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All People > painedplatinum > Travel Report from Near and Far > 2018 > March
2018

I worked two hours on Monday morning in Manchester, New Hampshire....in the afternoon, I took in the Seacoast at Portsmouth and Kittery, ME. I worked two hours in New Hampshire on Tuesday and then headed down to Hyannis on Cape Cod. A Nor'easter was brewing and predicted to wallop the Mid-Atlantic to New England regions. Getting to Cape Cod on Tuesday, prior to the storm was important. My original plan was to use my day off on Wednesday to visit Nantucket via ferry. Unless that storm turned out to be a total dud, it wasn't going to happen. Airlines started canceling all flights throughout the northeast for Wednesday and Thursday...the Ferry suspended service to the island for Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday. Thursday was all but written off.

 

The weather was supposed to hit Hyannis around 1PM on Wednesday and snow hard and heavy for 12 plus hours. I felt it was best to make my way over to New Bedford, MA on Wednesday morning and get an early check in at the Fairfield Inn & Suites New Bedford.  When I arrived, the wind was already gusting over 40MPH. The snow wasn't there, but a spitting, biting, sideways rain/sleet mixture was just making it's debut. Wednesday night was a quick bite out and then early to bed.

 

I woke up Thursday morning to hear about the storm that peter'd out (as far as snowfall is concerned). Almost no snow, but plenty of slushy stuff and super high winds. I was scheduled for a two hour workday in Fall River that would finish up around noon. After my grueling workday, I headed back to the FFI and was looking for something to do with the rest of Thursday......then it hit me!! I wonder if the ferries are running out of Hyannis to Nantucket???? If so, what did the schedule look like? Could I get to Hyannis, then Nantucket and back sometime Thursday night? You bet I could!!

 

The slow speed, vehicle and people, ferry would leave Hyannis at 2:45PM and arrive at Nantucket at 5:00PM. The high speed people only ferry would leave at 3:00PM and arrive at 4:00PM. I picked the slow speed since the ship is much larger and I figured it could handle the rough seas better. The return trip had one option. High speed at 8:20PM. I never even thought that the 8:20PM wouldn't sail (that could turn out to be a major miscalculation).

 

I left New Bedford around 1PM and was purchasing my ticket for the Steamship ferry at 2:15PM. The big bellied ship was getting ready to accept trucks and cars that were lined up for the trip. I know many on here are aviation geeks and get really pumped up on plane travel days. I enjoy that feeling also....BUT, it doesn't even compare to the exhilaration that is firing waiting to board one of these ferries. Thirty miles out to sea to visit a historic island had my heart pumping.

 

Yes, it was off season....yes, it was still winter cold...yes, it was a three hour visit....but I was stoked!!!

 

I hinted about the miscalculation for the certainty of the return trip. That possibility hit home when listening to some of my fellow passengers. They were talking about waiting two days to get home to Nantucket. We were chatting about that inconvenience when one nice lady asked me where I was staying when I arrived. I told her I was heading back that evening. Then she said.. "I hope the weather holds up or you'll be looking for a room"... WHAT?????? I can't NOT get back, I needed to be at work in the morning. I started crossing every pair of fingers I had.

 

The trip out was rough. The Captain asked all folks to get and stay seated once we were out of the channel. I don't often get motion sickness, but I have my limits. I remembered a tip given by a US Air pilot many years ago...he told me to always look at the horizon and that will defeat the motion or sea sickness.  I stared at that horizon for two hours on the ride to Nantucket!! There were a couple of passengers that didn't fare too well, but I had no problems!!!

 

As we entered the harbor area, excitement was building. I snapped a few pictures as we were approaching the dock. Just beautiful. I hopped off the ship and walked around town for a while. I stopped in at the Charlie Noble Restaurant for a bite to eat. It was all locals in a somewhat fancy looking pub setting. I can (and have) sit with locals anywhere on Earth. The lady sitting next to me at the bar was enjoying a mouth watering codfish sandwich. I quickly ordered one for myself and washed it down with the recommended IPA. I didn't want to leave the friendly conversation, but I had more exploring to do. By that time, what local shops that were open in the off season had mostly closed up for the day...so I strolled down cobblestone streets with gorgeous buildings.

 

Oh by the way, I grabbed a picture of the high speed ferry leaving Nantucket, so I felt confident it would come back to get me.

 

Back to the ferry terminal on Straight Wharf...and I was heading back to the mainland.

