Day Eleven: Hyannis, MA – Providence, RI

providence

Providence, RI – the view from our room

Miles travelled
77

Where we stayed
Omni, Providence, RI.  Super nice hotel.  We’d booked a room with two beds (queen or double – still confused) but it was the type of bed that wasn’t quite big enough for two people so we took a bed each.  I then became paranoid that people would think we were some sad couple that slept in separate beds – like who?  Who would care?  Still, we both had a really nice sleep!  We also were entitled to a free drink each at breakfast (Husband had a coffee) and we had a great view of Providence.  I’d definitely go back.

Where we ate
Lunch at Panera.
Dinner was at  Joe’s American, because literally everywhere else was packed!  The hostess couldn’t give a crap when we walked in, so it wasn’t a great start, but our waitress was much nicer.  We shared some nachos to start, then I had a cheeseburger and Husband had Maine Crabcakes.  I bought some Oreos from CVS, so dessert back in the room was cookies 🙂

Photos
Day Eleven

Today was definitely one of my favourites.  It was also the day where I almost ruined the rest of the holiday.  How exciting.

We were kept awake for hours on our second night in Hyannis by what felt like hundreds of people banging doors, yelling and arguing in the corridor, stomping to their rooms.  I think we were lucky that of all the hotels we’d stayed at so far, this was the first hotel that we’d had a bad experience in.  Fortunately, the front desk staff were amazing, and immediately offered us an apology and a refund.  Such professionalism (and it bumped my Trip Advisor rating up!) and so much more than I expected.

We didn’t have far to drive today, and we’d already driven through Providence a couple of days ago on the way from Foxwoods, so we knew we were expecting a big city again.  Our hotel was connected to the Providence Place Mall, the Convention Center, and the Dunkin Donuts Center, so had a massive parking garage next to it and was really well signposted – we pretty much took a right off the I95, then another right, then PARKED!  Phew!  No difficult driving at all.

We walked around the mall for what felt like hours, not because we were shopping but because we couldn’t get out.  We could see the outside, but we just couldn’t get to it!  Finally, we found the doors and walked over to the State House to take some pretty photos, and then we decided to walk up to Brown.

I completely fell in love with Brown.  It was a Sunday so very few of the students were around cluttering up the place and the Main Green was stunning.  I want to work here SO BADLY.  I’m so glad we visited – it was like an absolute dream.  I was treated to a lovely tour by Husband (who claims to have a double doctorate which I’m pretty sure isn’t a thing) and most, if not all, of the facts he was giving me were nonsense, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Brown

Brown

We had done online check in for our hotel (didn’t even know you could – how modern!) but we hadn’t actually been to our room, and we also need to collect our Providence Bruins ice hockey tickets, so we took a really leisurely walk back to our Hotel/Mall/Convention Center/other-things complex through beautiful Providence.  It was so quiet and peaceful – no one was about!  I guess everyone stays in on a Sunday.

We stopped at Panera for some cinnamon rolls and free WiFi, went over to collect our ice hockey tickets, then took our bags to our room (once we found our way to the lobby).  We hung out in the gorgeous room for while, before walking back to the Dunkin Donuts Center for my first ice hockey match in over a decade.  First up – shopping and I bought myself a puck and a cute little zamboni.  We found our seats, sat through three anthems song by children, and then the bout started.  We managed to get buy-one-get-one-free tickets so it cost us barely a thing, and it was genuinely a really great match.  The Providence Bruins were playing the St John’s Ice Caps – both in the American Hockey League, although the Ice Caps are Canadian so that’s confusing.  It felt so American – Fan Cam, people cheering the fights, and Husband and I even got on kiss cam.  To complete the American experience, I decided to get a hot dog after the first period.

I should not have done this.

Walking back down the stairs to our seats, I was concentrating more on not dropping the hot dog then where I was putting my foot, and I inevitably fell down the stairs.  It was so embarrassing – I fell right next to a bunch of people and the usher was yelling across the bleachers “Ma’am?  Are you ok?”  I just wanted the floor to open up!  It was only when I stood up (hot dog still in hand – hooray!) that I realised my left ankle was killing me, as was my right big toe.  I honestly thought I had broken my ankle, but thank goodness I hadn’t, and I managed to limp down the rest of the stairs without further incident.  I suspect I may have broken my toe though, as I still can’t really bend it that well over three weeks later.

