Vacation time! (Or: A week in Boston)

Roger, Marco and I just returned from a little over a week in Boston (March 15 – 23). We stayed at the Battery Wharf hotel in the North End, on the waterfront.

Google Map of Boston North End

And with the airport only across the river, this meant taking a water taxi to the hotel! That’s a new one for me – it was awesome. We pulled up to the hotel’s dock after a 10 minute ride or so. Since the photos from inside the taxi were rather abysmal (it was foggy and raining), here’s a looking at the taxi leaving after dropping us off and a US Coast Guard ship. Apparently their base was next to the hotel.

Boston water taxi and US Coast Guard boat

Here’s a look at the hotel, visible on the room key that they didn’t ask us for/we forgot to return. There’s at least three hotel buildings (we had upper right), with the fourth a spa/fitness center (lower left).

Hotel room key and Boston Charlie ticket

This was definitely a luxury hotel – around 7 or 8 at night housekeeping would stop by again to deliver fresh ice and full-sized water bottles as needed. The TV offerings were also superb, which meant that Roger got his fill of the Game Show Network and Family Feud (the channel not being available in the Netherlands). The only downside to the hotel was that the internet cost extra, to the tune of $10/day. Doable, except that it was password protected and only allowed one connection on at a time.

Also visible in the picture is a “Charlie ticket”, or the ticket used for the public transportation. It was remarkably cheap compared to the Netherlands, with a 7 day ticket costing only $19 (in The Hague a day ticket costs €6.50). The term “Charlie” was apparently named after a character in a 1948 protest song “Charlie on the MBTA” which protested a 5 cent exit surcharge on longer rides.

Here’s a few Dutch items we came across. The first was a Dutch football shirt, found at the Newbury Comics store:

Dutch football shirt at Newbury comics

But don’t let the name fool you. The store is 90% pop-culture items and 10% comics, with only the latest few weeks of comics available, and no back issues. We did visit a few other comic book stores though (New England Comics and Comicopia) so Marco was able to get his fill there.

We also visited the City Target (Target being a department store) near Fenway Park and came across some Dutch stroopwafels at the Starbucks:

Dutch stroopwafels at a US Target store

However we were told that the stroopwafels do not taste as good as those from the Netherlands, so it seems likely that they are made somewhere in the US (it also seems likely considering the “non-GMO” label on the packaging, something that is abundantly common in Boston packaging it seems. It means no genetically modified organisms). The stroopwafels come from Rip van Wafels, which is based in California.

There’s a lack of touristy stuff in this post, but I should be able to get to that over the next few days.

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