I’m here in New England for a week visiting with my colleagues at Yankee. Aeroplan arrangements necessitated a Saturday arrival in Boston, and thanks to Hotwire I ended up staying overnight at the palatial InterContinental Boston on the waterfront for $119 (the rack rate printed on the back of the door, presumably the highly-inflated worst-case scenario rate, was $999). My room was perhaps the swankiest I’ve ever stayed in: three telephones, bathtub with sliding shutters to allow in-bath television watching, etc. Needless to say, I didn’t order the room service.
This morning I got up early and walked along the water to Caffe Dello Sport in North Boston, my favourite place to get a cappuccino and a croissant and sit with the old Italian men watching football beamed in on the satellite.
I took a swing through the deserted Quincy Market on the way back to the hotel, and was packed up and on my way by 11:00 a.m. I made my way on foot to the Hertz outlet on Park Plaza — about a kilometer away — just as it was starting to drizzle. When I got there my car was ready, although “car” is perhaps an exaggeration, as I’d been assigned a Chevy HHR, a horrible beast of a truck-slash-station wagon with almost no visibility of the road from inside. I took one run around the block and just simply had to exchange it, as driving it would have ruined my week and quite possibly resulted in the running over of small animals along the way. Fortunately there was a peppy Toyota Corolla in the garage, and 10 minutes later I was on my way north.
I stopped at the Burlington Mall to do some shopping, and then, a little farther up the road, at the plaza with Kohl’s and the L.L. Bean outlet just over the New Hampshire border. By the time I was done with my orgy of consumerism, I’d purchased:
- a Microsoft 4000 ergnomic keyboard to leave at Yankee so I don’t need to cart my own one down every time I visit — paid regular price at Circuit City,
- a Braun 340 electric shaver to replace the one I bought 10 years ago at the downtown Home Hardware store in Charlottetown — it was 20% off today at Kohl’s,
- a pair of black L.L. Bean jeans, to cure the problem of having no trousers to wear to Yankee this week — $13.95 on sale,
- a Western Digital “My Passport” 500GB portable Firewire/USB hard drive, to cure the problem of having only 500MB left on my 90GB internal drive on my MacBook — regular price at the Apple Store.
With the exception of the trousers, all of my purchasers were “oh the wonder and variety of it all”-driven, and had little to do with the “Black Friday” post-Thanksgiving selling season. Just doing my part to bring back the U.S. economy from the brink, something I’m happy (I think?) to report that I was joined in doing my untold hordes of shoppers — if ther Burlington Mall was any gauge, American retail will do just fine this Christmas.
By the time the spending was done, it was nearing dusk, and the rain had picked up; by the time I got to the 101A heading west the rain had turned to snow, and by the time I came to drive up Pack Monadnock traffic had slowed to a 30 mph crawl.
I got into Peterborough about 5:00 p.m. and went looking for a place to have supper. Unfortunately almost every place in town was closed on Sundays, even the venerable standby the Peterboro Diner. So I had to content myself with pizza at Grapellis just north of the Jack Daniels Motor Inn, which is where I’m staying for the week, and which is where I sit, on a dreafully non-ergnomic desk, as I type.