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New Hampshire, Maine, Cape Cod...now New Bedford. I'm getting closer to my work assignment in Fall River (home of Emeril Lagasse). Why New Bedford, you ask? Well, a couple of years ago, I was looking to get out to Martha's Vineyard.( Martha's Vineyard..Day Trip, July, 2013 )  There is a Ferry Terminal in New Bedford that provides the transportation that I seek. When the ferry pushed away from the dock, I noticed a newer Fairfield Inn & Suites rising from the old industrial town. I made a note to try that property out the next time in the area. It took me a couple of years, but I'm back, baby!! Since the winter storm is in full tilt status today, no ferry ride for me, but I am trying out the hotel and a couple of local hot spots.

 

The hotel is actually 7 yrs old and is finishing up a remodel. It feels newer than 7 yrs, for sure. I used the app to message the hotel to let them know of my quest for 500 and that they were #106 FFI and #434 overall Marriott property. They were great and upgraded me to a harbor view suite! Woohoo!

 

The FFI is literally a two minute walk to the ferry terminal.....and less than a quarter mile to many dining spots. I chose Moby Dick Brewing Co. from the front desk recommendation. After walking the 1/4 mile in biting wind and sleet..it was closed!!!! No worries, I had Rose Alley Ale House as my back up and they were ready and willing to accept my money. I know that the New Bedford/Fall River area has a long Portuguese history. What I didn’t know is that Mozambique Sauce comes from Portuguese cooking. The Rose Allay has their own version called “Rose”ambiquie. The bar man recommended the sauce on the wings....so I split 10 wings with their special sauce and traditional buffalo sauce. That Mozambique Sauce was FANTASTIC!

 

The storm is supposed to change from sleet to snow and reek some havoc, so I decided to wait til tomorrow and maybe, just maybe, make the ride back to Hyannis to grab that ferry to Nantucket.  I hope the Sun shows up.

 

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I left the New Hampshire and Maine area to head to Cape Cod. I was going to take the ferry to Nantucket, but another of the never ending Nor’easters is coming later today. My hosts at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Cape Cod Hyannis have a beautiful hotel here. This is one of two Marriott properties on the Cape. The FFI&S is just under two years old. The Courtyard has been here much longer and is separated from the FFI&S by a big box shopping center.

 

The town of Hyannis is definitely worthy. Lots of local shops and eateries. I love their street/directional signs. Since the ferry trip wasn't going to happen, I drove around and did some recon for a future visit. The harbor area, including the ferry terminal, was exciting to see...even if I wasn't hopping aboard. Ferry travel is my favorite way to go. Who doesn't like heading to an offshore island on a big boat??? If you take the ferry, parking is plentiful if you decide to leave your car. Time to hit the road...where’s that evacuation route?  Now for New Bedford and another Ferry Terminal!

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I had the rare work assignment that included four, two hour days, sandwiched around a travel Wednesday. It's still cold, wintery cold, up in New England, with snow on the ground, but the sky was brilliantly blue...so let's hit the Seacoast!!!!

 

I've read the recommendations for Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel and Spa. It's that old classic type of property that is slowly being Arned (the act of taking nice things and making them disappear for the all mighty dollar). The vets on here can recall the Seaview and shed a tear for what once was.......Anyway, I've never had the pleasure to stay where the legends like jerrycoin, ahflyr, mustanggt, jerryl, lakersfan, and razorbackfan rub elbows with the beautiful people.

 

My day started in Manchester, NH. After a fine breakfast at the Red Arrow Diner (a Top 10 Diner) I headed towards Portsmouth, NH. It's about an hour drive using NH Route 101. First stop was the Wentworth. Many signs pointed the way. Wow!!! What a great looking hotel!!! The setting is picturesque in any season. I took a self guided tour of the interior and it's everything a history loving stayer would expect. I'll be back, for sure, as a paying guest.

 

PS.  There's a private Golf Club by the same name, Wentworth by the Sea, adjacent to the property. I'm not sure if the hotel extends privileges for staying guests.

 

I drove around Portsmouth's downtown and waterfront areas. Really nice!!! Plenty of shops and restaurants to make a three day weekend type stay worthwhile.

 

Over the bridge from Portsmouth is Kittery, ME.....Lobsters Baby!!!!!!!!  Kittery has it's own town center, not as plush as Portsmouth's, but worth exploring.

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