Monday, January 30, 2012

Where I've Bean

When you have a glass of wine on a Wednesday night before meeting your cousin to see “Avenue Q”, and then you drink two beers during the performance, and you don’t eat dinner until 11pm, it’s a wonder you can pack anything sensible at all for a long weekend to Boston. And yet, that’s exactly what I somehow managed to do.

Not only that, I got up in time – and in pretty decent shape – to go into work on Thursday morning. Along with my fellow half-marathon runners (Flock, Flora and KP), we had scheduled an Australia Day home-cooked lunch for our work colleagues. For $10, they could buy their choice of a main course and a dessert and 100% of the proceeds would be shared between towards our respective fundraising efforts. Our menu was beef chilli and rice (from me), spanakopita and salad (KP), chocolate mousse (Flock) and ANZAC ice-cream cookie sandwiches (Flora). I could have stuffed my face with every single one of those dishes, so I appreciate the tough choice my workmates had. Still, we raised a lot of money for our fundraising cause that day, and enthusiasm seems to be building for a reprise in a few weeks. Excellent! All that said of course, I’m still a way off from my fundraising target, so if you can help out, I would really appreciate it. Either click here to go straight to my page, or you’ll see a big fundraiser link on the right hand side of my blog’s main page. Click wherever – you won’t be sorry.

So thanks to the Australia Day lunch and some admin stuff afterwards, I had a pretty full-on day on Thursday. But then J-Train came to meet me at my office for our trip out to Newark Airport. I had taking the more cost-effective option on Jet Blue airways and booked us cheap flights to Boston from New Jersey. Not a nightmare really, but it’s just not the closest airport to me. Getting out to Newark Airport from Manhattan after lunch time on any workday (by car) is an exercise in the ridiculous; it felt like we were driving forever. The train would have been more direct of course, but that was too much to think about when I was masterminding this east coast adventure. And once we (ultimately) got out to Newark and cleared airport security, we had enough time for a burrito dinner and a brief relax before we were boarding. In less time than it takes to watch two “30 Rock” episodes, we had arrived in Boston, got in a cab, and zoomed over to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

As glitzy and glamorous as the 1920s-era property might be, and as well-appointed as it definitely is, the Boston Park Plaza Hotel nevertheless has the tiniest, most impractical bathrooms you’ll ever see; so short on space, and definitely designed by someone who valued function over form. Not so the rest of the room, thank goodness. The room itself was large and the beds were really comfortable. The coffee pod machine mixed some really strong morning beverages too (so much that I didn’t even mind the powdered non-dairy creamer I had to mix through it). Gods be praised! From our lofty 12th floor room, we had a fantastic view of (and into) the rooms opposite us. Unsettling perhaps; but still much better than a brick wall or car park view, that’s for sure. Phew! Sleep sure came quickly on Thursday night.

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