Obviously you’re thinking that my wonderful Husband rushed to my aide.  No.  He was checking the weather back at home.

bruins

Providence Bruins

Anyway, we watched the rest of the match with my leg up on the chairs next to me.  The Bruins won 5-2, everyone cheering and going home happy.  I dragged my sorry ass back to the hotel in excruciating pain, stopping at the CVS on the way to get some ankle support.  But hey, if I hadn’t have gone in this CVS, then I wouldn’t have found the Cover Girl Hunger Games display and bought some nail wraps from the Capitol Collection, so maybe I was meant to almost break my ankle so I could find them (bright side).

Back at the hotel, I propped my foot up on the bed and googled sprains, whilst Husband looked at what dinner places were nearby.  We thought we’d be ok as there was a bunch of restaurants in the mall (including the Cheesecake Factory – WOO!) but as I hobbled up and down Francis Street, we soon realised that everywhere was packed solid.  The last place we tried was Joe’s American Bar and Grill, which fortunately had a table (a table with a crappy broken booth, but that’s ok).

Dinner eaten, I realised I wanted/needed painkillers for my hideously swollen ankle so into the CVS we went again – no Cover Girl for me this time – and then back to the room where I watched Revenge whilst elevating my leg, all the while wondering how on earth I was going to survive the next three days walking around Boston.

And I’m still wearing my ankle support over three weeks later.  Oopsie.

It’s not a road trip. It’s a covert operation.

Trip planning

A few months ago, Husband decided we were going on a road trip this year.  Completely out of the blue – I got home from work and there were books about New England on the coffee table that he’d randomly bought on a lunchtime bookshop binge.  Excitedly, I got to work and had our entire route planned before he finished saying “I wonder if there are any Cheesecake Factories in Massachusetts”.

We got the big map out again on bank holiday Monday and started to finalise our plans (using a spreadsheet on the TV – ever the data nerds).  We’ve already paid for three nights at the Revere Boston Common as we found a good deal, so all we had to do it come up with what we’re going to do for the rest of the two weeks.  Hopefully something along the lines of the following:

Rockport, MA
We land in Boston and drive straight out to Rockport.  It’s only about an hour away, so we’re starting off slow.  We might do Salem, MA on the way (or maybe the day after depending on how tired the flight has made us).  Being a witch obsessed teen has made me somewhat fascinated by Salem.

Wolfeboro, NH
I can’t wait to see Lake Winnipesaukee.  Looks beautiful.

Boothbay Harbor, ME
If we have time, we’d love to do a boat trip out to Monhegan Island as well.

Camden, ME
We debated about whether to go to Augusta or to Camden, but decided on Camden in the end.  It looks such a great town, and we’re looking forward to taking a trip to Camden Hills Park.

Conway, NH
Admittedly, there apparently isn’t much here other than an outlet village (which is enough of a draw for me), but it’s we’re we’ve decided to stop here before going across the White Mountains and the Kancamagus Highway.

Burlington, VT
Conveniently near the Ben & Jerry’s factory and The Alchemist Brewery.  Fun for everyone!

Bennington, VT
We’re not sure on whether we’ll stay here, but we need somewhere halfway between Burlington and our next stop.  And I have to visit the Yankee Candle flagship store.  Stop laughing.

Foxwoods, CT
I’m aware that Foxwoods isn’t a town, but it is the 2nd largest casino in the USA.  Those two statements don’t really have a connection.  FOXWOODS!

Hyannis, MA
We’ve had to go a bit of a weird route because hotel rooms were too expensive for the nights we had planned to stay there.  Hyannis is the start of our mini Cape Cod adventure.

Provincetown, MA
Right at the tip of Cape Cod.  It’ll be nice to get back to being by the sea again after all that inland driving!

Providence, RI
We’re planning on doing a tour of Brown University.  I always wanted to go there when I was younger.  I hope they don’t mind random British university Administrators hopping on their tours.

Boston, MA
And this is where we end our trip, taking a detour to Plymouth, MA on the way from Providence.  So far, I have planned on visiting the Flour Bakery, going on a Harvard tour and seeing some art.  There’s an exhibition on American modernist photographers at the MFA which looks exciting.  We’ll probably be exhausted by the time we get here, but hopefully we can stay awake for the last three days.

I think we’re decided on which hotels we’re going to stay at – largely independent places, but the odd chain has sneaked in.  We’re not planning on spending a huge amount each night, but I think some places might test our budget a little.  Trip Advisor has been a saviour in the planning, as has Trivago – I’ve seen many a hotel that I thought was out of our budget, but Trivago has managed to find us a good deal.

Plotting the towns on a map, we are just driving in a big square, and might be missing out on some amazing towns in the middle so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Now I just need to wait another 4 months (or so) for our trip to come around.  This summer is going to be hard!

(Oh, btw, it’s not really a covert operation.  That’s just me quoting Buffy).