus shot. When we warned the housekeeper of the blood from his cut, she told us we had a “bad room.”
We laughed about it and embraced the rest of the day, especially my husband who walked the Freedom Trail like a wounded soldier. We visited Boston’s Public Garden, Cheers, Quincy Market, gravesites of country founders, and historic meeting places.
We even found a wine tasting in Boston’s North End and enjoyed Guinness just steps from the hotel at the Black Rose. After rubbing elbows with Irish immigrants and enjoying Celtic music, we returned to our room – which was now fully comped by the hotel – to rest up before a big day at Fenway Park.
We had a great day touring the park and local establishments – tip: have the blueberry or watermelon beer at Boston Beer Works – and just before entering Fenway I was hit with bird poop. I told you there would be poop! Though some cultures say this gross occurrence brings luck, for me the luck was that along with beers and appetizers at Cask N Flagon, I had also purchased a sweatshirt.
At Fenway I had the best lobster roll EVER, sang Sweet Caroline and cheered with the crowd when each home team run was accounted for on the manual scoreboard. We were drunk with happiness when we made it back to the hotel.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last. At an hour I rarely ever see, the smoke detector went off. We quickly learned that ours was the ONLY smoke detector going off and there wasn’t a fire. This was good news, but the smoke detector would Not. Stop. Chirping. Eventually the hotel staff decided to just unhook it for what remained of the night. Maybe our housekeeper was right.
But we had little time to worry as we boarded our early morning ferry ride to Cape Cod – Provincetown, MA. Upon departure our crew passed out what they called “souvenirs they hoped we didn’t need to use” or what most of us call barf bags. In our foggy state that morning we hadn’t bothered to check the weather while we scarfed down our breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
Apparently we were going to spend 90 minutes riding rough waves. Let me tell you, it wasn’t rough. It was terrifying. For most of the trip I laid across the table with my head on my purse trying to rock with the boat to parlay the nausea. My husband succumbed to the nor’easter’s winds and barely made it to a nearby trash can with sickness. I couldn’t even stand up to help him.
Finally on dry land, we enjoyed Provincetown’s charm, shopping, lobster and galleries. We also made sure to purchase some Dramamine for the ferry ride back, which was even rougher. Waves careened over the large boat and swallowed it whole before spitting it back out to crash into wave after wave.
To say the least, we were exhausted from the lack of sleep and beating we took on the Provincetown ferry. Upon return, the front desk staff explained the mechanic had fixed our smoke detector…but it seems the device had a mind of its own. We eventually found ourselves in a new room. The staff did their best to resolve our problems and I would actually stay there again.
Next time, I just hope to bring with me the luck of the Irish.